Evinrude - E-TEC 115-hp
By Capt. Steve
The mission of the Evinrude E-TEC 115 is to provide a reliable, low maintenance, high-performance outboard that is lightweight and has low operating costs.
While the Evinrude E-TEC 115 may be a relatively small engine, she’s long on features, and most directly affects the boater and boating experience.
Coming up with distinguishing features for any of the Evinrude E-TEC models is fairly easy as they offer some distinct advantages not found in their 4-stroke counterparts. And the Evinrude E-TEC even has features that other 2-stroke engines do not have.
•No Dealer Scheduled Maintenance. For three years or 300 hours, whichever comes first, there is no required maintenance, therefore no maintenance expense which helps lower overall operating costs.
•No Breaking Required. The computer controlled engine knows how many hours are on it, and automatically doubles the oil distribution to the cylinders for the break in period. Once an appropriate amount of hours have been put on the engine, the oil distribution reverts to normal levels. The consumer takes no action.
•No Crankcase Oil to Change. The days of mixing oil and fuel in 2-stroke engines are long gone, which becomes an advantage over 4-stroke engines. With Evinrude E-TEC, just fill an oil tank and let the engine distribute as needed.
•Auto Winterization. The engine fogs itself automatically in minutes with no trip to the dealer. Boaters in the northern latitudes will especially appreciate this as the engine can be winterized and still be able to take advantage of a winter warm spell and get out on the water again, and then just as easily re-winterize the engine.
•Fewer Parts. 195 fewer than a 4-stroke outboard. No valves, belts, camshafts or pulleys to adjust or replace.
•Magnito and High Amp Output. Because the magneto needs no belts or ignition coil it is more reliable, that is why they are used in general aviation. On the 115 the magneto it pumps out is 133 AMPs, far more than any other outboard on the market, which means more electrical power to operate accessories.
While the technological features are numerous, they do little to impress the end-user. Boaters don't care about injector droplet size or EMM controls in milliseconds. Thankfully the folks at Evinrude do, and it's thanks to these technological advances that the engines are so reliable, but let's focus on the advances that directly affect the end-user and the boating experience.
The Evinrude E-TEC 115 uses a system Evinrude calls ICON. A digital throttle control sends a signal to an electronic servo that is in turn connected to the shift and throttle linkages. The result is a gentle control for both shift and speed. This is a great feature as boaters won’t experience cable stretch or linkage problems affecting their control travel. A whole host of features can also be added to the control system. Items such as auto sync and cruise adjust are just simple presses of a button.
The digital world that this engine lives in also comes into play with the I-Command gauges. They’re multi function and totally customizable.
The Sound of an Evinrude
Evinrude engines make a very distinct sound, and a lot of engineering goes into generating that sound. The upper and lower shrouds work together to form soundproofing based on the needs of the horsepower and the output of the power head. Instead of having air and sound flow directly into, and out of the enclosed engine, Evinrude engineers a complex route, and by bending the sound waves are able to produce that trademark Evinrude sound.
The upper shroud traps sound in and the foam inside the shroud is different for each engine.
Take for example the upper shroud. Air travels in from the back of the shroud and makes a 90-degree bend to travel down, and then up again. This brings air in but prevents the sound from getting out producing a quieter engine. It also prevents water from entering the engine shroud.
The lower exhaust port is in the shape of a "V" causing the exiting sound to make a series of 180-degree bends, which again, serve to tune the sound. It's a small feature to be sure, but one that makes the Evinrude E-TEC produce a very distinctive sound as the boat flies across the lake.
The exhaust port has two fittings, the lower producing the telltale stream, and the upper being threaded to accept your garden hose for engine flush outs.
Approved for Saltwater
While nothing can eliminate corrosion in metal parts when combined with warm salt water, Evinrude slows it to a crawl so that it takes a longer time to show itself. The company's engineers tell us that their anti-corrosion approach is a four-part process--
1. A Lyfinite Treatment – this is a trademarked process and Evinrude owns the trademark. It puts the first protective coating on the metal components.
2. EDP – Electro Deposition Paint – this is based on the fundamental physics principle that opposites attract. The metal parts are charged with direct current and then immersed in a bath that has oppositely charged paint particles in it. This allows every corner, crack, and crevice to have a continuous even coating over the entire surface of the part.
3. Primer is then added.
4. Finally the Finish Coat.
In addition, sacrificial anodes (zincs) are added and their job is to deteriorate before any other metal components. They literally sacrifice themselves and are easily replaceable by the end-user. Lastly, all of the fittings are stainless steel, there's no nickel plated steel anywhere in the engine. Walk up to a competitor's engine with a small magnet and count the number of fittings that you can get the magnet to cling to. Worse, in most cases these fittings are simply painted over.
Sacrificial zincs add to the anti-corrosion process on Evinrude E-TECs. Here's one just above the anti-ventilation plate. Another is behind the propeller in the bearing carrier, and still another is located underneath the swivel bracket. All are easily replaceable by the owner.
Electric trim is not new on outboards but it's a convenient feature to have. Recognizing that boats come in different shapes and sizes, the Evinrude E-TEC 115 comes with a trim limiter switch that is easily adjustable by the owner. This limiter switch will automatically stop the trim function once it reaches a preset limit.
In addition to the adjustable trim limit switch, a trim bracket can be dropped down to hold the weight of the trimmed engine for towing, taking the load off of the hydraulics.
Well Grounded Design
In addition to using Iridium spark plugs, which give a longer and more efficient spark, Evinrude E-TEC spark plug wires are covered with a metallic shroud with wires leading to a common ground. In this manner, ignition noise is prevented from reaching the electronics at the helm, a pivotal consideration for reducing noise in high end fishfinders. Try to find that in any other outboard on the market.
Spark plug wires are covered with a metallic shroud to reduce emissions noise to the electronics.
The ignition system includes two major components. The injectors are electronically controlled and distribute precise amounts of fuel into the cylinders for better performance, and better fuel economy whether idling for extended periods or operating at cruise or max speeds. They work by pulsating, much like a stereo speaker, to provide exact fuel amounts based on the throttle setting.
The fuel injector is electronic and works much like a speaker to pulse fuel into the cylinder.
The "IDI" or fast rise inductive ignition works in conjunction with the injectors to provide better economy and smoother running engines. They also cause the spark plugs to ignite longer rather than more often, greatly extending the life of the plugs.
Here is the location of the inductive ignition system which, among other things, regulates the spark giving longer life to the spark plugs.
Oil Injection System
With Evinrude E-TEC, boaters simply fill in oil reservoir and let the engine manage its own oil supply. This is particularly important during the break-in period where you would be mixing double amounts of oil in the fuel. With Evinrude E-TEC the engine management system automatically recognizes that the engine has been operating for a lower amount of hours and correctly asks for the additional amounts of oil to the cylinder sleeves. Once the proper break-in period has past, the oil distribution reverts to its normal levels all without the operator having to take any action.
Additionally, because the system puts precise amounts of oil where it needs to be and when it needs to be, the Evinrude E-TEC burns significantly less oil.
The oil distribution system measures precise amounts of oil into the cylinder sleeves relieving the operator of having to mix oil and the fuel.
Engine Management Module
The EMM or Engine Management Module is basically the brain of the Evinrude E-TEC system. It controls the oil distribution system, which in turn provides the no break-in period feature that we've just discussed. Also, should the engine inadvertently run completely out of oil, the EMM will kick into a fail-safe mode allowing only a reduced power setting for up to five hours enabling boaters to get home.
Further, the EMM controls the electronic fuel injectors for precise fuel measurements and is also the connection point for the electronic helm gauges and easy diagnostic connections. Plus, there's auto-winterization. Work the throttle twice with the key on and the EMM will add a minute and a half of fogging to the cylinders winterizing the engine. And this can be done at any time. In other words, when a stretch of warm weather occurs in the winter, boaters can fire up their winterized engines and get right back on the water, and then re-winterize it upon returning.
The EMM or Engine Management Module works in conjunction with the ignition system and oil distribution system to provide smooth and maintenance free operation. This is also where the connection points are for the digital Icon gauges. It's also what provides Evinrude the ability to add three years/300 hours of no scheduled dealer maintenance.
LED Lights. But more importantly to the end-user, are the LED lights located on the side of the EMM. These indicator lights work in conjunction with a label at the top of the EMM to diagnose your engine in both the start up and running configurations. Being able to diagnose problems at home is a significant improvement as boaters don't have to go to a dealer to pay an hourly charge just to hook up a component to tell them what they now already know.
LED indicators are correlated to this guide on the top of the EMM to allow the owner to diagnose engine problems at home.
Evinrude E-TEC engines have one of the easiest to change filters in the industry. They come with a 10 micron fuel filter/water separator that simply unscrews much like an oil filter. This is a significant advantage for boaters that tend to be plagued with bad fuel.
The 10 micron fuel filter/water separator is easily replaceable in the field.
At the top of the engine is a flywheel with magnets underneath. Beneath the magnets are coils of wire. As the magnets pass over the coils they generate electricity. In this manner the Evinrude E-TEC generates 133 Amps of electricity, 50 Amps dedicated to charging the batteries alone. It's the highest output charging system in its class. More importantly, this is done without belts or pulleys.
With 50 Amps dedicated to the batteries alone, boaters are able to operate a significant amount of electronics at the helm without worry. Additionally, if the batteries go bad the engine will still run completely free of any connection to the batteries. As long as the engine can be started, it will run on its own.
The flywheel at the top of the engine also serves as the charging system for the Evinrude E-TEC engines.
Deckboat Test. We tested the Evinrude E-TEC 115 on a deckboat with an LOA of 19’ (5.79 m) and a beam of 8'6" (2.59 m). With an empty weight of 2,250 lbs. (1021 kgs.), 26 gallons (98.4 L) of fuel and two people on board we had a test weight of 3,201 lbs. (1,452 kgs.).
With the Evinrude E-TEC 115 turning a 13.5 x 15" SSP propeller we reached a top speed at 6050 rpm of 39 mph. At that speed fuel burn was 10.7 gph. Best cruise came in at 5000 rpm and 32.3 mph which reduced the fuel burn to 8.27 gph.
Her time to plane was a fast 3.2 seconds. Sound readings at idle were 65 dbA, and were 87 at best cruise.
Test of the Starcraft 1915 OB with Evinrude E-TEC 115-hp Outboard
Bowrider Test. We tested the 115 in the popular Glastron GT 180 BR, which weighs 1,500 lbs. (681 kgs.) dry and recorded a WOT speed of 42.2 at 5500 rpm, burning 11.7 gph. Best cruise came in at 3500 rpm where we went 24.4 mph and recorded a fuel burn of 5.0 gph.
Sound readings on the GT 180 BR were what we have come to expect from Evinrude. We recorded 65 dbA at idle and 86 dbA at 3500 rpm.
Test of Glastron GT 180 BR with Evinrude E-TEC 115-hp Outboard
Clearly the Evinrude E-TEC system is not only focused on longevity but direct benefits to the boater. It is one of the easiest systems to operate, and certainly the easiest to maintain. Coupled with the quality of the components Evinrude intends their E-TEC engines to be around for a long period of time, and that's good news especially to saltwater boaters who frequently have to repower.