Does this sound right? Mercury 2003 15 hp 2 stroke

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by TheBrazilNut, Aug 14, 2010.

  1. TheBrazilNut

    TheBrazilNut Guest

    Well I bought a carb kit and thought I could re-built it with no manual and zero mechanical no how. That plan didn't work out! As I was testing on the IRL I ended up losing a few parts in the water and made it back to the ramp with some help from an old A-team episode I remembered.

    Anyway I took it to my local place I use and told them the following:

    1) I had a list with order numbers of the parts I lost

    2) Told them everything was fine with the motor until I tried to re-build the carb. The butterfly was not opening all the way on the throttle and I was getting about 10mph loss in speed unless I manually opened the throttle up. I was not leaking any gas however. ;)

    3) So I made sure they understood that the carb was messed-up by me and I did not touch anything else on the motor.

    I left the boat/motor and about a week later the service guy calls me and wants to confirm what the problem was and I made it clear that the carb was the problem and I did not mess with anything else.

    Yesterday I get a call from him saying that they got the "inexpensive" parts in that I lost ($50) and would begin to fix it. They have had my boat/motor for 2 weeks now.

    Today the guy calls me and says I really F******* the carb and I would need a new one because of the spring/needle/ball bearing "THING" was broke and that small piece could not be ordered alone.

    He then starts to tell me the damage! He says he spent 3 1/2 hours trying to find the cause of my problems with-in the carb @ $80 per hour and can't really tell me why my motor will not run.

    Soooo I have $280 in labor + about $50 in parts and he says a new carb is about $300 + labor to install. I was slightly pissed and don't know if this is right!

    This place seems honest, but why didn't they just re-place the carb instead of spending so long trying to fix it when he tells me " I have never seen a carb this messed up" I don't want to screw anyone, but this just sounds stupid to me!


    The work order said per my request "If the charge to fix this labor/parts is over $300 please call me first.

    BTW, this is a Mercury 2003 15 hp 2 stroke in very good condition.
  2. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    I've seen advertised shop rates from $75 to $100 per hour.
    Then add on the parts including the retail markup...gets expensive fast.
    Cost of a new 15 hp carb for a merc is about $242 on line, makes sense, including markup, of a charge of $300.
    This is the reason I do my own repairs, and always get an OEM service manual for my outboard.
    The initial cost of the manual pays for itself many times over in repair savings.
    I have the time to figure out what the problem is and can wait for a part to arrive.
    For someone who has limited free time and just wants to get on the water asap,
    repair shops or mobile marine mechanics are the only choices.
    Finding a reputable one can be a problem.

  3. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member


    Go to the clerk of the circuit court and tell them what happened and see if you can "Bond it out"
    if you can you will pay the amount of the bill to the Court and the shop will have to Justify the bill to get the money ...DOCCUMENT EVERYTHING !!!

    Or pay with a credit card and challenge the bill

    Or go to small claims Court

    Or be Nice go to the shop owner see if they will adjust the bill and tell them if they do not you will Smear them sooo bad that they will wish they NEVER saw you ...

    Or eat the $$$ and Consider it a lesson Learned !


  4. Swamp

    Swamp I Love!

    Well, you kind of screwed up, but you know that and said so.  Out board parts are expensive, and I get surprised every time I go in to get some, so I can not speak to that.  They are blatantly in breach of contract if you set a $300 limit.  Tell me you have a copy of the work order.  It is my opinion that it should have taken an hour at most to find the problem, but I'm not a Merc tech.  I'm not used to carbs as small as that having needle bearings, that does not mean this one doesn't.  If the bearing was blocked/dirty/misaligned and you forced it to move, it could have torn it up.  This is also not the first time I've heard that some parts can't be bought OEM.  It may be possible to source the correct needle bearing and race outside of the industry, but it may cost you much more to have them replaced even if it is a $5 bearing. The advice to be polite is a good one, they have your motor "in the back" as it were.  I suggest you go in and have them show you what is wrong.  I would then negotiate with them about it, tell them you can't really justify putting that much (over $500) into the motor at this point in your life.  Tell them that $280 for a diagnostic is more than you bargained for.  Shops will often try to get the customer to pay up even if they put more labor than they needed into a repair.  Often customers don't say boo.  You can always pay the bill and order the carb yourself if negotiations break down. Then you can have someone else install and tune it.  If you go that route, at the very least get the OEM manual, install the carb, and then take it to get tuned.  If you lean out the carb too much you could fry the motor.

    So the moral of the story is GET THE OEM MANUAL!!!!

    Sorry for the troubles.  Hope it works out and let us know what happens.

    ETA: You may want to call up Mercury and ask what the estimated labor hours for diagnosing your problem should be.
  5. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member

    I think he Lost the little ball in the Enrichment Valve :-(
  6. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    For new Merc service manuals the only supplier I've found is MercuryMarine,
    older model manuals can be found on line at aftermarket suppliers.

    I prefer the hardcopy, but CD versions are offered also.
  7. B.Lee

    B.Lee Well-Known Member

    I'd handle this in two steps:

    First, go down to the shop and have them explain to you exactly what was done and the findings. What did they spend 3 hours doing? They should be able to justify the better part of that labor. Most diagnostic labor is "time spent" as opposed to "flat rate" labor. If the explanation doesn't make sense, ask for more clarification. Have them show you the part on the microfishe that cannot be ordered separately too, if you question that.

    Second, you are fully capable of buying a new carb and installing it yourself, that's an easy fix. Save the additional labor and the local retail markup by buying it online. We can help you locate the correct parts if needed.
  8. TheBrazilNut

    TheBrazilNut Guest

    Basically I broke the needle/spring/bearing piece. I don't have a problem buying a new carb, but the amount of hours spent seemed too many.

    Thanks for the help. I really just want to get an idea from people how many hours this should take.

    I mean I can unscrew things sit back take a look, wonder and rack up tons of hours (trying to fix it).

    I will buy the OEM repair book.
  9. TheBrazilNut

    TheBrazilNut Guest

    Close! I crushed that!
  10. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member

  11. Frank_Sebastian

    Frank_Sebastian Well-Known Member

    I can't imagine a real mechanic spending 3½ hours looking at a carburetor for a 2 stroke 15HP?

    You need to find another mechanic. I hope you get this all cleared up.

    Best regards,

  12. Swamp

    Swamp I Love!

    Ah, not a needle bearing (which does not exist in the schematic above) on the butterfly shaft which is what I understood. Yes if you cranked down the needle valve enough to break it, then you may have wrecked the valve seat. Many small carburetors don't have replaceable valve seats. I agree I'd want to know exactly what was done in 1/2 hrs. I can take the carb off of my 25 hp Johnson and disassemble/clean/reassemble in 20 minutes, but I know my carb and engine. Now in all fairness, getting a motor in that a customer tried to fix first and got stuck on is a major PIA. I always hated it, took twice as long to figure stuff out sometimes. We often had a surcharge for things like that, but that was made very clear beforehand. The worst was when a box of parts would come in that I was supposed to put back together and make a chainsaw/trimmer/whatever out of. If it was a $60 trimmer we'd tell them to buy a new one for less than we'd have to charge them.
  13. mark_gardner

    mark_gardner I Love!

    3.5 hours sounds excessive to me :eek: an hour maybe 2 at the most
  14. TheBrazilNut

    TheBrazilNut Guest

    I was told it would take 1-1 1/2 hours.

    I too put the carb back together a bunch of times and it was less then 1/2 hour.

    The mechanic talks slow so may explain a lot.
  15. HighSide25

    HighSide25 Well-Known Member

    the carb is held on by two bolts, a gasket, and two or threewires for fuel/timing. it aint hard, and dang sure isnt a 1 hour job, let alone a 3.5 hour one. i would say hears 100$ sorry for wasting your time, go on ebay and find a carb for $50. buy a new gasket and toss it on.

    i would not pay 500$ for a new carb to be installed on a 15hp motor. even with retail markup, it should be honestly 370, if the price of a new carb is 300
  16. TheBrazilNut

    TheBrazilNut Guest

    So on Tuesday I went to "Fun Time Boats" on Merritt Island to talk with the guy trying to fix my motor.

    To make a long story short they did not like any of the points anyone brought up in this thread. One thing led to another someone threatened to call the Police "I agreed" and 2 Police cars show-up. I wanted my boat/motor back, but was not going to pay 3 1/2 hrs. @ $80, $50 re-build kit and some other BS for my stuff and a carb he STILL COULD NOT UNDERSTAND WAS NOT WORKING!

    We ended up making a deal so I could get my stuff and possibly avoid going to jail. I ended up paying $230.

    I have used FUNTIME BOATSon RT. 520 for a few years and all the ladies up front were always helpful in the past. " I guess when you're giving $ not try to reduce it"!

    I would avoid using this place as they showed their true side. Zero customer service, Zero Class and ZERO respect for themselves or the other customers inside!

    I'm over it, but Karma can be a B!*th!

    If anyone knows of a good mechanic around close let me know.
  17. Brett

    Brett > PRO STAFF <

    This is the reason I learned to do my own repairs back when.
    The guys working in the shop were simply following
    the steps outlined in the service manual. I could see the
    manual lying open on the bench where they were working.
    For the cost of the service manual, a specialty tool or two,
    and an evening of my time, I knew what was being done
    and that it was being done correctly. The OEM shop manuals
    really do have all the procedures, specifications, pictures
    and installation/wiring diagrams all in one place.
    The manuals are designed for use by even the marginally mechanically inclined.
    My new manual arrived yesterday. $75 from Merc on line.
    No telling how much it will save me in the long term.
  18. noeettica

    noeettica Well-Known Member

    I gave them a little "punt" for ya !

    Reposted thread on FS ...LOL
  19. chase

    chase I Love!

    I really don't know how bad you messed up the carb, but any outboard tech could do ANYTHING to a carb in 3 hours. Hell, it only pays 1.5 hours to rebuild one. If they really worked on it for 3 hours, either the tech didn't know what he was doing or it was really screwed up. A new carb from Merc retails for $221.67 (Part # 9726t18).

    I would have recommended replacement if it was that bad, but I imagine the guy didn't know what he was doing, which in that case you shouldn't have to pay that much. Any manager would understand your concern at that point.
  20. TheBrazilNut

    TheBrazilNut Guest

    I told the guy I messed the carb up and took every piece off ultrasonic cleaned it and put it back together. I made this known that the carb was probably bad.

    I took the carb off and on maybe 8 times so yea there is really nothing to it, just getting it back in working order was a problem.

    The main problem I had with this mechanic is when he worked on it for the 1st hour I would think he would have come to the conclusion to say buy a new one instead of screwing around with it for another 2 1/2 hrs!

    The Police were also in a big hurry for us to come to an agreement or I was going to leave without my Boat/Motor/Trailer and would have to settle it in court. LOL, like our huge Police force has anything else to do!