Why the Big Bucks?

Posted: November 1, 2013  |  Tag: Repair

By: Grid Michal

My neighbor has a four-cylinder, four-stroke, fuel-injected Yamaha. I have a four-cylinder, two-stroke, direct-injected Evinrude E-TEC. I realize each has its positives and negatives, but this week, both of us had to have an injector replaced. Maybe it’s in the water, as the saying goes. Both of us called the same mobile tech. My neighbor paid for 10 minutes’ diagnostic time, a half-hour replacement (the injector was $161) and 10 minutes for a courtesy computer download. I paid for a half-hour diagnosis, $293 for an injector, an hour to remove the old and install the new one, plus almost an hour to integrate the new injector with the EMM. How can there be so much difference in injection systems?
An injector isn’t an injector as we would see it. Suzuki and Yamaha have a low-pressure pump that fills a vapor-separator tank with fuel, where a high-pressure pump fills a tubular rail and injectors are electrically opened and closed for each cylinder. On the E-TEC, fuel is transferred in low pressure to each direct-injection injector. By virtue of the DI’s ability to direct fuel spray in volume, it can be more efficient and responsive than the easier-to-service rail system. As far as parts for an essentially complete injection system, four E-TEC D/I injectors will cost $1,172. Four Yamaha injectors are $645, and the injector pump another $298. A quick fuel/spark diagnosis on the ’Zuki or Yammy can be done simply by manually deactivating each cylinder until the offender is identified. A procedure via the manufacturer’s computer program can do the same thing, but it’s lengthy and boring. Pop off the injector rail, replace the injector, bolt the rail back and go back to business. The E-TEC has to be diagnosed via the laptop and BRP’s program. When the injector is identified, the lower engine cowl may have to be removed to access the injector, remove it, and install and torque down a new one. Then you have to use the laptop to transfer the coefficients from the new injector to replace those of the other injector in the EMM.

A few weeks ago, I was in that exact position, scrunched into a Boston Whaler. The first time was to log on to diagnose. Then I returned with the cylinder-specific injector. Then I removed the old and installed and torqued the new. Finally, I had to piggy-back my laptop onto the customer’s neighbor’s Internet so I could effect the repair. Then my battery ran down mid-process, and I had to use an inverter to repower it. Even though I didn’t have to remove a cowl, the whole thing took more than two hours, followed by a bunch of ibuprofen.

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