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Newb To Modern Bass Boats, Question Regarding Trim/tilt

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hey. for the past years i had fished out of a 1977 boat, with a 85HP Johnson. the boat had a basic Humminbird, a small trolling motor, bilge pump, and livewells. no gauges, no trim/tilt, nothing. it served us well for some years, but now, i progressed to a newer boat. 

 

this weekend i purchased a 1994 Javelin with a 150HP. everything is working, except the trim and rpm gauge. the speed gauge didnt work either but its because the pitot tube bends backwards, we put a small piece of wood to hold it in place and the speed gauge worked... we have gps on the sonar though, so thats no problem....

 

now, i have a lot of questions regarding the trim/tilt... first of all, the motor hangs really low, we have a transom saver for trailering, but i would like to put the motor higher for highway driving, can i use a longer transom saver? is there a problem if i use one long enough to put the motor almost between the trim and tilt phases???  some lakes require up to one hour of dirt roads and bumps, im afraid to damage the prop, which is not even dented now....

 

now, regarding the boat operation, the owner told me to put the motor as low as possible at the start, and then as i increase the speed, to trim it up a bit... he said he trims it until the sound of the motor changes a bit.... what i did this weekend was to trim it up until the water splash was behind the driving seat... i noticed if i trimed it a little more, the boat would began porpoising, so i trimmed it down and the porpoising stopped... i also noticed small (1-2 MPH) speed increments when i trimmed it up.... however, i did notice one thing that bothers me.... i had to hold the steering wheel tight, because the boat would have a tendency to make a very, and i mean VERY sharp turn to the right... i mentioned it to the owner, but when he was driving, he could completely let go of the steering wheel and the boat would keep true... when i was at the wheel, only once i managed to do that, i think it was when i found the optimal trim setting, because i noticed that depending on the trim angle, the force required to hold the steering wheel straight was more or less..... i also felt, but im not completely sure, that if i was at 40 mpg or so, the trim wouldnt work, im not sure if the force of the motor prevented the trim from lifting the motor... 

 

finally, where can i get a trim gauge replacement?? or a way to check if its only the gauge or something else not working??

 

thank you!!

 

 

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I think you answered your own question. Trimming up too much it will start to porpoise.

Just sounds like you need some experience operating the boat.

Hold the wheel gently and don't over correct and it will fall into place.

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Get the tachometer fixed. IMO, it's quite important in achieving optimal performance. The trim gauge, I never even look at. The trim pump has 2 stages, trim and tilt. Sounds like you might have reached the tilt stage as it doesn't have enough power to move the motor while at high speed. The trim will move the motor no matter the speed.

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thanx! that makes sense, however, if i reached the tilt stage, i passed through the sweet spot in the trim stage without noticing it... i will pay more attention to it next time, because i know when i reach it i dont need much force to keep the boat going straight, and i also think fuel economy, efficiency and speed will improve....  

 

how can i check if i need the tachometer gauge, or i need the mechanism?? on my other boat i was told i could check the electric resistance to see if the fuel gauge worked.... something similar for the tacho?

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From what you describe, it sounds like you are trailering the boat and leaving the motor down while driving down the road. If so, that's a very bad idea. When launching and loading the boat, you should have it trimmed out some and not straight down. The only time you want that motor straight down is when in the water, and you know it's deep enough not to hit bottom.

As for how much trim while running. As you have found out, trimmed out too much and it will porous, not trimmed out enough and the steering wants to make a hard right. You are also going to get that hard right pull on the steering when running slow and the hull deep in the water, no matter where the trim is at. This is the natural affect of the heavy drag on the hull and the torque of the motor pushing against that drag. Get you speed up so the spray is well behind the drivers seat or off the back of the boat, and with the proper trim, you should have almost none of that wanting to go right, steering should be neutral.

The motor can't create enough force to keep a good trim system from trimming the motor out. Now, if you already have it trimmed all the way out to max trim, where it's starts pushing on the lift cylinder, it will not raise the motor. The lift cylinder is not strong enough to raise the motor beyond the trim cylinders when under power.

As for the tach, it works off a signal sent by the rectifier in voltage regulator. First thing you need to do is make sure the voltage regulator is working. To do that, place a voltmeter across the cranking batter - and +. With the motor running approx 2,000 rpm (the max you want to turn on a hose or out of gear with no load on prop)and see if the voltage on the cranking battery increase for the `12+ VDC to over 13.5 VDC. If it stays at the 12+ volts the battery had before you started it, the motors charging system is not working. If it's not working, most likely the tach is not going to work either. Since the tach signal is off the rectifier, it's possible for the regulator to go bad and tach still work, but normally, when it's not charging, the tach doesn't work.

If the motor is charging, the next step is to check the tach signal and since I don't work on Mercs, I can't tell you what that is. On a JohnnyRude, it's between 6 and 12 volts, depending on the RPM, and some meters will only read it in the AC mode, some will read it in the DC mode, because coming off the rectifier, its actually an AC signal.

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thanx! that makes sense, however, if i reached the tilt stage, i passed through the sweet spot in the trim stage without noticing it... i will pay more attention to it next time, because i know when i reach it i dont need much force to keep the boat going straight, and i also think fuel economy, efficiency and speed will improve....  

 

how can i check if i need the tachometer gauge, or i need the mechanism?? on my other boat i was told i could check the electric resistance to see if the fuel gauge worked.... something similar for the tacho?

Not all hulls are simlilar, finding out the right trim angle is up to you. Only thing that the same is you trim all the way down to launch and you trim up to get the most speed. You can overtrim though so you got to find out where the limit is.

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From what you describe, it sounds like you are trailering the boat and leaving the motor down while driving down the road. If so, that's a very bad idea. When launching and loading the boat, you should have it trimmed out some and not straight down. The only time you want that motor straight down is when in the water, and you know it's deep enough not to hit bottom.

As for how much trim while running. As you have found out, trimmed out too much and it will porous, not trimmed out enough and the steering wants to make a hard right. You are also going to get that hard right pull on the steering when running slow and the hull deep in the water, no matter where the trim is at. This is the natural affect of the heavy drag on the hull and the torque of the motor pushing against that drag. Get you speed up so the spray is well behind the drivers seat or off the back of the boat, and with the proper trim, you should have almost none of that wanting to go right, steering should be neutral.

The motor can't create enough force to keep a good trim system from trimming the motor out. Now, if you already have it trimmed all the way out to max trim, where it's starts pushing on the lift cylinder, it will not raise the motor. The lift cylinder is not strong enough to raise the motor beyond the trim cylinders when under power.

As for the tach, it works off a signal sent by the rectifier in voltage regulator. First thing you need to do is make sure the voltage regulator is working. To do that, place a voltmeter across the cranking batter - and +. With the motor running approx 2,000 rpm (the max you want to turn on a hose or out of gear with no load on prop)and see if the voltage on the cranking battery increase for the `12+ VDC to over 13.5 VDC. If it stays at the 12+ volts the battery had before you started it, the motors charging system is not working. If it's not working, most likely the tach is not going to work either. Since the tach signal is off the rectifier, it's possible for the regulator to go bad and tach still work, but normally, when it's not charging, the tach doesn't work.

If the motor is charging, the next step is to check the tach signal and since I don't work on Mercs, I can't tell you what that is. On a JohnnyRude, it's between 6 and 12 volts, depending on the RPM, and some meters will only read it in the AC mode, some will read it in the DC mode, because coming off the rectifier, its actually an AC signal.

 

 

thanx!! thats great info, thank you for taking the time to explain it to a newb....

 

so, heres a pic of how the boat sits on the trailer while being towed ( i know i need a longer hitch, ill get it before i trailer the boat again). 

 

 

IMG_3946_zpspumry0vy.jpg

 

 

you can see the transom saver in place... so, i lower the motor low enough for it to press slightly on the transom saver... thats why i asked, if i could modify it to make it longer, so the motor wouldnt need to be so low for it to press on the transom saver.... and yes, i tilt the motor almost all the way up for launching, and i lower it just enough for it to pee for backing off the shore (almost no docks or boat ramps in this part of Mexico)... i lower it until im 5 or 6 feet deep....

 

so, as you mention, with the proper trim steering should be neutral... i will use that as a reference of how much trim i need until i can fix the tacho... however i didnt understand this "(the max you want to turn on a hose or out of gear with no load on prop)"... i will take my voltmeter to the lake on saturday and test as you mention... im assuming you check the tach signal, at the gauge itself? to see if its getting current??? BTW my motor is a Johnson...

 

i plan to be on the lake on saturday, and im not even taking the rods, my plan is to burn some gallons of gas just learning how to drive the boat, trim and sonar are the main things i want to focus on... but ill open a new post about sonar....

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Not all hulls are simlilar, finding out the right trim angle is up to you. Only thing that the same is you trim all the way down to launch and you trim up to get the most speed. You can overtrim though so you got to find out where the limit is.

 

thanx, ill work on that this weekend, i still have a lot to learn...

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If you look on that motor, it has a trailering rest that flips down with the motor tilted up and then you can tilt it down until it sits on that rest. I have a 225 Evinrude and a 225 Johnson and I don't and won't use the transom saver on them. Johnson has that rest so it holds the motor at approx. the balance point and is their recommended way of hauling it.

when I said on a hose, you can unscrew that large nut that's around the pee hole, take it out and screw a garden hose in their for cooling water and run the motor in your driveway. Just be sure you always turn the water on before you start the motor. A couple seconds of dry running can fry a water pump. Doing that, or with it in the lake in neutral, 2,000 rpm is the max you want to turn it, which is a very high idle. Just understand, that whole thing is plastic so when you put tighten it, be very gentle, snug it good enough that it won't come loose, but don't force it down hard or you can/will break it and it's about $50 to replace. Trust me, I've learned that one the hard way.

The signal wire on the back of the tach should be a purple wire if someone wired it properly. You will have three wires, one black for battery negative (ground) one that connects next to the light for the light bulb in the tach (this might be a blue wire if Javelin used that color back then) and the signal which should be purple. The signal and and ground may connect to the studs holding the mounting bracket. Measure across the signal and battery negative wire. You might want to do a continuity check between the negative wire and the negative post on the battery to make sure it's zero ohms and making good connection.

A very common problem with tachs are they are nothing but like a small stepper motor. Once the voltage reaches a certain level, the needle starts moving up. What happens is the corrosion will bind that shaft or armature and keep it from being able to move with the very small amount of force it generates. Also understand, it's really working on the pulse count coming from the rectifier but the voltage also increase as the pulse count increases.

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If you look on that motor, it has a trailering rest that flips down with the motor tilted up and then you can tilt it down until it sits on that rest. I have a 225 Evinrude and a 225 Johnson and I don't and won't use the transom saver on them. Johnson has that rest so it holds the motor at approx. the balance point and is their recommended way of hauling it.

when I said on a hose, you can unscrew that large nut that's around the pee hole, take it out and screw a garden hose in their for cooling water and run the motor in your driveway. Just be sure you always turn the water on before you start the motor. A couple seconds of dry running can fry a water pump. Doing that, or with it in the lake in neutral, 2,000 rpm is the max you want to turn it, which is a very high idle. Just understand, that whole thing is plastic so when you put tighten it, be very gentle, snug it good enough that it won't come loose, but don't force it down hard or you can/will break it and it's about $50 to replace. Trust me, I've learned that one the hard way.

The signal wire on the back of the tach should be a purple wire if someone wired it properly. You will have three wires, one black for battery negative (ground) one that connects next to the light for the light bulb in the tach (this might be a blue wire if Javelin used that color back then) and the signal which should be purple. The signal and and ground may connect to the studs holding the mounting bracket. Measure across the signal and battery negative wire. You might want to do a continuity check between the negative wire and the negative post on the battery to make sure it's zero ohms and making good connection.

A very common problem with tachs are they are nothing but like a small stepper motor. Once the voltage reaches a certain level, the needle starts moving up. What happens is the corrosion will bind that shaft or armature and keep it from being able to move with the very small amount of force it generates. Also understand, it's really working on the pulse count coming from the rectifier but the voltage also increase as the pulse count increases.

 

thanx, i get it now!! ill print your explanation and take it to the lake on saturday, fortunately i have a lake 20 minutes from home, so i can go and test it and hopefully figure it out to fix it... theres only a couple of gauges not working properly, so i would like to have it all in working condition.... 

 

and i couldnt find the rest you mention, ill post pics tomorrow...

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If you look on that motor, it has a trailering rest that flips down with the motor tilted up and then you can tilt it down until it sits on that rest. I have a 225 Evinrude and a 225 Johnson and I don't and won't use the transom saver on them. Johnson has that rest so it holds the motor at approx. the balance point and is their recommended way of hauling it.

 

 

heres my motor, i dont know which trailering rest you mention.... maybe its not there??

 

also, is it correct to have the pin in that hole?? i see a lot of holes, im not sure which one to select... im assuming it only determines the lowest position of the boat?? 

 

IMG_4037_zps6qwpjiq5.jpg

 

IMG_4036_zpsch4hydge.jpg

 

IMG_4038_zpsjl1liasb.jpg

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I'm more of a merc guy myself but I don't see the engine kickstand for when you raise the motor all the way up.

The purpose of the lower revs on the hose is because you can't get enough water pressure from a hose for the increase in water pump speed.

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I'm more of a merc guy myself but I don't see the engine kickstand for when you raise the motor all the way up.

The purpose of the lower revs on the hose is because you can't get enough water pressure from a hose for the increase in water pump speed.

 

yes, neither do i... my old Johnson had one, i attached a string so i was able to pull it from the rear deck, but on this one i dont see it...

 

and i get it know, ill do the test next time im at the lake... i have the "ear muffs" for testing at home, but im not really confident on using it, plus having a lake really close to my house, i prefer to wait...

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I guess the 150 doesn't have it.

The reason for not running more than 2,000 rpm when under no load, it's possible for a two stroke motor to go into runaway and grenade itself. that's why you don't want to pop the throttle, sounds good but when it all of a sudden hits over 10,000 and stays there, you probably want get it shut off in time.

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The motor rest is clear in the the first two pics. On the part of the outboard that tilts away from the boat. Especially in the second pic. As you come up from the lower unit there is a peice that kind of points at the boat. At about an 80 degree angle up there is a tab that sticks out. It's part of that assembly. There's an Allen bolt that is the pivot. If you push that tab towards the boat the peice will rotate towards the tilt/trim assembly. You have to push it pretty hard to get it free of the clip that is shown in the first pic. You have to tilt the outboard far enough up that the piece will lock out then gently lower it into the rest. I'm terrible at explaining stuff but you do have the mechanism that way2slow is talking about.

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The motor rest is clear in the the first two pics. On the part of the outboard that tilts away from the boat. Especially in the second pic. As you come up from the lower unit there is a peice that kind of points at the boat. At about an 80 degree angle up there is a tab that sticks out. It's part of that assembly. There's an Allen bolt that is the pivot. If you push that tab towards the boat the peice will rotate towards the tilt/trim assembly. You have to push it pretty hard to get it free of the clip that is shown in the first pic. You have to tilt the outboard far enough up that the piece will lock out then gently lower it into the rest. I'm terrible at explaining stuff but you do have the mechanism that way2slow is talking about.

 

thanx, when i took the pic i didnt notice, but now i see the clip you mention and i think i get it now.... tomorrow ill try to do as you mention... 

 

and thanx way2slow, ill keep that in mind and keep it on low rpms if not loaded... whats a good rpm under load?? at WOT?? 

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i found this picevinrude-2-transom-saver.jpg

 

 

 

and im pretty sure thats what you mean, and yes, my pics show something like that.... so does Johnson recommends the use of that lock for towing, and ditch the transom saver???

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That's the part. I have been using a transom saver. I never gave it much thought. The guy I bought the boat from used it so I've been doing the same.

After reading way2slow's earlier post I'm prob going to toss the transom saver and use the factory rest myself. Be one less thing to deal with all the time.

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i was about to modify my transom saver to make it longer, since as it is the prop hangs very low... but ill also try what way2slow recommends and see how high the motor gets, i think that could be all i need...

 

thank you!!

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When I say NO LOAD, I mean with the motor in neutral or the prop not being in the water and running on a hose.

I think the factory recommended RPM for that motor is 5,300 - 5,500 RPM. I like to set them up so they turn right at max RPM at WOT and normal load. I always got to the high side, if I had to choose between a prop that turns 5,200 and one that turns 5,600 I would go with the one that turns 5,600. It's not going to hurt the motor and it will have better hole shot and performance.

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I personally would still use the transom saver.

The rest they are talking about WILL hold your engine up, but it won't relieve the load on your transom.

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I personally would still use the transom saver.

The rest they are talking about WILL hold your engine up, but it won't relieve the load on your transom.

^^^^This^^^^

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thanx way2slow, hopefully i can fix or replace the rpm gauge, you have been a great help....

 

and LuckyGia, my transom saver puts the prop and lower unit really low, its very easy to hit it on the dirt roads around here... in fact last weekend i already had to take off the transom saver and tilt the motor up to pass a small dry creek that crossed the road, it would have definitely hit it if i hadnt raised it more... so its either use the rest, or get a longer saver...

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The rest won't take the load off the transom. It's still trying to twist and can do a lot of damage when hitting bumps. The saver takes that load and puts it on the trailer.

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i was thinking, do new 2016 boats such as Stratos, Ranger, Triton, come with a transom saver?? or do they recommend the use of the integrated rest (if they have one)?? im guessing if a transom saver is needed, then all major manufacturers include one... but, do they?? i dont know...

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