Well I finally got to looking at the motor.
Turns out it had a fire under the hood.
He claims it still runs but some parts will need to be replaced.
The fin on the lower unit is partially broken off.
I talked to the marine deller and for $300 they would check it out.
I might offer $1000 and look at it as a project.
Probably will just pass and keep running the Merc.
Thanks for the replies.