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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Converting a Tohatsu 20 HP from Tiller to Remote Control and Steering



When I bought Shallow-Minded it was clear that the motor power was not going to satisfy me.  Stories from the previous owners of poor speeds when running tidal currents made me sure I would want to move up to a larger engine. The very nice Suzuki 9.9 long shaft, power tilt with remote control just wasn’t going to suffice. I sold it on Craig’s list for what I thought was a reasonable price. 
Having enjoyed very good luck with buying marine engines online for very competitive prices, I decided to purchase another Tohatsu.  The unit I chose was the MFC20C long shaft, electric start, power trim and tilt tiller model.  Fact is no company is allowed to sell remote control units directly to the public unless they are the ones that install the motor.  Thus the purchase of the tiller model for conversion by myself.
I’d like to summarize the steps necessary for conversion on the Tohatsu MFC20C long shaft Power trim and tilt tiller model to a full remote control.  First, here are the items needed for the conversion.
First I needed a 3ACQ843300  remote control box.  I found my supplies readily available from Boats.net in Albany, GA. The price $373.00 with free shipping!  I also needed a pair of throttle and shift cables.  I made a special trip to North Carolina where the boat is to make critical measurements for the length of both these cables and the steering cable.  I found my 6 foot Hilex cables at Solution one Maritime, L.L.C in Tampa. These cables cost me $70 with $6.00 for shipping. Finally, I need a collection of parts know as remote control fitting parts, 3BJQ838803 according to Tohatsu.  This costs $134.86 plus $11.95.
 After securing a drag link steering connector (3E0849050) for the ridiculous price of $134.81 plus $11.95 shipping and handling, I reasoned that I was now ready to go.  I therefore loaded up the motor and parts and took them over to my friends at DeKalb Marine.  The following day a phone call from Bob, informed me that I still needed two adapter cables.  The remote control comes with a plug in cable.  Should be a breeze right?  Just plug it in.  Wrong!  An adapter cable is required to fit the bullet connectors of the wiring harness inside.  What’s more, even the bullet connectors on the harness need an adapter to plug into the PTT (power tilt and trim) solenoid.  Wonder how much that would be or where to find them for that matter? Well, turns out after careful study of the electrical magneto diagram that I need “extension cord PTT number 3BJ72569-0 or item 35 on the diagram.  This takes care of the power trim and tilt adapter.  Item number 88 is known as the “cord assembly EP/EPT 3BJ-76110.  These adapters for the adapters, as it were run a total of $131.76 plus shipping from Boats.net.  I verified my understanding of the needed adapters with Bob at DeKalb Marine and they are on order.
Right now my beautiful motor is sitting on a stand in the shop with the conversion mostly done.  No tiller mars the sleek look.  I can’t wait to tank test the throttle and shift levers.  In September or October I hope to make a trip over to Hampstead, North Carolina to install the motor. 
The motor was $3200.  The conversion cost me $895 for parts plus $100 labor by DeKalb Marine for a grand total or $4195.  That does not include Stick steering which I plan to use for maneuvering control in confined areas. The rudder is mostly unhelpful at slow speeds due to the fact that the motor sits behind it.
Pictures to follow

1 comment:

  1. I use remote kid's. My crew enjoys helping. I found the thing about a dealer having to install remote control parts.crazy. Like its rocket science or something.

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