I have a1979 85HP johnson the model number is 85TL79R...Just bought it last year. In excellent condition, Garaged Kept looks brand new...ran great all summer..first time out this year boat went into reverse fine....getting ready to leave for the day and it wouldn't go into reverse...when you put the shift lever in reverse it just clicks....if you give a lot of throttle it almost goes into gear but jerks reallly hard....don't know why it stopped...forward gear still works fine.. When you are on land you can turn the propeller in either direction...if you put the lever into reverse the propeller will not turn by hand....I tried adjusting the black knobs on the top brass linkgages a couple of turns in each direction but didn't make any difference. Would anyone have any suggestions on what to do or why it would suddenly not engage in reverse...Thanks so much for your help.
Last edited by mstone1968; April 10th, 2009 at 02:37 PM.
Reason: found the year of the motor
Start by disconnecting the cable for the remote shift and see if it'll go into reverse reliably if you shift the lever manually. If so, you have a problem in the cable or the cable's adjustment.
If it won't, then the problem's in the shift mechanism somewhere.
If you've had the lower unit off to replace the impeller, you may have turned the shift shaft a few times and gotten it out of adjustment. I don't know the exact length the shaft is supposed to be on that model but it's in your manual.
Anyhow, the two steps above will identify which system the problem is in.
Sure...go ahead and laugh at my old aluminum boat. It's paid for!