Outboard diagnostic software and hardware - recommendations needed

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Still Afloat

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So I’m getting quite a collection of outboards. Some I will keep and others will be sold. Most have EFI and I’d like to be able to pull engine codes, hours, etc. I’m primarily interested in Yamaha, Suzuki and Mercury and realize that I’ll likely need brand specific software. Can anyone point me in the right direction? I’m thinking fairly basic, don’t want to spend megabucks on this. Having said that, I don’t want to go so cheap that the reader is crashing my pc due to com port issues.
 
I'll be interested in what you find, at least for Yamaha and Mercury. I have Vessel View Mobile on the Merc, and NMEA2K on the Yamaha. I have seen diagnostic S/W for laptops, for multi-brands, but pricey.
 
I'll be interested in what you find, at least for Yamaha and Mercury. I have Vessel View Mobile on the Merc, and NMEA2K on the Yamaha. I have seen diagnostic S/W for laptops, for multi-brands, but pricey.
Haven’t found anything for Merc yet but, I bought one on eBay for the Yamaha and Suzuki. The seller confirmed that the adapter uses the FDTI USB/SERIAL adapter chip which is good. The Prolific USB/SERIAL adapter chip is unreliable and should be avoided.

The seller also confirmed that it works with the Suzuki DF25 even though it’s not on the compatibility list. I’ll report back when I get a chance to use it.

There are professional versions out there for megabucks but, I think something like this is fine for the average DYI outboard mechanic.

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Google "Mercury Vessel View" and you will see the module. They are pretty good, but depend much on what year your motor is. Worked great on my 2008 Optimax. I kept the module in case I get any more Mercurys in stock.

I think I bought from Amazon, because I needed it quickly due to an engine issue, but there are probably many places you can buy it.
 
Google "Mercury Vessel View" and you will see the module. They are pretty good, but depend much on what year your motor is. Worked great on my 2008 Optimax. I kept the module in case I get any more Mercurys in stock.

I think I bought from Amazon, because I needed it quickly due to an engine issue, but there are probably many places you can buy it.

Vesselview will give you a trouble code and a vague description of the fault. But if you want the code setting criteria, or any sort of troubleshooting data, that info is dealer only. Even if you have the factory service manual with the list of trouble codes and the corresponding data, Vesselview codes don't correlate with them.

It's certainly better than nothing and has it's uses, but you can't really compare it to Merc's diagnostic software.

I also had a lot of connection issues with their clunky mobile app. I hate that everything is going to those stupid apps that never work or need an update every week, but I digress.
 
Ya, it’s certainly good to be able read and reset trouble codes, toggle sensors on/off and monitor all parameters in real time. My Merc is a 2011 F25ELH JET. There is nothing wrong with that I’m aware of but, I would at least like know how many hours are on it.

I wonder if Tohatsu software (if it exists) is Merc compatible.
 
Google "Mercury Vessel View" and you will see the module. They are pretty good, but depend much on what year your motor is. Worked great on my 2008 Optimax. I kept the module in case I get any more Mercurys in stock.

I think I bought from Amazon, because I needed it quickly due to an engine issue, but there are probably many places you can buy it.
Thank you, Thill. I don’t think this one fits my needs or budget.
 
I bought mine on Amazon Prime to see if it would do what I needed. If not, I would have just returned it, so it was low-risk.

In my case, I had an issue only when running on plane, and using my iPad, it helped me find the problem. (Alternator issue) I used it on several other motors, where it was very helpful. Hence, I kept it, as it paid for itself.

No, it's not like the dealer diagnostic software. Mercury is very tight on that. I have the Evinrude software that I got from years ago, and that is much better, but Vessel View was all I could get for Mercury.
 
I’m seeing the same thing. Mercury is keeping a tight grip on the service revenue stream. I can’t say that I blame them but, I probably won’t be buying any more Mercs.
 
I bought mine on Amazon Prime to see if it would do what I needed. If not, I would have just returned it, so it was low-risk.

In my case, I had an issue only when running on plane, and using my iPad, it helped me find the problem. (Alternator issue) I used it on several other motors, where it was very helpful. Hence, I kept it, as it paid for itself.

No, it's not like the dealer diagnostic software. Mercury is very tight on that. I have the Evinrude software that I got from years ago, and that is much better, but Vessel View was all I could get for Mercury.

I had a heck of a time troubleshooting the electric pumps in the FSM on my 90hp Merc. It would run to the first spot fine, then quit once you tried to leave. If I filled up the FSM with the primer it would run only until it was empty again. Vesselview showed a generic float switch code, but was not descriptive at all.

I fiddled around with different pumps, cleaned and bench tested the float switch many times and never got anywhere.

I eventually had to back-probe the low pressure pump wires, hook up an led test light in parallel on that circuit, and put my voltmeter on the float switch signal wire. Once I did, it was clear that the float switch was not opening when the FSM was empty, so the ECM was not commanding the low pressure pump. New float switch fixed it. No idea why the float switch passed bench testing in a jar of gas a dozen times but would not work in operating conditions, that was kind of a head scratcher.

If I had the Merc software, troubleshooting it would've taken about 30 seconds once I got it to act up and saved a lot of hassle. Even just being able to read the code with a full description of the conditions that trigger it would've been a huge help.
 
I had a heck of a time troubleshooting the electric pumps in the FSM on my 90hp Merc. It would run to the first spot fine, then quit once you tried to leave. If I filled up the FSM with the primer it would run only until it was empty again. Vesselview showed a generic float switch code, but was not descriptive at all.

I fiddled around with different pumps, cleaned and bench tested the float switch many times and never got anywhere.

I eventually had to back-probe the low pressure pump wires, hook up an led test light in parallel on that circuit, and put my voltmeter on the float switch signal wire. Once I did, it was clear that the float switch was not opening when the FSM was empty, so the ECM was not commanding the low pressure pump. New float switch fixed it. No idea why the float switch passed bench testing in a jar of gas a dozen times but would not work in operating conditions, that was kind of a head scratcher.

If I had the Merc software, troubleshooting it would've taken about 30 seconds once I got it to act up and saved a lot of hassle. Even just being able to read the code with a full description of the conditions that trigger it would've been a huge help.
Good troubleshooting but, a shame that you had a resort to manual testing when the proper software would catch it right away.

I would guess that Merc thinks they are protecting their dealers by locking out the DIY Mechanics. I think for a lot of us going to the dealership is the absolute last option.
 
I generally avoid Mercury for myself, for that same reason. But I typically run older motors for myself and sell the newer ones.

But if I found a nice, newer Mercury that fit my needs, I would probably keep it. Particularly a 150 HP 4-stroke for my 22 CC. Their newer motors are pretty reliable.
 
So I got a chance to use the YDS software with the above Yamaha and Suzuki diagnostic kit. It seems to have everything a guy would need to pull codes, reset them, etc.

I was a bit nervous about the 115 Yamaha on the new to me North River. It ran well during the test drive but, the tach read only 20 hours and it was obvious that the engine had seen more time than that. The seller claimed 200 hrs in his ad and the ECM read 209 hours so close enough.

Will check out the Suzuki F9.9/20 and F25 when I get a chance. Apparently ECMs in these OBs are powered off the stator so the engine has to be running to pull codes. That might present a challenge in a situation where the OB won’t start. Perhaps, I misread that. You would think that a battery would also power the ECM.
 
So I got a chance to use the YDS software with the above Yamaha and Suzuki diagnostic kit. It seems to have everything a guy would need to pull codes, reset them, etc.

I was a bit nervous about the 115 Yamaha on the new to me North River. It ran well during the test drive but, the tach read only 20 hours and it was obvious that the engine had seen more time than that. The seller claimed 200 hrs in his ad and the ECM read 209 hours so close enough.

Will check out the Suzuki F9.9/20 and F25 when I get a chance. Apparently ECMs in these OBs are powered off the stator so the engine has to be running to pull codes. That might present a challenge in a situation where the OB won’t start. Perhaps, I misread that. You would think that a battery would also power the ECM.

Good to hear. Unfortunately for me, I don't think the YDS interface is on the newer Yamahas. In my case 2022.
 
So I got a chance to use the YDS software with the above Yamaha and Suzuki diagnostic kit. It seems to have everything a guy would need to pull codes, reset them, etc.

I was a bit nervous about the 115 Yamaha on the new to me North River. It ran well during the test drive but, the tach read only 20 hours and it was obvious that the engine had seen more time than that. The seller claimed 200 hrs in his ad and the ECM read 209 hours so close enough.

Will check out the Suzuki F9.9/20 and F25 when I get a chance. Apparently ECMs in these OBs are powered off the stator so the engine has to be running to pull codes. That might present a challenge in a situation where the OB won’t start. Perhaps, I misread that. You would think that a battery would also power the ECM.
If the Suzuki DF9.9 is electric start, codes, hours, some other data and some test can be performed with key on, engine not running.

For non electric start, there are videos that show how to add power wire and get data without starting the motor or get the ecm power cable from suzuki
 

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If the Suzuki DF9.9 is electric start, codes, hours, some other data and some test can be performed with key on, engine not running.

For non electric start, there are videos that show how to add power wire and get data without starting the motor or get the ecm power cable from suzuki
Good to know, thank you. Mine is electric start so it should be easy.
 
A few old engine downloads.

One with 20hp ECM and one with 9.9 ECM.
 

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Thanks for sharing the downloads. It’s very similar to the YDS.

I didn’t get a chance to connect to either of Zuki’s today. Busy cleaning up the shop so I can do some welding.
 
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