Evinrude E-TEC Outboard Engines

When a new engine comes out, the catalogue from the manufacturer usually shows the engine mounted on a boat cruising at high speed. I prefer to look under the cowling and see what is there. I feel you can get a sense of the design and engineering from a visual inspection of the engine and its components.

Just a few days after the Evinrude 225-HP was shipping from the factory in Wisconsin in mid-October, my local dealer, David Zammitt of Lockeman's Hardware and Boats, Detroit, Michigan, invited me over for a close look at the new product. David had just received his first 225-HP, and already mounted it on a new 20-foot aluminum walleye boat, popular with his customers for fishing in Lake Erie and the lower Detroit River.

I was impressed with the layout of the engine. It looks very clean and uncluttered. While there are a lot of plumbing connections and wiring harnesses, it all seems organized. One thing I did not see: an oil reservoir tank. The general size and weight of this engine is similar to traditional two-stroke engines, making it a good candidate for re-powering of a classic Boston Whaler boat. If your current OMC engine was made after c.1996, you can re-use your control wiring. The throttle and shift cables are compatible back to units made in the 1960's. This should make a re-power with this engine very simple for owners of Evinrude and Johnson two-stroke 225-HP engines.

The 200, 225, and 250-HP versions of this engine have the following specifications in common:

Displacement: 200 cubic-inches or 3.279-litres
Block: V-6, 90-degree
Bore: 3.854 inches / 98 mm
Stroke: 2.858 inches / 73 mm
   20-inch shaft: 519 pounds / 235 Kg
   25-inch shaft: 524 pounds / 238 Kg
   30-inch shaft: 530 pounds / 240 Kg
Gear Ratio: 1.85:1
Full Throttle Operating Range: 5,000 - 6,000 RPM

If the fall weather ever brightens up, Dave has promised a demonstration ride with the new engine. Until I get a chance to try it out myself, here is a close-up look under the cowling of an Evinrude E-TEC 225-HP outboard engine.

For comparison, similar views of the Evinrude FICHT 225-HP outboard engine are also included. The engine block is the same as in the E-TEC engine, and the general arrangement of the engine's components is similar. You can see how the E-TEC is an evolutionary development from the FICHT engine. The actual injectors are quite different in their design.

Under The Cowling: E-TEC


[Photo: David Zammitt and Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard] Evinrude E-TEC
Bombardier Recreational Products delivered their new E-TEC 225-HP outboard engine to dealers in October, 2004. Here is long-time dealer David Zammitt of Lockeman's Hardware and Boats, Detroit, Michigan, with a just-mounted E-TEC. The size of this engine does not seem to be as overwhelming as some of the other choices in this horesepower range. The flush connection and cooling tell-tale are at the rear of the cowling. The cowling shape is curved to make it self-align when setting the cowling cover onto the engine.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard starboard side with cowling removed]
Under the Cowling
All connections to the engine enter on the right side. The electrical connections are all made under the shroud seen here in the center. The E-TEC fuel injectors are mounted on the top of each cylinder. The injector housing is an alloy casting. The inside of the mid-section is lined with a heavy, thick rubber sound deadening material. The cowling also contains sound deadening foam and rubber. Sitting atop the center shroud is a small 3-pin triangular connector for attaching a diagnostic electronic tool. The connector is mated to a protective cover when not in use. Through this communication port you can talk to your engine with software available from Evinrude at reasonable costs.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard starboard side with cowling and shroud removed.] Under the Electrical Connection Shroud
The shroud over the electrical connections has been removed to reveal the cables and terminations. In previous models the electrical interconnections were spread over several locations. This arrangement centralizes them and makes the rigging simpler and more tidy. The throttle linkage is also very simplified. No complicated sync-and-link procedures are required on this engine.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard close-up of fuel rails.] Fuel Rails
Fuel is distributed to the injectors by flexible rubber lines. There are both supply and return rails. The fuel pressure in the lines is not especially high, so rubber hose can be used. The same injectors are used in all E-TEC engines.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard close-up of Electronic Management Module EEM.]
Engine Management Module
The operation of the engine is controlled by the Engine Management Module (EMM). The firmware in this computer system can self-power and be ready to operate after one revolution of the crankshaft. That is a "fast boot" processor! There are four LED diagnostic indicators that indicate status in either start or run mode. Even without an electronic diagnostic tool connected, you can get important engine information from the four indicators. As you can see from the bundle of cables, there are many sensors and functions controlled by this device. Also, cooling water is circulated through the module to reduce its operating temperature. Excessive heat is a major cause of failure in electronic components.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard close-up port aft side of engine.] Port Aft
Water flow is controlled by the thermostat at the top of the cylinder head. Fuel from the injector rails is returned to the fuel vapor separator/cooler. Note the easy access to the spark plugs; there is nothing in the way to complicate removal. On the smaller models, the spark coil is directly mounted to the E-TEC injector on the stand-off pillars molded into the injector. Here, those pillars are not used, and the spark coils are mounted close-by. High tension leads with nylon mesh covers connect the spark plugs to their individual coils. The nylon mesh should be turned under itself to prevent it from fraying, before being secured with a ty-wrap.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard close-up port forward side of engine.] Port Forward
The starter motor is on the left side. The fuel pump feeds a filter, which in turn feeds the cooler/vapor-separator. Fuel is distributed to the injectors, and unused fuel returned to the cooler. Cooling water is circulated through the cooler/vapor-separator to keep the fuel temperature low, as the fuel tends to accumulate heat from cycling through the injectors. This is typical for all fuel-injected engines.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard close-up cowing fit.] Close Fit
One reason that the cowling width is fairly narrow is the close fit. Here the cowling wraps tightly around the injectors. Any extra room under the cowling is provided in the rear, where there is an air/water baffle chamber and extra sound deadening material.
Photo Credit: JWH


[Photo: Evinrude 225-HP E-TEC Outboard close-up flush port and tell tale.]
Flushing Connector and Tell-Tale
The flushing connector (upper) is located at the rear of the mid-section. According to the brochure, the "engine can be flushed in or out of the water, running or not, in your slip or in your driveway." The details of the connector are not too clear in this picture or my memory. The tell-tale nozzle (lower) can be rotated to direct the stream for greater visibility. You can even direct it upwards like a fountain, if you wish.
Photo Credit: JWH

Under the Cowling: FICHT 225-HP

Here are several similar views under the cowling of an Evinrude 225-HP Ficht outboard. This engine is still in production, although it is anticipated it will give way to the new E-TEC engines. These photographs were provided by very satisfied Ficht owner Peter, who has a pair of these 225-HP engines on the Whaler Drive bracket of his 27-foot Boston Whaler. They show the layout and arrangement of the engine components on the Ficht direct-injection design.


[Photo: Front view Evinrude 225-HP FICHT Outboard] Evinrude FICHT
Prior to the E-TEC, Evinrude produced the FICHT direct injection outboard engine beginning about 1997. The block used in this 225-HP engine is the same as used in the new E-TEC. The cowling has the same general shape. Many components are different from the E-TEC, and the general layout and arrangement of the engine is not as clean in its appearance as the E-TEC.
Photo Credit: Peter


[Photo: Port view Evinrude 225-HP FICHT Outboard]
FICHT Port Side
The fuel filter and fuel/vapor separator/cooler are on the left side of the engine. The FICHT injectors mount to the top of the cylinder heads, but then bend 90-degrees. They appear to be larger than the E-TEC injectors. Quite a bit of electrical wiring and connectors hang in their midst.
Photo Credit: Peter


[Photo: Front view Evinrude 225-HP FICHT Outboard] FICHT Rear
At the rear of the engine the electronics module. Its metal mounting plate/heat sink seems to have an unused flange molded into it, perhaps left over from an earlier iteration. The fuel supply and fuel return lines for the injectors appear to originate from a central source. As in the E-TEC model, the cowling wraps tightly around the injectors, but there is not the air space at the rear. On the E-TEC this space is used to create an air/water baffle/resonator which helps reduce engine air intake noise.
Photo Credit: Peter


[Photo: Starboard view Evinrude 225-HP FICHT Outboard]
FICHT Starboard
All rigging lines enter the cowling on the starboard side. An oil line rises through an in-line device (perhaps a pressure regulator) to connect to a pump. Unlike the E-TEC, the FICHT model uses two oil lines between the external reservoir tank and the engine, one a feed line and one a return line. The blue object is a large electrolytic capacitor used to stabilize DC voltage to the electronics, particularly during starting. In this view it appears that the lower injector and mounting bolts have a little corrosion from salt-water operation.
Photo Credit: Peter

Additional Reading

Other article of interest related to the E-TEC engine:

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This article first appeared Ocotber 23, 2004.