I have a 1988 200hp V6 Yamaha. Over this season when I shifted into gear it didn't always catch right away, it kind of grinded a little bit before going fully into gear. Recently it started to not even go into gear at all. I was told that it could be the shaft rod because before 1994 the shaft rod was made out of steel, not stainless steel. I gues it will rot over the year and eventually bend when being shifted. I looked at the visible part of the shaft rod and it looks pretty corroted. I was wondering if anyone knows if its possible to change the shaft rod without removing the powerhead. Is there any way to do it by just removing the lower unit. Also is there any other possibilities of what the problem might be. Any info would help. Thanks
First, make sure your control cable is not frayed or messed up.
If you can see corrosion then your shift rod has probably had it. I'm pretty sure the power head has to come off to replace it. If the head has never come off and the motor has been primarily used in saltwater, the head bolts are probably "welded" in place by now. We just pulled the heads off our 1990 200s and broke a couple of bolts off in the process. This was after the shift shafts had been replaced in 1998 and bolts dressed with anti-sieze.
Before you do anything, I would see what your options are as far as salvage and repowering.
Hi Imported, I'm assuming your engine is a saltwater engine! If freshwater, the below may not apply!
The biggest problem with replacing the shift rod is removing the power head bolts. There are 6 long bolts (about 5") running vertically between the leg, intermediate housing, and the power head and can be accessed by removing 2 covers under the lower cowling. Those long bolts are the ones most likely to break. The reason the bolts become seized isn't the threads in the power head are seizing but the bolt shank is seizing with aluminum oxide corrosion in the tapered holes in the intermediate housing. Hence the heads shear off. The diameter of the tapered holes through the intermediate housing are close to 8MM near the bolt head and maybe 11 -12 mm near the top of the int. housing. This tapered hole is a real corrosion collector. There are 2 more shorter bolts and 2 nuts and they can break too!
There was a long thread on this site about broken bolts. It was called "Broken Bolt Disaster" or something like that. Do a search on "broken bolts". I think the thread was specific to Yamaha. In that thread there are some techniques for removing those bolts with an acetylene torch and also how to remove the bolts that have broken. Another lesson in that thread is that liquid penetrants are pretty much a waste of time!! Liquid penetrants don't dissolve aluminum oxide/salt corrosion even if it could reach the corrosion which it probably can't. Pay particular attention to any comments and solutions given by "rodbolt"!! He is a bonified Yamaha guru!! I hope this helps!
Try the torch to heat the area from the bolt head to the top of the adaptert plate. If you should twist one off, don't fret. You can see where area where the bolt goes thru the adapter plate into the powerhead. About an inch down from the powerhead, drill a hole into the adapter plate and thru the bolt thus cutting it. After pulling the powerhead, you can drive the broken bolt from the bottom up for removal. Being the hole is smaller at the bottom than at the top, you cannot drive them down. After your repairs and reinstalling the powerhead, fill the holes with Marine Tex or some other marine epoxy.
Being our shop is based in a salt water area, we've done more than I can count over the past decade. This was found to be the easiest solution to the broken bolts.
I'm doing both engines, Yamaha 200's 1988-1989 Shift shafts, Steering Arm-Shafts, and many small parts & seals. Anyone who has any questions, let me know. I Found a great supplier for parts, discounted. It's a fairly big job, the most difficult being frozen bolts. The torch and brass drift with a 2lb. hammer work well. Took a bunch of pictures, and I'm going to take more. Love to help, if you need any advise. Bob
I am with capt ken, if I break them I use a 1/2" bullet point non-slip shank bit and simply cut the bolt and drive the broken piece upwards after the head is off.
if the bolts happen to come out, and occasionally it happens, then it can be done in 3 hours, if not 8 to 12 is common.