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Old 06-09-2013, 10:10   #1
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Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Hi:

Looks like this anti-competition practice is spreading, that is making it difficult for the consumer to compete with the dealers to service their own equipment. Or an independent repair person to compete. Mercury won't sell shop manuals to the general public. I first noticed this practice with Stihl equipment about a decade ago.

This practice should be illegal.

I almost never buy anything new, but if I do from here on in I will buy the shop manual and take physical delivery of same before buying the gear.

This practice needs to be discouraged vigorously. If nothing else, it is a matter of safety. The more I know about my 5HP outboard, the more likely I can fix it in a sticky situation on the water.

Any recommendations on a generic repair manual for 4 cycle (circa 2006) outboards?

I wonder how long it will be before Yanmar et al refuse to sell you a technical manual for your inboard.

Boulter
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:18   #2
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter View Post
Hi:

This practice should be illegal.

Boulter

I heartily agree! And it is a good idea to ask for the shop manual BEFORE buying...I will remember it
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Old 06-09-2013, 10:35   #3
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Try Tohatsu, it's probably the same engine.
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Old 06-09-2013, 19:06   #4
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Boulter,

If you really want the factory manual send me a PM with the serial number. I’m an authorized dealer and can get it. You might not like the price but neither do I but I’m required to buy them. The other wild card is shipping to my northern neighbor Canada.

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Old 06-09-2013, 19:20   #5
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

This is happening in many industries. The Right-To-Repair group has been working on protecting independent auto repair shops on a State by State march. The same restrictions are happening in the watch repair industry as well. It is what the Attorney General of the USA should be focusing on. Protecting the citizens.
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Old 06-09-2013, 20:18   #6
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter View Post
Hi:

This practice should be illegal.

I almost never buy anything new, but if I do from here on in I will buy the shop manual and take physical delivery of same before buying the gear.

This practice needs to be discouraged vigorously. If nothing else, it is a matter of safety. The more I know about my 5HP outboard, the more likely I can fix it in a sticky situation on the water.

Any recommendations on a generic repair manual for 4 cycle (circa 2006) outboards?

I wonder how long it will be before Yanmar et al refuse to sell you a technical manual for your inboard.

Boulter
Oh please. Other than engines, how many consumer goods can you purchase a repair manual from the manufacturer for? How about zero. So, you want to fix your old school Chevy 350? Go out and purchase a Hanes manual. Please, be sure to notice that it isn't a Chevrolet manual. Why would an engine producer issue a manual to the public instructing the end user on how to repair the product when they have a repair network established to provide that service?

I don't know what industry you come from, but do you instruct your customers on the best practice to not require your service?
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Old 08-09-2013, 05:49   #7
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

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Oh please. Other than engines, how many consumer goods can you purchase a repair manual from the manufacturer for? How about zero. ........
Pretty true for retail products I guess but interestingly maintenance manuals for all aviation products (from airframes to instruments) are available to the aircraft owners (by law).
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:31   #8
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

I am replacing the crazed lenses on 28 year old Lewmar "Superhatches" and had a very disappointing experience with Lewmar's technical support.

I was researching the project when I contacted them and was told that the assembly method was proprietary and that I would have to send the hatches to Tony at Select Plastics to have them professionally replaced. Butyl tape and silicone caulk, yeah that's a real trade secret. Thanks for the help Lewmar.


Similarly, I went to my local Lowe's Home Improvement Center to buy a tap and die set. Guess what? They don't sell them any more, cuz you know, you don't need to fix that broken thing, just buy a new one!
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Old 08-09-2013, 06:34   #9
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

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Originally Posted by Anonymous7500 View Post
Oh please. Other than engines, how many consumer goods can you purchase a repair manual from the manufacturer for? How about zero. So, you want to fix your old school Chevy 350? Go out and purchase a Hanes manual. Please, be sure to notice that it isn't a Chevrolet manual. Why would an engine producer issue a manual to the public instructing the end user on how to repair the product when they have a repair network established to provide that service?

I don't know what industry you come from, but do you instruct your customers on the best practice to not require your service?

I tell my customers how to fix their watermakers all the time.
My wife would agree with you wholeheartedly.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:00   #10
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Couple of things;

Illegal? Are there not enough laws already?

Did you try and buy direct from Mercury or from an authorized repair/parts center? I have found with many products that you are not able to purchase service manuals directly from the manufacturer but parts departments are often happy to sell them to you. But, like knotnow stated you may not like the price. If you tried a repair center- try a few others. If it's a big place it's usually the parts dept you want to talk to.

In the end the solution is to vote with your dollar. As MARC D pointed out try and buy the service/parts manuals first. If they are not available to you, let the company know about your concerns and that you will be purchasing a competing product. If they hear it often enough they will either; make the manuals available, decide that they are missing an acceptable amount of business, or sit around scratching heads wondering where the bleeding is coming from...

Lastly, if you are unable to purchase it anywhere things are often out there in an electronic form if you look/ask around enough.

But more laws? No.
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:20   #11
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

I just did a quick google search and found the manuals for 4-6hp 4-stroke Mercury for sale, as well as sites offering free electronic versions.

Tohatsu makes the motors, so that is another avenue.

I have never had a problem buying OEM service manuals for Honda, Yamaha, Tohatsu and Suzuki. It seems odd that Mercury would be different.

Mark
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Old 08-09-2013, 08:42   #12
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

Quote:
Originally Posted by Boulter View Post
Hi:

Looks like this anti-competition practice is spreading, that is making it difficult for the consumer to compete with the dealers to service their own equipment. Or an independent repair person to compete. Mercury won't sell shop manuals to the general public.
This is just nonsense. Mercury won't sell you the motor direct, either, right? They don't sell direct to the end-user. any dealer will sell you shop manual when you buy a motor from them or you need a different dealer.
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:06   #13
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

In addition to all the sources for the OEM manual, Seloc Marine publishes some pretty good aftermarket service manuals that you can buy on-line or from any marine dealer.
Seloc Marine - Product Details [Book #1422]
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Old 08-09-2013, 11:25   #14
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

As HopCar said....there are plenty of aftermarket manuals available. The Selocs are widely available WM, and my local library have them. OEM Manuals assume you know how to work on things and supply proceedures and specs. . They do not teach you mechanics 101. There are other publications for that.
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Old 08-09-2013, 18:55   #15
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Re: Mercury won't sell me the shop manual

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This is just nonsense. Mercury won't sell you the motor direct, either, right? They don't sell direct to the end-user. any dealer will sell you shop manual when you buy a motor from them or you need a different dealer.
Hi:

I was imprecise. What I should have said was that Mercury won't let my dealer sell the manual to me. Or that Mercury won't allow manuals to be sold to the public.

This is my 4th try. After 3 requests made to dealer number 1, I tried dealer number 2. At least he got back to me with a reply.

Thank you all the others for your suggestions. I'll keep working on it.

Boulter
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