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  1. #1
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    Default Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Hey guys, I'm a new member. I've got an issue with my Mercruiser Alpha I Gen II shift assembly. I just had a new drive cable installed and I'm having issues getting the throttle to go into neutral in the water. Out of the water with the muffs on works perfectly. I now know looking at the link to Don S's Shift Interrupt system that she needs to be in the water to put a load on the prop for the system to work properly. Well in the water she will go into drive and reverse from neutral but when I put the throttle into the neutral position she stays in gear. Turning the engine off and restarting is the only way to get back into neutral.

    Here's what I've pretty much deduced, that I'm having problems with the Shift Cutoff Swith. From what I've seen there are two types, one with a roller and one with a plunger. Mine has the roller. What I can see on the boat is that the roller just doesn't quite center itself in the V groove therefor won't allow the engine to shutoff for the split second and disengage the clutch. I'm not sure why the roller wont center itself. There does seem to be a little bend in the metal arm but that to me doesn't seem to make a difference. So...what do you guys think? Am I on the right track or is there something else I'm missing? Thanks for any help you can provide!

    1997 Mercruiser 5.7 Alpha I Gen II

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    bump

  3. #3
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    IT sounds like the shift cable just isn't adjusted properly. Have you adjusted it per the OEM service manual, or by what you think it should be? The manual (#14) can be downloaded for free in the adults only sticky at the top of this forum if you have read the manual.
    Don S.


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  4. #4
    Petty Officer 3rd Class joey maneri's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Im not sure of the exact procedure, but i know for sure if the cable from your shifter or the cable from the drive are not adjusted perfect you will either stall when you take it out of gear or it wont come out at all.

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Don S View Post
    IT sounds like the shift cable just isn't adjusted properly. Have you adjusted it per the OEM service manual, or by what you think it should be? The manual (#14) can be downloaded for free in the adults only sticky at the top of this forum if you have read the manual.
    Don, shift cable was adjusted perfectly. I've had that manuel before and it's great info. I actually thought it was the cable as well so took it out on the water and adjusted the cable up and down to see if that would help and it did not. Now here's some more "symtoms", then the throttle is in drive at least half throttle or more and you shift quickly back into neutral it will kick out of gear properly. When in reverse this will not happen period. Either way it just wants to stay in gear and not find nuetral, hence the reason I went to the shift cutoff switch. Like I mentioned before it is the old roller type, which I know they don't make any more. Once in gear and I shift back to neutral I've gone back to inspect the switch and that roller is not lined back up perfectly into the V. Does this roller have to come all the way out of the V to disengage the motor and then go back into the V perfectly???

    Joey, it does not stall at all either way. Runs perfect. I am able to drive the boat normally until I need to shift into neutral or reverse it at the dock. Wont stop unless I turn the iginition off completely and coast in. Pain in the butt when I'm trying to set the hook fishing. I can force it to change gears from Drive to reverse and vice versa but I know that's eating at the gears and is not good. Just had the brand new parts installed in the lower unit and don't need to do that again. What do y'all think???

  6. #6
    Honorary Moderator Emeritus Don S's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Disconnect the shift cable from the helm contol, and see if you can shift in and out of boat gears manually.
    Don S.


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  7. #7
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by Don S View Post
    Disconnect the shift cable from the helm contol, and see if you can shift in and out of boat gears manually.
    One step ahead of you. Did that already and it will go into gear manually.

  8. #8
    Fleet Admiral jerryjerry05's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Is the new cable routed correctly,sometimes the go thru the back and get bent and routed the wrong way.Something to think about.J

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Thanks Jerry. I'll check to see if that is the case but the cable went in real smoothly. Worth checking out.

  10. #10
    Commander zbnutcase's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Have you tested the switch? It may be faulty. And it is NLA, have to convert to plunger style. And make sure idle speed isn't too high. 'nutcase

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by zbnutcase View Post
    Have you tested the switch? It may be faulty. And it is NLA, have to convert to plunger style. And make sure idle speed isn't too high. 'nutcase
    Nutcase...yup, found out last night this style was discontinued. I've got a used boat parts shop a couple miles from my house that I'm sure will have many to choose from but they do charge an arm and a leg for anything there.

    I also notices that the new switch does not match the old mounting plate.

    http://www.sterndrives.com/shiftinte...witchkits.html

    Do the new stich plates and plunger switch come together in a kit if I go this direction???

  12. #12
    Moderator Bondo's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Do the new stich plates and plunger switch come together in a kit if I go this direction???
    Ayuh,.... It can be bought that way,...
    But,...
    Have you electrically Tested the present switch,..?? Is it wired properly,..??
    Any Grease is Better,..... Than No Grease at All.......

  13. #13
    Rear Admiral JustJason's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    while the boat is in the water, look at the shift plate. Have someone at the helm try to pull the boat into neutral from foward and see if the plate is moving or not.
    just because you found it that way... doesn't mean it's supposed to be that way.

    Part of diagnostics is spending time figuring out not only what the problem is, but also sorting through what it isn't.

    The older the engine is, the chances of it having more than 1 problem goes up exponentially

    Boating has always been a rich mans hobby. Buying a new boat gets cheaper every year, but the maintenance, the repairs, and the overall cost of ownership of a boat has never gotten any cheaper.

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    We were having similar problems at the end of the season. Replaced the whole shift plate/ switch assembly with the 864363A1 Shift Interrupter Switch Plate Kit ($109). Solved all of our problems.
    Terry
    87, 4WINNS H 190
    470/Alpha I

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by JustJason View Post
    while the boat is in the water, look at the shift plate. Have someone at the helm try to pull the boat into neutral from foward and see if the plate is moving or not.
    With the engine hatch open this evening (boat out of the water) I was able to look back and see the plate moving up when put drive and it goes down when going into reverse. Both ways the roller comes out of the V. Is this the normal way it's suppose to work or is this the problem? Everything I've read seems to point toward it not moving and having the roller stay in the V. What do you all think?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by stonyloam View Post
    We were having similar problems at the end of the season. Replaced the whole shift plate/ switch assembly with the 864363A1 Shift Interrupter Switch Plate Kit ($109). Solved all of our problems.
    Stony...where did you purchase yours??? Was it online or from a local dealer? Thanks.

  17. #17
    Rear Admiral JustJason's Avatar
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Both ways the roller comes out of the V. Is this the normal way it's suppose to work or is this the problem? Everything I've read seems to point toward it not moving and having the roller stay in the V. What do you all think?
    No, its not normal. The plate is not supposed to move going into gear. It only moves coming out of gear.
    I would say thats a classic symptom of a failed lower shift cable and a case of the "owner disconnected the switch because it was stalling every time he shifted IN or OUT of gear".
    But you say your shift cable it new.
    Something isn't right with the new cable, the way it is routed, or something else in the shift system causing excessive drag.
    Your shift plate is moving when shifting into gear because the upper and lower shift cables are becoming unsyncronized at some point. They should only become unsynced shifting out of gear, not into gear. Time to doublecheck all the work that was done during the shift cable job.
    just because you found it that way... doesn't mean it's supposed to be that way.

    Part of diagnostics is spending time figuring out not only what the problem is, but also sorting through what it isn't.

    The older the engine is, the chances of it having more than 1 problem goes up exponentially

    Boating has always been a rich mans hobby. Buying a new boat gets cheaper every year, but the maintenance, the repairs, and the overall cost of ownership of a boat has never gotten any cheaper.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Quote Originally Posted by daboys72 View Post
    Stony...where did you purchase yours??? Was it online or from a local dealer? Thanks.
    Local Mercruiser dealer. I was not there, my brother in-law installed it, said that there were more parts than he needed, because it is a universal type kit. Said instillation went fine and worked perfectly after. The original switch was shot. The boat (87 4Winns H-190) has been put to bed for the winter, so I am taking his word for it till spring.
    Terry
    87, 4WINNS H 190
    470/Alpha I

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Change "Brother-in-laws"
    There is no universal shift cable kit for mercruiser and there are no extra parts left over. The plate only moves coming out of gear ONLY in the water with a load on the prop.Should not be moving on land. Something is definitely installed wrong.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Help with Neutral Kill Switch Issue

    Not a shift cable kit. A Shift Interrupter Switch Plate Kit. That replaces this:

    http://www.mercruiserparts.com/Show_...8NEW+DESIGN%29

    With something like this:

    http://www.mercruiserparts.com/Show_...ket%28Alpha%29

    It was sold as a kit to update any Alpha, and does contain some parts that are not needed depending on the vintage of your outdrive. I am sure that if you ask, your Mercruiser parts guy will show it to you.
    Terry
    87, 4WINNS H 190
    470/Alpha I

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