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Thread: Marine Engine ECM Scan Tools?

  1. Marine Engine ECM Scan Tools?

    I have seen many options of scan tools and I wanted to get the collective info from the forum as to the options. I see stand alone ones for $400 and a cable and software for a laptop for $600 - and options go as high as $1800! I see that some will only scan and give codes and others actually make tuning adjustments. I'm not looking for the flashing LED that works on 1991 and before, but one that will work on the 1991-2000 as well as the 2000-current models. Most important is that it works with a 2005 Tige' with a Marine Power Vortec 5700.

    1) Has anyone researched the options and have any suggestions?

    2) Most important are retrieving error codes, but what adjustments do the fancier ones make on the engine and is this something that is worth doing? Do we need to readjust the computer, injectors, etc.?

    3) Any opinion on laptop version vs. stand-alone? I can see how the laptop version might be able to do a lot more - but maybe the stand alone has the all the same features that we would actually use.

    4) For stand alone ones, I see a "MerCruiser" and a "TechMate". Can the "TechMate" do all the MerCruiser one does as well as work on other brand engines also? They are the same price. Is there any advantage to the "MerCruiser" one over the "TechMate".

    5) Will any of these also work on car engines?

    6) Any weblinks for lower priced stores to buy these?

    I'm asking these questions here because so often these boats go into a special mode and there is so much information in the engine computer that can really save hours of diagnosis and $ in not replacing parts that are not bad as we guess the cause.
    Thank you for any inputs!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Lexington SC
    Age
    39
    Posts
    236
    Boat
    2008 24ve
    http://www.rinda.com/marine/marine.htm

    Check out his software/hardware site. It should answer a lot of your questions.

  3. #3
    My imput, scan tools point you in a direction.
    1. They dont tell you what is wrong.
    2. You need the shop manauls to go with the diagnostics.
    3. You need a digital volt , ohm meter.
    4. You need wiring schematics.
    5. You need a good understanding of how everything functions.
    You can spend just as much money on parts chaseing a problem because you just went by a code in the scanner, that led you to a particular sensor or control device when in fact something else caused a bogus reading.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    San Clemente, CA
    Age
    48
    Posts
    3,106
    Boat
    1997 2150
    Not sure they will work with your MP, but you could give them a call?
    http://www.obd2allinone.com/sc/detai...item=mefiscan1
    Mike Allen, Tigé owner since 1997

  5. Summary so far

    Thanks for all your inputs, guys. From the info given and research done I have seen the following options, but from only two companies:

    OBD Diagnostics:
    These are software (with the cables) for use on your laptop and I see two types:

    http://www.obd2allinone.com/sc/detai...item=mefiscan1
    which for $195 you can read the codes for only one MEFI type, but need to buy more of them for other MEFIs.

    http://www.obd2allinone.com/sc/details.asp?item=mefi
    which for $595 you can read codes for all the MEFI types, see performance charts in real time, and set the engine's computer main parameters.

    Rinda:
    http://www.rinda.com/acro/prodlist.pdf

    The stand-alone version is $399 and can read the codes for all MEFI types but can't do any settings and you can't see real time performance like on the pc. They say the MerCruiser and the TechMate are identical with a different name on the box.

    The Diacom for $579 seems very similar to the one above for the PC, but they say this cannot adjust any settings.

    Also, the $39 version you can easily make yourself with just an LED and a jumper, but it only works for engines earlier than 2000. Many websites talk about this and how you count flashing lights to find the code. But only works for boats more than 12 years old, so can't help me.

    So from what I've found so far, there are two types from each of two manufacturers and prices are very similar. Does anyone have any other devices they have seen/used? Since with most of these you are basically just buying software (and a cable) it would be great if they would include a OBD1/OBD2 cables (or sell as an option) and have the software work for both MEFI (marine) and OBD (auto). Has anyone seen one for both?

    A good reply given that these won't fix the boat - only get us closer to the problem area. But knowing the cause of the failure will lead you to the solution much quicker (and with fewer trials). I do like the real-time monitoring in the PC versions that would allow you to pinpoint intermittent problems. Your ongoing inputs are greatly appreciated!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug 2010
    Location
    Long Beach, CA
    Age
    39
    Posts
    670
    Boat
    1999 2100i
    I use the rinda computer and have adapters for all engines and all ECM's but you will not be able to change any programming on any ECM regardless of the scan tool you use, they are not designed to do that. In order to flash an ecm with a new fuel or spark curve you must have different equipment so if that's your intention, head the other direction. However, on MEFI 4 and newer you can run diagnostics such as power balance tests, induced misfire, etc... and injector tests on all models it just depends on what you need it for.
    Fixing everyone elses boat just so I can use mine...

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2004
    Location
    San Clemente, CA
    Age
    48
    Posts
    3,106
    Boat
    1997 2150
    I recently purchased the OBD MEFI1 about a month ago. I was able to pick it up directly from the guys house and worked a cheaper cash deal. It was the least expensive way for me and I will not be messing around with the parameters in any way. I only used it a little and am still learning the software.
    Mike Allen, Tigé owner since 1997

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