Connecting to a Mercruiser with Texa
Throughout this brief explanation, I will show you how to connect to a Mercruiser engine and all the things included in the software for this engine model. Remember that some things will be the same in similar engines, but some may not. Texa is always making improvements to the software, so if it’s not in there, it will be. This engine is a 2007 Mercruiser 350 MAG MPI, we used the AM01 + AM05 to connect.
There are two AM01 cables, one is the black AM01, and the other is the AM01 CAN, which has a red knuckle splitter on the cable. The most common mistake that people make is choosing the wrong cable to use. The software will tell you which one to choose. The AM01 CAN cable supports the CAN (Controller Area Network) protocol along with certain specialty functions that are not supported by the AM 01 cable. Typically, the AM01 CAN is used on some Mercury engines, Cummins, and some select Volvo engine models.
Picking the Engine
Once you have accurately identified your engine, select the serial number of that engine. This can usually be found on the side of the flame arrestor cover marked with the yellow arrow in the below image.
Choosing the Proper Cable
If you are unsure of the correct cable to use with your engine, navigate to the proper engine selection based on the type of engine and serial number of the engine. Click on the icon that looks like a movie strip to see which cable or cables you need to be used with this engine. This engine uses the AM01 not the AM01 CAN. Often times, the most difficult step is identifying the correct cable and where to connect it.
It may help to remove the cover to see where the connector is for the engine.
Reading Codes on the engine
The Fault page comes up first when you connect. On this engine we had a few codes. These codes are Active as indicated by the RED triangle.
If you double click on the code, the software will give you an explanation of that code. The code will flash red on the tab until it is resolved and cleared.
Choosing the Tabs
At this point my OCD kicks in and I work from left to right, starting with the Parameters tab.
The Parameters tab is going to show you the above info plus any other information like MAT sensor, Oil pressure, supply voltage, or throttle position and others depending on the ECU. Depending on some ECUs and models the software may list Parameters that are not included on the ECU.
You can also create a customized list by selecting just a handful of parameters to display. You would select the funnel icon in the bottom left corner of the screen and choose which parameters you want to view. If you double-click on a parameter, it will bring up a graph. You can also do several graphs at one time of the parameters of your choosing. The image below shows this on a different engine.
Next, I would navigate to the Status tab. Depending on the engine and ECU, we get a page with data as seen below. Occasionally the software will list the status as of the Active Protection regardless of if the ECU contains a value for this.
This tab is a good example of the mapping question I get sometimes. It is quite possible to have two engines manufactured in different years with the same mapping number. This engine pictured below says 2007, you may come across a newer engine, say a 2013, that has the same mapping number. That just means the same ECU mapping was used in both engines. Don’t get excited, it’s ok!
Depending on the manufacturer, you may also find more information on the ECU under the activations page. The information typically has engine model number, rpm ranges, spark plug gap, cylinder firing order, and fuel pressure.
The Activation page on this engine also gives us the ability to do Buzzer tests, clearing errors, cylinder cut-off tests, engine history and much more.
The engine history will come up as shown. Just scroll down to see the operation time matched with the respective rpms.
If you don’t like the form above, you can view it in the format below. This comes in handy to print out and provide to the customer or to have for your own records. It’s easy to read and has the time and date of when you pulled the info.
Another Activation shown here is the Error Time, this selection will give the number of times that error occurred.
We performed a couple tests on the components for this engine. I have them below to see them after they have passed. Depending on the type of ECU, you may have to do some tests with the engine running. These were performed with just the key on and the engine off.
The Settings tab on this engine is seen below. You will find limits and calibrations under this tab.
The second page shows the trim tolerance that was not included in the top page.
Finding the Technical Documentation
This engine has some good information showing what is included in the software. You can access this information while connected to the ECU or pull it up on that engine model without hooking up to that engine. If you were hooked up to the engine, you are going to look for the paper with a gear icon. If you are not hooked up to the engine, then simply go to the Technical Data sheets as seen below.
This is going to give you information on the systems used in these boat models, error information, and it also covers some questions on the Terminator and Junction connectors. Different models are going to give you different bits of information. Try drilling into different options that are similar to your engine to see the differences.
Under this engine you can see that there is an Active Error section. If you were to click on that section, the software would give you an explanation of the error.
It is our hope here at Marine Diagnostic Tools that this provides you with a better understanding on how to connect to a Mercruiser, navigate through the Texa software, and how to identify good information with the software on a Mercruiser engine. The layout of the software is generally the same with different engine manufacturers, however the information contained in the tabs themselves will change with different models. Please feel free to reach out and contact us with any questions or concerns you might have. We look forward to receiving your feedback.