Warning

 

Close

Confirm Action

Are you sure you wish to do this?

Confirm Cancel
BCM
Member Login

Site Notices
Posted: 4/15/2017 8:18:44 AM EDT
I'm trying to figure this out and I guess I can ask the parts distributor directly. I'm pretty sure the mechanic could've gotten the money out of me anyways and I would've not known any differently.

Long story short, the press fit wheel that's attached to the shaft on my Mercruiser distributor decided to lose its grip and I needed a new distributor. I had to get towed and the towing place put me in their spare slip with the expectation that I get the issue fixed and be on my way. The mechanic does great work, but this time he walked me through the repair on the phone and explained how to remove the distributor. I've given him a lot of work in the past -- manifolds, rebuild the stern drive, shift cables, all totaling $4000+ over the past year. I gave him a new set of Knipex parallel pliers as a tip the last time he got me through something. He said to not worry that the part wasn't expensive. He was a bit difficult to reach so I called around and found the Mercruiser part for $949, more than a new set of complete cylinder heads.

I had thought that I could just fix my existing one, but time was of the essence with the holiday weekend. He said that he could get the part for $425 from his parts supplier and would give it to me at cost, but I had to hurry up or we'd have to wait until next week. I give him the go ahead, and I pay him cash for the part. He explains how to install it and I do it. The boat idles a bit rough, but it got me home without issue and I'll borrow a diagnostic kit from a friend and set the base timing next week.

I googled the number on the side of the part and found it amazon for around $50. There were some additional digits on the part that I got from him and I'm familiar with things like wheel bearings in aviation that are nearly identical to their automotive counterparts except for a couple extra digits in the part numbers and 10x the price. So I called the mechanic and asked him about it. He assured me that it is a marine part and that he got it from his supplier.

I'll say that, considering the nature of the problem, that it got fixed, that I learned something, and the total cost of the repair that the money spent doesn't bother me. It does concern me that the guy may have taken some liberties in marking up a part by hundreds of dollars and it concerns me that I may not be able to trust him because of it. Had I known what I learned doing this repair, I could've likely timed the old distributor well enough on the water to have gotten us home without a tow.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:31:17 AM EDT
i dont know if i am reading your post correct but you found a complete mercruiser distributor on amazon for $50

i searched and did not see one that cheap

  
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:33:18 AM EDT
All of my experience is on the automotive side, but it isn't uncommon to have parts from different manufacturers using the same part number. One may be a quality part and one may be so bad I wouldn't install it on a go kart, but they'll both have the same number.

It also isn't uncommon for Amazon prices to match or be lower than local supplier cost. It doesn't mean anyone is trying to rip you off. It just means Amazon's bottom line is lower.

Having said that though, yes, there are some dishonest people out there.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:36:10 AM EDT
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:40:58 AM EDT
No you didn't. You paid for the part and the knowledge to install it. You did screw yourself because you did the actual work.

In this world we only have 2 things to sell. Knowledge and time.

You paid for both of them from the mechanic.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:48:16 AM EDT
You own a boat, getting ripped off is mandatory.    
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:50:34 AM EDT
Put  marine next to it and the price goes up. He sold you a marine part. Did you find the same marine part cheaper?

Had a guy want a new tube for the tires he uses to move his Cobra. The tube was 85 for an aviation one of 9 for a garden one. I did not mark up the price and he was still surprised. I gave him the pricing option too. Your mechanic did not. Nothing wrong with what he did. Are you sure they are an exact match?

Unlike the aviation to auto world of shared items, the marine items have a more durable coating. Big difference in my engine driven marine fuel pump and my auto fuel pump. Guarantee they are exactly the same, but one has a different paint.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:52:00 AM EDT
He told you the price of the part, you agreed to it. Even if he did buy it for $50, he didn't scam you. I highly doubt he paid $50 for it, however. I don't think anything on a boat is under $300, especially for name brand shit.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 8:58:24 AM EDT
If it floats, flies or fucks, its gonna be expensive.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 9:02:51 AM EDT
Quoted:

I'll say that, considering the nature of the problem, that it got fixed, that I learned something, and the total cost of the repair that the money spent doesn't bother me. It does concern me that the guy may have taken some liberties in marking up a part by hundreds of dollars and it concerns me that I may not be able to trust him because of it. Had I known what I learned doing this repair, I could've likely timed the old distributor well enough on the water to have gotten us home without a tow.
View Quote
Capitalism - it works. Own a boat (Bust Out Another Thousand) and act surprised when discovering parts are marked up 870%?

Wish I had sales skills like your boat mechanic. Customers pay overpay AND do the work for you, heck ya!
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 9:16:25 AM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
No you didn't. You paid for the part and the knowledge to install it. You did screw yourself because you did the actual work.

In this world we only have 2 things to sell. Knowledge and time.

You paid for both of them from the mechanic.
View Quote
This I can't count the times that I have sized out things for a customer and had them go buy it online I refuse to do it anymore unless I have known them for a while.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:24:17 PM EDT
Thanks for all the replies. As I said in my OP, I was okay with the price to the mechanic to get me out of a bind and would've paid for his consultation anyways, but to say you're getting something at cost when it is marked up significantly is dishonest.

I called a good friend of mine who is a marine mechanic turned broker. He looked up the price and his price was $379 for the part. I'm glad to be put at ease regarding a mechanic that I've been using who I trust.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:31:14 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
Thanks for all the replies. As I said in my OP, I was okay with the price to the mechanic to get me out of a bind and would've paid for his consultation anyways, but to say you're getting something at cost when it is marked up significantly is dishonest.

I called a good friend of mine who is a marine mechanic turned broker. He looked up the price and his price was $379 for the part. I'm glad to be put at ease regarding a mechanic that I've been using who I trust.
View Quote
The true cost of a part can include a whole lot more than the purchase price of the part itself. His time discussing it with you, freight, salaries for parts guy / receiving guy / shipping guy, etc.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 12:51:11 PM EDT
Based on past experience with Amazon and "bargain prices" on parts, I'd say that the $50.00 price was more likely the scam. Amazon is so big they can't police a lot of what third-party sellers are doing, and whenever you see something on there for a super-low price, "too good to be true", it usually is. Counterfeit parts and outright fakery are common.

Sometimes, you can do well by going to the third-party supplier, directly. However, sometimes not--You go buy Toyota OEM, and you're paying for Toyota quality control. Buy non-Toyota parts from one of their suppliers, and you start running into issues, however--Denso is usually pretty good about maintaining quality on their self-branded stuff they sell, but some of the other suppliers out there, particularly from China...? LOL.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 2:36:44 PM EDT
There are other considerations for a lot of true "marine" grade parts.

Sometimes electronics must be rated for wet areas and there are some parts rated for explosion. A marine air cleaner assembly is rated for explosions due to it being a spark arrestor.

Not saying your dist. is because I'm not sure but it's a distinct possibility and could explain the seemingly high price.

Really though, if you got a complete drop in dist. I'd say you did OK.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 2:43:22 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:

In this world we only have 2 things to sell. Knowledge and time.
View Quote
Incomplete.

We can also lease real and/or intellectual property, real property is neither time  or knowledge based.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 2:51:25 PM EDT
boat guy here...boat from my dock three times a week at the least...have buddies near that you can call to tow you back to the dock

 I pay 180 a year for Sea-Tow ...have never used it in 10 years...180$ is something I can live with

Hanging out in tampa bay all day and paying stupid money to get home is not

I pull all broke boaters in and refuse all money they offer...bad luck to in my records
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 3:04:53 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
boat guy here...boat from my dock three times a week at the least...have buddies near that you can call to tow you back to the dock

 I pay 180 a year for Sea-Tow ...have never used it in 10 years...180$ is something I can live with

Hanging out in tampa bay all day and paying stupid money to get home is not

I pull all broke boaters in and refuse all money they offer...bad luck to in my records
View Quote
I had to go out and tow my buddy in from the south end of Tampa bay yesterday. I wouldn't take any money so he insisted that they take my wife and I out to dinner. I've pulled so many boats in I've lost count.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 3:09:10 PM EDT
"Marine distributors are sealed to keep the sparks inside"

from a boating forum
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 3:39:57 PM EDT
Are you comparing apples to apples?  The one on Amazon, if not marine grade, would rust and you will be back in the same mess. I trust my life to my boat. I have it done right the first time.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 3:46:05 PM EDT
What's the engine?  A distributor for a 4.3 truck isn't necessarily the same as the distributor for a 4.3 boat engine.

If you want to be cheap, don't buy a boat - supply and demand, you asked for a part quick and he got it to you.  Move on and forget about it.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 3:48:11 PM EDT
BOAT = bring out another thousand.
Link Posted: 4/15/2017 4:25:05 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:




I had to go out and tow my buddy in from the south end of Tampa bay yesterday. I wouldn't take any money so he insisted that they take my wife and I out to dinner. I've pulled so many boats in I've lost count.
View Quote
Tampa Bay has a lot of ramps...lot of seasoned boaters and that many newbies , hey but we all have to learn somewhere...good thing to tow them in...most of the time it is boat full of kids...sometimes it's a it's a old pro that knows more than you ever will
Link Posted: 4/16/2017 6:45:36 PM EDT
Discussion ForumsJump to Quoted PostQuote History
Quoted:
boat guy here...boat from my dock three times a week at the least...have buddies near that you can call to tow you back to the dock

 I pay 180 a year for Sea-Tow ...have never used it in 10 years...180$ is something I can live with

Hanging out in tampa bay all day and paying stupid money to get home is not

I pull all broke boaters in and refuse all money they offer...bad luck to in my records
View Quote
I've been a passenger on a 48ft boat running wide open at 50kts when it ran aground. I've watched a boat at night with no lights run aground between 275 and Pinellas Bayway. I've dug in near Passage Key, by BayShore, and in Blind Pass, but in all cases I was aware of the underwater conditions, was going less than 2mph and immediately trimmed up and reversed to lift the stern an un-ass the area so I've never gotten stuck (knock on wood). I don't mess around when moving fast. I stick to the channels except where the charts show 20+ ft depth all around.

This was the first time I've had to get a tow in 220 hours as a new boater. I believe that if I knew what I learned in this, I could've gotten out of there. I didn't identify that the rotor wasn't secured until I worked on it in the slip, but if it ever happened again, I would check that timing hadn't moved. It was pretty obvious that it was a timing issue with the backfiring and weird behavior when turning the engine over. Here's what I would've done:

Engine is a Mercruiser V8. To find TDC on #1, I used a wrench across the starter relay to bump the crankshaft to the #1 position indicator. I would've then turned the rotor to where #1 would be on the crab-shaped cap. There was still plenty of friction on it and I believe it would've held enough to get me home. If it didn't start, I would've rotated the rotor 180 degrees. Pulling a spark plug on a hot engine in a cramped bay would've been more difficult than taking the cap off twice.
Top Top