View Full Version : Smartcraft install

06-30-2009, 08:56 PM
I have asked everyone I know, have searched on-line and have even perused a Mercruiser Smartcraft Service manual. None have answered my questions.

I have a friend who has a 2002 Powerquest 280sc, I installed a Northstar Gps Chartplotter for him a year ago. It has the capability to display smartcraft info. He bought the Northstar adapter cable. We have ascertained that his engines are Smartcraft equipped. There are a bunch of unused connectors hanging off his engine but none labled Smartcraft, most are labled though.

Has anyone added smartcraft to a boat not originally equipped with it? Where do I connect into the engines and what wiring do I need from Merc?

Any help with this would be greatly appreciated.

07-01-2009, 11:05 AM
What make, model and year of engines?

496HO's which should have the Motorola 555 ECM?

07-01-2009, 09:53 PM
2002 Mercury 350 mag MPI's the they also have pcm 555's , I checked to be sure as someone told me that was what it needed to be smartcraft ready. Although they do say Smartcraft all over them. And I am not positive about the year, but I am pretty sure.

07-01-2009, 10:27 PM
They usually say smartcraft when they are. Call Mercury customer service with your serial number. '01 ,'02 is about the time it came out.

I may be able to figure it out with a serial number.

07-02-2009, 08:27 PM
It does say smartcraft on the pcm , and on the engine cover, and in the owners manual. I will get the engine serial numbers for you. Thanks

07-02-2009, 11:11 PM
If it says smartcraft it should have a big round plug on the engine. There may be a spot to plug in under the dash too. I will have to get back with you Monday if no one else helps first.

07-04-2009, 10:41 AM
engine serial numbers are 0M261368, 0M621365. And I realized the boat hull is a 2003, so the engine are probably 2003' or possibly late 2002's

07-04-2009, 11:04 AM
Is there a Smartcraft junction box behind the dash? Look at the last page of the PDF below. Your adapter cable would plug into the junction box.


07-05-2009, 09:35 AM
Is there a Smartcraft junction box behind the dash? Look at the last page of the PDF below. Your adapter cable would plug into the junction box.


Thanks Macguyver, we have looked for that, thats what Northstar said too. But there is no junction box we can find.

07-11-2009, 09:03 AM
sounds like you have a smartcraft motor but analog gauges in the boat. If thats the case, You will need to run a blue CAN harness from the motor up to the dash, The harness must have a terminator resistor on both ends. You should see a rectangle 10 pin plug on the back of the motor where you will plug the Blue CAN harness in too. It should be labeled CAN 1

07-11-2009, 11:04 AM
I forgot all about this after busting up my lower the other weekend.

Figure it out Macjazzy? I can take pics- I'm on outboards but I have a clear view of how it all hooks up other than the at the motor part. I know- that is what you are trying to find but once you find that you gotta figure out where it all goes and that may be where I may be able to help..

07-13-2009, 01:42 PM
Here is where I am with it. I could not find the connectors on the engines but by all accounts they were there. So we ordered 2 of the blue cables, long enough to get to the front of the boat, (1) junction box, and what mercury calls a terminator plug. It caps off the extra terminal on the junction box and has a built in resistor.

Using the new cables as a guide (to know what the engine side connector looks like) I found the connectors on the engine. If anyone cares, on a 350mag mpi they are located behind the left side exhaust riser, same side as the PCM, kind taped to the wiring harness, and sort of near the rear of the cylinder head.

The instructions that came with the cables said I had to unplug a power connector located just before the engine CAN connector on one engine. So the CAN network would only have one power and ground supply. I located that connector easily and unplugged it.

Unfortunately also in the instructions included with the cables we found that the engine CAN cable to the first junction box can be no longer than 6 feet. First problem, we ordered (2) 25' harnesses. And next it said there needs to be 2 resistors in the overall network. We only had one, in the terminator connector. We tried anyway just to be sure, but it would not display eny engine data on the screen with what we had.

We have ordered (2) 6' cables, another junction box for the rear of the boat, another terminator to use on that end, I will use one of the 25' cables we have to go to the dash, plug it into the junction box we have along with the terminator we currently have. And the Northstar adapter harness we already have. Hopefully it will be plug and play when we get the rest of the pieces. But I have my doubts. Every new thing I get my hands on to read, gives a slightly different explanation of how to wire this system up. I have even gotten access to a Mercury Smart craft installation manual and it is not very clear. The service dept. that let me see it had never unwrapped it from the plastic, and had trouble finding it in the shop. They gave up at first saying they didn't have it. But somone found it later and called saying I could borrow it for the day.

I am very surpised no one I have talked to has ever added Smartcraft display to their or any other boat. It seems like a great tool to have on board, fuel flow, gallons used, all your readings and faults your engine has (what is the buzzer going off for now? ) right at your fingertips.

If my engine had that option ( I have Volvos) I would definately want it. So that is where I am now with this project. It seemd like it would be so easy when we started.