Raypex

Smartcraft gauge in a 2002 265SSI 496

10 posts in this topic

Hi all,

I've decided that I would benefit from the addition of a fuel monitoring device. I was researching the Floscan unit and Lowrance LMF 200 and 400 then I found that my engine is Smartcraft compatible. I don't want to replace all of my gauges and want to make a smart buying decision to accomplish what I want at the lowest cost. I can't justify spending $1000 to confirm that I'm spending $100's in gas.

I have spoken to Mercury support in Fon-du-lac and I have exhausted all of the posts on multiple forums on the topic but I cannot seem to find  exactly what to buy. The  Merc monitor with the Eco looks interesting but the Merc rep said it probably would not work. He suggested a SC1000 tach along with the blue cable and a 4-way junction would work. I like the idea of the Eco monitor as fuel efficiency is more important than fuel consumption. 

I'm thinking my lowest cost option is the smaller square system monitor which I could make a new hole for and leave the original gauges alone. I can't seem to figure out what information this unit will actually display. I think GPH is one of the standard values which can be read from the PCM without any additional sensors. 

Does anyone know if it can display MPG without adding anything? Can I add a GPS antenna to get MPG?

I am not critical about accuracy, I'm just trying to run more efficiently. More sensors and more expensive options may be more accurate but simply enough, if MPG goes up or down by tweaking throttle or trim I would know if I am wasting gas or not.

As I said, I have read and read and read about this so much my head is spinning! 

My boat is a 2002 265 SSI 496 MAG ser 0M332089 Bravo 3.

Thank you in advance for being such a knowledgeable and friendly bunch!

Edit: I should probably add that I have no other electronics on board and my speedo does not work.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I loved my SC 1000 gauges and miss them no this new boat.  These gauges suck.  Since I have DTS I have a junction box already behind the helm and serious thinking about putting in a Merc Monitor.

Unfortunately I have never seen the smaller Monitor so I can't help you there.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Hi Ray,

I have been through this a few month ago with my Chap 270 2007 full analog. Engine were smartcraft compatible and I just had to wire the engine to the junction box. After that I splitted between one SC Tach/Speed  and one Vesselview 4.

Truth is, if I had to do it again, just take the vesselview 4 for multiple reasons :

1. You will have all the info required and be able to have MPG, and yes you will be able to select a random NMEA gps antenna or charplotter since Vesselview 4 is also a Smartcraft gateway. Be careful though, it is only allow you to receive data from NMEA network, you will not be able to send anything to NMEA network from SC network.

2. The new Vesselview series is about to be release or already have been (502 and 702) and old vesselview 4 and 7 will probably be cheaper(here is an example but I expect the price to drop even more : http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Mercury-OEM-VesselView-4-Kit-Part-8M0074096-Vessel-View-4-/171485107355?hash=item27ed4f149b:g:Np8AAOSwPe1ULuaV&vxp=mtr )

3. In the vesselview you will be able to check a lot of things including Eco Mode (Read this for more infos : http://www.manualslib.com/manual/818266/Mercury-Vesselview-4.html?page=4#manual ) which is what you're after if I read you correctly.

4. Only one gauge to add in your dash and you can keep your old ones to have pitot for speed in case your gps antenna goes down.

Here is some pictures of before/after for me :

Before :

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « chaparral 270 signature 2007 gauge »

 

After :

WP_20160603_16_41_38_Rich.jpg

WP_20160603_16_43_33_Rich.jpg

WP_20160603_16_43_59_Rich.jpg

I spent a lot of time and have done everything myself, so if I can help you, let me know.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exocet,

What a beautiful set up you have there. Nice Job!

The Vessel View 4 you pointed out is for 2007 and newer engines. I would probably have to build a network and put in sensors to achieve that level of info. This is beyond what I need and beyond budget.

 I want to spend less than $5-600 and get a better idea of how much gas I'm burning. I don't think I even need something that is expandable. I have no intention of ever needing chart plotters and such. I have a Lake Michigan map book, a working compass, a handheld VHF, and a cell phone. That is sufficient for my occasional jaunts into "big" water. Rest of the time, I'm a river boater. It's pretty hard to get lost in a river.B)

I just want to take advantage of the Smartcraft information that is hiding in my PCM and I can't justify a big expense to do it.

BTW, I see you have the Lenco Auto-glide. How do you like it? 

I am considering adding Bennett 16 X 12 Sport Tabs to my boat which is one of the main reasons for being frugal about gauges, the other reason for penny pinching is a hefty repair bill coming for a gimble ring.

Ray

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Well, auto glide is probably the best investment I have made, so much that I am going with another one in my 290. Don't get me wrong, it is not essential but what a peace of mind especially on calm water. People can walk from starboard to port and auto glide handle this to keep the boat leveled, before that I had to do it myself, I am the kind of lazy you know :p. On the sea or on rough water that's a different story, I just disable auto glide has he try to level the boat every time and I feel that the boat is less stable, hang less.

On the 290 I just bought, factory Benett tabs are installed, since I already have the auto glide system (Blackbox+control) I will replace the benett tabs I have or perhaps take the conversion kit offered by Lenco, not sure yet.

About the vesselview, my boat was from 2007 but the engine from 2006. I talked with my Merc dealer and he told me that I am ok as soon as my engine is tagged smartcraft compatible. I ordered the VV 4 but I was not convinced, I fired it up after plugging everything and he was right. Difference is the number of sensors you will be able to monitor, (Newer more sensors, older less sensors) but MPG is based between your speed (GPS) and your RPM (Default sensor) so you will have no problem. I am very confident that you will have the informations you are looking for just like me, smartcraft is build that way (plug and play) and Merc started to integrate the sensors in the same time they started to brand their engines Smartcraft compatible. I am pretty sure you even have the wire for digital trim ready to be plugged so you just unplug the wire from analog trim and plug it to digital trim and voila, you have your eco mode ready :), because I don't know if you already know about it, but Eco Mode tells you what is the more efficient trim level depending on your speed. Anyway it is a really cool little box.

As I see it you will need 3 things :

Vesselview 4 : I would wait this winter you should be able to find a used one around 500 $

Smartcraft Harness from engine to helm : Here is a 30 feet but you can find a shorter harness, let's say A20 instead A30. Around 40-50 $ (http://www.ebay.com/itm/New-Mercury-Mercruiser-Quicksilver-84-879981-A30-Smartcraft-Wiring-Harness-Assy-/121901163223)

GPS Antenna :NMEA gps antenna for your speed around 100$ depending on the brand. Unless you want to use pitot or Paddle wheel, VV let you choose the source of the speed.

You should be able to make a small setup around 600-700 $.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exocet,

 That's great advice, I will keep my eye open for a used VV4. 

And I think I do have a digital signal from my out drive trim. Is that all I need to get Eco-mode to work?

Thanks for your help with this!

Ray

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Yep nothing more than finding you smartcraft plug (right side, behind when you are in front of the engine), should be like this :

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « smartcraft plug »

Plug one end of your smartcraft harness to it and the other to the junction box.

Then unplug your analog trim and plug it into digital trim like this (Both wire should be near of each other (Center Behind) :

Résultats de recherche d'images pour « mercruiser digital trim »

After that just plug the vesselview to the junction box and your nmea gps antenna to the vesselview.

Be careful, you will have to power your gps antenna with 12 volts via nmea network like this : Résultats de recherche d'images pour « nmea backbone »

You will have just 3 T connector like the picture where the Charplotter will be the VV4 for you (1 for NMEA VV4, 1 for GPS antenna and 1 for power) and 2 termination resistor. After that if you want to add some stuff, just have to add it to your existing nmea network.

With this Eco mode and the others features will be enabled, you will have to set the VV4 a little but it is not a big deal, just tell him what kind of engine etc.

On my 270 I also plugged the analog fuel sensor wire to the engine (The wire on the engine is already there you just have to plug your wire sensor on it), to be honest, after that, I was just checking at the VV4, other gauge could have been removed :).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Exoset,

Thanks for your time and assistance. I will look in the boat for existing wiring and keep watch for good a good price on a display. 

Your input has been very much appreciated!

Thank You

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@Exoset

I have a VV4 on the way!  So now I need to figure out how I want to lay out the panel.  I like your carbon-fiber looking panels in lieu of the wood grain panel I have on the 250 (identical scheme as your old 270).  Are those actually aluminum panels covered with a 3M adhesive backed decal or are they made from something else?  I'm thinking about replacing all gauges with only the VV4 and then maybe mount the VHF on the panel.  Not sure how that will look, though.  In your opinion, is there any value to keeping the stock gauges and simply incorporating the VV4 into the panel or an all out replacement and using the VV4 as an all-in-one gauge?  I'm afraid it won't look very balanced.

Can't wait to hook up the VV4 and see how it works!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!


Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.


Sign In Now