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Gear Shift noise

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  • Gear Shift noise

    On my 70hp Chrysler, as I move the shift lever to forward or reverse, I get a knocking noise (gear teeth not meshing) until it reaches a certain point and I get the Clunk of positive engagement. The question I have is, being new boat owner, is this normal or is there an adjustment I need to make? I can drive at all speeds and it won't pop out of gear, holds forward/reverse fine.

    My experience with friends' boats, are, move the shifter to forward, get the "CLUNK" and away you go. I'm getting a knocking sound, "BANG,BANG,BANG,BANG, CLUNK!". I just want to make sure I'm not grinding off the tops of the gears or something, to me, its not normal. I would think the drive engagement should be positive and this feels a little sloppy. Any suggestions? I bought this Starcraft/Chrysler in August, so I've only used it 6 times or so. Come spring, the Chysler will get LU work done (water in there) and some fresh paint. Runs beautifully, but this gear thing has me a little concerned. thanks
    Craig

    1976 Starcraft Super Sport 16
    1973 Chrysler 70 hp [707HF]
    1981 Mercury 4hp kicker

  • #2
    Re: Gear Shift noise

    If it is more of a loud rapid clacketty sound than a "BANG,BANG,BANG,BANG" it is perfectly normal. You need to move the shifter quickly through the clacks to the clunk. If you don't hear the clacks, you went fast and far enough. Takes some practice. You need to go far enough for the clunk, but you don't want it to rev, fast enough to get through the bad noises. All OBs and I/Os with dog clutches do this.
    Torque gets you there. Horsepower gets you there in time for dinner.

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    • #3
      Re: Gear Shift noise

      Check your control cable quick-connect at the engine. The throttle cable connect should be the larger spring loaded one AND the center should be pulled out about 1/4 inch at neutral.

      When properly adjusted, when you go to shift, as the shift lever moves, the throttle quick-connect spring retracts and the throttle does not move until the gears are engaged. This prevents the engine from speeding up before the gears are engaged and helps keep the drive dogs from rattling against each other--hopefully. Normal drive dog engagement is a "thunk." Rattling the drive dogs against each other leads to eventual rounding of the mating surfaces and the engine "popping" out of gear under load. So, this is something to avoid if at all possible.

      It is still necessary for you to quickly move the control lever about 1/3 of its total movement, and quickly, to rapidly engage the drive dogs without rattling. This is a skill which you will rapidly learn--you will get the proper "feel" for it.

      "Easing" the engine into gear as you would a clutch on an automobile does way more harm than "snapping" it into gear.

      As an aside, the amount you need to quickly move the control lever to shift into gear is usually very close to the amount the control lever moves when you pull out the shift disable lever or button on the control box and put the engine into fast idle/start position.

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      • #4
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        Re: Gear Shift noise

        As an aside, the amount you need to quickly move the control lever to shift into gear is usually very close to the amount the control lever moves when you pull out the shift disable lever or button on the control box and put the engine into fast idle/start position.
        Just re-read your post Frank- I'd say there is more play than that, my control button only moves out 1/2" or so if I remember correctly. As I learn more about this Chrysler from you guys, I know this motor will be in top shape. This 16' Starcraft SS used to have a 90hp Chrysler, which the PO had too many issues with and was over powered for the boat so he found a 70hp. Assuming the control boxes are the same for 70 and 90 hp, that shouldn't be the issue. Just received my LU seal kit from iboats, pretty excited to install once the wx warms up. Too cold here and too much snow.

        Thank you both a lot. I have been easing into the clunk, where I should be moving quickly to engage the dogs. I checked my manual to see how the clutch moves in and out, so I see, I can be doing some damage. QC- it is a rapid clackety sound, absolutely... so I just need to move that shifter in a hurry. Always thought I would harm it slamming into gear, but see as Frank says I'm doing more harm the other way.
        Craig

        1976 Starcraft Super Sport 16
        1973 Chrysler 70 hp [707HF]
        1981 Mercury 4hp kicker

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