View Full Version : mechanical opinions

05-11-2009, 04:45 PM
Hi all,

Recently had my boat in for some repairs, mostly standard stuff, fuel filter replacement, impellar replacement. As well I had them try and figure out my high idle problem and install a dripless shaft seal I had bought from skidim. Now, my boat is a 2003 with the original shaft. I was told, after they took my boat apart, that the seal could not be installed because the packing on there has always been rope, and has created grooves in the shaft. the shaft has to be in new condition to install the dripless seal, they asked me if I wanted to buy a new drive shaft for 750 bucks, I said no, just install the rope then. I was originally told all the work described above would come in around the 500 dollar mark. next thing I know they email me with a bill for around 1600 bucks. most of this bill is labour hours (9.3 hours). They also said that they never came across my high idle problem, which im sure will come up again for me this summer, of course it didnt happen for them though. my question is however, would a decent mechanic not be able to trouble shoot the possibility of the installation of this dripless shaft seal before taking the boat apart? would logic not state that this is a 2003 boat using regular rope backing, the drive shaft is not going to be in any shape to install the dripless shaft seal? Did I just receive a bill 3 times the amount for a mechanics incompetence???? Whats your thoughts? Also, just to set the record straight, this was not a moomba dealership, but it was an indmar certified dealership (malibu boats).

05-11-2009, 05:09 PM
OUCH. I'd say you got SHAFTED.. pun intended! I have installed my own fuel filter, impeller and replaced my own shaft seal/rope. would love to have been paid $1600 for that 2 hrs. of work!

I have actually replaced the shaft, rope packing and strut bearings on a Direct Drive.. Being my first time at it, I did not have 9 hours in that..

I'd have to have a long talk with them about that.... unless you left out some major work in the description, they are stiicking it too ya.
This is my time... and I am not a gear head. somebody that does it every day. should be on the low end of this...
Fuel Filter 15-30 minutes
Impeller: 30-45 minutes
replace rope packing: 45-60 min

05-11-2009, 05:29 PM
I told him that it sounded ridiculous, and he stated that accessibility is just horrible in the boat, since its a v-drive wakeboard boat. Also, he claimed the impellar or water pump was seized to onto the crank? not real sure what he was talking about, but thats his claim to 2 hours for changing the impellar. 5 hours were spent on the shaft packing. 1 hour on the fuel filter change. 1 hour on water test. after arguing with him for a while, he dropped a few hours, and the bill went to 1247. still pretty out of the range we discussed.

05-11-2009, 07:18 PM
For many standard items (impeller change, oil change, etc) dealers should have a standard charge. If it takes 15 minutes or 15 hours, the charge should be the same. If one just charges labor by the hour, there is no need for the worker to work fast. In tough ecomonic times, this is a trick to get more income at the shop.
You should have signed a work order agreement at the beginning of the work when you dropped your boat offer stating the $500 figure. Then the dealer would have to contact you to go over that figure. This protects you from my above statement.

IMO 5 hours on shaft packing is way bogus. Of course I have not done V-drive work, but DD should be about an hour to 1.5 hours. 1 hour on water testing to fix nothing means 1 more hour on your boat, not 1 hour of shop labor (if they do acknowledge that there is a high idle problem). That is why you took your boat to a professional, to fix the problems. I could drive your boat for an hour and not fix it.
Good luck, I hope you can resolve it between you and the dealer. If not, you may have to do a small claims court suit.

05-11-2009, 11:08 PM
One thing id like to add is the same with a car mechanic boat mechanics follow a labor guide book. No labor is opne ended unless they tell you at the start.

Cars = Chilton Labor Manual is the standard and it states and shows you the time it should take the average tech to do a repaid. The dealer can only charge you based on this book as its an industry standard. It says 10 hours to rebuild a transmission then you are charged 10 hour whether the tech takes 8 hours or 15 hours.

As for boats i dont know the name of the manual but i know there's a standard they have to go by and charge you. Also I know at my dealer for them to even do a warranty repair they give me an estimate and make me sign and if its above that even a dollar they have to call me or i don't have to pay the overages.

05-12-2009, 02:59 PM
I would say the shaft packing is a bogus charge..IF all he did was replace the packing. I have NEVER replaced the shaft packing before on my 02 LSV until last weekend. I removed one hose to access the nuts and remove the packing. 20 minutes later I was done. It took me about 25 minutes in total to change the packing....3.5 minutes of this was used to go get another beer out of the fridge! The only way he spent that much time was if he removed the shaft to try and install the dripless seal, that would probably take about 3 hours or so to pull and reinstall along with another 30 minutes to do the actual rope packing.

05-12-2009, 05:10 PM
He did remove the shaft to try and install the dripless seal. that is where the majority of hours came from, 5 hours