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  1. #1

    Question how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    I screwed around with shifter linkage and now I can get full throttle but it won't go into reverse; it just grinds trying to get there.

    I have fixed this before, but I don't think I'm doing it correctly.

    I have been tinkering with the plastic "trunion" (tightens/loosens) which is what screwed me in the first place I'm pretty sure.

    by the way, this isn't an electric shift, it's manual.

    Thanks in advance from a newcomer in Central Florida.

  2. #2
    Supreme Mariner
    Join Date
    Feb 2001
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    Port Charlotte FL but never the same since hurricane Charlie
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    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    Welcome!!

    What motor is it?

  3. #3

    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    Thanks for the welcome...I guess that I missed that part (DOH!)

    It's a 76 Johnson 55hp. Thanks.

  4. #4
    Supreme Mariner
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    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    OK, remove the cable and manually put the motor in neutral. The linkage should be straight up and down. If it's not, or the lower unit has been off recently, you'll have to reset the shift rod height.

    If the linkage is OK, center the end of the cable over the pin by adjusting that trunion. Now shift it manually into forward and reverse. Put the control in forward and then reverse and check to see that the cable has sufficient travel in each direction.

    I kinda suspect that if the shift rod height is correct the cable has stretched. Nothing a new cablw won't cure.

  5. #5

    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    It's a new (about a week) cable. when I originally replaced it and took it on the water, I noticed it was idling a little off so I messed with the trunion while in neutral on the water and got it going.

    Because I'm an idiot, I messed with that trunion yesterday before taking it on the water. Needless to say it was way off. I got it back to throttling up to full speed but after that is when I realized I screwed up the reverse.

    How can I tell if I need to set the shift rod height?

    I sincerely appreciate the help...I am getting a manual, just haven't received it yet.

    Note to self: if it's working, don't screw with it....

  6. #6
    Supreme Mariner
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    Feb 2001
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    Port Charlotte FL but never the same since hurricane Charlie
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    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    You have 2 cables. Are you adjusting the one for throttle or shift?

  7. #7

    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    The shift cable

  8. #8
    Fleet Admiral Gary H NC's Avatar
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    Dec 2005
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    East of Charlotte NC.(Indian Trail)
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    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    If you have not had the lower off then the shift rod height should be fine.The rod adjustment can't change without screwing it in or out where it goes into the lower.I bet its just the cable is way off.


    1981 ChrisCraft 210 Scorpion K,175 Johnson SeaHorse

  9. #9
    Senior Chief Petty Officer
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    Mar 2005
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    Wollongong Australia
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    Default Re: how to properly adjust johnson shift cable/linkage

    here is the "handyman" way of doing it, disconnect the cable from the shift lever on the motor, put the motor in neutral by manually moving the shift lever,(on the motor) put the throttle/gear control lever (near the helm) in the neutral position, connect the cable end to the gear shift at the motor, hold the cable near the little notch were the plastic trunion goes and adjust it untill it lines up and you done, slowly turn the propellor and get someone to shift from forward to reverse with the conrol lever and check you have both gears.

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