E-TEC Service Costs

Repair or modification of Boston Whaler boats, their engines, trailers, and gear
jimh
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E-TEC Service Costs

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 24, 2018 8:59 am

[This topic has been separated from another thread that was discussing a different topic.]

In response to an inquiry about cost of E-TEC 300-hour service which cited a dealer in Greenport, New York quoting $1,250 for the cost of parts and labor, I can offer this response:

I used to have a a c.1992 Evinrude 225, and I did some of the work on it myself, but limited it to simple things like changing spark plugs. I now have a 2010 E-TEC engine. It is approaching 500-hours and has been in service since July 2009. This year, 2018, is thus its tenth year of operation. The total maintenance costs have been extremely modest and have caused me no regrets about buying the E-TEC.

The last service was a few years ago, and the cost was about $300 or $400--I don't recall the exact figure. My dealer, Lockeman's Hardware and Boat in Detroit, is a outstanding Evinrude shop. They sell only Evinrude, and they have a great reputation. All their mechanics are factory trained and certified. The work performed is described below in a follow-up post.

As I recall, I postponed the "300-hour" or "3-year" service to about four years. On advice from Lockeman's, based on his experience with these engines, and based on my type of operation--freshwater, no ingesting of sand or silt--I am stretching the water pump service interval to about five or six years. I have a water pressure gauge and engine temperature gauge, and I have seen no change in cooling water pressure or engine temperature readings this season compared to when the impeller was first installed.

You can buy all the required parts for doing your own work. A dealer in New Jersey, Barnacle Bills Marine, has prepared and sells kits for E-TEC 300-hour service for various models. You might want to contact him by telephone for more information. I believe his telephone is (856) 785-9455. He prefers human voice telephone contact over any other method, from what I understand, so don't text or email.

Re the cost of service: the spark plugs are expensive, perhaps $15 each. Installation requires a torque wrench. The plugs must be carefully indexed during installation. It is sometimes necessary to buy more than six plugs to get ones that will index correctly due to the random orientation of the ground electrode relative to the threads.

The installation of the fuel filter requires use of Oetiker clamps. Oetiker clamps need a special crimp tool. You can buy the clamps from Evinrude or find some similar clamps elsewhere. You can buy a suitable crimp tool for about $30 to $50. Here is a chart I have created showing Oetiker clamp models and the size range in inches and millimeters:

Image

There is a very useful and informative discussion about Oetiker clamps in the archives. See

Oetiker Hose Clamps
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/020693.html

The above thread also has hyperlinks to sources of Oetiker clamps from Home Depot.

A more recent discussion of Oetiker clamps is found in earlier postings to this forum. See

Oetiker Clamps
viewtopic.php?t=622

The above thread includes advice on where to buy the necessary crimp tool at a reasonable price. Also see this listing on Amazon:

https://www.amazon.com/Oetiker-2800-Compound-Action-Pincer/dp/B01IBA4SS0/

The installation of the water pump impeller requires a special technique. If you perform this yourself be certain to get the proper instructions and follow them carefully. Dropping the gear case generally will require removal of the lower side cowlings, and, of course, disconnecting the shift rod. The shift rod height is quite critical and is usually set with a reference length tool. You can make your own tool or just be ultra-careful not to disturb in any way the shift rod length when working on the water pump.

Also, the gear case is heavy. Dropping it is not a problem, but getting it back in place can be a chore. In addition to the drive shaft and shift shaft, there are exhaust housing and seals that need to be carefully aligned. It is difficult for one person to accomplish due to the weight that must be lift upwards while maintaining alignment of the several other components.

It is quite useful and very informative to gather an Engine History Report from the Engine Management Module (EMM) of your E-TEC engine at periodic intervals, and particularly so when performing routine service. To get this information you need to have the EV-Diagnostics software, a computer terminal to host and execute the software application, an RS-232 serial port on the terminal, a specialized cable to connect to the E-TEC EMM, and some instruction and training in use of the software.

The EV-Diagnostics software will alert you to any stored fault codes that have occurred, when they occurred, and how often they occurred. This information will be very useful in providing proper service.

For more about engine history reports from E-TEC engines, see my article from many years ago:

http://continuouswave.com/whaler/reference/ETEC_EngineHistoryReport.html

If I were not so fortunate to have an outstanding Evinrude dealer close to me, i would probably have more interest in doing my own work on the engine. As it stands, I am quite content letting a professional work on it. The costs have been rather modest and the work has been done to an excellent level of competency. Considering the cost of the engine, spending $300 or so on its service every three to five years is a trivial expense. If I were in a situation where the service provider asked for $1,200 for the 300-hour service, I would certainly look into performing it myself. That price seems quite extravagant.

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: E-TEC Service Costs

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:47 am

There is a prior discussion of E-TEC engine 300-hour service costs from the archives. See

E-TEC Three-Year 300 Hour Service Costs
http://continuouswave.com/ubb/Forum3/HTML/020189.html

Here is an excerpt from that thread with my comments made six years ago in 2012:

    E-TEC Three Year or 300-Hour Maintenance

    My model-year-2010 Evinrude E-TEC 225 E225DPXISE was put into service in July of 2009. It is now beginning its fourth season of operation, is three years old, and has 227-hours of run time. I had my dealer perform maintenance on the engine as recommended, although we did omit one item. Here are some observations I made as I watched the service being performed.

    The exhaust pressure sensor was removed from the exhaust passage and inspected. It was found to be unclogged and only lightly sooted. It was soaked in a solvent, washed, dried, and returned to service.

    The six iridium-tipped spark plugs were all removed and replaced with new OEM spark plugs. All of the old plugs had a very similar appearance; they looked sooty but not wet or oily. The gap of one of the old plugs (chosen at random) was measured at 0.029-inch, which is about 0.001-inch wear of the electrode from the original 0.028-inch gap. It was noted that one of the old plugs had lost the very tiny iridium pad on the ground electrode. The precise effect of that missing pad is not known. The new plugs were installed and indexed without difficulty.

    The gear case oil was drained. The old oil showed no sign of any water intrusion, but it did have the characteristic smell of old oil. The color was described as good, and the discharging oil was all uniform in viscosity and without any sign of globules or other anomalies. On the magnet of the filler cap screw there were three or four very tiny whiskers of metal that had been attracted and held in place by the magnet. The gear lubricant was replaced with the HPF-Pro gear case lubricant. (Minor faux-pas: I don't think the O-rings on the filler cap screws were replaced, but they looked to be in excellent condition.)

    The fuel filter was removed and replaced with a new OEM filter. The fuel drained from the old filter was clear, showed no sign of water or other contaminants, and appeared to be pure gasoline. (We did not have an ethanol test kit handy to test the ethanol content.)

    The thermostats on each cylinder bank were opened and inspected. The temperature-sensitive valve mechanism was free of corrosion and in perfect working order. In one thermostat there was one tiny grain of sand entrapped in the housing. The thread compound used as a sealant in the original assembly was removed from the threads of the thermostat cover, and Evinrude Triple-guard marine grease applied as a sealant instead.

    While the lower shrouds were removed from the engine, I removed all the soot from the mid-section. Portions of the white painted mid-section had been blackened with soot. (The soot is exhausted by the exhaust idle by-pass assembly and can accumulate under the lower cowling panels.) I will be interested to see how much soot accumulates in the future now that I have reduced the oiling rate to the XD100-only setting.

    The history of the engine extracted from the EMM showed no over-heat conditions, and the engine temperature histograms showed proper cooling was being provided. The engine speed histogram showed that engine speed was generally always below 4,000-RPM for the great majority of the operating time. The existing water pump was providing water pressure at all engine speeds within specification. Based on this evidence, and based on the experience of the dealership with the general durability of the E-TEC V6 water pump in freshwater service of this type, it was decided to not change the water pump at this time. I will probably change the water pump at the beginning of the next season. This saved some time as we did not have to drop the gear case off the mid-section and overhaul the water pump. I was comfortable with the advice of my mechanic in this decision. If any problems occur this season, I can always service the water pump at that time.

Here are my comments from 2014, when I had the water pump service performed for the first time:

    My 2010 E-TEC 225-HP (E225DPXISE) engine was made in July 2009, shipped to my dealer, and immediately installed. It has been run for five seasons, 2009 to 2103 inclusive, and this Spring was about to begin its sixth season of operation, 2014. The engine has only accumulated 339-hours of running time. As you can see, it spends a lot of time not running.

    The engine was serviced after about three years, in early 2012 (see list of work performed above), but at that time the water pressure seemed good, and the water pump impeller was not serviced. At the end of last season (2013), I was running the boat in very cold water--Lake Superior--and I noticed the operating temperature at prolonged idle speed (made necessary by a long day of running in thick fog at very slow speeds) was creeping up to 195-degrees. This Spring (2014) I decided to get the water pump impeller changed on my 2010 E-TEC 225 (E225DPXISE). A new impeller was installed, and a new installation procedure used, which is said to improve water pressure output. The engine had about 330-hours of operating time. A noticeable improvement in water pressure at low engine speeds was seen. Water pressure increased to about 6-PSI from about 4-PSI at idle, and to about 10-PSI at fast idle.

    Following the water pump service we spent a week running the engine in the unusually cold 47-degree-F water of Lake Michigan. Normal summer temperature for surface water is more like 65- to 70-degrees. Following our extremely harsh winter, the water temperatures are significantly lower than normal. I think it will take until late August for the northern Great Lakes to warm up this year. Some portions of Lake Superior just lost their ice cover in late May.

    The engine temperature at 550-RPM idle would slowly rise to about 170-degrees-F. Previously, at this engine speed we could see temperatures of over 190-degrees-F. If the engine speed were advanced to a fast idle, engine temperature would very rapidly cool to about 100-degrees.

    At cruising speed, engine temperatures remained about 110- to 120-degrees.

    We often run the boat for long periods at fast idle, which gives us about 6-MPH boat speed. With the new water pump and this cold lake water, the engine temperature will be only about 100- to 110-degrees.

    The impeller that was removed at 330-hours looked fine. I don't know if the boost in low-RPM water pressure was from the new impeller or the new installation procedure.

The instructions for installation of the water pump impeller can be found on-line and downloaded.

dtmackey
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Re: E-TEC Service Costs

Postby dtmackey » Fri Aug 24, 2018 9:59 am

I have an E-TEC 250 and perform all my own maintenance. If my memory serves me correct, I think the 300-hour runs me about $150 in parts and two-hours time, tops.

    - waterpump
    - lower unit oil
    - filters - engine spin on a Racor cartridge
    - plugs

Being a 2006 model, I do want to pull the injectors and get them cleaned for peace of mind.

D-

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: E-TEC Service Costs

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 24, 2018 10:11 am

In 2016, Barnacle Bills Marine, an Evinrude dealer in New Jersey, mentioned that his price for three-year or 300-hour service for an E-TEC varied with the engine size and ranged from $495 to $850. I would expect that for a V6 the $850 figure would be more appropriate. In 2009 the same dealer cited "just under $500" as the cost for a V6 in his location, south New Jersey. This same dealer cautions that prices for 300-hour service would also vary by location of the dealer performing the work. Note that this dealer is an ocean coastal dealer, so I would infer that most of the boats he sees are used at least some of the time in saltwater, and this sort of use may affect the exact nature of the parts and services he provides. If you need further details, I suggest calling him by telephone.

This same dealer offers service kits for a V6 legacy (G1) E-TEC as follows (prices current as of August 2018 and posted on-line):

135 HO V-6 thru 300 G1 models -- 3 year, 300hr service kit includes
    1 Fuel filter
    1 VST filter
    1 17mm clamp
    2 Thermostat
    2 Thermo gasket
    2 Thermo oring
    1 Back Presure Nipple
    1 Tie strap
    1 Water pump kit
    6 Spark plugs
    2 Drain screw washers
    1 Cotter pin

Total with shipping inside the US is $365.

Other parts to add, will also need to add some extra shipping charges

    2 Anode $34
    1 plus extra HPF Pro gearlube $30
    1 Gearlube pump $8.49
    1 Service manual $76.29


My recommendation: buy the service manual if you plan to perform your own service.

jimh
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Location: Michigan, Lower Peninsula
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Re: E-TEC Service Costs

Postby jimh » Fri Aug 24, 2018 11:37 am

Regarding other service costs, for my E-TEC V6 225-HP engine:

I had a problem with the the exhaust lower inner housing. In 2014 when the gear case was removed for service of the water pump (as mentioned above), the exhaust lower inner housing was found to have a burn at the upper face. This was suspected to be due to a misfitting of the housing or gasket, possibly in original assembly (as the gear case had never been dropped before). A leak of exhaust gases must have developed, eventually burning a hole in the lip of the housing. This is shown below:

Image

For those not familiar with this part, here is a simplified pictorial view of where it is located:

Image

To remedy this problem the housing was replaced and new seals installed at upper and lower joints. The upper (#14) and lower (#15) seals are $16 and $13. The housing (#16) for a 25-inch shaft engine is $122.

Second new problem: with the gear case on the bench, some oil residue was noted at the upper seal of the drive shaft (just below the water pump). (Later it was deduced that this oil, very fresh in color, was probably from winterization oil that had dripped down; the winterization process the previous Fall had been inadvertently been done twice, so perhaps there was some excess oil around. Also, the engine had not been started at all since winterization. These circumstances may have led to the accumulation of some oil on the upper seal.)

The gear case lubricant was drained (and by the way, it showed no sign of water ingress), and a compression check was done. At 5-PSI some air bubbles could be seen escaping at the upper seals. It was decided to replace the seals, too.

When the disassembly finally got to the impeller, it appeared to be in excellent condition. But a new impeller was installed, along with a few other miscellaneous seals or fittings. In addition, my expert technician mentioned that a new installation procedure would be used which would help improve low speed water pressure.

When everything was reassembled, we started the engine on a hose-earmuff adaptor. These was a lot of blue smoke while the double winterization oil burned off. The idle speed water pressure was improved to about 6-PSI from its previous 4-PSI. This improvement could be due to the better installation technique used, as well as from a new impeller.

The service ended up costing a bit more than I anticipated, but I was glad to have discovered the failed exhaust housing and gasket and have that repaired. The drive shaft seals below the water pump were not very expensive, and it seemed prudent to replace them once they showed any sign of being a potential leak. (I don't recall the exact cost of the service, but it was under $400. Because installation of the new seals and the new exhaust housing would have been part of the labor of the routine water pump service, there was no additional labor cost associated with their replacement as part of the water pump service.)

Some other E-TEC service people commented that they had seen this sort of burning of the exhaust lower inner housing before, but much more extensively than exhibited in my engine and always associated with engines running with high exhaust temperatures associated with the engine trying to turn a propeller with too much pitch (or "over-propping). In my case I dismissed this as a cause because on my boat the E-TEC engine can accelerate at full-throttle to 5,500 to 5,700-RPM, which is exactly the recommended optimum speed range at full throttle. However, I suppose those 195-degree engine temperatures from the use in the season before might have been a factor.