• The Genesis of the Evinrude E-TEC Outboard

    The E-TEC and FICHT

    Although they are both direct-injected engine designs, the Evinrude's E-TEC and FICHT technologies are quite different. E-TEC is most certainly not a re-branding of a newer version of FICHT, and although the actual differences between the two are not great in number, they are nevertheless very important in understanding how these engines operate. In fact, the two technologies were the result of much different strategies for goals to be met by each.
    The E-TEC injector represents a critical difference compared to the injectors used in the FICHT engines.
    One of the big differences between the E-TEC and FICHT engine platforms is the key to the entire system, which is the fuel injector. Put simply, a traditional fuel injector is essentially a valve that opens to deliver fuel, which is fed by an external fuel pump. In contrast, each FICHT injector is almost a self-contained fuel delivery system, which incorporates a fuel pump inside the injector body.

    Both the E-TEC and FICHT fuel injectors contain a fuel pump, however, the mechanics of how the E-TEC fuel injectors operate is different where it matters most - the method of accurately metering fuel. To achieve the targets of performance and emissions compliance for the E-TEC requires incredible precision with fuel delivery. Extracting those goals dictated new levels of precision that the FICHT injector system was unable to achieve due to the nature of its design.

    The E-TEC injector utilizes a voice coil to power both the open and close phases of operation and is capable of far more precision in fuel delivery than the FICHT injector. Timing and pulses of injector duration are controlled by the Engine Management Module.
    Based on its mechanical design, the FICHT fuel injector had limits in the precision of fuel delivery that could be achieved, and as such, the specifications set for the E-TEC’s performance and emissions compliance meant that the FICHT injector design was no longer practical. Changing the mechanics of the system of fuel injector opening and closing with a more accurate means of metering was required. The only way to accomplish this is using a voice coil actuator, which is a higher-precision control device. Here’s why:

    The FICHT injector used a solenoid for actuation, which powered the ‘open’ phase of its cycle, which then relied on a spring to return the injector plunger to its ‘closed’ phase position. By contrast, the E-TEC injector is powered on both the open and close phases, meaning that both phases of the injector cycle can be very accurately and precisely controlled, as opposed to controlling just the ‘open’ phase as on the FICHT fuel injector. Fuel is on-the-ready to be delivered when needed, stored within the injector at very high pressure. A voice coil within the E-TEC injector is energized, which then releases a poppet valve to deliver fuel through a high-swirl nozzle. The timing of pulses and the duration that the injector is open is all regulated by the Engine Management Module (EMM), which is essentially the brains of the E-TEC.

    First-generation E-TEC engines from 40-200 horsepower share the same bore and stroke specification, and use the very same pistons. The 'NASALOY' piston utilizes an alloy developed by NASA, and is 2.5 times stronger than conventional alloys.
    The fuel flow to the combustion chambers has to be so precise, that during manufacturing, each fuel injector is tested and assigned its own serial number that contains calibration values, called coefficients, that the EMM reads during operation. These coefficients are used by the EMM to compensate fuel delivery for very slight flow variances between individual injectors. As a measure of the precision involved, fuel flow through the injectors is measured in millionths of a gallon. To put it another way, when a V6 E-TEC engine is idling at 500 RPM, each time the injector fires, it will deliver 0.0000017 gallons of gasoline. The EMM is not your standard fuel-managing electronic black box; it is a very powerful computer system that monitors operations of the entire engine, not just its fuel injection.

    Comments 19 Comments
    1. baja200merk's Avatar
      baja200merk -
      Nice job good read
    1. CRH1's Avatar
      CRH1 -


      Looking forward to part 2
    1. Instigator's Avatar
      Instigator -
      Nicely done Greg.

      The G-2 is the mack daddy and cant wait ti read about it.
      It is the "starboard starboard motor" and is amazing that anyone would make the investment to make that motor.

      Thank you.

      Gary
    1. DanUmbarger's Avatar
      DanUmbarger -
      Great read Greg, can't wait for part2...Thanks
    1. mjw930's Avatar
      mjw930 -
      Greg,

      Would it be safe to say the only thing that holds the G2 or the E-TEC in general back is the lack of a lower unit suitable for surfacing applications, costs aside?
    1. David Borg's Avatar
      David Borg -
      Thank you Greg. Great read
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by mjw930 View Post
      Greg,

      Would it be safe to say the only thing that holds the G2 or the E-TEC in general back is the lack of a lower unit suitable for surfacing applications, costs aside?
      I think that could be accurate, however, as I researched the G2 I learned that the current Lightning II lower unit is tested at over 90 MPH, and can run surfaced. Not like a Sportmaster of course, however unofficially, it has run over 100 MPH without modification. Never know what the future brings, though!
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by David Borg View Post
      Thank you Greg. Great read
      Thank you David, I really appreciate you taking the time to read it

      Greg
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by Instigator View Post
      Nicely done Greg.

      The G-2 is the mack daddy and cant wait ti read about it.
      It is the "starboard starboard motor" and is amazing that anyone would make the investment to make that motor.

      Thank you.

      Gary
      Thank you so much Gary. I knew you would be interested in this article. The G2 is really a different outboard in most respects, which is one reason I decided to make the G2 an entirely separate part to this. Originally, the G2 was going to be incorporated into this article, but it really deserves its own feature article. I had great fun with the G2s at the press event. The steering system and network link (along other things) is really revolutionary.

      Greg
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by DanUmbarger View Post
      Great read Greg, can't wait for part2...Thanks
      Thank you so much Dan! Part 2 is really where most of the content will be.

      Greg
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by baja200merk View Post
      Nice job good read

      Quote Originally Posted by CRH1 View Post


      Looking forward to part 2
      Thank you so much guys!

      Greg
    1. Knut74's Avatar
      Knut74 -
      Read this and really enjoyed it. Very well written Greg, can’t wait to read second part! Good job!
    1. SALSTRIP's Avatar
      SALSTRIP -
      Absolutely the best article I have seen on these engines , can't wait for the G2 info in Part 2.Thanks for posting it up its Awesome
    1. Laker's Avatar
      Laker -
      Fantastic Virus!!
    1. Scream And Fly's Avatar
      Scream And Fly -
      Quote Originally Posted by Laker View Post
      Fantastic Virus!!
      Thank you so much buddy, I appreciate it very much! I knew you would be reading this for sure.
    1. powerabout's Avatar
      powerabout -
      great stuff
      first time I have read anywhere the difference between a ficht injector/emm and an etec version.
    1. Knut74's Avatar
      Knut74 -
      When is Part 2 due? Can’t wait to read it.....
    1. JP Love's Avatar
      JP Love -
      Verry nice reading... Art of engineering.. Thank's S&F..
    1. JP Love's Avatar
      JP Love -
      Best technical infos from old and G2 systems...