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Engine Panel Back Upgrade

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General Observation:
If you change out an engine in a 30+ year old boat, there will very likely be a formidable list of old irritations to address "while you're there".


The EY factory might have sensed in 1988 that there was additional financial risk to making any new tooling pieces for the Olson boats that they had just purchased. They were struggling some, and indeed they had to close in late 1990.

From looking at some other (32 and a 38) 80's Ericsons around our moorage, the cover that protects the wiring connections on the back of the engine panel was kind of a stock inventory item. They probably molded out more of them in batches, as needed.

It was always about an inch (or a bit less) too wide for the O-34 molded-in backing piece behind that panel, so the screws were driven in at quite an angle for the side flanges. While it was sorta-kinda "close enough", it was not a very good fit.
Some screw holes were stripped out on ours (and also on another O-34 in our moorage).

The molded cover IS a necessary part to protect those electrical parts from getting whacked with fenders and warps, and other "etc". And, in extremis, to keep invading spray from running into the innards of the gauges.

Also, I have cut about 2 inches off of the bottom of this part to give more room to work when getting into & out of that cockpit seat locker. As long as the lower part is below the gauges and wiring connections it will protect them, as intended.

The external view shows where we removed the old Stop Knob and epoxied-plugged the hole. Note the picture of a stock panel on a sister ship, just for comparison.
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Updated 06-28-2018 at 07:03 PM by Loren Beach

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  1. Slick470's Avatar
    Huh, on our 911, Ericson skipped the panel back altogether. It seems like it is tucked up a bit more in the 911 than the 34 though, so maybe that is why. That sail locker really is a big black hole on the 911 so you would really need to pack a bunch of stuff in there to get to the level of the panel. Plus the hatch is relatively small, so getting an actual sail in there is somewhat tricky.

    I've debated upgrading our engine control panel. The faceplate is cracked at the corners and I need to replace a few of the parts. When I get around to that project, I'll probably add a panel back then.

    As always, I appreciate you documenting your projects on your Olson. Every once and awhile, they apply to ours as well, or at least get me thinking about projects I should consider.
    Updated 06-28-2018 at 08:10 AM by Slick470