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1982 Johnson 40hp workhorse frozen shift rod

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  • 1982 Johnson 40hp workhorse frozen shift rod

    Pulled a clean 1982 johnson 40hp workhorse out of a storage unit and trying to get it fired up. I have fire and air. I am currently pulling apart the carb to clean, throw on a rebuild kit and replace fuel lines. The motor is frozen in forward gear and I am having trouble getting it free. I am going to try to get it running and maybe the heat and vibration will ease the shift rod. Any further suggestions would greatly appreciated.

  • #2
    Is the throttle at idle position?----Any oil in the gearcase ?

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    • #3
      The gear case has oil that looks like it was changed yesterday. The throttle was the first thing that I checked. Unless we missed the "sweet spot" in the throttle.

      Looking at the diagrams of the mid section and the gear case, it looks like three areas that could be the problem:
      1. at the top of the mid section where the shift bracket and shaft enter or connect to the upper shift arm
      2. upper shift arm and lower shift arm connector
      3. lower shift arm and shift lever in the gear case
      Last edited by Sweetcharlie; January 10th, 2019, 06:14 AM.

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      • #4
        In my 30+ years in the trade, I've yet to see a shift rod seize up. Either the shift shaft that the shift lever connects to (under the powerhead) is frozen... OR... you have a lower unit problem.
        Our Questions Require Answers... If You Refuse To Answer Our Questions... How Can We Answer Yours?

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        • #5
          Joe,

          Where would you recommend that I start?...a little heat on the shift shaft or start in the lower unit?

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          • #6
            **********
            Edit: You could remove just one (1) 3/8" hex head bolt from the brass shift connector in back of the plate halfway down the long exhaust housing... if the shift handle still doesn't move, then yeah, that shaft is frozen. Just be sure to get that bolt reinstalled exactly where it belongs so as not to shorten or lengthen the shift rod measurement.
            **********

            Without actually being there, it would be "guess" work for me... however, you did say that the gearcase lube is in essence normal, so I would assume that there is no rust, corrosion, whatever in the lower unit that could jam any component.

            The horizontal shift shaft under the powerhead is the most likely area to jam and I've encountered that many times. If, when you attempt to shift, that shaft doesn't move at all... not even a 1/64"... yeah, that would be my "guess".

            There is a grease fitting there, should be anyway, but it's too late for that now if the shaft is jammed. Heat from a hand held "propane" torch has always been my first choice... BUT... if that doesn't free it pretty quickly, and although it's time consuming, the best route is to bite the bullet as the saying goes and remove the powerhead to do the job right.

            If the shaft is damaged, get back to me as I may have a few left in my remaining stock.
            Last edited by Joe Reeves; January 10th, 2019, 08:02 AM.
            Our Questions Require Answers... If You Refuse To Answer Our Questions... How Can We Answer Yours?

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            • #7
              Is it froze with the lower installed? I would remove lower and remove shift cable and shift each by hand to determine where its stuck. You're gonna want to replace impeller anyways once you get it shifting.
              May have already been stated but I didnt read too closely...
              '47 18' CC Utility "Knock On Wood"
              Various Evinrude powered Pontoons all named "Floosy"

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              • #8
                ^^agree with Jake. No 40hp in '82, though -- think a 35 or 50, and shift rod differs between the two. Helpful to post a model number.

                [Edit. apologies. Your reference to workhorse model presumably makes it a commercial model.]
                Last edited by oldboat1; January 10th, 2019, 04:45 PM.

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                • #9
                  That would be the revival of the 40 HP of the 1960 era and a new revival of the early 1970's models.-----Marketed as a " workhorse "----Perhaps an exercise in clearing out old inventory.

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                  • #10
                    I have a similar 1976 model 40hp and sometimes you need to turn the prop or flywheel clockwise while shifting without the motor running...I know this because a few times while out on the water I shut it down in gear....Just a thought and maybe you are aware of this....

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                    • #11
                      What is the model number of that engine? For some strange reason, although you obviously listed it as a 1982 model, my mind was locked onto a earlier designed model.... Now, we need the model number!
                      Our Questions Require Answers... If You Refuse To Answer Our Questions... How Can We Answer Yours?

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                      • #12
                        40RSR sounds close.

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                        • #13
                          40RSR and 40RSLR are listed as 1982-1983... There was also a 40RWCN and a 40RWLCN listed in 1982... A search for J40RSR will give you a parts diagram....I have seen a 1982 Evinrude Worktwin and it was very close to my 1976.... The later model had a factory pee tube and a sloped engine cowl....
                          Last edited by hardwater fisherman; January 11th, 2019, 05:22 AM.

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                          • #14
                            J40RWCTR

                            Thank you for all the info. I am going to jump on it today.
                            I will start with the simple stuff and move up from the lower to the power head.
                            I will update later.
                            included are some pictures. Sorry they are so small, I was hit with data limits by the forum.
                            Attached Files

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                            • #15
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                              Have you tried spinning the prop while shifting?

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