I just changed the clutch dog in my 1980 35 hp Johnson J35ECSM. After I got the new c-dog in and everything put back together, i just found out that the groove on one side of the c-dog must face the forward gear. Problem is...I'm not sure if i have the groove facing the forward gear. I haven't bolted up the the lower unit to the motor yet but when I slide the lower shift rod connector up and down with a pair of pliers and rotate the drive shaft by hand, it goes into gear and rotates the prop shaft correctly. It seems to be a little stiff when changing gears but it works fine. Is there a way of knowing if I have the clutch dog in the right way or do I need to pull it apart again and start from scratch...any help is much appreciated.
I have been inside a couple lowers myself and know what you mean, they aren't really hard to get apart but they aren't fun either.
You have a 50/50 chance it is right or you can tear it down and be 100%, that it shifts out of the water doesn't mean much, when loaded it may slip and you are in for a new clutchdog and ghave to tear it apart anyhow.
I personnaly would take it apart again and be sure, it would bug me everytime I was out on the water wondering if I was gonna make it back to the launch.