How to Wire a Boat's Ignition Switch

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If your boat's ignition switch no longer lights the fires of your engine without effort--perhaps you have to wiggle the key in the switch, or you may even have to wiggle a loose ignition switch in the dash--the time for replacement has arrived. With six terminals on its back, two of them marked with the same letter, a boat's ignition switch appears to present a challenge, but it's a challenge in appearance only.

Things You'll Need

  • Drill
  • Hole saw
  • Soldering iron
  • Silver core solder
  • Spray vinyl electrical insulation
  • Use a hole saw to drill a 1-1/2 inch hole in your dash where you want to mount the ignition switch.

  • Slip the ignition switch into the bezel provided with the switch. Thread the plastic nut onto the back of the switch and tighten it to hold the bezel in place.

  • Pull the ignition cable through the hole in the dash. Find the terminal on the switch that's marked "B." Locate the wire in the ignition cable that's red with a purple stripe along its length. Solder it to the "B" terminal with silver core solder and a soldering iron.

  • Solder the purple wire to the "A" terminal. Solder the wire that's purple with a white stripe to the "C" terminal. Solder the wire that's yellow with a red stripe to the "S" terminal.

  • Solder the black wire with a yellow stripe to either of the two terminals marked "M." Solder the black wire with a white stripe to the other terminal marked "M." Spray all the terminal connections with spray vinyl electrical insulation. Mount the ignition switch in the dash with the supplied mounting screws.

  • Photo Credit llaves en mano image by Norberto Lauria from Fotolia.com
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