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View Full Version : I need a new ECM. Suggestions please


manny34711
10-17-2006, 01:19 PM
Hey guys some of you may remember me from a few weeks back with the check-engine light/buzzer that wouldnt turn off and winky blinky would not read anything. It happened to be that the ECM was no good, i have no idea how. Anyways... Liquid Sports wants to charge me 1500 bucks to do it all and they noticed an "engine seal leak" as well "oil in the engine compartment" which is BS because thats just oil i slightly spilled when i was adding oil into the motor, and they wanted to charge me 1300 bucks for that. Anyways do you guys think i should just go ahead and let LSM do the job or should i find an ECM and do it myself (load the ECM drivers with laptop software etc etc). where can i find the ECM at for cheaper than the dealer? i can find the laptop software from rinda technologies i know that.


2000 xstar w/ LTR 330 vdrive

bigmac
10-17-2006, 01:36 PM
Hey guys some of you may remember me from a few weeks back with the check-engine light/buzzer that wouldnt turn off and winky blinky would not read anything. It happened to be that the ECM was no good, i have no idea how. Anyways... Liquid Sports wants to charge me 1500 bucks to do it all and they noticed an "engine seal leak" as well "oil in the engine compartment" which is BS because thats just oil i slightly spilled when i was adding oil into the motor, and they wanted to charge me 1300 bucks for that. Anyways do you guys think i should just go ahead and let LSM do the job or should i find an ECM and do it myself (load the ECM drivers with laptop software etc etc). where can i find the ECM at for cheaper than the dealer? i can find the laptop software from rinda technologies i know that.


2000 xstar w/ LTR 330 vdrive

Interesting concept. Those MEFI's are standard Delphi IIRC...in fact the ECM on my boat is identical to the ECM on my 2003 Harley Davidson. But I dont' see where Rinda Technologies has any programming tools - only diagnostic tools like their Diacom software. How would you flash the ECM with the appropriate ECM map? Where would you get the map?

manny34711
10-17-2006, 01:46 PM
ahhh yes i see where you're coming from. hrm.... well what if i brought a new ECM to the dealer and they play with that one? where would i find the ECM.

bigmac
10-17-2006, 02:14 PM
ahhh yes i see where you're coming from. hrm.... well what if i brought a new ECM to the dealer and they play with that one? where would i find the ECM.No clue. First thing I'd do is look at the current ECM, find the exact model and look it up, assuming it's a Delphi. Then I'd shop it around to auto parts stores, or GM parts departments.

Personally, I'd have it done by a shop with people that (ostensibly) know what they're doing.

manny34711
10-17-2006, 02:26 PM
yeah i'm definitly going to let LSM do the ecm flashing and stuff but i want to buy the ECM myself. ill save a good 300 bucks or something close and that can pay off the labor

Diesel
10-17-2006, 04:19 PM
I would contact a competent programer like FIS http://www.fuelinjection.com/ to see what they have to say. You can pick up the ECM from any GM parts house. Grab a part# off your ECM and check with wwww.gmpartsdirect.com. Worst case have LS do the uploading.

Andyg
10-17-2006, 04:24 PM
You won't find anyone able to "flash" your ecm that does not have the indmar specific software. You may want to try and PM Engine Nut (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/member.php?u=1861) and he may have some suggestions.

Andyg

Diesel
10-17-2006, 04:47 PM
You won't find anyone able to "flash" your ecm that does not have the indmar specific software. You may want to try and PM Engine Nut (http://www.tmcowners.com/teamtalk/member.php?u=1861) and he may have some suggestions.

Andyg

Not true. Plenty of competent programmers can flash the ECM to work with our applications. It might not be Indmar's programming but it will work just the same or possibly better.

bigmac
10-17-2006, 04:50 PM
Not true. Plenty of competent programmers can flash the ECM to work with our applications. It might not be Indmar's programming but it will work just the same or possibly better.

Yeh, it's just a matter of uploading the appropriate A/F and timing map isn't it? Might even be able to do it with a Screamin' Eagle Race Tuner (if you knew the values for each throttle position)?

Andyg
10-17-2006, 04:53 PM
Not true. Plenty of competent programmers can flash the ECM to work with our applications. It might not be Indmar's programming but it will work just the same or possibly better.

What I guess I meant to say was that it will not be an Indmar program in your engine if you don't have someone flash it with Indmar's software. You can have anyone that can program an engine do the programming. Then you have a one off and I sure wouldn't want to be that person when you start having engine problems. I would be extremly hesitant to have someone other than Indmar program my ecm for an engine that they didn't develop. You would probably be able to get close to some other current configuration motor, but from personal experience it can cause problems if the program is not exact.

slink976
10-17-2006, 04:56 PM
OKAY, wth is this ECM and why doesn't MC dealership do it for you? Other then the engine leak you can tell them what work you want done and not done right? We do still live in America or did N. Korea hit us with thier nukes?

Andyg
10-17-2006, 05:01 PM
Hey guys some of you may remember me from a few weeks back with the check-engine light/buzzer that wouldnt turn off and winky blinky would not read anything. It happened to be that the ECM was no good, i have no idea how. Anyways... Liquid Sports wants to charge me 1500 bucks to do it all and they noticed an "engine seal leak" as well "oil in the engine compartment" which is BS because thats just oil i slightly spilled when i was adding oil into the motor, and they wanted to charge me 1300 bucks for that. Anyways do you guys think i should just go ahead and let LSM do the job or should i find an ECM and do it myself (load the ECM drivers with laptop software etc etc). where can i find the ECM at for cheaper than the dealer? i can find the laptop software from rinda technologies i know that.


2000 xstar w/ LTR 330 vdrive

That seems extremly outrageous. I have pulled the ECM out of my MCX and it takes all of 5 minutes. My guess is the ECM itself can't cost more than $300. If memory serves me correctly the Harley ECM, which sure looks the same and is made by Delphi costs about that. Then the minute it takes to flash in the correct program. I would think it should definetly be less than $500. But then again who knows how much MC charges for a new ECM. You could probably call SKIDIM and get a price on one.

bigmac
10-17-2006, 05:01 PM
OKAY, wth is this ECM and why doesn't MC dealership do it for you? Other then the engine leak you can tell them what work you want done and not done right? We do still live in America or did N. Korea hit us with thier nukes?

:confused: :confused:

The dealer will do it for him, but they want $1500 to replace the ECM. He doesn't want to pay that - he thinks he can do it cheaper by buying the ECM and either having his dealer flash it, or have someone else program it. We're all just brainstormin' here. It's an interesting topic, but personally I would just bite the bullet and have the dealer do it, although I'd want a good accounting of why it costs $1500.

BrianM
10-17-2006, 05:27 PM
What about calling one of the dealers that frequents this board and get a price on an ECM flashed for your boat. Then install it yourself. Might be able to save some labor and know that you got the right part and program.

JimN
10-17-2006, 06:29 PM
Manny- you can't just buy the program for your boat. No aftermarket place has the programs, either. Engine Nut may have something to offer, though, as Andy said. Also, disconnect the battery - and remove both ECM plugs so you can look at the pins. If there are any that look like they're missing or greenish-blue, water may have gotten into the plug. If it has, that will need to be addressed, too.

Diesel- do you really think someone else has done as much testing on MC boats for the programs as MC and the technical staff have? When they come out with a new model, they usually start about a year in advance, so they can get any bugs out of it. Then, when they come up with an improved one, they send it to the dealers. The older boats aren't updated as much but in the first few years after they come out, there are regular updates. On the MEFI 1 and II, the ECM doesn't do quite as much as the new ones but they still had updates.

the legend
10-18-2006, 02:50 PM
Manny- Get Me The Hull And Engine Serial Numbers And I Will Get You The Price On The Ecm, If I Order It From Indmar They Can Flash It Before They Ship It. I ALSO NEED THE DELPHI # ON THE BACKSIDE OF THE ECM. IT WILL START WITH A 12 OR A 16. LET ME KNOW IF YOU WANT MY HELP. JUST AS A SIDE BAR-THE PRICING LS GAVE YOU SOUNDS PRETTY GOOD, THEY PROBABLY HAVE SOME DIAGNOSTIC TIME AND PERHAPS SOME WIRING REPAIR IN THAT QUOTE. OH YEAH, ECMS ARE NOT CHEAP!!

slink976
10-18-2006, 05:08 PM
so again.... WTH is an ECM? is it the computer for the boat?

On that note... (Get ready for a thread jack)

I talked to my dealer and he said after the break in period the computer will allow the boat to go faster. Is this a true statement.

manny34711
10-18-2006, 05:41 PM
hey the_legend i wil lget you those numbers for sure by tomorrow. I have the engine number, would that do you any good for now? i talked to one of the guys at indmar and he quoted me 2 ecm's. one was a bit over 1000 and another was a remain for 925. would you be able to work out something better than that through indmar? also. since indmar programs it before they send it out shouldnt that just make it plug-n-play? meaning unplug the old one, plug the new one in and, "bingo"!?

Archimedes
10-18-2006, 05:43 PM
I talked to my dealer and he said after the break in period the computer will allow the boat to go faster. Is this a true statement.

Oh yes. Now my boat goes to eleven.....
;)

manny34711
10-18-2006, 05:44 PM
and slink, ecm is the ECU.

slink976
10-18-2006, 05:48 PM
okay next question, WTH is ECU?

Tryin-again
10-18-2006, 06:09 PM
electronic control unit

JimN
10-18-2006, 06:26 PM
Slink- he may have meant that the ECM won't let the motor rev above certain RPM if it's not warmed up. I'm not aware that it would be able to tell if it was really broken in or not, I doubt it although they could program it to make some changes after the motor has run for a set number of hours.

Plug and play but not hot-swappable. You need to remove the battery cables and plug it in, then mount it before re-connecting the cables again. Also, when the ground cable goes on (after the Positive), make sure it goes on the post the first time- you don't want to repeatedly touch the terminal because computers hate voltage spikes. Best way is to remove the MEFI system fuse and reinsert it after everyhting is back in place.

manny34711
10-19-2006, 12:09 AM
so the dealer lied to me then. they said they have to upload everything themselves. i talked to indmar and indmar said they upload the maps and ship the ecm out.... that shouldnt take any longer than an hour. with their quote, it seems like theyre charging for like 5 hours since its 90 bucks an hour...

the legend
10-19-2006, 09:15 AM
engine control module, a computer.so again.... WTH is an ECM? is it the computer for the boat?

On that note... (Get ready for a thread jack)

I talked to my dealer and he said after the break in period the computer will allow the boat to go faster. Is this a true statement.

JimN
10-19-2006, 10:10 AM
If they need a lot of time, they either have dial-up or other computer issues. Will- you still have the updates e-mailed to you or do you download them from the Indmar site?

Manny- I would ask for an itemized estimate. There's no way this should take 5 hours. I can just about guarantee that he won't like the fact that you're getting info from a forum like this but A) some of us here have done recals and B) they need to be honest about this stuff. If he can prove our information wrong, let him.

Diesel
10-19-2006, 10:11 AM
Diesel- do you really think someone else has done as much testing on MC boats for the programs as MC and the technical staff have?

Pass the Kool-aide. So now Indmar is the god of tuning? It's not rocket science and the base tables are all the same as is the hardware, it's a matter of tweaking the tables to achieve the desired results. It's like saying GM with all it's $$ has done more testing than anyone in the aftermarket (like EFI Live, Edge, etc.). We all know GM like Indmar has to be conservative and meet federal emission standards and the aftermarket is focused on performance.

Any good programer could flash his ECM and release some more HP in the processes.


When they come out with a new model, they usually start about a year in advance, so they can get any bugs out of it. Then, when they come up with an improved one, they send it to the dealers. The older boats aren't updated as much but in the first few years after they come out, there are regular updates. On the MEFI 1 and II, the ECM doesn't do quite as much as the new ones but they still had updates.

Yes they do release updates which your local MC dealer is happy to charge you for. So the consumer pays a price for thier mistakes. This is something I have a fundamental problem with in the industry.

bigmac
10-19-2006, 10:26 AM
Pass the Kool-aide. So now Indmar is the god of tuning? It's not rocket science and the base tables are all the same as is the hardware, it's a matter of tweaking the tables to achieve the desired results. It's like saying GM with all it's $$ has done more testing than anyone in the aftermarket (like EFI Live, Edge, etc.). We all know GM like Indmar has to be conservative and meet federal emission standards and the aftermarket is focused on performance.Absolutely! The standard A/F map on my 2003 Harley was absurd, in their attempt to meets emissions standards without making other, more expensive engine mods. I could have bought either a hardware/software tuner and re-mapped the ECM directly with my laptop, but instead bought and add-on module (PowerCommander) to remap the EFI. The point is - the vehicle manufacturer had a whole different agenda for their ECM map and it didn't have NEAR enough emphasis on performance and usability as I would like. I see no reason to believe that Indmar is any different.




Yes they do release updates which your local MC dealer is happy to charge you for. So the consumer pays a price for thier mistakes. This is something I have a fundamental problem with in the industry.Harley Davidson dealers charge between $100 and $150 for the 5 minutes necessary to re-flash an ECM, and the most time consuming part about it is removing the bike's seat.

JimN
10-19-2006, 10:35 AM
I never said Indmar is the god of tuning and if you re-read my post, I never mentioned Indmar. The ECMs in MC boats are tuned for the specific boat, not a general program for boats of a weight range, hull efficiency range or something like that (like other boat makers). MC, Indmar and the technical staff do a lot of testing on all of the models so they meet emissions specs, give the desired performance and don't have issues related to incorrect tuning. If this isn't true, it means that they fed us all a bunch of BS at MC technical training.

Aftermarket tuning is great for performance but under warranty, doing a recal is asking for trouble. Even most car/truck chips come with the recommendation that they be used out of warranty unless the changes are really minor, IIRC. When I think of aftermarket tuning, parts and accessories, I don't think of GM, although they do make a lot of parts/accessories.

Yeah, a good programmer could get more HP out of it but speed isn't the ultimate goal of these boats. If they were made for racing, I would be in total agreement but a good balance of performance and better fuel economy is better in this case. Fast is fun. A little too fast is funner.

MC and Indmar do free updates if there's a problem with the program, just like any other recall. Some dealers may charge for these, and I have a problem with that, myself.

Bruce
10-19-2006, 10:37 AM
This is way over my head! However I do have a question.
JimN you mentioned putting the postive cable on first then the neg. I was taught just the opposite. The reason being if the hot it connected you can accidentally ground out on any number of thing on the way to hooking up the neg.
Not being cute just trying to get educated.

JimN
10-19-2006, 10:46 AM
If you look in shop manuals, they show that disconnecting the negative is the first thing you do and the last to go on. At least the manuals I have read.

ski36short
10-19-2006, 12:24 PM
We all know GM like Indmar has to be conservative and meet federal emission standards and the aftermarket is focused on performance.

Any good programer could flash his ECM and release some more HP in the processes.



Yes they do release updates which your local MC dealer is happy to charge you for. So the consumer pays a price for thier mistakes. This is something I have a fundamental problem with in the industry.

Federal emission standards do not cover the entire operating range of an engine. At initial start-up they do lots of stuff in the interest of emissions but they don't give a sh!t about emissions at WOT. You think OEMs hold back horsepower? To what end other than ensuring that their hardware will actually last 100k miles? That's certainly not an aftermarket programmer's concern.

Is continuous improvement necessarily a "mistake"?!? I'm talking about the technical side of things, not supporting excessive costs for a re-flash.

bigmac
10-19-2006, 12:53 PM
Federal emission standards do not cover the entire operating range of an engine. At initial start-up they do lots of stuff in the interest of emissions but they don't give a sh!t about emissions at WOT. You think OEMs hold back horsepower? To what end other than ensuring that their hardware will actually last 100k miles? That's certainly not an aftermarket programmer's concern.

Is continuous improvement necessarily a "mistake"?!? I'm talking about the technical side of things, not supporting excessive costs for a re-flash.

From my standpoint, the performance on my Harley when stock was adequate. My dissatisfaction with the ECM mapping had nothing to do with horsepower, it had to do with the fact that the thing was mapped so lean at a significant number of throttle positions on the map that the heat coming off the engine was amazing - the temp of the oil in the oil tank (right under my butt) was a little over 250 degrees - and this is Minnesota. But...the thing did meet EPA emission standards for mfgrs. without requiring a catalytic converter. When I changed the mapping to a more reasonable A/F ratio, it dropped the oil temp to 210 degrees.

I think it's reasonable to extrapolate Harley Davidson's position to Indmar. They use (used) the same Delphi ECM module, same open loop EFI system, same EPA pressure. I think it's entirely reasonable to be suspicious that Indmar's ECM mapping may reflect other issues for which they compromise performance, reliability, usability, and that an aftermarket programmer would be able to step right around those compromises.

Maybe Engine Nut will weigh in here and allay those suspicions.

Archimedes
10-19-2006, 01:08 PM
This is way over my head! However I do have a question.
JimN you mentioned putting the postive cable on first then the neg. I was taught just the opposite. The reason being if the hot it connected you can accidentally ground out on any number of thing on the way to hooking up the neg.
Not being cute just trying to get educated.

Funny, I was having the same thoughts. I've noticed in all the boat related stuff it says positive on first and off last, which is exactly the opposite of what I was always taught and what I always remember being in my car manuals. I was taught you never wanted to have the positive cable on when things weren't grounded.

JimN
10-19-2006, 01:12 PM
As an example, look in a Chiltons' manual, the first step in, I think, all operations is taking the negative battery cable off and taping it so it won't complete the circuit if it touches anything that could cause a problem.