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Author Topic:   E-TEC™ Engine: First Hand Observations
jimh posted 03-03-2004 02:14 AM ET (US)   Profile for jimh   Send Email to jimh  
I spent about 40 minutes today poking under the cowling of an E-TEC™ 90-HP engine. Some observations about the E-TEC™ engines:

The engine has an oil reservoir under the cowling. To show you how much oil usage is anticipated, there is no fill spout that comes through the cowling. You have to remove the cowling to get to the oil fill on the reservoir.

While on the subject of the cowling, it is a nice design. It has the latches on the sides, not fore and aft, so it is easier to reach the latches from the boat. You don't have to reach all the way behind the engine to get to a latch.
Also, the cowling-to-engine shape is curved, and this helps to exactly align the cowling to the engine when you set it down on the power head.

The cowling is quite light and somewhat flexible, and it fits very closely to the engine. Unlike some of these new motors, where the cowling is filled with a lot of air space, the E-TEC™ cowling is very compact. This makes the overall engine size more like what you are used to from the old days of outboard motors. A 90-HP engine is not the size of a 150 or 200-HP engine.

The oil reservoir holds about a gallon. It contains an internal pump that distributes oil under pressure to at least five oil lines made of transparent flexible hose. These lines run to injection points on the engine block. Three lines go to feeds for the crankcase and connecting rods, and two lines feed to the crankshaft bearings.

The oil does not mix at all with the fuel. It is introduced directly into the engine for lubrication. Apparently the oil pump is linked to crankcase speed electronically so it knows how much oil to pump to keep the engine lubricated. It must be under computer control, as they mention the ability to self-winterize. I would guess when you invoke the winterizing it pumps a heavy spray of oil. Also, the need to "re-program" based on type of oil also indicates the oil pump is controlled electrically in some way by firmware and an on-board controller.

If they are oiling about 100:1, then the reservoir of one gallon should last for 100 gallons of fuel, and thus you would only seldom need to remove the cowling to re-fill.

The fuel system is interesting. Fuel is lifted from the tank by a conventional engine vacuum diaphragm pump, runs through a final filter, and is delivered to a vapor separator. The output of the vapor separator (which is a large canister, about the size of large can of beans) feeds the high pressure fuel pump. That in turn feeds the injectors. Somewhere in this I recall some water cooling added to keep the fuel cool.

The injectors are mounted at the very rear of the power head, atop the cylinder heads. Return lines from the injectors route excess fuel back to the vapor separator/cooler. The injectors are quite large. They are an important part of the E-TEC™ innovation, as they use a voice-coil type design.

Side-mounted to each injectors is the HV coil for the corresponding spark plug for that cylinder. The plugs are mounted on the starboard side of the head, and enter on an angle. A short High-Tension wire carries the coil to the spark plug where it connects with a conventional boot. The plugs are very easy to access for changing. You just have to take the boot off and remove the plug. Very simple.

The engine has a top flywheel with the charging and timing coils under it. This is like a conventional outboard engine--no belt driven automotive alternator here. The flywheel uses rare-earth magnets, stronger than the usual kind, and it produces a very impressive 60-A output! You can use all of this for accessories, as the engine does not need much electricity to run.

The engine uses high quality wiring and connectors. Most wiring is in harness and contained in nylon mesh tubing. The connectors are very impressive and look water tight. The layout is good. Everything is lashed down and routed in short simple runs.

The engine control module is ruggedized. It is also water cooled! To make electronics last longer, everyone knows you have to keep them cool. Engine cooling water runs through the electronics pack to hold the temperature down.

By the way, in the cooling system there is a hose bib built into the lower unit for introducing water for flushing or for running the engine on a hose.

The air intakes are on the front of the engine and there are three individual short stacks or pipes with three throttle plates. They are nicely finished machined aluminum castings, and atop these is a plastic air silencer. The silencer intake is on the bottom and it draws its air from the base of the power head area. The air intake on the cowling is at the top rear, and flows through a water trap and into the bottom rear of the power head. So intake air flows across the lower end of the powerhead on the way to the engine. This helps to reduce the air intake noise. Also the throttle plates have no small hole in them for idle air. The throttle body has its own idle air intake near the base; this also helps to suppress whistling from the engine at idle.

The overall appearance and workmanship of the engine and its assembly is very nice. The engine block is painted before assembly. Its holes are plugged and then it is given a coat of paint. Some others (Mercury) put everything together and paint everything. I like the way Bombardier does it. It leaves the bolt heads unpainted, and I am sure that if you ever have to remove one of those bolts, it will be much cleaner than having to break it out of paint. The throttle bodies are raw aluminum with a nice finish. The big injectors are aluminum finish. Most fasteners are not painted.

Electrical connections that are exposed (like the main starter connections) are given a top coat of liquid electrical tape. Here was one area of a little sloppiness. When painting the black liquid electrical tape onto the connections it seems like a little always gets onto adjoining components. This is a shame. It was the only thing on this engine that was not totally shipshape. (It was better done than what I saw on a Mercury a couple of days earlier--brush marks were all over the place on that engine from sloppy electrical insulating paint applied after assembly.)

All the electricals are on the port side of the power head. The starter motor is there. The tilt trim relays must be there, too, as I didn't seem them anywhere else. They were probably buried slightly. The cowling mounted tilt switches on on port.

The shift and throttle cables are both on the same side (starboard), so all the cables going into the engine can be run in one bundle. Rigging will be very clean, as there will not be any oil lines running in the bundle, just shift and throttle mechanical cables, engine primary battery cables, fuel line, and remote electrical control bundle.

Elsewhere someone mention how confused their Evinrude dealer was about a salt-water model. No problem with this dealer. He knew all about it and what the difference was (stainless steel tiller extension). The new literature also clearly showed a "SALTWATER EDITION" available (in 90-HP only).

An extreme amount of engineering has been done to allow the engine and its electronics to come to life in just a single crankshaft revolution, and it is claimed the engine will typically fire and start on just one turn of the crankshaft. This applies if the engine has been run in the last two weeks. If the engine has not been started in more than two weeks it will take two revolutions for all the sensors to come alive and for the control electronics to try to fire a plug and start.

The amazing thing is that once the engine is running you do not need the battery at all. In fact, you don't need the battery to start the engine. It will self-power and start from a pull. This is definitely not the case with other low-emission engines like the Mercury Optimax. They have to have a battery to start and run.

It is claimed to be very quiet and run very smoothly without smoking. This engine was still in the crate so of course we did not run it.

In many respects this is an ideal engine for re-powering older Boston Whaler boats, particularly the 90-HP for the 16/17 foot hull, or the 70-HP for the 15-foot hull, or the 40/50-HP for the 13-foot hull. The engine weight is very decent.

The 90-HP weights only 305 pounds. Compare that to a 90-HP 4-stroke: the Suzuki weighs 416, the Mercury 386, the Yamaha 370.

The down side, if there is one, is the displacement, 79 cu.-in. This makes it a "medium" 90-HP, smaller than the 90-HP Mercury 2-stroke (84.6 cu.-in.) but bigger than the tiny Yamaha 90 2-stroke (69.6 cu.-in.)

Now for the bad news. All this nice engineering, beautiful assembly, and sharp styling and paint comes at a price. I was quoted about $8,100 for the engine, controls, a Tach and a propeller. I think if you really shop you could shave some off of that price, but it is not a terrible starting point. The engine has an MSRP of $9,050, and if you figure the controls, tach, and a prop are probably at least $500 at retail, you'd be looking at $9,550 list. The $8,100 figure is a discount of $1,450, or 16-percent.

Of course, the $64,000 question is how well they will work and hold up. The warranty coverage is currently a generous three years and with a promotion in effect you can extend that at no cost to seven years. That should take some of the worry out of being an early adopter.

jimh posted 03-03-2004 09:18 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Some comments about a few things I could not see:

The materials in this engine are noted as being "patented NASA Materials." In particular the cylinders have a boron-nitrate cylinder sleeve. This makes them extremely smooth and reduces the lubrication needed. It also protects against damage from scuffing. The pistons are made from "NASAloy" a particular kind of aluminum that is especially strong and durable.

The exotic cylinder wall material has raised the question of re-building this engine one cylinder at a time. Elsewhere I read that this would not be possible, and if a single cylinder was damaged you would have to get a new block. However, in contrast, the dealer told me that this was wrong, and a cylinder could be repaired by using a special hone. With a seven year warranty it would make this question less of a concern.

The engine is built in Wisconsin. The Evinrude brand is newly owned by Bombardier Recreational Products, a recent spin-off from Bombardier, but still, literally, part of the family. Bombardier is not particularly well-known in the United States, but they are a very strong technology company, designing and producing jet aircraft and other impressive products. To equate them to an American company, you might say it would be like having Boeing or Lockheed build an outboard motor.

The Evinrude brand has suffered lately, primarily from problems associated with the Ficht direct injection outboards produced in c.1989-1991. As a result of many problems with these engines, and also some bad management--described as "too many Directors's reporting to too many "Vice-Presidents--the original OMC company faltered and was sold to Bombardier at a bargain.

jimh posted 03-03-2004 09:19 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
[Opps--If a comment was lost, please re-post!]
erik selis posted 03-03-2004 09:35 AM ET (US)     Profile for erik selis  Send Email to erik selis     
Very good report Jimh. Looks like a great motor.

Any info on fuel consumption compared to other 90hp 2-stroke engines?


Peter posted 03-03-2004 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Nice article on the E-TEC. A few observations and comments.

First, there is no E-TEC 70. Rather there is an E-TEC 75 which is a detuned 90. It weighs 305 lbs and with that weight would probably not be an ideal motor for the classic 15 hull.

Second, at 240 lbs, the E-TEC 40 and 50 are too heavy for the classic 13. My view is that any outboard over 175 lbs is really too much for the classic 13.

Third, the literature I have suggests that in addition to the stainless steel tiller extension, the Saltwater Edition 90 has a 25 inch shaft length and a different gear ratio, 2.25:1 instead of the 2:1 ratio.

Fourth, in comparing weights of DI 2-stroke 90s, the 90 E-TEC is also much lighter than the 90 Optimax at 375 lbs but it does have less displacement. It is 10 lbs lighter than Tohatsu's 90 TLDI (315 lbs) which has slightly less displacement.

Fifth, only the E-TEC and Optimax 90s are CARB three star rated, Tohatsu's 90 TLDI is only CARB two star rated.

Finally, the E-TEC is advertised as requiring no routine maintenance for 3 years. I dare anyone to try that with a Verado pressure cooker! I am assuming that the price of the E-TEC has that factored in somehow and is shared with the dealers, otherwise the dealers aren't going to be too happy.

Moe posted 03-03-2004 12:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I agree the E-Tec 90 looks great for repowering a classic Montauk.

The 40-60HP E-Tecs don't have as much weight savings as their 75-90HP counterparts. They weigh about the same as the 60-70HP Yamaha carbed-two strokes, and have about the same displacement, but with two cylinders vs three. They are also "big foot"/"high-thrust" models with a larger gearcase, 2.67:1 gearing, and large diameter props.

They aren't much lighter than the small-foot Mercury 60HP EFI four-stroke, but are more significantly lighter than the BigFoot version of the Merc. So the choice I see for a classic 15 is really between the 50 or 60HP E-Tec "big foot" or the 50 or 60HP Merc EFI "small foot" depending on whether you prefer two or four-stroke.

I agree I wouldn't use them on a classic 13, and would find them a bit too heavy for even a modern 130 Sport.


LHG posted 03-03-2004 12:48 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I, too have had a chance to look at the 90 E-Tec up close, and found it to be a nice looking compact package. My only wonder is how strong the 90HP is with it's 79 cubes. The 3 cylinder Merc Smart Craft Optimax 90, a huge looking engine, has 93 cubes, and is being sold for about $6400 at Bass Pro's Adventure World. As mentioned elsewhere, Mercury is now showing the weight at 360#. This engine should be showing up on 170's fairly soon, and in 2006 will probably be it's standard engine.

Will the manufacturer's and the boating mags ever give us some true performance comparisons on all these clean 90's compared to the old 2-stroke 90's? Doubtful.

Wild Turkey posted 03-03-2004 12:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Wild Turkey  Send Email to Wild Turkey     
Thanks for the information jimh.

So lhg, have you revised your assertion of last year that the E-TEC is a re-badging of the FICHT technogy?

andygere posted 03-03-2004 01:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
Great report, it makes me want to own one! A pair of E-TEC 90s sounds like the perfect repower solution for your Revenge 20, with the exception of the high price tag. When they come out in the larger power ranges (115-125 hp) it may be a viable option for repowering 22 hulls with twins. With the lower displacement, I'm not sure a pair of 90's would be ideal on a 22, and I am spoiled by the performance of that big black V6 I've got back there now. Currently, I don't see any viable low emission powerplants for twin applications on a notched transom 22 without suffering from transom obesity.

I like the high alternator output, but low reliance on power for operation. That alone makes these motors a more reliable option when going offshore. It sounds as though they could be rope started, is this true?

I also like the compact size and integral oil tanks. I have a vision of a clean splash well with minimal rigging neatly routed to a pair of gleaming black (dark blue?) E-TECs. I'd even be tempted to move the batteries to the console just to completely free the splashwell and open things up back there.

Overall, I am impressed with these motors, at least on paper (LCD actually).

jimh posted 03-03-2004 01:54 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

Thank you for those corrections re the weights and horsepower. Since the 75 and 90 share similar weight, this may make the 75-HP version unattractive for the 15-foot hulls; perhaps the 60-HP variant would be a better choice.

It is curiuous to note that many have been enthusiastic about the Suziki 70-HP 4-stroke engine, and it too is a heavy weight at 335-pounds, even more than the E-TEC™ 75-HP (305-pounds). I think the enthusiasm for the Suzuki is encouraged by very good pricing. A dealer told me that they have a left-over 70-HP that is several years old. They only ordered one and could never sell it. I am certain they would be glad to take a bargain price for it, and if my memory is correct I think that this is how those engines have come to be installed on a few Boston Whaler transoms; their price was just irresistable even if their weight was not.

Perhaps Bombardier can benefit from that experience and allot productions to match demand to 75-HP engines that weigh over 300 pounds.

I also wanted to comment about your astute observation that the low-maintenance potential could affect the selling price. I had not thought of that angle, but it is probably a valid one. Could you say the same about another brand which has a reputation for "we sell 'em and never see 'em again": Yamaha?

Another angle to consider with this engine and others is the long warranty period. My sense from reading dealer scuttlebutt--how perfect a word for this marine topic--is that a dealer who has to perform warranty work is not happy about it due to compensation problems with the manufacturer. There are stories about low labor rates for warranty work, slow pay, and time guidelines that are not accurate, and from these tales you get the sense that for most dealers they would rather have their service department doing non-warranty work at retail prices than have a repair shop full of motors in warranty.

Now that Suzuki has led the industry into offering 6 and 7 year warranty terms, will the dealer have to live with fixing 83-month-old motors below his actual costs?

Well, not to lead the discussion astray--which I probably have--but the price of these engines is certainly climbing and it reflects what some have previously said: that the greater complexity of these low-E engines means they ought to cost much more than a simple old 2-stroke. Watch out when June 2005 rolls around and there aren't any old, simple, inexpensive 2-stroke options in the markeplace to contrain prices.

Bigshot posted 03-03-2004 01:56 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Also you noted the Ficht c.1989-1991, should'nt that be 1999-2001?

Basically from what I have heard is it is not necessarily the technology that makes these so oil efficient, it is the components. If this engine were built like a conventional engine it would probably seize. The NASA materials allow for MUCH hotter combustion temperatures and hence no sticky issues.....maybe they use Pam?

Peter posted 03-03-2004 02:24 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Thanks Jim.

You ask: "could you say the same about another brand which has a reputation for "we sell 'em and never see 'em again": Yamaha?" Not exactly. Yamahas require periodic scheduled maintenance during the initial three year period so in theory you, if not mechanically inclined, might have to see your dealer if following the maintenance schedule.

I asked a dealer at a recent boat show what he thought about the 3 year no scheduled maintenance. The answer, as you might guess, wasn't very enthusiastic. However, I suspect the cure to that is to give the dealer a little better price so his sales margin covers the lost service opportunity.

You say: "Watch out when June 2005 rolls around and there aren't any old, simple, inexpensive 2-stroke options in the markeplace to contrain prices." Exactly what I was thinking last year when I jumped on the opportunity to buy an almost brand new (5 to 10 hours of total use), simple, lightweight, carbureted, proven, still under warranty 2-stroke 2003 Yamaha 70 with controls for my 15 SuperSport for less than half price.

The timeframe for the introduction of Fichts is, I believe, late 1996 as a 1997 model.

Warranty work seems to have always been lower paying and gets put on a lower priority if there are customers paying full rates.

Bigshot posted 03-03-2004 02:42 PM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Yes Ficht were out in 97 as Johnson's not Evinrude and I think they only sold a handfull in the 150 & 175hp only.

I run a 1994 Carbed 225 Johnson and I love it.....have for 10 years. I own 4 other carbed 2 stroke outboards as well. Like most people I did not know how good things are on the other side until I bought my 4 stroke 70 2 years ago.....once you over, you can NEVER go back.

I will own an E-Tec one day, maybe it will replace the 225 one day being I don't think I want to put 600lbs of 4 stroke on the transom....455lbs is enough on a 20' boat.

jimh posted 03-03-2004 10:49 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I want to add some comments about the oil and 2-strokes. The whole reason we are talking about an engine like the E-TEC™ or the Optimax is because the older 2-stroke engines used a lot of oil and threw out a lot of unburned fuel in their exhaust. The new standards for low-emission call for the emission output to go down 80-percent. (For those of you who learned your math in the 1990's that means it goes down to one-fifth as much as it used to be.)

At first this sounds like a big reduction, but you have to consider how much oil and unburned gas was being emitted before. Let's look at the older engines. It is in the nature of 2-stroke engines that are not direct fuel injected--and this is all 2-strokes with carburetors or with so-called "EFI" fuel injection--that the fuel is mixed with the intake air before reaching the combustion chamber. The fuel and air come into the combustion chamber as a mixture, and because of the arrangement of intake and exhaust ports, some of that fuel and air mixture goes right out the exhaust port before combustion occurs. So the exhaust emission of the engine contains some unburned fuel. In this case fuel means gasoline pre-mixed with oil.

Don't confuse the term "pre-mixed." It doesn't matter if you pre-mixed the gasoline and oil in the tank or the engine did it for you under the cowling, the fuel is a combination of gasoline and oil.

So the emissions of a classic 2-stroke contains unburned fuel, unburned oil, and of course, the burned remains of the fuel, too. The burning oil is seen as smoke in the exhaust. My point is there is a lot of "emissions" in the exhaust.

What the Direct Fuel Injection (DFI) engines try to do--this applies to the Optimax, the HPDI, the FICHT, and the E-TEC-- is to keep the fuel out of the combustion chamber until the piston is in the position near the top of its stroke where both the inlet and exhaust ports are closed. Then the fuel is injected and burned. So right away we have a big savings on the unburned fuel being wasted. This is a nice thing because it improves the fuel economy, as well as cutting down on emissions. When the piston goes down and the intake and exhaust ports open, there is no gasoline coming in with the inlet air. If some of that inlet air crosses over and goes out the exhaust, we have not wasted any gasoline.

However, and this is an important however, there must be some oil mixed in that air. Here is where the oil comes in. Let me digress for a moment.

A 2-stroke engine is rather strange in that the carburetor--or the induction system--feeds into the crankcase, not directly into the combustion chamber. Air is sucked in on the upstroke of the piston, then the reed valve closes, and on the downstroke of the piston it is pumped around the cylinder walls and into the upper part of the cylinder, the combustion chamber.

In an old style 2-stroke with lots of oil in the fuel mixture, the lubrication for the engine--for the crankcase, the bearings, the rods, the bottom of the pistons--is carried into the engine via this intake air stream. On old 2-strokes the gasoline/oil mixture might be as low as 16:1. There is plenty of oil to lubricate the engine, and also plenty of smoke in the exhaust.

As the engine construction is made better, the gasoline/oil ratio can climb and now it is typically 50:1 at speed and maybe 100:1 (or higher) at idle.

In the E-TEC engine, we still need lubrication, and we still have the air intake passing through the crankcase area. So when oil is injected in that region as a lubrication, some of it must get mixed into the air stream and get carried to the combustion chamber. What is different is that the oil is not sprayed into the air stream, but instead is sprayed into the areas that need it--the bearings and each cylinder's connecting rods, bearings, etc.

Some of this oil has to get into the combustion chamber--after all it does get used up and it has to go somewhere. It doesn't get consumer just by leaking out. So it ends up getting burned in the combustion process.

Now the overall ratio of gasoline to oil is probably going to be much higher. If we want to reduce emissions to one-fifth of previous levels, it sounds to me like we better increase the gasoline/oil ratio to something like five times (5X) more than it was. This seems to imply that the gasoline/oil ratio in an E-TEC has to be something on the order of 250:1 or higher.

If the emission regulations get more stringent, you have to wonder how much farther the 2-stroke engine can go without figuring out a new way to keep the oil from entering the combustion chamber and slowly being used up. If things really get stringent, there may not be a way to make a emission compliant 2-stroke. Well, let's leave that for the legislators and the engineers to work out.

What I wanted to say--perhaps not succinctly enough--is that these low-E engines do use up oil in the process of operating, they just use it at a much lower rate.

In the case of the E-TEC, they have found that if you use their full-synthetic oil (XD-100 brand name) you can use only half as much, and in that case you would seem to be talking about an gasoline/oil ratio of 500:1 or higher. That is a rather impressive number, and if you consider that, then you begin to get a sense of just how often you need to add oil. You might have to burn 500 gallons of gasoline before you add some oil to the one gallon reservoir!

My analysis is a bit simplistic, as no doubt there are other emissions in the exhaust besides the oil component, so perhaps it does not imply that to make an 80-percent reduction in emissions you have to reduce oil consumption by 80-percent.

Now to compare with a 4-stroke, it seems like the potential for further emission reduction is greater in a 4-stroke because you don't throw out the oil as you operate. The oil stays in the sump and gets used over and over. This is fine from an emission point of view, but the lubricating quality of the oil degrades as it is used, whereas in the 2-stroke the oil being used for lubrication is fresh oil. For emission standards, the 4-stroke may have an edge.

From an environmental point of view, in the end, after a certain amount of gasoline has been burned, you will have used up a certain amount of oil. In the low-E 2-stroke you threw the oil away as you used it, emitting it as combustion products or perhaps even a tiny bit unburned into the atmosphere and water. In the 4-stroke you still have a sump full of oil to dispose, and in most cases this goes into the ground or into an oil recycling center where it will end up getting burned and emitted into the atmosphere. In either case, 2-stroke or 4-stroke, you use up oil and put its residue into the atmosphere, ground, or water.

In a 4-stroke you might have a 4-quart sump that needs changing every 100 hours. If your fuel consumption is modest, say 2 gallons per hour while trolling, you might be using a gallon of oil with every 200 gallons of fuel. This might even be more oil than a 2-stroke low-E engine would have used in the same amount of gasoline!

To sum up about the E-TEC, I like almost everything about it except the price. To put this into perspective, for about the same money ($ 8,000) I can buy a 90-HP E-TEC or I can buy a 200-HP conventional 2-stroke! That makes the cost per horsepower more than double for the E-TEC. Progress does come with a price.

Sal DiMercurio posted 03-03-2004 11:23 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Jim, thanks for introducing this post.
I've been on this site for some time, & I feel this is probably the most informative exchange I've read in a very long time.
Thanks for taking the time to share this.
jimh posted 03-04-2004 08:34 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Oh--just remembered another important feature on the E-TEC™:

The E-TEC engine is like all modern engines and it is run by a microprocessor. Electronic engine controls like this are very sophisticated and in addition to running the engine they also record data about the engine. This is where the fun begins, because on an E-TEC you--the owner--can access this data. Bombardier (or Evinrude) will sell you, at very modest cost, a cable that connects to the engine and a standard port on your computer, and software for your computer. Then you can connect to your engine and find out what has been going on!

Now many engines have this same arrangement, a port to connect an external device for reading or controlling the engine's microprocessor, but typically you, as an owner, cannot get the hardware, the software, or the cable that is necessary to make this connection. This privilege is reserved for the factory-authorized dealer/mechanic, and requires specialized hardware, code readers, cables, etc. But Bombardier is willing to let you have the cool stuff you need, and it is not very expensive. A cable is priced about $50 or so, and the software about the same or less. So for perhaps $100, you can connect to your E-TEC engine and talk to it.

I don't know exactly what you can find out or what parameters you can affect (if any) with the software, but just the idea that Bombardier is willing to sell it to you (and not at some outrageous price but a rather fair price) is comforting. I am sure they have figured out a way to keep you from blowing up your engine control software, but at the same time have made it possible to get data out of the engine that might be interesting.

Not every outboard owner is a engine-geek and a computer-geek at the same time, but if you are, then the E-TEC is going to be a good choice for you. I think Bombardier offers this same arrangement on their other models, too.

At some point in the future, this could be a nice advantage. If you want to sell an engine it may become commonplace that a buyer wants to interrogate the engine's computer module to see what has really been going on!

Mike Brantley posted 03-04-2004 08:54 AM ET (US)     Profile for Mike Brantley  Send Email to Mike Brantley     
This is a very informative thread. I'm finding out new thing's about my new engine's technology that months of pre-purchase research did not uncover.

I'm going to want that cable. It doesn't sound that much more expensive than an old-fashioned hours meter. What computer hardware does this software run on? I'd hate to have to drag my desktop PC to the driveway. My portable computers are Macintosh- and Palm-based.

Peter posted 03-04-2004 08:55 AM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Jim, perhaps the chemists have solved the long-term problem for the 2-strokes. If the Evirude XD-100 2-stroke oil is biodegradable, which I think it is, how does that effect the green analysis? Is the oil "green" enough for the environmentalists?

I understand that the capacity of the oil tank on the E-TEC was designed to hold 50 operating hours worth of XD-100 oil at some estimated average engine speed. Basically, that is one season for most users, so in theory, the cowling never has to come off during the season to refill the oil tank. Thus, no real need for an oil filler neck sticking through the cowling. If using conventional oil, then it needs to come off once at mid-season.

Larry's concerns about the strength of the E-TEC 90 are interesting, but if that concern has one thinking about going with a larger Optimax 90 instead, then one should also consider the Evinrude 100 Ficht, soon to be E-TEC'd. For about the same weight as the Optimax 90, you get another 13 cubic inches of displacement. In further thinking about this, because of its weight, I really don't see the 90 Optimax as a viable competitor to the 90 E-TEC. Rather, the 90/115 Optimax platform is really competing with the Evinrude 100/115 V4 Ficht and the 90/115 4-strokes. I still wonder how strong the 92 cubic inch 115 Optimax is as compared to the 105 cubic inch 115 Ficht. Perhaps a little more efficient exhaust tuning can be had out of an inline three than can be had out of a V4 but does it make up for the missing displacement?

My observation is that where you are in the U.S. would effect your choices. For example, if you were in California, you would not have the 90 HP E-TEC or 200 HP carbureted 2-stroke choice. If you are in Michigan, you may still have that choice, but only for another year.

Evinrude Ficht models can also be interrogated the same way. It can be done with a laptop or a PDA.

jimh posted 03-04-2004 09:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Mike--You know I am a dyed-in-the-wool Unix and Macintosh fan, but I would bet a bundle that the software available is probably an executable for a Windows/Intel computer. Even I have to cut them a break here. Sure, a JAVA applet would have been great, but for something this application-specific, I have to believe it is going to be useful only if you have a PC Laptop.

By the way, elsewhere it was mentioned (I think perhaps by Sal) that the process of interconnecting a engine and a laptop should be carefully done, particularly if the laptop is running on an AC power brick. There could be some potential for damage from stray currents between the engine and the laptop if you don't have the proper isolation in your cable.

If you do get the software or even if you just get more information about it, let us know. I'd have to even considering buying an old PC laptop just for stuff like this if the software for the engine was cool enough.

Bigshot posted 03-04-2004 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
I would love to find out EXACTLY what these engines burn. I want to know the GPH all through the range along with ratio of oil-gas. With most VRO outboards they burn 50:1 WOT and 150:1 at idle. Would be neat to know that these burn 1000:1 at idle, etc.

Jim....many of the VW diesel geeks I know have similar software to read codes and manipulate their CPM. Most but the $100 laptops online that are say a 266mhz or something that nobody would want anymore. They are not surfing the web, just need to run some diagnostics. People may want to check the employer and see if they have some old laptops laying around for free. With 2.4ghz laptops going for $700, who wants a 266?

Mike Brantley posted 03-04-2004 12:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mike Brantley  Send Email to Mike Brantley     
I just got off the phone with Bob at Bombardier technical support (1-847-689-7090). He said the cable and a Windows-based version of the software will be available to consumers probably around May or June. The prices mentioned by Jim "sounded about right" to Bob, but it was too soon for an exact price quote or part numbers. They will be available to order through Bombardier dealers. At present, the only software is DOS-based and is available only
to dealers and authorized service folk, Bob said.
Peter posted 03-04-2004 12:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I've read somewhere that when programmed to use the XD-100 oil, the ratio is about 300:1 at idle.
Peter posted 03-04-2004 01:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I should add that the 300:1 idle ratio using XD-100 with the E-TEC basically represents about a 12 fold reduction in oil consumption at idle as compared to a premix 50:1 outboard because the E-TEC uses less fuel at idle.

ratherwhalering posted 03-04-2004 05:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Quite an interesting thread. I learned more in this one sitting than in the 3 months I have been waiting for my E90DSL. I have learned one thing, though. The 90hp saltwater edition only comes in a 25" length, as stated above. Although my engine is white, it is not the "saltwater" edition. I promise to post all the information I can next week. BTW, I paid $6,215.00 (no sales tax) for the engine, $320.00 for shipping, and plan on $50.00 to grease my local dealer's mechanic to reprogram the EMM in my presence. I'm keeping the 3.25 x 17' aluminum cupped Michigan prop as a test in order to determine the correct size in stainless. I'm sure I'll be bugging Sal any day now!
LHG posted 03-04-2004 07:25 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
JimH - Referring to one of your earlier posts in this discussion, the Suzuki 60HP and 70 HP are now shown to weigh 360#. I think they were initially popular because of below market pricing, under listing the weight, and the fact that people liked them anyway. This is lot of weight for a 60 or 70 hp engine.

I am happy to see all the interest in a US built product. Johnson Evinrude is now 50% Canadian and 50% American owned, with manufacturing in Wisconsin. They are still struggling against Mercury and Yamaha in the high hp ranges, but it seems these new E-tecs could be popular in the mid-ranges.

Which brings us to Yamaha mid range engines 2006. Like Suzuki and Honda, they appear to be going all 4-stroke below 150HP, with no mid-range HPDI offerings, strapping them with high weight in these power ranges. It will be interesting to see who wins out here, choice or no choice. If Suzuki pulls their deal with Johnson, Mercury will be the only major player with DFI or 4-stroke choice. Sounds like Mercury does not want to take the chance that the Japanese are taking. Hopefully, Mercury and Evinrude are doing it right.

I still want to see how all the hype from all of these clean engine technologies, all brands, shakes out on the water, in the 75-115 ranges. Whaler just showed us that the new 115 Optimax performs the same as the Merc-aha 115 4-stroke on the Nantucket. At the same time, Mercury is advertizing that the 115 Opti outruns the Ficht, and out accelerated the 4-strokes. Who really knows now? Some day we will.

It seems the 70/75 HP ranges are suffering the worst from EPA 2006. They seem to be caught in a no-mans-land of high weight/HP ratios. Except for the 305# E-tec, all of these are stuck in the 360-386# range, in my estimation, way too heavy for what you get. E-Tec is likely to have this market to itself on lighter boats.

Bigshot posted 03-05-2004 11:01 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
Good points Larry. My Newtauk handles the weight with no problem but I would not want to go more, nor do I think a kicker is a good idea weight wise. This is on a top notch boat so I can only imagine how it would be on a 16' aluminum tracker or something, freaking boat would sink. i also think the 360 rating is max if not too much for a blue hulled 16. If I had a smirkless 16/17 i would be hesitant to buy one without checking out a rigged one, etc.
Moe posted 03-05-2004 12:12 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
The public perception is that 4-stroke is the wave of the future. I was just watching one of the many boating programs The History Channel aired yesterday. Did you know that in the 90's four-stroke outboards replaced two-strokes? LOL!

Honda and Suzuki are bettin' the farm on it, but have gotten a reputation for their heavier weights.

Yamaha has a complete four-stroke line up through 225, with the option of two-stroke HDPI from 150 to 300HP. Their sales figures reflect that, too!

Merc has a start on a complete four-stroke line, in part thanks to Yamaha, but has gaping holes in it at the 135-150HP, and 175-200HP levels. I don't count the 650 lb 200HP Verado, which IMHO isn't even competitive at this HP size. Merc's Optis match Yamahas HDPI in the 150-275HP range, but while Yamaha went up to 300HP, Merc extended the DFI all the way down to 75HP. However, the 75-115 Optis are about as heavy as their 4-stroke counterparts however, and probably don't perform any better. At least two-stroke proponents have a choice in this range with Merc for whatever that might be worth (not much I think).

OMC is betting the farm on the E-Tec two-stroke and relabeling four-stroke Suzukis. The E-Tec looks like the best green option for repowering older Whalers built for lighter 90/100HP motors. Because of its injection, it may even steal sales from the 75/90 four-stroke competition where weight isn't an issue, since Honda, Yamaha and Mercury are left behind with carburetors. But in the smaller engine category, E-Tec isn't that much lighter than competing four-strokes. Some of it's other features may offset the public perception about four-strokes, and put it on a level playing field with them in the lower HP range. IMHO, OMC's future is still questionable.

There has yet to be a lightweight green 70HP and may never be. The 75/90 E-Tec, at 305 lbs, is the lightest green offering in the 70/75 range and it's a LOT heavier than the 230 lb 2-stroke Yamaha 70. It appears that in the green market, 60HP is going to be the top of the "lightweight" line.

Honda, Yamaha, and Mercury need to work on the 75-115HP four-strokes. They need to adopt EFI where it's missing, and try to get the weight down a bit at the same time, especially with the 75/90s. Merc desparately needs a 150HP four-stroke (i.e. Brunswick does for all its boat brands at this size), and I don't think a porky 550 lb supercharged, intercooled four-cylinder Verado will cut it here either. They probably burned their bridges for ever getting a black F150, with the FTC complaint. Boat buyers intent on a 150HP four-stroke may head to non-Brunswick brands to get it.


LHG posted 03-05-2004 01:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for LHG    
I think the 4-cylinder Verado WILL cut it, Moe, just like the 6 cylinder 200-275's will. Wait til you actually experience them, like I have. The 25" Yamaha F150 with oil in it's crankcase is darn close to 500lb. For that weight you could carry around a 300 EFI, a 250 Optimax or other large DFI. We don't know yet know what the new Merc 135-175 4-strokes will weigh, but we do know they'll probably have the best acceleration and quietest running.

I'm still wondering if any DFI over 135HP can achieve a 3-star rating for the CA market 2008. In all other states, 3-stars are not needed. Have people noticed that large DFI problems from all three manufacturers have pretty much disappeared? It seems the technology has finally come into it's own, and may very well have a long life ahead of it. Afterall, Yamaha just brought out a brand new HPDI series.

Moe posted 03-05-2004 02:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
I think that since CARB allowed another two years (2006 to 2008) for 150+HP engines (IIRC), DFI technology WILL be able to meet the three-star rating on the big motors by then. The question is whether the hard-core two-stroke performance fans will still constitute sufficient market to make it profitable. Four-stroke technology won't be standing still in the next four years.


Peter posted 03-05-2004 03:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
I'm guessing the 4 cylinder version of the Verado will weigh in at 575 lbs. There is less of a market for a 575 lb 150 HP outboard than there is for a 650 lb 200 HP one.
Salmon Tub posted 03-05-2004 06:55 PM ET (US)     Profile for Salmon Tub  Send Email to Salmon Tub     
Jimh, I wanted to expand on some of the theory behind how a 2-stroke functions, and about the consumption of oil. I do not believe that all, and not even most, of the oil gets burned with the fuel in a properly tuned 2-stroke. Consider the following, most oils and most fuels are created from the same basic material, crude oil, but the final products have great differences. Gasoline is volatile and has a very high evaporation rate. Gasoline in it's liquid form is not volatile until is has evaporated (fumes), and gasoline is also a very strong solvent. In the traditional 2-stroke (carb), the gas oil mixture is drawn in from the carburator by vaccuum created in the crankcase. As it passes through, it is introduced to air, which is also drawn in at a proportion regulated by the function of the carburator. From the point that the gasoline comes into contact with air (nozzle tip) is begins the evaporation process. At this point the oil is well mixed with the liquid gasoline but since the gasoline is evaporating into the surrounding air, the gas vapor seperates from the oil, and the oil begins to condense into a fog then mist, then droplets. By this time though, the whole mixture is long inside the crankcase, swirling around, and the oil is deposited onto the internal surfaces of the engine. If most of the oil was burned along with the gas/air, little if any would be left to lubricate the engine. The crankshaft is coated with the oil mist as it spins around and helps distribute the oil. There are three forces that act on this mist, crankcase pressure, gravity, and centrifugal force.

The decreases of pressure within the crankcase are what have drawn the mixture in, and the increase in pressure helps the oil condense. Gravity drains the oil down the coated surfaces. The inside of the engine block is cast so that gravity helps to deliver the oil to the places it is needed most such as the crankshaft bearings. Centrifugal force is important too since it is what helps carry the oil that has settled on the crankshaft along the connecting rods to the pistons and cylinder walls.

While all this is going on, the atmosphere inside the combustion chamber is a mix of gas vapor and air. This mixture does contain in it, a certain amount of minute oil particles that have not yet joined any of the other condensed oil, but as the gas vapor swirls around inside, most of the oil is coating the inside of the engine. Accordingly, some of the oil in a crankcase may have been there, lubricating the surfaces, for quite a while, while some of the oil mist does not even get a chance to settle, as they are drawn in, and carried into the combustion chamber. At higher RPM's though, proportionately more oil is needed both for increased lubrication, and because of the inefficiency of the process.

So, if all of the oil enters with the fuel, but not all of it gets burned out, where does it go?

I believe that alot of the oil drains out through the bottom (rear) seal. The oil inside the crankase is hot, and viscous. Seals do a good job of holding oil that is slung at them, like in a horizontal automobile engine, but outboard engines are vertical and gravity eventually drains the hot oil down to the seal. Seals are also designed to seal stuff out, rather than in. I believe that what happens is that as the oil accumulates and drains to the seal, there is enough seepage so that it does not eventually fill the entire crankcase. You don't see this oil because once past the seal, it gets thrown at the walls of the leg, runs down, gets mixed with the cooling water leaving the engine and out the exhaust. You will see a little residue if you look up inside the leg, but not enough to suspect this because of the heat and water. So, I believe that though eventually all of the oil does end up overboard, all of it does not leave the same way.

As I recall, wasn't one of the features of E-Tec that it actually recycles some of the oil that drains to the bottom of the crankcase, and recirculate it back into the engine? If so, this would reduse the amount of lost oil much greater than developing metals that require less lubrication.

Regarding Emmisions and 2-Strokes in Cali.

It wasn't the oil or smoke that bothered them here in Cali. It was the fact that there was a high percentage of unburned gas going into the water. As the history goes, CARB mandated the use of MTBE, discovered it's dangerous effects on the water supply, banned 2-stroke sales (non DFI), then phased out MTBE. Forgot about the 2-Stroke ban moved on to the dangerous effects of burning real wood in your fireplace. (Next on the ban list).

SuburbanBoy posted 03-05-2004 09:09 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
The oil burn rate is pretty impressive! To put this in an automotive perspective: Assume 400 gallons of gas and 1 gallon of trick two-stroke oil. This would equate to about one (1) quart per 2,000 miles in an automobile that gets 20 mpg. This is well within standard published consumption rates. Heck, my old 911 would guzzle about one (1) quart of Mobil 1 10-50 every 900 to 1000 miles! It was within Porsche published specs! It never smoked visibly except when beaten unmercifully (and occasionally after sex). With the HP per cylinder at about 30, the 200hp V-6 is probably in testing at an un-named body of water down south. Like I say, these are exciting times.


SuburbanBoy posted 03-05-2004 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for SuburbanBoy  Send Email to SuburbanBoy     
Another thought, should not Hi-tech outboards scavange the oil from the low point to reduce the blow-by or leakage mentioned by SalmonTub? Perhaps squirt this "left over" into the reservior or fuel system to be consumed in combustion or recycled in lubrication?


Whalerdan posted 03-06-2004 06:22 AM ET (US)     Profile for Whalerdan  Send Email to Whalerdan     
My heads spinning:).

One point I noticed. Someone mentioned the weight difference between an 70hp EFI 2 Stroke, and a 4 Stroke as something like 75 lbs. I really don't see that as a huge problem. 75 lbs is like having a small kid in your boat. If you can tell the difference in performance with this kind of weight difference you're a better man than I.

To me the key is which is more realiable. Right now NO ONE can truely say.

Danny Shaw

jimh posted 03-06-2004 08:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Many thanks to Mr. Tub for an interesting explanation of how oil in a 2-stroke leaves the engine. Your suggestion of oil leaking past the lower crankshaft seal would explain something I saw happen a few years ago with a low-E 2-stroke engine.

I took a slip next to a boat with a fairly new low-E 2-stroke engine. This neighboring boat had been at the dock for several hours, the crew having come ashore for some afternoon shopping. When they started their engine to depart for home, a significant quantity of oil was expelled from the lower unit into the exhaust. Perhaps this was oil which had been injected during their long run over to the dock earlier, had accumulated in the crankcase, settled to the bottom, and then managed to leak past the lower crankcase seal and into the lower unit as you suggest.

The engine had started without difficulty and appeared to be running without any smoking, so it does not seem reasonable to attribute that much oil as having been expelled from the combustion chamber. Your theory fits well with these observations.

rbruce posted 03-06-2004 11:03 PM ET (US)     Profile for rbruce  Send Email to rbruce     

I believe that older two stroke outboard motors had an"oil recirculation" mechanism early on the 1970's to pick up puddled oil in the bottom of the crankcase that accumulated there after trolling cycle or low rpms usage, to be reused back in lubricating the crankshaft and rings and finally get burned in the combustion process.

In the case of the E-Tec TCW-3 or XD100 oil is injected at various points predetermined by the engineer, but being a two stroke motor, there are no "oil control rings" (unlike four stroke motors), therefore, some oil will be allowed to pass thre compression rings reducing friction and upper ring wear and finally being combusted.

This is where synthetic or part synthetic oil is crucial, in that some additives to the base oil are added to enhance lubricity and can be engineered to burn faster and with less smoke and residue*.

Indeed this E-Tec is a beauty and so are two strockes, so feed them well!


Backfire posted 03-07-2004 01:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for Backfire  Send Email to Backfire     
Just to clear up a few things, all E-TECs can be rope started with no battery. Guesses as to oil ratios of 250, 500 or 1000 to one, is not even close to actual average use, more like 80/1. At 1200 rpm it can run for hours on no oil. Software runs on Palm. Salmon Tubs theory(s)on leaking seals is-just a wrong quess, and some not quite the way it goes theory. The EPA and CARB have not delayed any rule change. The major changes come in 2006 with more tightening in 2008 and more in 2010. E-TECs are now 2008 compliant and will be good in 2010 with a little addtional injector pressure. (the E-TECs use a new injector that does not have any piece of the Ficht system). Then the 4 strokes will have to use a catalylic converter to get right.
Check the boat/engine tests on for some E-TEC figures and compare to Mike Brantly's experience with his new 50hp. Most will idle on a lot less gas than a 4 stroke.
Moe posted 03-07-2004 03:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Moe  Send Email to Moe     
Do you have a link to a reference about those "2010" EPA emissions requirements?

I haven't found any on the EPA and CARB websites.


Mike Brantley posted 03-07-2004 10:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mike Brantley  Send Email to Mike Brantley     
Backfire, can you point me more directly to the boat/engine tests on the Evinrude site? I must be overlooking them, but I can't find them. I'd love to read how those tests compare to my experiences. Thanks!
jimh posted 03-08-2004 08:42 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
Please clarify the statement about 80:1 oil consumption. Is that with the TCW3 oil or with the XD-100 OEM oil?
knothead posted 03-08-2004 05:04 PM ET (US)     Profile for knothead  Send Email to knothead     


After reading these excellent posts on the E-TEC motor a question comes to mind regarding conventional 2-stroke multicarbed motors.

If all carburators feed gas/fuel mixture into the crankcase, why then does a partially clogged jet cause engine failure. It would seem that enough oil would be supplied from the other carbs to keep the motor from self destructing. How does a parially clogged jet on just one carburator cause a lean condition if the crankcase is common to all carburators and cylinders?

Maybe I'm missing something here, like maybe the shop manual.


Clark Roberts posted 03-08-2004 06:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Knothead, all multi cyl/multicarb engines are designed with completely separate crankcases for each cyl. and most have separate carbs with each cyl. If crankcases were shared there would be conflicting press/vacuum sources and engine wouldn't run. So a three cyl/ three carb engine is really 3 separate engines which share a crank and electronics. There are exceptions to the number of carbs (the 4 cyl merc uses two carbs but has separate crankcases and reeds). Seems strange but tear into one sometime and the mystery goes away. Happy Whalin'.. Clark.. Spuce Creek Navy
LEEJACKT posted 03-09-2004 10:17 PM ET (US)     Profile for LEEJACKT  Send Email to LEEJACKT     
Peter mentiioned that the 90-e-Tec Salt Water Edition only comes with a 25" shaft and has a 2:25: Gear Ratio// Also Ratherwhalering said he bought a 90-E-Tec White Motor that is not a Salt Water Edition...
I have just ordered a 90 E-Tec Salt Water Edition (E90DSLSR-White)w/a 20" shaft and a 2:1 Gear Ratio...
According to my dealer, and information from the Plant, " delivery will be in late April, as they are just now starting to produce the Salt Water Edition.."
I don't know who's got the right or the wrong info, probably one of us is going to end up disappointed getting a different motor than we had expected.
I'd sure like to hear from someone on this.. As I made my decision based on the availability of a Salt Water Edition w/ a 20" shaft.


ratherwhalering posted 03-10-2004 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for ratherwhalering  Send Email to ratherwhalering     
Jack: I was incorrect. I received shipment of a 90hp saltwater 20" with a 2:1 gear ratio on Monday. (production engine No. 7.)
Peter posted 03-10-2004 03:05 PM ET (US)     Profile for Peter  Send Email to Peter     
Looks like there are 20 and 25 inch SaltWater Edition models with the 25 inch model having the 2.25:1 ratio. Might be the same 25 inch leg they use for the DI 100 and 115.
LEEJACKT posted 03-10-2004 09:31 PM ET (US)     Profile for LEEJACKT  Send Email to LEEJACKT     
- Seeing you got one of the first off the line,you'll be the guy with all the experience. I'd be interested in your comments as you install and try out this new engine. I'd like to know what to anticipate as I will be going go down this same road, about the first week of May..

Good Luck, I'll be looking for your comments..


jimh posted 03-10-2004 11:35 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     

I would like to hear about how your Palm connected to your E-TEC, as that sounds very interesting. A couple of questions for you:

--What model Palm did you use?

Also please give the details about the cable connection.

--Where is the plug on the engine?

--Is the engine plug a standard data connector or something fancy or proprietary?

--How long is the cable you used?

--What did it cost?

--What type of connector does it have?

--Did you have to use an adapter to connect to the connector on the Palm?

It would be great to hear the details about the Palm software.

--Does it allow you to modify any settings?

--What engine parameters can you read on the Palm?

--Is data transfered and stored to the Palm for future reference?

Backfire posted 03-11-2004 01:32 AM ET (US)     Profile for Backfire  Send Email to Backfire     
First I don't have a Palm, but shops can run laptop or Palm.
As I understand it, a comsumer software version for E-TEC, cable and manual will be available--??June/July/August?? I'm sure there will be no "adjusting" engine functions other than idle. What it shows and what it does remains to be seen. Your guesses of about $50 cable/$50 software +- should be close. Probably will be announced with the 2005 line of engines, a guess. Doubt many shops have had reason to work on one yet.
The engine/boat tests are on the Dealer Port, dealer site. I had hoped they would move them to, but not yet. On weight comparisons, the 40, 50, 60, have the commercial lower unit (like a big foot)-heavy duty-uses the same prop line as the 70-140 hp J & E. The 75 and 90 hp 20" shaft have the V-4 size gearcase-same props as 40-60hp. The 90 hp 25" shaft has the V-6 gearcase! So extra weight is in heavy duty gearcases on all models. Because it is under water, it "hangs" on the transom lighter than if it was above the water line.
John from IL posted 03-11-2004 11:30 AM ET (US)     Profile for John from IL  Send Email to John from IL     
Excellent read here, many of y’all are very well informed. To further clarify some information I submit the following:

The on-board oil reservoir capacity for the 40/50/60 two-cylinder models is 2 quarts. For the 75/90 three-cylinder models it is 3 quarts. In all of the data I’ve seen from Evinrude, I have never seen a specific oil ratio mentioned. The technical and engineering personnel have all stated the oil ratio is “rpm dependant”. Although they have used ratios as a comparison in some of their presentations, they haven’t really let the cat out of the bag to actual oil ratios.

The fuel vapor separator is where the water-cooled fuel thing comes in. As previously mentioned, a diaphragm type fuel pump and filter are employed and a high pressure electric fuel pump supplies fuel to the injectors. Fuel rail pressure is 20 to 30 psi according to the service manual. Just like previous DI (Ficht) injectors, fuel flows thru the E-TEC injector in order to keep the fuel injectors cool. The unused fuel is routed back to the vapor sep and is cooled and recirculated.

The advertised (Evinrude product catalog) alternator output is 75 amps total. 3-5 amps are typically available at idle speed and the maximum available output for battery charging is limited to 25 amps. The reason for the variability in output at idle, is due to the fact that E-TEC in-gear idle speed is adjustable using the diagnostic software. The motors are set at the factory at 800 +/-50 rpm for the 40/50/60 and 700 +/-50rpm for the 75/90. The diagnostic software will raise or lower the idle speed in 10 rpm increments, down 250 or up 100 rpm.

The throttle bodies are a single for the 2-cylinder models and dual for the 3-cylinder models. The engines are very quiet – I drove a twin engine equipped 21 Whaler the factory guys called a “Rescue Boat”. Running from Bombardiers Engineering facility on Lake Michigan 3 of us could converse in a fairly normal tone with the engines running at WOT. I think we really only slightly raised our voices, just because of the wind noise. By the way, since they started production, they’ve incorporated the stainless steel steering arms and other components that the Saltwater Edition models have, into the whole line – So all the models have the same “hardware”.

Regarding the rope start models, there’s a bit of resistance in the pull, but once you develop the technique, they generally start on the first pull, no matter how long the engine sits. There is also a self-winterize feature. Basically one adds fuel stabilizer to the fuel tank, then connect water and run the engine to distribute the stabilized fuel. Next turn off the motor and then restart with the throttle advanced. Going by signals from the warning lights on the tachometer, you manipulate the throttle a couple of times and the oil injector pumps a bunch of oil into the crankcase – it even turns itself off when its through.

A correction to the cylinder sleeve information offered earlier: the sleeve is actually steel. The honing process is called “boron-nitride honing”. Essentially, the cutting stone on the boring machine is made of this material. The stone is self-dressing and if/when it chips, it still makes the honing of the bore nice and clean. If you could see images (at 500x or 1000x magnification) of the difference between a diamond hone and the boron-nitride hone, you would see how much cleaner the boron-nitride hone is. This allows much closer machining tolerances for the E-TEC cylinder bored. I would imagine that if a block needed rebuilding in the future, this type of honing process might be a requirement.

Regarding the oil mixing with the air – that was an educational read, thanks to Mr. Tub, that was well written. I would only add the following: Gasoline fully combusts at about 400 degrees F, 2-stroke oil burns (fully combusts) around 1000 degrees F - with the solvents typically burning off by 650 degrees F. Combustion chamber temps in E-TEC are much higher than 1000F and exhaust gas temps on a DI or E-TEC engine are in the vicinity of 1400 degrees F - any oil that survives the combustion event will be burned in the exhaust stream.

Regarding another earlier statement, why would you not buy an E-TEC in California? It is CARB 3-STAR rated. Here’s a comparison of the 50 E-TEC, vs the 50 Johnson 4-stroke: E-TEC figures are HC+Nox = 17.6 gr/kwhr and CO = 66.5 gr/kwhr. The 50 4-stroke figures are HC+Nox = 15.8 gr/kwhr and CO = 235.27 gr/kwhr. HC is Hydrocarbon emissions, Nox is Oxides of Nitrogen and CO is Carbon Monoxide (the killer).

Regarding the PDA questions, any brand should work as long as the PALM OS version 3.x, 4.x or 5.x is installed. An adapter cable, known as a modem cable is required to connect the PDA to the diagnostic cable. The modem cable is generally 6 inches long and the diag cable is 10 feet. The diagnostic port on the engine is a triangular shaped Deutsch-brand connector (the diag cable has the mating connector) and it terminates in an RS-232 9-pin serial connector. The modem cable should have the matching RS-232 type connector and is likely brand-specific to the PDA. The dealer software allows one to view most of the parameters and run diagnostics such as modifying fuel flow (for trouble shooting), setting timing, setting idle speed, setting oil, reading service codes and saving run history. It’s very extensive and in 10-pitch font, will fill 2 columns of information on a full sheet of 8-1/2x11 piece of paper. The diag cable is around $50, the modem cables run from $60 to $100 depending where you buy it and I’m sorry, but I’m not sure of the software cost.

Hope this helps


Mike Brantley posted 03-11-2004 05:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mike Brantley  Send Email to Mike Brantley     
Thanks, guys, for all the good information. I've worn Google down to a nub performing searches on "E-Tec" over the past few months. From my vantage, there seems to be more information about these motors on this forum than anywhere else. And it's a growing resource.

That's good news for me about the Palm software. I'm hoping the consumer version of the software will be available for the Palm OS as well as Windows, as the customer service fellow told me.

Regarding rope starts, I haven't done it yet with my E-Tec 50, but perhaps I should give it a go this weekend just to be in practice in case my battery ever dies. Pull-starting a 50 might be easier than the 90.

John, are you saying my production 50 has the same stainless hardware as the saltwater edition 90? If so, that's great. Are there any other differences between the saltwater edition and the blue motors? I will examine my steering arm more closely when I get home.

Backfire, that makes a lot of good sense about some of the extra weight being in the beefy lower ends of these motors and hanging better on transoms because of it.

I think these are fine motors for our 15, 16 and 17-foot hulls, and perhaps some of the bigger hulls with twin installations. Twin E-Tec 75's or 90's might be heavy for an Outrage 18/Guardian 19, but I don't know. Maybe not. I'm anxious to see what comes out over the next year or two, as I think about adding a bigger boat to my present fleet of one. It's too bad there's not an E-Tec that's light enough for practical use on our 13-foot and smaller hulls, but Jim's information about this technology scaling down to smaller motors is encouraging.

DaveH posted 03-11-2004 05:47 PM ET (US)     Profile for DaveH  Send Email to DaveH     
John from IL:

Glad to have you aboard the forum and welcome.

I see by your profile that you have a very good understanding of the inside info on the E-Tec, do you have any information on the service technician training on these engines? For example, how many hours training does each technician need for factory certification above and beyond normal carb or EFI 2-stroke certification? The use of the diagnostic software could be a blessing or a curse depending on who's doing the work. What are your thoughts on the servicing expertise available to the early adopters of the E-Tec?

John from IL posted 03-11-2004 07:43 PM ET (US)     Profile for John from IL  Send Email to John from IL     

Yes, I am saying all the models share the stainless components. The commonality of parts between the models is the most I've ever seen - Of course the 2 & 3 cylinder models use different midsections & gearcases - but all the sensors, electrical system, charging system, EMM (computer), pistons, rods, bearings are the same stuff. Essentially the only difference between white and blue is paint and decals.


Having recently attended service school, I can tell you the E-TEC training has been incorporated into the DI course, for a total of 40 hours training.

I also had the opportunity to "beta-test" a new E-TEC DVD based training which was very informative. I completed the DVD, workbook and quizzes between the training modules in a few hours, spread over a couple of evenings. Still waiting for results from the final exam.

The training programs currently offered by Bombardier are a CD-ROM based basic theory course, then follow on training is week-long courses at one of their training centers. The follow on training is Pro-Tech, which builds on the CD, followed by a DI training course or a 4-Stroke training course. There is also a "Journeyman" course which is a combination of basics, DI, 4-stroke, and E-TEC training - passing this class earns you the priveledge of taking the Master Technician exam, which is a combination of open and closed book stuff, followed by a practical application (hands on) troubleshooting section. ALL sections must be successfully completed to earn Master Tech. There's also the soon to be released DVD course.

As far as the servicing expertise goes Dave, well, truthfully, E-TEC troubleshooting isn't much different than DI, and E-TEC is a whole lot cleaner to work on. I suppose for a tech that isn't computer literate, the diagnostic stuff can be intimidating, but its still a 2-stroke (suck-squeeze-bang-blow) motor... It's always a wise idea to get a tour of a dealers service department when shopping for a motor. Are service training diplomas and certificates "proudly" hanging on the walls (and are they current)? What are the attitudes of the service personnel? The really good ones can converse at the technical level this thread has become.


Mike Brantley posted 03-11-2004 09:06 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mike Brantley  Send Email to Mike Brantley     
Thanks, John. That's good news. I might have chosen the white paint for my motor had it been available in the 50 hp size, but blue looks good and the news of stainless parts is music to my ears.

Your first two posts in this forum have been very insightful, worthwhile contributions. I hope you'll stick around for a long while.

turnstone posted 03-15-2004 01:13 PM ET (US)     Profile for turnstone  Send Email to turnstone     
JimH and everyone else - THANKS for this thread! I am new to this site, and I think the 90hp E-Tec will be the new power for my 1987 Montauk -replacing an old gas and oil spraying 1987 Johnson 90 hp.

I just hope that the motor is as good as it is billed...Seems like I'm going to give it a try...


jimh posted 10-23-2004 01:29 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
For more on the E-TEC engine see this article in the Reference Section:

Evinrude E-TEC Outboard Motors

jstachowiak posted 11-01-2004 09:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jstachowiak  Send Email to jstachowiak     
Discussion [elsewhere] mentions oil ratio [of 1:400 when using the XD-100 oil].
jimh posted 11-01-2004 07:50 PM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
There does not seem to be an authoritative source available on-line for the exact oiling ratio used in the E-TEC when programmed for their synthetic XD-100 oil. Several sources mention that the change from XD-25 to XD-100 oil reduces oil consumption in half, but it is not clear where the starting point is in terms of ratio of oil to fuel.
jimh posted 07-07-2005 08:39 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
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