View Full Version : Hour Meter

10-11-2009, 02:30 PM
I would like to add an hour meter to help with servicing etc. However rather than having it dash mounted I'm considering mounting it in the outboard - Johnson 70. It will mean removing the cowling to view it. I see there are small rectangle versions available which would best suit the space with a simple bracket.
Has anyone out there done this?

10-11-2009, 03:51 PM
you don't need one i assume its a old Johnson two stroke they were one of the toughest motors built. go for a service every 12 to 18 months , new water pump spark plugs and a few adjustments . it will go for a thousand hours until corrosion
will beat it

10-11-2009, 04:17 PM
Just keep a diary/ log or if your fishfinder has the option use the total hours or distance from it.

They are just a clock unlike the good old original ones on industrial motors that actually changed the speed of the clock depending on revs and load to give realistic service interval relative to condition of oil and consumable parts.

10-11-2009, 07:47 PM
Sinker, I am also thinking of doing this with my new 40hp Yamaha tiller steer that I will be getting soon, both as a guage for servicing and so that I can demonstrate to a potential buyer down the track, how many hours my motor has done. I am interested in seeing the responses you get.

11-11-2009, 07:56 AM
I guess in a nutshell, almost any motor that has an electrical system is easy/possible to fit an hour meter to, a full on manual/pull start with no battery system at all will need some other sort of device, but it is far better to just do an annual, or there abouts service interval, I have owned outboards of all brands and operating principals, and to this day, do a "service" every Christmas, and a water pump every second year (on the even number years) easy as pie, so unless you are some sort of high hour commercial operator, then that is as good as any hour meter.

11-11-2009, 07:59 AM
OH, I just remembered, your old 70 Jonson/Evinrude could almost be serviced with your eyes closed, just buy yourself a genuine manual and it will be a breeze, and kind of good fun as well.

Jarrah Jack
11-11-2009, 08:44 AM
I agree with Noelm on the serviceing but think you have a point on being able to show a potential buyer the care you have taken of the motor and the amount of use you have put it to. Others will say that the meter can be made to represent whatever you want which is true but if you do add a meter and its fairdinkum then the buyer will have another good imput to judge by.

When you are selling a used motor just about everyone will ask about the hours same as the ks on a car.

11-11-2009, 09:16 AM
I have a yamaha 50 4 stroke. When I purchased the rig, the dealer fitted a tach/hour meter under the tiller steer. I can view the revs while running and the actual hours run when the ignition only is turned on. I find it very helpful. I think the name is tiny tach.

Hope this helps.

11-11-2009, 06:34 PM

I have a tiny tach fitted to my yamaha on the tiller, great for prop selection and of course, hours... 5 minutes to fit.


11-11-2009, 10:00 PM
here you go

12-11-2009, 05:39 AM
I have a Yamaha 40 tiller steer and with an hour meter from Yamaha which just a digital meter running off one of the plug leads.

When I bought the boat (new) I thought it was a good idea to keep track of the hours. The meter was originally installed on the top of the engine (side of the head) which I beleive is too hot for the meter. The first one failed within an hous or so. The seond, placed in the same place failed at around 18 hours.

The third now seems to be ok at another 20 hours (now 40 hours n the motor) but I placed it on a small aluminium bracket away from direct heat off the head of the engine.

So far so good. I think they are a good idea for accurately knowing the hours you do. Otherwise it is a guess, and usually a long way out.


12-11-2009, 09:29 PM

All good valued responses.

I can see the limitations of a meter. However I don't have log book and I share the boat with another. So I can see how the meter could assist us in keeping track of engine use.

So if we fit one under the cowling is there a preference over mechanical or LCD? Does LCD drain a battery? How long does the internal memory of LCD last when garaged? Will a mechanical unit fail with vibration, salt, heat?

Any experiences with both? Any known good brands? I don't want to waste time on crap. Sometimes crap can be found at either end of the $$ spectrum!

12-11-2009, 09:58 PM
There is one that is actually primary design is as a overheat warning but also counts hours and can also act as a rev counter.

Do a search for overtemp alarm for small motors as I can't remember the name. Might just save the motor from a plastic bag as well? Someone from the land rover might know as they were used by them on diesels that had a habit of blowing heads from low coolant due to cracked resovior bottle.