Please note this thread has been inactive for 90 days. For the best results, please start a new thread.
Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast
Results 1 to 25 of 44
  1. #1
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I just replaced my impeller and shift shaft on my 84 alpha one 3.0/ I4. . I have bolted my lower unit back on to the drive.
    The boat needs to have the shift cables adjusted or synced. When the throttle lever is in neutral, the prop spins free CW & CCW. However I can not get both reverse & forward correct. I adjust the cable until the prop locks CCW and spins free cw. Once this is done, reverse almost locks in reverse but does not. So I adjust my shift cable to allow it to lock in during reverse. Once I set this, then forward is now not quite locking in.

    I can't seem to all three throttle positions to lock right. Can.anyone explain.how to adjust my shift cables or sync them or have the #10 merc manual? I was hoping someone could explain itbeasier than the manuals do sometimes.

    Thanks guys

  2. #2
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    This sounds like you have too much slop in the system somewhere.
    You need manual #6, go to page 1C-38. This gives detailed instruction on isolating excessive play in the shift system. It also details how to adjust the shift cables in fine detail.

    Chris........
    If you don't have that manual, PM me...

  3. #3
    Cadet
    Join Date
    Sep 2011
    Location
    MI
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Ok I'm still new here but had this same problem last week. Turns out when I connected the lower to the upper it was in F and the control was in N. (I bent the washer in the lower and metal keeper that holds the shift shaft). The control needs to be in WOT F and the lower needs to be in F, also was the shift washer in the lower? I had to take mine back apart and flatten that washer and bend the part that the shift shaft sites in on the upper back into place. I guess what I'm saying is if it worked fine before then it's not the cables. Once I have mine back together correctly it worked great. I hope this helps.

  4. #4
    Senior Chief Petty Officer natemoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    N.W. Florida
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I've been plagued with this problem for two years. The written adjustment procedures don't work. I went through the troubleshooting procedures Chris suggested. Mine passed the tests, too. I think my problem is just a worn upper shift cable. I mean, I can lock the control stick in neutral, then push/pull on the cable end that connects to the shift lever on the engine. Easily 1/2" + of play. Twenty five years of shifting, I'm sure, has worn grooves into the inside of the cable casing. I'm replacing mine next. How much play do you have?
    Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
    Alpha One s/n 0B754718
    '87 Four Winns Horizon 170


  5. #5
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I don't have much play in my cable at the shift lever, maybe 1/4 inch.
    On my boat, I have a upper shift cable with a plastic barrel and not many adjusting pieces.
    I then have a lower shift cable with a brass barrel that adjusts. Do I need to make any upper cable adjustments, or just lower cable adjustments with the barrel?

    Also does the drive need to be in the lowes position when making these adjustments, cause I made the with the drive in the upper position.

  6. #6
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I have always adjusted them with the drive down. There is a slot in the shift lever on the shift plate that the lower cable connects to. You can get a spanner behind the stud and loosen the nut, move the stud up to the top of the slot and retighten the nut, that will give the lower shift cable some more travel. Just check that it's not reaching end of travel at full throttle (in both forward and reverse) and pushing the shift cutout cam and activating the shift cutout switch...

    Chris.........

    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by achris; October 8th, 2011 at 06:52 PM. Reason: Add picture

  7. #7
    Senior Chief Petty Officer natemoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    N.W. Florida
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    I don't have much play in my cable at the shift lever, maybe 1/4 inch.
    On my boat, I have a upper shift cable with a plastic barrel and not many adjusting pieces.
    I then have a lower shift cable with a brass barrel that adjusts. Do I need to make any upper cable adjustments, or just lower cable adjustments with the barrel?

    Also does the drive need to be in the lowes position when making these adjustments, cause I made the with the drive in the upper position.
    There are adjustment procedures for the upper cable in the service manual.
    Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
    Alpha One s/n 0B754718
    '87 Four Winns Horizon 170


  8. #8
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    OK thank you for the replies.

    However here is what I have found out thus far.

    #1- On my shift cable plate, there is no adjustable slide for the stud. I saw this in the manual, and looked for it on mine, and there is not one. There is just 2 bolt holes, 1 for upper shift assist, and 1 for lower shift cable.

    #2- When the drive shifts into forward and the clutch is engadged, there is about 1-1.5" left on the shift cable that it can slide in more, BUT reverse does not fully engage until the very end of the cable extension.

    So I am trying to figure out how to make it so that the reverse engages before the end of the cable, but any adjustments I make for reverse to engage faster messes up my forward gear locking in. However again, I have been adjusting it with the drive in the up position, maybe I will need to try it with it in the down position. I would assume that by lowering the drive it removes 1-2" of slack in the cable.

    Also, When the drive is correctly shifted into reverse, the prop should lock CW, but spin freely CCW. When people say it should spin freely CCW, does that mean with no clicking or anything? Should I be able to spin the prop CCW quickly and let go and the prop should continue to spin, or is it normal for the prop to have some clicking? when it is engaged in reverse now, it spins free for a few inches, and then it has some resistence, and then it "pops" then it spins free again for a few more inches. I think it is too far engaged in reverse when this is happening.

    When I spin the prop when it is in forward or reverse, and I put my finger on the shift cable on the back on the drive (where the lower and upper link), I can feel the cable "flicking" with the clicks in the prop When i turn it.

    I am not sure if this makes any sense please let me know if it does not and i will try and explain it better.

  9. #9
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    ...Also, When the drive is correctly shifted into reverse, the prop should lock CW, but spin freely CCW. When people say it should spin freely CCW, does that mean with no clicking or anything? Should I be able to spin the prop CCW quickly and let go and the prop should continue to spin, or is it normal for the prop to have some clicking?
    When in gear the prop should lock when turned the other way. ie: in forward it lock when turned backwards and in reverse it locks when turned forward. When the prop is turned in the same direction as the gear selected it should ratchet/click. The less movement between a lock up and the start of the resistance before the click the better. That indicates a greater degree of engagement between the gear (forward or reverse) and the dog clutch. The thing you don't really want is gear engagement just on the very edges of the teeth.

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    when it is engaged in reverse now, it spins free for a few inches, and then it has some resistence, and then it "pops" then it spins free again for a few more inches. I think it is too far engaged in reverse when this is happening.
    No, you don't have enough engagement. You should have as little 'free movement' as possible.

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    When I spin the prop when it is in forward or reverse, and I put my finger on the shift cable on the back on the drive (where the lower and upper link), I can feel the cable "flicking" with the clicks in the prop When i turn it.
    That's the forward pressure on the ramps on the back side of the dog trying to push it out of gear. Completely correct.

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    I am not sure if this makes any sense please let me know if it does not and i will try and explain it better.
    It makes enough sense (to me ). What we need to establish is where the problem is (not enough travel from the control box or the requirement for too much travel in the drive).You need manual #6 and refer to page 1C-42, "Checking remote control shift cable output". I could retype the whole thing here, but that would take too long.

    Chris.........
    (PM me if you need manual #6....)
    The world takes on a whole new perspective when viewed from 100' below...



    1972 Bertram 'Bahia Mar' 20
    2006 Mercruiser 4.3MPI (0W617679) w/Alpha 1 Gen II (0W829301)
    **
    Please don't send service questions in private messages. That's what the forum is for. Messages of thanks, always accepted.
    **
    Member of the month - April 2013. http://www.iboats.com/blog/achris-member-of-the-month/

  10. #10
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I understand everything you said except for
    "No, you don't have enough engagement. You should have as little 'free movement' as possible."

    I would think that it is putting too much "hold" on the inter Shift shaft and not allowing the "flicking" to happen as easy as if there were less resistence. Is this not the way it works.

    When the reverse issue is happening, the prop locks 100% CW so the clutch is engaged, but turning the prop CCW does not ratchet or click, it spinds free and where it should "ratchet" it feels like a gear is engaging and then slipping, it then pops, then spins free again for a few inches, and then has resistence, and then pops again, and it repeats this, is this normal when you say it should have as little free movement as possible?

    maybe I am looking at it wrong.

  11. #11
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I have attached a crude hand drawing as a representation of the engagement section of the gears, the dog clutch an prop shaft. Best I could do under the circumcision, sorry.

    The gears sit on the propshaft with no direct connection, they are driven by the pinion (not shown). The dog clutch is on a spline on the propshaft and slides back and forward to engage the gears, thus 'locking' them to the shaft to transmit power through to the prop. When the dog clutch is fully engage there is only a very small gap between it and the gear, the shaft doesn't rotate much between contact of the forward section of the clutch and the back section (hope that makes sense).

    Here's a check you need to do, but you will need a helper. Remove the lower shift cable from the shift plate. Have the helper push the cable in as you gently turn the prop CCW (engages forward gear). With the cable fully in lightly turn the prop each way. There should be very little rotation between feeling resistance in each direction. Now have the helper slowly pull the cable all the way out while you 'rock' the prop back and forth. As it comes out of gear you will notice the distance the prop moves between resistances getting bigger. Then there will be no resistance, that's neutral. As the helper keeps pulling reverse will start to engage and at first you will feel quite a lot of free movement, then it will become less and less, until reverse is fully engage.

    OK. Now that we have established how this all goes on here's the next step.
    Have the helper push the cable fully in (as you rotate the prop CCW) until forward is fully engaged. Have the helper mark where the end of the cable guide is on the end of the cable. Now you put a lot of load on the prop CCW (locking it hard in forward, you won't be able to actually turn it because you're trying to turn the engine). Have the helper lightly pull the cable out. Where the cable stops, measure the distance to the mark he/she made. That distance needs to be less than 9/16" (14mm). If it's less, then the drive and shift cable are in good shape and the problem is elsewhere. If it's more, then we need to find out where the slop is in the system, and he have other checks we can do for that too....

    OK.... One last question. (again!) Do you have manual #6?

    Chris.............

    Attached Images Attached Images

  12. #12
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Thank you for your information.

    Yes I do have the online copy of the manual #6 for the engine. I followed the steps in the manual to the letter, at least I thought. After reading it again letter by letter I realized a few steps I missed. Also when I pulled the lower unit back off, I realized I have a rubber washer on the shift shaft, but I do not have a metal washer on the shift shaft bushing.

    I remember putting the retaining pin on the shift shaft below the bushing, and then putting the metal water that sits on the retaining clip on the shift shaft, but I do not remember ever seeing a washer that sits on top of the bushing. I will go to lowes today and get a metal washer that is the same size as the rubber washer. This might not solve the problem, but it will due away with another possible cause.

  13. #13
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    OK,

    So I went to Lowes to get the washer and got home and realized it was the right size dimension, but the center hole was too small. So I need to go back and get another washer today. However without the washer, I installed and adjusted the cable to take pictures to see if anyone can see an obvious issue. (This is with the Drive in the UP position.

    Picture #1- This is where the shift cable sits when the prop first locks in the CCW.

    Picture #2- This is where the cable sits when the prop locks CW (reverse) the prop does not lock CW until the max end of the cable. (Which I know if not right, but I just can't figure out how to minimize that without messing up the forward configuration).

    Picture #3- This is where the upper shift shaft is pointing when the throttle lever is in forward WOT gear.

    Picture #4- This is what my overall setup looks like shifted into reverse WOT. (notice the lower shift cable is extended all the way out causing the cutout switch to be off center. SO this tells me that the cable is bottoming out before the throttle lever is full engaged but I cannot figure out for the life of me what adjustment I need to make to prevent this without screwing up the forward gear adjustments.

    Notice there is no stud adjustable slot, and I only have a black plastic barrel without threads on the shift upper shift cable instead of the brass barrel with thread that the manual speak of. So the only adjustment I can make on this cable is to leave the barrel where it is, or I can move the barrel forward to the next slot. When I try and move the plastic barrel to the forward slot, the shift lever bottoms out before shifting into forward gear so i am thinking that setup cannot be right.

    Any help would be great.
    IMAG0262.jpgIMAG0261.jpgIMAG0264.jpgIMAG0266.jpgIMAG0260.jpg

  14. #14
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    The top cable (from the remote control is not a Merc cable, it's a Morse-Teleflex. If memory serves me correctly the end with the locknut is adjustable, but you have bigger fish to fry before we get to the remote control cable. The intermediate and lower shift shafts are not engaged properly, and until that is fixed (replacing the washer, there is absolutely no point in looking at anything else. Just one question... The first task to setting up the system is to push the cable fully in while turning the prop CCW until it locks and setting the distance from the centre of the hole at the end of the cable slide to the centre of the brass barrel to EXACTLY 6". Did you do that?

    Chris.......

  15. #15
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    I did but I am not sure if I did it correctly.

    #1- So am I supposed to push the cable all the way in until the prop FIRST locks CCW and stop, then adjust the barrel until it is 6", or do I push the cable all the way in and then adjust the barrel to 6"

    #2- so after I adjust the barrel to 6" from barrel to hole, should the throttle lever be in forward WOT, forward gear indent, or neutral?

    Becasue once i get that 6" mark, the lower shift cable will need to line up with the shift plate and barrel holder where ever the remote cable has it sitting in whatever position i need the throttle lever in. Or do I disconnect the remote cable and move the shift plate by hand to align the hole and barrel.

    I was trying to figure this out, but it made no sense to me. If I get a 6" mark, then the barrel and shift plate might not line up, so do I move the barrel more (terminating my 6" mark) or do I adjust the shift plate to line up (altering the throttle lever position)?

    I have the washer and will put it on within 2 hours. I will then make the 6" inch mark and report back.

  16. #16
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    I did but I am not sure if I did it correctly.

    #1- So am I supposed to push the cable all the way in until the prop FIRST locks CCW and stop, then adjust the barrel until it is 6", or do I push the cable all the way in and then adjust the barrel to 6"
    You seem to be getting hung up on this concept of 'first engaged'. With dog clutches there is no 'first engaged', they are either 'engaged' or 'not engaged'. Partially engaging dog clutches is what destroys them!

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471
    #2- so after I adjust the barrel to 6" from barrel to hole, should the throttle lever be in forward WOT, forward gear indent, or neutral?
    Right (in really simple language and following the book).

    1. Remove both cables from the shift plate. For the moment ignore the remote control cable.
    2. While turning the prop CCW, push the lower shift cable FULLY in.
    3. With the prop held CCW release your hand from the slide on the lower shift cable. Measure (and adjust, if necessary, the brass barrel ONLY) to achieve a measurement of EXACTLY 6" from the centre of the hole in the end of the plastic slide to the centre of the brass barrel. This is the ONLY adjustment to the lower shift cable AND YOU DO NOT CHANGE IT AFTER THIS!!!

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471
    Becasue once i get that 6" mark, the lower shift cable will need to line up with the shift plate and barrel holder where ever the remote cable has it sitting in whatever position i need the throttle lever in. Or do I disconnect the remote cable and move the shift plate by hand to align the hole and barrel.
    Read my point #1 above.

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471
    I was trying to figure this out, but it made no sense to me. If I get a 6" mark, then the barrel and shift plate might not line up, so do I move the barrel more (terminating my 6" mark) or do I adjust the shift plate to line up (altering the throttle lever position)?

    I have the washer and will put it on within 2 hours. I will then make the 6" inch mark and report back.
    On the shift plate loosen the nut on the back of the stud that the plastic slide of the lower shift cable goes on. Push the stud to the lower end of the slot and retighten the nut (it looks like yours it at the top of the slot at the moment). Now without pulling the lower shift cable (it's best if you, or someone, keeps some load on the prop in the CCW direction) put it in position on the shift plate. Put the lock pin in across the brass barrel and the nyloc nut on the stud. Don't tighten the nut down onto the slide, it should be just loose enough to allow movement, maybe 5 thou if I had to put a measurement on it.. This now has the drive locked in the fully forward gear and the shift plate also in forward.

    Move the control box to the WOT forward gear position. Offer up the remote control cable to its position on the shift plate. This is were the procedure will get complicated because you have a non-Merc control cable, so we will improvise.

    The book says to adjust the brass barrel on the remote cable so the positioning is right, then turn the brass barrel 4 turns away from the end of the cable and put it on the shift plate. Job finished....

    With your cable we will try this and see what happens:
    I see a locknut locking the small plastic end piece on. Loosen that lock nut and adjust the end piece to get the cable position right, then see if the end piece will unscrew another 2 turns without falling off. If it does, try another 2. If it's still on, then tighten the locknut and we will call that 'adjusted'.

    Fit the remote cable to the shift plate. I hope your helper is still there... While you are at the back of the boat, get him/her to pull the control back to neutral. You check that the prop spins freely. Now get helper to pull back into reverse, while you turn the prop CW. When helper is at idle in reverse, check to make sure you have good engagement of the dog clutch. Remember when you did the check I asked you to do about how the prop felt when the dog was fully engaged? That is what you are looking for, as LITTLE 'free' movement of the prop as possible. If there is not enough engagement (too much movement of the prop without resistance), then jump back in the boat, push the throttle to WOT in reverse, loosen the nut on the back of the lower shift cable stud and start to move it up the slot. When/if it starts to get tight and try to move the interrupter cam, stop there and tighten the nut on the back of the stud.

    Believe it or not, that is the adjustment done.....

    Once you've done it a few times it really is a 5 minute job.... But you MUST do it by the book. Do that and it will work every time....

    Chris.......

  17. #17
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    OK, so this is what I did last night, I will be as descriptive as possible.

    I removed the lower unit and installed the washer above the rubber washer. I then shifted the shift shaft into forward gear by turning the shaft by hand clockwise. I spun the prop CCW and held it with a bungee to keep the clutch dog engaged.

    I then made sure the upper shift shaft was facing 100% forward to the transom and mounted the lower unit onto the upper unit making sure the inter shift shaft, and upper shift shaft aligned. I tightened the 3 bolts to hold the unit in place and raise it to the mounted height to lock the shift shafts 100%.

    I climbed into the boat, and removed the lower shift cable from the shift plate, and lowered the drive trim to the full down position. Loosened the stud, and slid the shift shaft to the lowest position and retightened. I then shifted the remote lever to forward WOT. With the lower shift cable still remove from the plate, I had my right hand on the brass barrel, and my right hand on the plastic slide. I pushed in the lower shift cable by pressing the plastic guide towards the brass barrel until it was fully pressed in 100%. I had a bungee holding the prop in the CCW direction.

    I then adjusted the brass barrel until it was 6" from center of stud hole, to center of barrel. I then removed the remote shift cable from the shift plate. I put the lower shift cable up to the shift plate and moved the shift plate to the position that lined up with the barrel and the stud hole on the lower shift cable, and placed the lower shift cable into place and installed the cotter pin, and put the washer on the stud.

    With the remove lever in forward WOT position, I put it up to the shift plate and it was about 1/8 or less off, so I slide the remote cable guide gently in the diection needed to line it up. I installed the remote shift cable onto the shift plate.

    SO at this point the remote lever was in forward WOT, and the lower shift cable was at 6" mounted up. Now I did not have time last night to make any adjustments to the locknut on the remote shift cable, but without making any locknut adjustments, this is what the tests results are as of this point.

    I put the remote lever in forward idle, and the prop locks CCW, and has a very stiff rachet CW. Shifting to neutral, the prop spins free CW and CCW. Shifting to reverse WOT, the prop spins free CW and CCW. When it is in reverse WOT, it spins with no racheting/clicking in either direction as if it is a ways off from the clutch dog locking. I would have hoped that at least there would be some clicking CW to indicate that i might be close to locking in reverse.

    Now I know I still have the adjusting the locknut portion tonight, but since it did not seem as though it was close to locking into reverse, I cannot imagine how I can adjust the remote shift cable enough to get it to lock. I am about ready to go insane over this thing. I thought replacing the water pump and shift shaft was going to be the more difficult task, but I never expected the shift cable part to hold me up on this.

    One idea I have is this.

    When I mounted the lower unit to the upper unit, the uppershift shaft was facing straight ahead. I am wondering if I should remove the lower unit, and then remove the lower shift cable from the shift plate and press in the cable enough so that the upper shift shaft is facing at about 2:00 (toward the driver side of the transom) and then mount the lower unit and mate the shift shafts at that position.

    Maybe something else that can help find the issue, before I did all the above steps, I moved the shift cable by hand until the prop locked CCW. I then placed it onto the shift plate. I then shifted from forward idle to neutral, and back to forward idle. When I shifted back to forward, the prop would lock CCW, but not fully. When putting load on the prop CCW it would lock but then slip and lock again and slip. SO I removed the shift cable adjusted the barrel and installed the cable again. The prop was locked fully. I shifted to neutral and back to forward idle, and it would lock and slip again. It seems as though I could not get it to lock fully after shifting from heutral to forward.

  18. #18
    Senior Chief Petty Officer natemoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    N.W. Florida
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    FYI, my new iboats.com upper shift cable came in today. I replaced it and went through the adjustment procedures with the engine running (as opposed to having someone turn the prop). I pushed in the lower shift cable until I got a good, firm ka-chunk as it shifted into forward, made sure I had the six inches center to center (as spelled out in the manual), put the stick in the forward detent, adjusted the upper shift cable barrel until it slipped right on--ignoring the part about moving the barrel four turns away from the end. It basically works flawlessly now. Without having to mess around with the slotted adjustment nut, it clunks firmly into forward and reverse at the detents. No clackity clackity either. IT WAS THE SLOP IN THE UPPER SHIFT CABLE! I'm a happy camper, I mean boater. Now I just hope the shift interrupter works okay.
    Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
    Alpha One s/n 0B754718
    '87 Four Winns Horizon 170


  19. #19
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Everything you did is good. You have assembled the drive (put the upper and lower housings together) correctly and nothing more needs to be done there. I suspect that the remote control does not have the required 3" of travel. Is it a MerControl or some after-market thing?

    Just one check on the lower shift cable. This will confirm the lower shift cable and all the couplings to the dog clutch are ok.... With the prop locked (with your bungee cord nice and tight) in the CCW position and the shift cable pushed in, make a mark as a reference for the slide. Very gently pull the cable until you feel it pick up the slack in the system. Now measure how far the slide has moved to get to that point. It should be 9/16" (14mm) or less. This is an important check and we need to verify it now.... If the measurement is less than 9/16" we can concentrate on the remote control. I suspect that is the problem as the stud was already in the highest position... (I get suspicious when I see things that are not by the book. It makes me feel like someone have fudged something, and then I go looking for the reason.)

    Chris.......

  20. #20
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Ok, so I have made adjustments we mentioned and still will only lock into 1 gear. But bot both.

    I measured the distance out put on the remote shift cable. Placed a mark on guide while in forward wot. Shifted to reverse wot and the travel output was about 3 inches on the dot.

    However I noticed that the I adjust the shift cable by hand until it locks, then measured 6 inches. After all this I shift from forward back to forward and it is not fully engaged anymore. I reach behind the drive and the upper shift shaft has some side to side wiggle in it about 1/8". When I move it 1/8 by hand it then locks. I moved the stud to the higher position and it did not seem to change anything with it locking.

    I noticed that I will have the remote in forward wot and I will pull on the remote cable to eliminate the slack. I lock the cable in that position. But when I shift to neutral and back to forward I can extend the remote cable slack again. For some reason it keeps building slack back up in the cable and I am out of ideas.

    One question I do have, when I am adjusting the cables and rotating the prop at the same time, the manual says to stop when the prop locks. Is the dog clutch engaged when the prop cannot be moved with great force, or when it cannot be moved with gental force, but can be rotated with more force put on the prop?

  21. #21
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    .... Is the dog clutch engaged when the prop cannot be moved with great force, or when it cannot be moved with gental force, but can be rotated with more force put on the prop?
    You need to specify the gear you're in and the direction you're turning the prop. Because the dog clutch has one 'square' side and one ramped side that will change the characteristics.

    To check of the dog is fully engaged in forward gear you want as little easy movement as possible. It will lock solid going CCW but given enough force it will ratchet going CW. When the amount of movement of the prop between locking (CCW) and starting to move up the ramp (CW) is at a minimum, that is fully engaged. The opposite directions apply for reverse gear.

    1/8" movement between the lower shift shaft and the intermediate sounds a bit much. Check the 'shoe' on the lower shaft on the sides and the insides of the 'foot' for excess wear. I would take a pair of vice grips and GENTLY give the foot end of the intermediate shaft a squeeze. It needs to be a snug fit, without binding. That should reduce the excess movement at that end. Have you checked the play in the lower shift cable system yet? What was the result? I would expect it to be more than 9/16" with that amount of movement between the shafts....

    Cable travel on the remote control =3", excellent. But how much slop in the system? Put the remote in forward, give the shift plate end of the cable a bit of a push and make a mark on the cable guide. Without moving the control lever give the cable end a bit of a pull... How far did it move?

    Chris........

  22. #22
    Petty Officer 1st Class
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    Location
    Utah
    Posts
    244

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    When I do the test you specifies with the remote cable, it pulls out about 1/4" of slop.

    I think it is this slop that is causing it not to engage but I'm not sure how to isolate if its the remote or the cable. I'm also wondering if there is too much play in the shift shaft.

    How should the prop feel when the dog is locked in reverse?

  23. #23
    Seaman Apprentice
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    Location
    south jersey
    Posts
    34

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Did you by any chance replace the shift lever at the end of the cable.This mechanism can be installed backwards and the symptoms you describe can happen.

  24. #24
    Moderator achris's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2004
    Location
    I come from a land down-under...Perth, Australia
    Posts
    15,152

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    When I do the test you specifies with the remote cable, it pulls out about 1/4" of slop.

    I think it is this slop that is causing it not to engage but I'm not sure how to isolate if its the remote or the cable. I'm also wondering if there is too much play in the shift shaft.

    How should the prop feel when the dog is locked in reverse?
    Exactly the same as in forward, but it responses to the opposite directions of rotation... Did you look at the drawing I did earlier (feels like about a month ago now!)? Have you checked the free play in the lower shift cable?

    Before moving onto the remote control we still need to confirm that the lower shift cable and all the shift shafts and connections have not got too much slop.... Please check and post the slop in the lower shift system....

    Chris.......

    Have a look at this thread (by Don S) http://forums.iboats.com/showthread....49#post1930449 and have a look at the pictures of the dog clutch and how the system works. I suspect you still don't quite understand how the dogs operate. These drawings and pictures are better than I can do, have a good look at them. It also explains very well how the interrupt system works (which will be your next set of questions ).....

  25. #25
    Senior Chief Petty Officer natemoore's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    N.W. Florida
    Posts
    735

    Default Re: alpha 1 shift cable adjustment.. help

    Quote Originally Posted by sti1471 View Post
    When I do the test you specifies with the remote cable, it pulls out about 1/4" of slop.

    I think it is this slop that is causing it not to engage but I'm not sure how to isolate if its the remote or the cable. I'm also wondering if there is too much play in the shift shaft.

    How should the prop feel when the dog is locked in reverse?
    My boat passed all the troubleshooting tests that Chris showed me, but it still behaved just like you're describing. I had 3" of travel in the upper, less than 9/16" in the lower, the 6" center to center on the lower. But still, no luck. When I put the control stick in neutral and pushed and pulled on the upper shift cable, it had about 3/8" of slop, as compared to the new cable which had at most 1/8". If you've got 1/4" of slop, that may do it. These cables are only about $25 in the iboats store. I'd go ahead and replace it.

    Prop should absolutely lock CCW. You'd actually be able to turn the engine if you had Hulk strength.
    Mercruiser 470 s/n 0B648337
    Alpha One s/n 0B754718
    '87 Four Winns Horizon 170


Page 1 of 2 1 2 LastLast

Similar Threads

  1. Alpha One Gen 2 Shift / Remote Shift Cable Adjustment at Shift Plate
    By JEC in forum Mercruiser I/O & Inboard Engines & Outdrives
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: August 15th, 2010, 09:36 PM
  2. Alpha one shift cable adjustment
    By dieselram94 in forum Mercruiser I/O & Inboard Engines & Outdrives
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: April 24th, 2010, 12:01 AM
  3. Alpha shift cable adjustment question.
    By dg512055 in forum Mercruiser I/O & Inboard Engines & Outdrives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: March 25th, 2010, 10:14 PM
  4. Alpha Shift Cable adjustment help needed
    By crazy charlie in forum Mercruiser I/O & Inboard Engines & Outdrives
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: May 11th, 2009, 11:53 AM
  5. Lower shift cable-adjustment Alpha 1
    By smithrock in forum Mercruiser I/O & Inboard Engines & Outdrives
    Replies: 6
    Last Post: July 22nd, 2007, 07:43 AM
  1. iboats Forum Directory - Over 100,000 forum posts organized by topic