The people who serviced my outboard last year cheated me as I have been discovering during my self-servicing of my outboard.
I had everything laid out - gear lube; tube to screw to gear lube bottle; new gaskets for the oil drain screws. Tools were at the ready - big flat tipped screw driver, rags and paper towel, a jug for oil to drain into.
I'd emailed a chandler twice when ordering the engine oil, gear lube, gaskets and the gear lube tube, asking them to make sure that I had ordered the correct stuff for my model outboard. The assured me they had sent everything I needed.
So mistake number one - I assumed that everything sent to me was correct. So I set about draining the gear oil. Imagine my surprise to discover that the tube ordered wouldn't screw into the hole. I discovered this AFTER I'd cut the pointy nozzle off the tube and screwed the tube on. Guess what - the tube has a 10mm thread at the top. The Tohatsu hole was 8mm. No wonder the tube wouldn't screw in. In the small print on the back of the pack, in font -6.......it said Tohatsu engines would need an additional piece - an 8mm thread screw in piece!
Second surprise - having adapted the tube - I just could not get any oil in that bottom hole. It should have been easy to squeeze it in until it flowed out of the top hole - but nothing. The oil just would not go in.
Imagine my surprise when I inspected the top hole. There, about 6mm in - the hole was blocked by the end of a sheared bolt.
So, lets get this clear, the people who said to me last year that they had changed the gear oil - didn't tell me they had sheared off a bolt and they didn't tell me they hadn't bothered to let me know that; and they didn't bother to try and fix the error they had made.
I am furious frankly! And sheepish because you would think I'd have noticed that straight away. But as usual, I rushed things. I unscrewed the bottom drain screw, watched the oil trickle out and then set about the top screw. When the dribble didn't speed up - I sensed something was wrong.
Cut a long story short. 5 fluid oz of dark brown oil drained out of the bottom hole. I had to do the unthinkable and practically tip the outboard up on its head (not quite but nearly) to dribble in 5 fluid oz of new oil. I've worked out it was about 5 oz - there was 8oz in the tube and in the tray underneath was about 2 oz of spillage and I soaked up another oz with a rag.
And yes, I know, putting the outboard in that position should never, never happen.
I refitted bolt screws with new gaskets, although the top screw is pointless because there is a sheared bolt half way down it anyway! Put the engine up the correct way and then left it for an hour. The engine oil in the glass measuring window returned to normal levels.
I tried starting the outboard and there was nothing. It refused to start. I removed the spark plug, cleaned it, sprayed the HT lead with WD40. Spark plug put back in and the engine started on the first pull. The gear lever engaged and the engine ran in gear for about 20 minutes with no problem that I could hear, sense, feel or smell.
I know that not enough oil in the gears could be disastrous but I'm hoping that enough went in.
In the meantime, when the chandler opens after lock down we will be having words although I doubt if I will get anywhere with them. They will say 'prove it was us'. I'll argue that since they have serviced my engine from the start and I have the receipts to prove it - it must be them. I'm not holding my breath on this one - such dishonesty!
I learnt a lot of bitter lessons today - the most important of which are a) don't assume anything and b) read the instructions before you use anything new ....oh...and don't blindly trust that people have done the job they said they did!