Good morning, gents. I helped my neighbor launch his 28 foot cabin cruiser last night, for the first time in two years. It has a mercruiser 260 5.7 liter engine, and whatever outdrive they would have put on a rig like that. The labels are all faded, but maybe it said 800 on it? I just couldn't read it.
Anyway, after messing around with it in his driveway for an hour or so summerizing it, it fired right up and ran like a top. Launched it, took it out across lake Coeur d'Alene, which was awesome.
But when we made it to the marina to store it, it stopped going into forward gear. The dog clutches just ground, but no engage.
It is a two-stick unit, one for throttle, one for forward and reverse. The throttle didn't seem to want to return to idle fully, and it was idling high, at that, so i adjusted the idle down a little bit, and it would engage again, but only twice before it started grinding and not engaging again.
I have resolved to put a throttle return spring on it, to fix the sticky throttle return issues and save his outdrive, but for the life of me, I have no idea why it won't engage in forward.
At the back of the engine, there are two linkages for shift. They both come off of one lever, which I assume is the gear engage lever. One is red, one is black. I don't know which is forward, and which is reverse, never really worked on a mercruiser before.
What I DO know is that the red linkage, the one closest to the FRONT of the engine, is loose. THe adjust nut was spinning by fingers.
So, I have concluded that the adjustment vibrated loose upon our launch and subsequent lake tour, and that it is simply either too long or too short to fully engage the shift lever.
I suspect that it is too long, based on looking at the setup, as it appears that the shift cable PULLS the lever towards itself when trying to engage.
Now, here is the problem. I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't know if OVER or UNDER adjustment can hurt something, I don't know what is right, or even how to gauge or measure the proper adjustment. i assume that this is like a transmission or a rear end lash adjustment. You can get it working, but it may not be right, and can hurt things if it isn't. So I wanted advice on what you learned gents think may be going on. Thanks in advance, and sorry this is so long...