View Full Version : Dash, All Gauges, Suddenly Dead!

10-05-2006, 12:00 AM
I have a 2000 Kanga/Outback model. This week, my dash just died -- every single gauge. My switches still work (Bilge, Lights, etc), and the engine runs fine; however, none of the gauges move.

If I understand correctly, the only fuses/ĒbreakersĒ relating to the gauges, are the rubber-pushbuttons located just above the accessory switches. Iíve attempted to push/reset these, no luck. I attempted to go under the dash and completely clean up all connections and re-seat them, no luck. There is a red-breaker behind the engine in an enclosed plastic component, I attempted to push this in, but it didnít have any movement.

I read through every post on the forums, finding only one mentioning similar issues, that suggests a switch behind the ďspotterís seatĒ in the battery compartment; however, mine is a 2000, which didnít yet have this feature.

Iíve read about the ground-wires being an issue, however, Iím not sure where else to check?

Iíd bring it into a Moomba dealer, if we had one Ė but the only dealers we have locally (Palm Beach County, FL) are strictly sales. I have called the guy they refer repair business, and after approx. 12+ calls over the last year, Iíve never had a single call returned.

Iíd be happy to pay for a new part, if I knew what needed replacing.

Thank you in advance for any suggestions!

10-05-2006, 09:39 AM
rusten, there is a couple of previous post of owners having this same problem.

there is a black box under the dash. mine on my old outback was on the the left wall that had come apart. i was able to simply push the box back together and all was well.

others have had to replace the box that cost around $300.

try to check the box and if you are able to squeeze it back together take some electrical tape and tape it shut.

hope this helps.


10-05-2006, 12:15 PM
Hi qb12,
Thanks for the reply. I didn't turn these posts in my search, but I'm probably using the wrong keywords. I turned up most posts under 'fuse' and 'dash' - is there a better search term?

This is an update to help others. I haven't yet solved my problem; however, Brian called me with some suggestions and I thought I would post them in the event others are searching for an answer.

As qb12 mentioned, there is a black box on models with the "Kaiser/Medallion" gauges (you can tell if you have these gauges by looking to see whether they utilize a single, weather-tight plug behind each gauge). This black box translates the analog signals to the digital readouts for the gauges.

In the event this box needs to be replaced, you can call Kaiser/Medallion at: 888-750-2134. Their website is: http://www.medallionis.com/

Brian mentioned that the best solution is to inspect this logic box, inspect the connections to it, and most importantly, allow it to reset itself by disconnecting power for at least 15 minutes. Finally, the box is very sensitive to having proper ground - so double check that.

I'll update you if any of these solutions work for my case.

10-05-2006, 07:11 PM
I have the Outback QB12 had. The gauges went dead on me as well early summer. It ended up being the ground wires at the first gauge on the left. All the grounds for the gauges are ran off of this one terminal. While you are under the dash, check the tightness at all terminals at the gauges. I found almost half of them were getting loose. I've had no problem since.

10-11-2006, 04:20 PM
Update: I've attempted resetting the "Black Box" by leaving the battery-leads disconnected for hours. I tried re-seating the connections to the "Black Box", as well as checking ground. No luck.

There is one thing that gets me 50% of the way there: I reset all of the breakers, then leave the power off (battery disconnected) for a period of time, then when I first turn the key on, the gauges do the small-movement upon power-up and the hour-meter displays. The gauges don't appear to show any numbers, but at least they're receiving a signal. However, as soon as I turn the key to start the engine, this is the end of the gauges.

Barefooter -- Your Outback problem sounds similar to mine; however, all of my gauges have weather-tight plugs without any sort of added ground-terminal. Is this the way yours are setup, and if so am I misunderstanding something?

More unusual -- I don't see any sort of ground-wire on the back breaker panel. I see where all of the positives connect, but nowhere on that panel do I see a negative lead connected. Now it's likely I'm missing something, since the boat had worked fine in the psat; however, I wondered whether any of you might know where the negative lead is normally connected on the back of the Switch-Circuit Board?

Thank you in advance!

NH Moomba
10-11-2006, 08:25 PM
I believe there is a row of negative lugs along the top above the gauges and postitive ones along the bottom (or vice versa). On the back of your gauge PCB is a harness labeled "to gauges" or something to that effect. Using your multimeter, you can figure out which of the pins is connected to ground feeding the black box Crimp a good quality yellow female spade lug onto a short heavy gauge wire (14-12 awg) and connect it to the ground lug on the PCB. Splice the other end to the wire on the harness that is going to the ground pins. This should bypass the ground pins on the connector but still allow you to unplug the harness. This is what I did on my 2000 Outback and have not had any problems since. A user named gaugeman described something similar so you might want to search on him. He gets the credit if it works for you.


10-11-2006, 10:29 PM
Most marine gauges are bolt on type terminals, some have weather pack terminals. In order for all the gauges not to work means you either have the 12 volt supply or the grounds is not working at a main junction. This can be done either at an actual junction box, such as a terminal with lots of one color wires, such as red for 12 v., and black wires for grounds. On the Outback, they used the first gauge on the left for the junction for grounds to all the gauges and use 12 v. jumpers from one gauge to all the gauges. Yours may be different. You can have someone watch the gauges and, with the key on, wiggle wires till they work. Then trace down that wire and it should lead you to the problem.

Hope this helps! Barefooterh2o is a ASE certified Master Tech. and mechanical engineer.

NH Moomba
10-15-2006, 05:32 PM
Sorry, I didn't mean to say gauge PCB, I meant the PCB behind the switches.