Like most production engines, the Yanmar was offered with instrument panel options, either a bare-bones tach and idiot-light 'B' panel
or a larger panel that adds an oil-pressure and coolant temperature gauge. None of the engine manufacturers including Yanmar include
a fuel gauge on their panel. I find it odd that the manufacturers overlook this obvious feature. I can't imagine why someone would be
happy without a fuel gauge. My yacht club just purchased two very expensive launches with the same Yanmar engine the I've
purchased. Neither launch has a fuel gauge. This is a constant source of annoyance to the launch drivers who have no way to verify
that there is sufficient fuel for the day.
The Yanmar panels are made with subpanels that screw into the main panel. The whole thing is plastic. This allows some limited
tailoring of the instrument panels. The subpanels are not all the same size, so this tailoring is limited. Yanmar also doesn't sell blank
panels, so you can't easily make your own subpanels. In my opinion, Yanmar missed the mark with these panels. They are too
restrictive, too large, and too difficult to modify. The instruments don't come with standard mounting brackets either, so you can't
relocate them to a custom panel. The ignition key is a piece of junk. It isn't really a key switch at all, just a hole into which you insert
the switch handle. A pair of needle-nose pliers would work as well. There is no retainer, so the switch handle is bound to fall out and
plunk down a drain. There is a shut-off solenoid that is activated using a separate button. Having a solenoid shut-off is a nice feature,
but it should be integrated into the ignition switch. There is no reason that the shut-off solenoid couldn't disengage automatically
when the ignition key is turned-off. This is how I hooked up the shutoff solenoid in my old engine.
Neither Yanmar gauge set would fit in the instrument-box under the 424 bridge-deck. The 'B' panel was the right length, but it was a
little too tall. The 'C' panel was much too long. I chose the smaller 'B' panel option. I did a search for instruments and found that the
Faria Euro Black instrument set was a close match for the Yanmar tachometer. They offer a single four-inch combination instrument
that has pressure, temperature, voltage, and fuel level. This is a very close match to the four-inch tachometer included in the Yanmar
panel. I had planned on cutting my own panel. Since the tachometer lacked mounting brackets, I decided to modify the Yanmar panel
instead. I cut down the height of the Yanmar panel. This was done by filling the hollow back of the panel with epoxy, then running it
through a band-saw.
I removed the key/buzzer subpanel and fabricated a blank panel. The new blank-panel was made from two pieces of Polycarbonate
(Lexan). I cut the bottom panel with the appropriate 3 3/8" hole for the new gauge. I cut the top panel just large enough so that the
gauge bezel would recess. After finishing the new panel, I repainted the entire panel assembly with a similar gray finish.
The photo on the right shows the
instrument panel installed. The three
idiot lights are:
Green - Low V-drive oil pressure
Yellow - Auxilliary Alternator
Red - Bilge Pump Alarm
(click on photo for larger image)
The photo to the left shows the ignition key panel. The
top pull-switch turns on the engine instruments and
provides power to the pushbuttons. The top pushbutton
engages the starter. The bottom pushbutton stops the
Just to the right below the manual bilge-pump is the
extra cockpit drain I added. This 3" drain goes straight
through and out the transom.
(click on photo for larger image)