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newbee lower unit questions-> 1965 Merucry 350 -> binding & shift linkage questions

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  • newbee lower unit questions-> 1965 Merucry 350 -> binding & shift linkage questions

    1965 Mercury 350 - 35hp

    Check out my utube post with a short video for more detail, link:


    I am having difficulties removing lower unit from the rest of the motor (to rebuild waterpump/service impeller); it seems to be binding on the sides of the waterpump housing.

    I have removed the four nuts, trim tab, attempted to “remove shift lever coupler”(more below) and pryed it about 1/4” apart with a flat pry bar. (very carefully)

    I have the Sealock manual(Vol 1): It says for “Older units” (pre 87) “Remove the shift lever coupler located in the bottom cowling behind the carburetor.” No picture(of course).

    I don't see any sort of fastener or C-Clip holding the shift shaft to “shift lever coupler” under the carb....I have disconnected the two pins (w/cotter pins) that connect the two adjustable linkage rods that run from the “shift lever coupler” to the shifter cable and the other linkage that keys into the throttle.

    With the two rods above disconnected, I can wiggle the shift shaft up and down 1/8”to 1/4”. (I think that's good news?) Since they say “Remove” in the manual, I am not sure if I got it right, since the “shift lever coupler” hasn't really gone anywhere. The only other thing it looks like I could remove would be the spring clip that holds it in gear, but that looks like it will be a SOB to get at the bolt and get it lined back up, so I haven't gone there yet.

    Is it possible for the original waterpump cover(47ish years old), if it's plastic, for it to have swelled and that is now causing interference during disassembly? (I know nylon tends to absorb water...)

    Carefully keep prying? When I apply pressure, the front and back seem to be looser that the middle

    Anyone know what kind of plastic they used on these originally? (assuming it is plastic)

    If anyone has ever run across this problem before, any help would be greatly appreciated.

    Thanks for taking time to read my rambling ….


  • #2
    Re: newbee lower unit questions-> 1965 Merucry 350 -> binding & shift linkage questi


    Here is the parts listing for your engine s/n:


    Here is a condensed version of the Clymer manual. Let the page load for several seconds and download to your computer soonest as the link is short lived.


    I have no clue what that Seloc manual is talking about and I wonder why they are even sold. If you look under THROTTLE AND SHIFT LINKAGE in the parts list, you will see that the upper shift rod is a sliding spline fit to the lower shift rod.

    You seem to have all of the hardware undone with the split you have in the video and you are probably stuck due to corrosion where the top end of the driveshaft fits into the powerhead. If it is really bad, you are going to have find a way to get some PB Blaster or the like in there and let it soak. If you have some wood wedges which you can insert into the gap you have (one on each side) and start tapping them in to see if you can work it down. Just don't use any screwdrivers or the like to pry it and use wedges wide enough to spread the force out a bit.

    Let us know if you have any luck.



    • #3
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      Re: newbee lower unit questions-> 1965 Merucry 350 -> binding & shift linkage questi

      I ended up getting this appart within a couple days (sorry for not getting back to ya'll sooner) - I was not missing any fasteners - it was just plain "stuck". I see someone else posted a similar question on July 5th, so I figured I owed you all an update.

      Gerry, you are right on the money, my Sealock manual is JUNK - not accurate at all. I have a friend who has a 50 hp merc, my lower unit is actaully shown in the 50 hp and up manual ...lol

      I think it was hanging up on the copper tube for the water pump outlet, where it enters the powerhead.

      Ended up changing my impeller, water pump seals, and shift sharft seal, but am still getting some foaming in my lower unit oil. so I change it ever time I take it out. I think a full rebuild with all new drivershaft seals is on the docket for next winter.

      Thanks to everyone's help from this forum!