Evinrude E-NATION, for those dedicated to water, power, fishing and fun
Posts: 1
Registered: ‎04-02-2018

Navy E90s Hard to Start and Tend to Die

What's up folks?  I'm stationed onboard the USS Pioneer and we've got two 5-meter RHIBs with the Evinrude E90 2-strokes on them.  Our RHIBs used to have Johnson 90hp 2-strokes on them and they were fantastic.  They started up every time and ran without a hitch.  Ever since the Navy switched over to these new E90s, we've had nothing but problems with them.  They're SUPER hard to start and have a tendency to die out in the water. 


Being stationed in Japan, I can't find a single Evinrude tech that knows how to work on these particular engines.  They say they don't have them out here.  I'm working on getting the diagnostic cable and a copy of the software but in the mean time, do y'all have any ideas?  We've got fresh gas, fresh batteries, clean terminels, new fuel/water separators, the works.  For the life of me, I can't figure out what to do.  I thought about changing out the injectors but I was told that only the dealer can do that since the injectors have to be coded to the ECU.


For the record, the only thing that I've found sometimes works is to unplug the temperature sensor, then try to start it.  If I do that, I've got about a 50/50 chance of success.


I'll gladly take any advice!


Thanks in advance!



Posts: 7,114
Registered: ‎07-14-2011

Re: Navy E90s Hard to Start and Tend to Die



First of all, thank you for your service.


Hard starting problems can be a number of things, just like with today's sensor controlled car and truck engines. Diagnostic software  often is the only tool that can troubleshoot the system for you unless you try the "change parts until it works" method of repair.


You may want to remove the rubber cover of the large blue capacitor on the motor and look for corrosion or bad connections and check the capacitor for oil leakage, internal rattle noises, and holding a charge. 


Don't overlook engine basics such as compression, ignition strength, worn or not indexed properly sparkplugs, fuel pressures, and fuel quality.


Also try to obtain the correct service manual using the engine model number. Are these the 3-cylinder or V-4 90 hp engines?  If the V-4 model, it is advisable to remove and clean or replace the exhaust sensor tube and the restrictor in the hose to the EMM.  Also the movable exhaust tuning valve should be checked for proper operation and lubrication.  On some models, an updated software improves starting.


Unfortunately modern computer controlled engines require specialized training and diagnostic tools to maintain them, just like modern navigational and weapons systems.





"There is never just one thing wrong with a boat";
                    -- Travis McGee, main character in a book series by John D. McDonald 



The factory recommends that a properly trained technician service your Johnson or Evinrude outboard motor. Should you elect to perform repairs yourself, use caution, common sense, and observe safety procedures in the vicinity of flammable liquids, around moving parts, near high-temperature components, and working with electrical or ignition systems.

The information offered here is only general in nature and should not be construed as complete factory approved procedures, techniques, or specifications. Always use the proper service manual for your motor, up-to-date service literature, the correct tools, and have an understanding of how to proceed with troubleshooting and repair methods. If you are unsure or uncomfortable with a procedure, a situation, or a technique, enlist the services of a factory trained technician.