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  1. #1

    Default Mercruiser won't go into forward gear!

    I have a 1985 Celebrity with a 350 engine and an Alpha one outdrive. I just replaced the transom and put it all back together. Today i started it up and was checking it out and the drive would not go into forward gear only reverse. I removed the shift control and manually moved the cable but only if i really pushed hard into the housing would it go into forward gear and it was making a clunking sound as if it was not in full forward gear. Not sure what the next step is and summer is running away from us here in Nebraska.
    Any help would be greatly appreciated.

  2. #2
    Admiral ziggy's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2004
    Lincoln, NE. Branched Oak Lake

    Default Re: Mercruiser won't go into forward gear!

    1st the proper criteria.

    fwd= prop locks ccw and ratchets cw
    neu= prop freewheels either direction w/o sound or feel
    rev= prop locks cw and ratchets ccw

    if you've removed the lower shift cable from the shift plate inside the boat you should be able to meet the above criteria by just moving the shift cable in and out. it should move very freely.

    if it don't i think my next step would be to be sure the cable got routed proper. proper routeing will be found in the mercrusier s/m applicable to your rig. if that's ok, i'd think next step would be to remove the drive and again, see if the cable moves very freely. if not. time to R&R the cable. and '85 could easy need replacement if it's never been before..

    i hear ya on our times getting short. a month, maybe 2 on the outside and we'll be winterizing..
    'Lime Time'
    1975 AristoCraft Nineteen
    Mercruiser 165hp (chevy 250 L6), MC-1 drive

  3. #3
    Captain erikgreen's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Minneapolis, MN

    Default Re: Mercruiser won't go into forward gear!

    Actually, before you check any of that, make sure that you assembled the drive to the transom with the shift shaft connected properly. Sometimes when people have this problem it's because the transom shaft is not in or not seated in the drive end. Did you install the drive with the shift lever in forward?

    If it's not that, then probably your shift cable (upper or lower) needs adjustment. There's tips on doing that here, mostly in posts where people have had to replace the lower shift cable.

    Sea Ray SRV-210 - Winter refit
    75-85 foot displacement hull trawler - gleam in my eye

  4. #4

    Default Re: Mercruiser won't go into forward gear!

    I checked to make sure the that the shift shaft is moving correctly and it is. I unhooked the cable from the contol and manually moved the shift shaft and it locks like it should in forward and reverse gear. I measured the lower shift cable and it measures 6" like it should. I climbed out of the boat with boat in forward gear and shift shaft was in correct position. When in neutral the prop spun free. When in full reverse shift shaft moved correctly. What should i do next?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Western NY

    Default Re: Mercruiser won't go into forward gear!

    There is a shift cable adjustment procedure here: Starts on page 86. Good luck.
    87, 4WINNS H 190
    470/Alpha I

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