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Old 01-09-2015, 19:12   #16
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Haha, you don't know how many people I've talked to that act like they are doing me a favor by getting something done months in the future. It was like this in Washington too. It's busy season now. I think they all forget building customers now will help them get hero ugh the slow season.

Anyways, here is what they said.

It is an older Honda 7.5 four stroke. They said they have put two hours into it, so that is over $200. Plus a used starter piece for $50 and whatever the impeller costs. I think I'm looking at $300 right now.

It starts and runs but won't go below 1500 rpms without dying. So they want to put a new carburetor in It. That costs $150 plus another hour of labor.

Any suggestions about what to do? Can I run around in it if I can't go below 1500 rpm? Would I hurt it? Is it better to just get a new motor? This one is pretty big for the boat anyways.
Argh, this is where it gets sticky.

They have 2 hours of labor for what? Labor for changing the impeller is one thing, but that is not a 2 hour job.

Did you get any sort of written estimate, or what was written on your receipt/job ticket when you dropped it off?

It should say something like "will not run at idle, water pump output low" or some such. It depends on what the understanding was when you dropped the motor off, but I would expect the labor to change the water pump would also include test running it, so I would have an issue with being charged an hour for diagnostics if the recommendation is replacing the carburetor.
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Old 01-09-2015, 19:22   #17
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

I have one of those Honda 7.5 hp sitting in my garage as a back-up to a newer Tohatsu. The Honda is 40 years old and still runs. You can get parts and shop manuals on line and do the job yourself. Cleaning the carb is not hard. As noted, a necessary skill. Don't need a tank--a $12 plastic garbage can from Lowe's and something to hold the engine upright while running will do the job.

The pisser on mine would occasionally trickle--but due to salt build up inside the water jacket, not a bad impeller. Easily cleaned.
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Old 01-09-2015, 22:10   #18
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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I have one of those Honda 7.5 hp sitting in my garage as a back-up to a newer Tohatsu. The Honda is 40 years old and still runs. You can get parts and shop manuals on line and do the job yourself. Cleaning the carb is not hard. As noted, a necessary skill. Don't need a tank--a $12 plastic garbage can from Lowe's and something to hold the engine upright while running will do the job.

The pisser on mine would occasionally trickle--but due to salt build up inside the water jacket, not a bad impeller. Easily cleaned.
Oh, yes, they said that it was salt build up that was making it not pee, I guess they just changed the impeller because it needed it? I don't know, they are always in a hurry to get off the phone and don't explain it all.

I have a write up like the post above this one says, I believe it says, starter cable froze, won't pee water, won't idle without the choke in.

The reason I took it to them was for it not idling without the choke in. It was when I was going to attempt to fix it myself and I was in the dinghy trying to troubleshoot it that it stopped peeing and the started cord froze up on me. That was when I decided I was making things worse and not better and took it over to them.

So yes, the main problem I took it to them for they did not fix. I think all they have done up to now is put a new starter part from an abandoned motor at their shop that he said he would sell to me for $50 plus labor, and they cleared out the salt and put a new impeller in.

I will be charged for two hours of labor if I pick it up tomorrow. Now that I think about it, it does seem that their labor is mostly troubleshooting a problem they never fixed. Is it normal to pay for hourly rates to figure out the problem? I don't with cars. You take your car in and they tell you the problem and the estimate to fix it.

So far I have been blown away by the helpfulness and generosity of my marina neighbors. They have helped me with a lot of stuff, even just talking and giving advice, but as soon as the topic of outboards comes up, none of the, know anything. So my harbor is full of sailors, not engine repairmen, or mechanics. There seriously is a guy for everything it seems and they are really helpful, except the engine guy.

I am always trying to volunteer my help cleaning sir bottoms but nobody has taken me up on it yet.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:45   #19
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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Really? Just pour a couple of beers through it and call it a day eh?
Get the high carb. beer not the lite.
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Old 02-09-2015, 09:54   #20
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

I'm no mechanic but I could change the carb on my Honda aircooled 2hp in 5 minutes. It would never start so I bought a new carb and a big jug I filled with carb cleaner. I kept one soaking and swapped out when I wanted to use the motor. This was all due to the ethanol in the gas. Once I sold the motor problem was solved. I hated that motor.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:03   #21
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Hondas are notorious for carburetor issues. The main nozzle is the culprit. Cleaning will not correct this so you can try replacing the nozzle which might be hard to find or you can replace the whole carburetor which is really easy to do. Probably a pre '97 motor because they went to 8hp around then so it's a pretty old carburetor. I'd get the motor back & replace the carb myself. Try Boats.net for the part. After this use only non-ethanol gas, run the carp dry & add Stabil before storing. I'd also replace the spark plug & fuel filter if there is one.
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Old 02-09-2015, 10:32   #22
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

It sounds to me like that shop is swamped with business and they don't have time to give you proper service. They probably feel like their time is better spent out in the shop working rather than answering questions from everybody who is waiting for their motor to get fixed. That said, there may be some high value customers that take priority, so yours gets pushed back until those customers get taken care of. Same thing happens in a landscape equipment repair shop - the commercial customers get preferential treatment over the one-lawn-mower-owning customer; it doesn't matter how long the the amateur's gear has been in the shop.

Have you called any other outboard repair shops and checked their backlog/turnaround times? If one can do better, go to the shop where your motor is and explain to them that you need your motor done by tomorrow and if they can't do that, you'd like to take your motor right now and bring it over to the other shop. Be honest and respectful - they will understand probably not try to cheat you.

If there is not another shop that can promise better service, you have to choose to take the motor and do it yourself or leave it where it is and get it back whenever they get done with it.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:03   #23
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

First step is to tell them you will pick up the engine because you need it and have someone else to work on it. Pay nothing for nothing.

Next step is to advertise engine. Or better yet set it outside and when it is gone call your insurance company.

Last step, buy a Lehr propane engine, no bad fuel problems no matter how long it sits.

I am lazy and treated my gas OB poorly. Every year I would spend $200-300 getting in cleaned. Did it one year myself and ended up with carb parts in the ocean. It is not difficult to do the work yourself, even easier to drop parts in the ocean. I like my Lehr engine.
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Old 02-09-2015, 12:39   #24
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Whether they solved the problem or not they have spent so and so many hours trying and you owe. Next time ask a quote before you commit.

If they ask too much, you have some sort of trade chambers that can mitigate I guess.

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Old 02-09-2015, 12:42   #25
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Sounds like a plan. I was never intending to be a cheapskate. I've just got so many things going on right now I didn't want to add learning outboard repair to my list. I also wanted it done quicker than I could have. But now I think I could have learned how by now.

If they try to overcharge me can I just take it. Or will the fight me of stop me or something?
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Old 02-09-2015, 13:06   #26
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Haha, you don't know how many people I've talked to that act like they are doing me a favor by getting something done months in the future. It was like this in Washington too. It's busy season now. I think they all forget building customers now will help them get hero ugh the slow season.

Anyways, here is what they said.

It is an older Honda 7.5 four stroke. They said they have put two hours into it, so that is over $200. Plus a used starter piece for $50 and whatever the impeller costs. I think I'm looking at $300 right now.

It starts and runs but won't go below 1500 rpms without dying. So they want to put a new carburetor in It. That costs $150 plus another hour of labor.

Any suggestions about what to do? Can I run around in it if I can't go below 1500 rpm? Would I hurt it? Is it better to just get a new motor? This one is pretty big for the boat anyways.
Do you have the Honda 75? I had a 1985 Honda 100, which is almost identical, and my dock neighbour had the 75 like yours.

Overall, excellent engine. Good fuel economy, no issues. Lots of metal, not plastic like the new engines.

However, I had the same problem you describe. After discussing with other Honda owners, it seems a common problem with their outboards from around 1985-1995. It would only run at higher rpm. At first I just cranked the idle screw. Later I just kept it running fast. As soon as I would thottle down at all, it would die, and I would glide silently into the marina, hoping to make it to my dock.

It uses so little fuel, that the needle valve in the carb easily gets gummed up or partially blocked. I took my little outboard up to my local shop, and they "blew out the carb" with their air tool. They did it while I waited, $25 fee, no parts, worked perfectly for 2 years, then repeat.
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Old 02-09-2015, 14:02   #27
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

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Originally Posted by northoceanbeach View Post
Sounds like a plan. I was never intending to be a cheapskate. I've just got so many things going on right now I didn't want to add learning outboard repair to my list. I also wanted it done quicker than I could have. But now I think I could have learned how by now.

If they try to overcharge me can I just take it. Or will the fight me of stop me or something?
.
I took a non-degree course in outboard motor repair nearly 40 years ago at my local community college. It was the best money I ever spent. Most basic maintenance items really haven't changed much in 40 years. The only major difference is in the ignition system. 4 stroke vs 2 stroke is only an issue for major problems, not common ones. Ethanol gas is the big killer of outboards, especially older ones. Keep a carb rebuild kit on board or a spare carb. The alternative is to buy a new one. That's what I did. The new pressure tanks do a much better job of keeping the moisture out of the gas. Mine is also fuel injected, but the don't make injected engines as small as you need.
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Old 02-09-2015, 15:27   #28
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

In answer to the problem of not idling below 1500 rpm, first thing I'd do is change the gas for fresh gas. The old gas can go in the car, if your outboard is not a two cycle engine.
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Old 02-09-2015, 15:30   #29
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Had similar treatment myself in the Gippsland Lakes, Victoria, with a BF8. I ended up doing the job myself, basically strip and service carby. Plenty of youtube help etc. Found the cause of the problem was that the same Honda mob when doing a full service last year had reused a non-reusable gasket which had flogged to death on a loose mounting bolt and the carby was sucking too much air when i opened it up. Don't be scared of having a go. Not rocket science. Small spanners and good screwdriver set. Don't give the buggers your dough!
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Old 02-09-2015, 17:06   #30
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Re: Etiquette for a bad outboard repair shop?

Always get an estimate. Also you can try ''Craigslist'' for help. They have a ''Services'' section and always a link to small engine repair. There are so many people out there that are talented at this stuff. Find one who will show you what to do, it isn't that hard. Or ''YouTube''. I find that the term ''Professional'' is over-rated. So is ''Marine''. About any lawnmower repair shop could do the job for you at a fraction of the price.
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