Whether you're working "under the bonnet" of your Mercury outboard motor or trying to access the lifting ring on top of the motor to lift it onto or off the transom of your boat, the first step to virtually any Mercury outboard motor job is removing the plastic engine cover. Called the "cowl," this cover provides part of your motor's soundproofing and keeps the inner workings and hidden mechanisms of your outboard motor hidden and protected from the elements. Like raising the bonnet of your car, its removal takes only seconds.
Push down on the lever on the back of the cover to release the Mercury outboard motor's rear latch.
Grasp the top, front edge of the cover and swing the motor cover forward. It will swing forward, connected to the motor along the front, bottom edge of the cover.
Unhook the front edge of the cover from the motor. Lift the cover off the motor.
After you remove the cowl, set it completely out of the way so that you don't step on it or in it.