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Trim Tab Woes

Old 06-14-2018, 06:18 AM
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Default Trim Tab Woes

Hi,

I have a 1991 Albemarle 24 Express with the original trim tabs. My starboard side tab will not lower, but I hear the motor when retracting. I removed the switch, and the wiring diagram does not correspond with Bennett, and I contacted Albemarle, and they were no help.

I did find that the SB switch did not work in the lowering position, and I jumped a hot wire to the terminal, and it lowered. I found a switch that matched what I have on EBay, and after I installed it exactly the same as the old switch, now the SB side doesn't go in either direction. Port works fine. I have current in both directions when the switch is depressed. Where else should I look? Relays?

I had the boat apart to replace the steering cable and high pressure PS hose, and the relays were accessible, but figuring the switch was faulty, I buttoned things up. Guess I need to remove the trim and transom cover aft of the motor box.

Any suggestions?

Seth Anderson
Moon, VA

Old 06-14-2018, 08:06 AM
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That looks like a Boat Leveler switch.

Pretty sure Albemarle was using some Boat Leveler when your boat was made.

Try wiring it up using their wiring. Let me know if it works!

Tom McGow
Bennett Marine

Here is the wiring for Boat Leveler.

green=Port Valve
white= Starboard Valve
red=Motor Forward (pump pressure)
yellow= Motor Reverse (pump retract)
black on HPU=Ground
red on Helm=Control Positive

Here is how you can test it.

Remove the wires from the helm control and touch together as follows:

Operation=Reaction
(+), Red, Green=Port trim tab down
(+), Red, White=Starboard trim tab down
(+), Red, Green, White=both trim tabs down
(+), Yellow, Green=Port trim tab up
(+), Yellow, White=Starboard trim tab up
(+), Yellow, White, Green=both trim tabs up




If the trim tabs function correctly for each wire grouping then the switch is at fault. Also note that any loose or missing screws on the back of the switch (whether a wire is connected there or not) can cause the pump to malfunction.
Old 06-15-2018, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Tabman View Post
That looks like a Boat Leveler switch.

Pretty sure Albemarle was using some Boat Leveler when your boat was made.

Try wiring it up using their wiring. Let me know if it works!

Tom McGow
Bennett Marine

Here is the wiring for Boat Leveler.

green=Port Valve
white= Starboard Valve
red=Motor Forward (pump pressure)
yellow= Motor Reverse (pump retract)
black on HPU=Ground
red on Helm=Control Positive

Here is how you can test it.

Remove the wires from the helm control and touch together as follows:

Operation=Reaction
(+), Red, Green=Port trim tab down
(+), Red, White=Starboard trim tab down
(+), Red, Green, White=both trim tabs down
(+), Yellow, Green=Port trim tab up
(+), Yellow, White=Starboard trim tab up
(+), Yellow, White, Green=both trim tabs up




If the trim tabs function correctly for each wire grouping then the switch is at fault. Also note that any loose or missing screws on the back of the switch (whether a wire is connected there or not) can cause the pump to malfunction.
Thanks for the reply. I didn't know this, but Volvo Penta had their own version of trim tabs. I found an identical switch on EBay, so I installed that, and the SB Trim tab would go down, but after a couple of cycles, quit. I removed the transom cover, and found 2 relays, and took one (both identical) to my local NAPA to match up, as opposed to waiting 3 or 4 days for them online. The idiot sold me the wrong one, and when I plugged it into the harness, it started smoking, and I quickly removed it, with the plastic on fire!!! The harness was a little warm, but not melted, thank goodness.

After doing some research, turns out I needed a changeover relay, I got a relay with double output. I called NAPA, and the idiot said they didn't give refunds for electrical parts, even though the schematic was on the side of the old relay, he didn't make sure it matched, and it was my fault, as well, for not double checking, even though I am not all that familiar with schematics. A lesson learned.

I ordered a couple of Sierra Relays that match the VP part number, and am waiting for them to arrive.
Old 06-18-2018, 08:26 AM
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After looking at the pump, reservoir, etc., I found a BOAT LEVELER label on the hydraulic lines to the tabs. Should be easier to troubleshoot. I know the switch on the SB side was bad, so when it still didn't work properly, I replaced relays. The SB retract is tempermental, sometimes it works, sometimes not, with pump running, but not retracting.
Old 06-18-2018, 09:12 AM
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I just sent you this private message:

I'm confused. That boat leveler system should not need relays (unless they are used to keep the fuse from blowing if you put one Tab up at the same time you put the other one down). So you could ditch the relays if you don't do that.

I would do this test right at the pump (no relays) and see if it works:

Remove the wires from the helm control and touch together as follows:

Operation=Reaction
(+), Red, Green=Port trim tab down
(+), Red, White=Starboard trim tab down
(+), Red, Green, White=both trim tabs down
(+), Yellow, Green=Port trim tab up
(+), Yellow, White=Starboard trim tab up
(+), Yellow, White, Green=both trim tabs up




If the trim tabs function correctly for each wire grouping then the switch is at fault. Also note that any loose or missing screws on the back of the switch (whether a wire is connected there or not) can cause the pump to malfunction.

This test may also be done right at the pump by using a hot lead. There is usually a connector to the wire harness within a foot or so of the pump. You want to check this connection for corrosion. You may wish to cut the connector off on the pump side and try the test on bare wires.

If you suspect corrosion on the wire connector near the pump, cut it out, test as above and reconnect using butt splices.

Make sure to check both ends of the black ground wire at the pump for corrosion

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