So it was weeks ago now that I took the lower unit from the outboard to the dealer to get a new shift shaft seal put in. Its a $1 part, but the consequences of it failing (its already leaking) are huge.
The seal is housed behind a bushing which is recessed deep down a little channel in the engine. After removing the lower unit from the outboard, it quickly became obvious that I was only replacing this thing with the special tool from Evinrude. I didn't have the tool.
I put a call in to an outboard shop close to work. Sure he says, we can do that and have the engine to you by the weekend. I was thrilled.
I trucked the lower unit to the shop, where big promises were made, and headed to work.
Friday, I hadn't heard from the shop yet, so I gave them a call. Apparently they didn't have the requisite tool either. They would order it for me though. I would have to pay for the tool, and the repair, but at least it would get done.
Fast forward to last Friday. Still no word from the shop. I gave them another call. Apparently the tool is obsolete and you can't buy it anywhere. They are watching for one to magically appear, and they don't know what to do. They offered to take the entree lower unit apart for 3 hours of labour, then force the bushing out. No guarantees if this will work.
I tell them to keep watching for the tool while I think about this offer.
A call to another store on the other side of town, and I find out they have the tool and will do the job for an hour's labour. While they are in there do I want anything else looked at - they have to take apart the whole lower end to replace the shaft seal.
me - "In an Hour??"
them - "Yeah, its only an outboard, its not rocket science"
me - "I thought that took more than an hour to do"
them - "How long do you want us to charge you for then?"
Point taken... an hour's labour it is.
They tell me the engine will be ready by the weekend. Lets see how well it goes.