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View Full Version : ECM Recalibration (EFI/MPI)


Kell
08-30-2004, 01:34 AM
Well I have great news and I'm one happy customer! :D On the old site I posted some difficulties I was having with cold starts and backing the boat off the trailer. The short of it was that the boat would knock and stall initially when I would put it into reverse to back off the trailer until the boat was some what warmed up. This only happend when the motor (LTR, 330 hp, EFI/MPI) was stone cold. At normal operating temp it ran fine and would not stall.

Took it too the MC dealer a few weeks ago to see if any error codes were being thrown and none were and the dealer was somewhat at a loss. So not wanting to waste down time, I thought I would just live with it till winterization and replace some parts others have suggested or let the dealer have it longer and figure it out.

Well last week the dealer called me back and said that one thing I could try was reflashing the ECM. So I took it in and they sent the ECM to Indmar for recalibration. Let me tell you that I am one happy camper! J J J ! The boat is running better that ever. I did not have the cold start issue and now it fires right up on the first key turn. It is now idling higher at initial startup and then backs downs to 700 rpm or so after about 20 secs. When I put the boat into reverse to back off the trailer, no more knocking or stall.

Turns out that my ECM was two generations behind in the calibration. It also idles so much smoother now as well. My wife even notices a difference. One more thing that has also improved is when pulling a skier out, it would ever so slightly hesitate on engaging the throttle forward. No more of that as well. As soon as you move the throttle, it takes off. So if you're having similar problems as I had you might try recalibrating the ECM. It only cost $50 to have it recalibrated plus 1/2 hour labor. I paid a premium for shiping (three day turn around as we had a family runion this past weekend and I wanted the boat for that.)


I’m surprised that at the ECM was not re-calibrated by the MC dealer previously during routine maintenance, but since they had to send it out, I can only assume they did not have the proper equipment to do that in the service shop.

In any event, we just had a ball at our family reunion. 160 folks from all over the country and we used the boat about 10 hours a day over the weekend, with out one flaw! Just a perfect event, and thanks to MC Dealer and Indmar, it was even better. I pulled skiers, wake boarders, tubers, and the “rocket” for the little ones. Just great family fun!

Diesel
08-30-2004, 09:49 AM
I am glad to hear they fixed your problem but I can't believe they charged you!! :confused:

Sounds like the type of fix that should have been complimentary followed by an apology for your frustration and time off the water.

JimN
08-30-2004, 10:02 AM
How cold is "stone cold"? If the dealer had never worked on the boat when it was this cold, he wouldn't know how it ran, other than what he was told. Was it sent to Indmar in Corona, CA or their plant in TN?

Personally, I think the dealer should have the software to do this himself. It doesn't take that much in computer skills to do it and keeps people on the water.

Kell
08-30-2004, 01:33 PM
Diesel, I guess I could have tried to get it for free, but I'm building a relationship with this dealer. For what its worth, they did not charge me for hooking it up to the ECM or fixing some other small items I had at the last visit.

Jim, what I mean by "stone cold" is ambient air temp I guess. Boat sits all week and when Friday comes around, I tow it to the lake and launch it, so what ever temp the motor would be at that time. It is by no means very cold here this time of year and ranges from outside air temp of 65 to 105. Most of the launches are late Friday evening after work so I would guess the air temp to be around 70-75. I don't know which facility they sent the ECM, but I'll look at the invoice and see if it so states. MC dealer also did a compression check and they wrote those values on the invoice for each cyclinder, so I'll look at those these evening and see if within in normal tolerances. You posted this on the old site if my memory serves me right.

I too would think that the dealer would have this equipment onsite and would not be very expensive to obtain (laptop and applicable Indmar software). Simply download the updates directly from Indmar and update the ECM right in the shop, and of course.....at not charge to the customer! :)

JimN
08-30-2004, 02:21 PM
As far as recals, updates are one thing and the dealer can charge for those if it's specifically for performance improvement. Service recals are more of a situation where the initial software was able to get the boats out there, and developed a problem that was unforseen(such as Rochester deleting the hole in the throttle plate that supplied some of the idle air and not telling Indmar and MC they were deleting it). Good to know that you get yours running right again, though.

The software package also comes with a proprietary cable that talks to the computer and if the cable isn't correct, the software won't work. For a basic laptop and software setup, it's around $1200. Then the dealer has to guess how many times it will be used in order to justify the expense. On the other hand, putting a value on doing a recal on the water is hard when it's impossible to get the boat running well enough to put it on a trailer, or get it to the launch. Plus, when a customer sees the tech do a recal, it gives them an idea of some of the things they are capable of. It's really good PR for the dealer when they can do this and the customer doesn't really need to do anything but sign the work order.

Kell
08-31-2004, 12:39 AM
JimN, my invoice does not indicate where dealer sent the ECM, it just states "send out ECM for recalabration". On a side note, the compression check states for each cylinder:
#1 175
#2 175
#3 175
#4 180
#5 180
#6 180
#7 180
#8 180
I searched the old site for info on what this means, but was unable to find good hit, but my recollection is that the difference b/w the low and high should not be more than 10%, so that would be approx 97%. Is this good or within normal limits?

NeilM
08-31-2004, 01:16 AM
Kell, the compression numbers are great -- I've seen just-broken-in engines with more variance than that.

Good to hear the recalibration fixed your problems. The LTR in my 2002 MariStar always starts, always runs, never hesitates - everything you expect from Electronic Fuel Injection. $50 to get it fixed is well spent.

Diesel
08-31-2004, 09:52 AM
Diesel, I guess I could have tried to get it for free, but I'm building a relationship with this dealer. For what its worth, they did not charge me for hooking it up to the ECM or fixing some other small items I had at the last visit.)

As long as you are happy that's all that matters!! ;)

As far as recals, updates are one thing and the dealer can charge for those if it's specifically for performance improvement. Service recals are more of a situation where the initial software was able to get the boats out there, and developed a problem that was unforseen...

Wouldn't you consider a boat that would not run and or idle at start up a service issue and not a performance issue? The fact that Indmar had a reflash available in itself is a sign that things were not right when the motor left the plant.

Software refinements that lead to reflashes are a good thing and have become a part of the industry, but I still don't think you should be charged for it. Infact most MFGs I have worked with don't charge for software improvements or reflashes. I am just supprised Indmar or the dealer felt the need to..............

JimN
08-31-2004, 03:10 PM
Well, you know how it is with billable labor. Ya just gotta charge for it, right?

If the checksum is different, it was a recal. If not, it was just a reflash and sounds like either the initial calibration had a problem that didn't show up till later(maybe a static discharge?), or it was faulty to begin with. If it was faulty, there would be a lot of other boats with the same problem. I would consider calling Indmar or MC and see if they're willing to cut you some slack on this.

Those are really good compression numbers, though.

CTPJ
09-01-2004, 10:36 AM
Kell, I just did a compression check on my engine ('94 275 EFI w/ 450 hrs.) Monday and got the exact same readings. I do not remember which cylnders were 175 and which were 180, but your reading seem in line.

Todd

canada air
09-06-2004, 01:24 AM
Kell. it sounds like the problem you had with your ltr is exactly how my 95 maristar vrs 275 tbi acts. i am sure my boat was never updated by the previous owner.