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79 Johnson 35hp shift shaft broke

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  • 79 Johnson 35hp shift shaft broke

    Hello everyone, I had a problem the other day with my outboard. 79 Johnson 35hp 35el79a. Well it started with a simple impeller change cause no water was pumping and it was overheating. Well I did all that and went to put the lower unit back on the upper and while I had it on I tried to put the shift shaft into the top part where they meet inside the upper unit and while I was trying to pop it into reverse for a better fit, I put some pressure into it and POP!!! Yikes!! So I decided to take the lower unit back off and found that the shift shaft moves up and down freely now. No clicks into forward, neutral, or reverse!?!? I don't know what I done. Has anyone ever took apart one of these lower units? I've looked up videos but can't find a match. So far Im trying to pull out the beating carrier and it ain't coming out! I don't know if it does but most videos I seen they do. So I need to know what I did? How to fix it? And how to take it apart? Please if anyone has before it would be much appreciated for some tips and info. Thanks!

  • #2
    On the 1979 35hp model, that lower shift rod is supposed to screw "all" the way in until it's snug.... and you're saying it's loose, that is pulled out of the lower unit? I'm at a loss to understand how that could happen.
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    • #3
      Maybe the upper shift rod has broken away from the lever assembly(?) If so, believe the powerhead needs to be removed for access.

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Joe Reeves View Post
        On the 1979 35hp model, that lower shift rod is supposed to screw "all" the way in until it's snug.... and you're saying it's loose, that is pulled out of the lower unit? I'm at a loss to understand how that could happen.

        It's screwed all the way in alright but I'm not sure how I did it but I tried to push it down into reverse and I guess it already was and push down to far and broke something? Now it just goes up and down freely.

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        • #5
          Originally posted by oldboat1 View Post
          Maybe the upper shift rod has broken away from the lever assembly(?) If so, believe the powerhead needs to be removed for access.
          Nothing's broken from the upper unit up, it's just all in the lower unit.

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          • #6
            What goes up and down freely? The shift lever may not be operating the shift rod.

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            • #7
              Originally posted by oldboat1 View Post
              What goes up and down freely? The shift lever may not be operating the shift rod.
              What goes up and down freely is the shift rod from the lower unit. I have the lower unit pulled off. Upper unit is fine.

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              • #8
                Can you pull the rod out of the lower unit ??

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by racerone View Post
                  Can you pull the rod out of the lower unit ??
                  No I can't, just goes up and down, if I was to unscrew it out yes I could but no it just moves up and down, no clicks into forward, neutral, or reverse.

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                  • #10
                    Did you change the oil ?----Remove any screws from the gearcase ?----Perhaps a screw different looking to the fill / drain screws.

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                    • #11
                      Only a couple things could have happened - either the pivot screw was removed and not reinstalled correctly, or the horseshoe shaped collar that rides on the clutch dog has broken. Did you remove the pivot screw for any reason? That would be the "lucky" fix, as you may be able to reassemble that without further surgery. If that's not the case, then the unit will have to come apart. There are two bolts recessed into the bearing carrier that need to be removed. Then you'll need a hefty pair of snap ring pliers to remove the retainer ring that holds the retainer plate in place.
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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by racerone View Post
                        Did you change the oil ?----Remove any screws from the gearcase ?----Perhaps a screw different looking to the fill / drain screws.
                        No I didn't do none of that. Only messed with water pump.

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Chinewalker View Post
                          Only a couple things could have happened - either the pivot screw was removed and not reinstalled correctly, or the horseshoe shaped collar that rides on the clutch dog has broken. Did you remove the pivot screw for any reason? That would be the "lucky" fix, as you may be able to reassemble that without further surgery. If that's not the case, then the unit will have to come apart. There are two bolts recessed into the bearing carrier that need to be removed. Then you'll need a hefty pair of snap ring pliers to remove the retainer ring that holds the retainer plate in place.
                          I did not remove the pivot screw, so it could be the horseshoe shaped collar. I tried to remove the bearing carrier but it would not budge? I removed both bolts inside and used a puller and it did not budge!? Am I doing something wrong?

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                          • #14
                            Anyone help please?

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                            • #15
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                              It does not take much physical pressure to shift the unit into either gear or neutral... and it clicks in! One must turn the propeller when shifting the engine (not running) or when having the unit on the bench to align the lobes of the gear and shifter dog.

                              If that shifter rod is screwed in as it should be and you can move it around..... acts like it is attached to nothing.... you have no choice but to dismantle the lower unit. Hopefully you are mechanical inclined and have a factory service manual on hand to coincide with instructions and advice you may obtain here.
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