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Kit can prevent oil gear failure

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Handy boaters can install Electronic Oil Injection on Mercury V-6 outboards in about an hour

Handy boaters can install Electronic Oil Injection on Mercury V-6 outboards in about an hour

Robert Kachelek has a solution to avoid recurrent oil delivery problems on Mercury V-6 outboards.

His company, Waukesha, Wis.-based Marine Solutions Inc., now offers Electronic Oil Injection for 1995 through 2001 Mercury and Mariner 3-liter outboards. EOI has been available for 1989 to 2005 2-liter and 2.5 liter V-6 outboards and SportJet engines for several years now.

Installing his EOI kit in case of oil gear failure — or to avoid failure on out-of-warranty engines — saves boaters a lot of hassle, he says. It also saves money.

“If you are out of warranty and you have a problem, you can install EOI for less than $1,000 instead of spending as much as $3,000 on traditional repairs,” says Kachelek. The kits range in price from $459 to $540, and can be installed by a marine dealer or “a handy boater,” he says.

Installation typically takes about one hour, he says, as opposed to an estimated eight to 10 hours to change the oil drive gear, which requires tearing down and reassembling the powerhead.

The plastic gear is mounted on the crankshaft in these models and is prone to failure.

“Since you don’t have to take apart the engine, that saves a lot of work on the repair,” says Kachelek. The possibility of repeat failure also is a problem with replacing the oil gear.

Kachelek, 58, came across the problems with the oil gear and mechanical pump while he was director of outboard service at Mercury Marine in Fond du Lac, Wis.

His fix uses a reliable electric motor to drive the Mercury oil pump and an electronic controller to regulate oil delivery. The system fits completely inside the engine cowling.

The computer controller receives a tachometer input of engine speed to match the oil delivery of the mechanical system as it regulates the speed of the electric motor. The system uses a throttle linkage to change the oil ratio. At idle there is less oil and less smoke than engines running on 50:1 pre-mix fuel.

EOI maintains the outboard’s Environmental Protection Agency emissions rating, Kachelek says, and dealers and boaters won’t be fined for tampering with the emission system.

EOI uses an oil pump rotation sensor — standard, original equipment on the 2-liter and 2.5-liter engines — to sound a warning horn if the pump isn’t rotating.

“The 3-liter never had a rotation sensor, so we added it to the kit,” says Kachelek. “So that’s really giving the customer more of a warning than the engine originally had.”

Marine Solutions, incorporated in 1999, offers a two-year limited warranty on EOI, and application guidelines are listed on the Marine Solutions Web site.

Kachelek is president of the small company and describes himself as “chief, cook and bottle-washer.” He is the designer, and he assembles and tests the kits from parts made by outside suppliers.

“After I retired from Mercury I got into this business, and I’m working at it kind of like a custom shop,” says Kachelek. Marine Solutions works with a number of distributors, he says, and sells directly to dealers and boaters.

Some Mercury V-6 outboards changed over to a new pump after 2001, though Kachelek says some boat companies used outboards with the mechanical pump through the 2005 model year.

The affected outboards were very popular. Kachelek estimates there are probably half a million candidates for EOI in existence, and he says there are already hundreds of kits in use in the United States and Caribbean.

“Honestly, we’ve never had an engine problem because of the Electronic Oil Injection,” says Kachelek of the track record of his kits. “Never a confirmed failure of the electronics or the electric motor that drives the pump.”

Marine Solutions Inc., Waukesha, Wis. Phone: (262) 524-0804.

www.marinesolutionswi.com . Electronic Oil Injection kits can be ordered online from www.pamlicomarine.com , www.go2marine.com , and www.propelledmarine.com.