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1996 Johnson 90hp Gear Selector Cable Adjusting?

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  • 1996 Johnson 90hp Gear Selector Cable Adjusting?

    Recently had a SECOND incident with neutral button Jamming on what I believe to be a Morse SL-3 control - this time got stuck out in the water not being able to shift into forward or reverse.

    The first time this happened, I was able to jiggle it free to get into gear and back to the boat ramp. Did some minimal clean-up and lubricating and seemed to work fine (in my driveway). This last time I was not so successful, and could NOT get it into gear, and was left floating around helpless. Luckily, we were only a couple hundred yards from the dock and found a friendly boater to 'pull' us back there.

    I decided not to continue to deal with this threat, and purchased a NEW one from Marine Connection Liquidators.
    BY THE WAY - We just purchased this boat a couple of months ago, and as Good a Shape it's in - overall, we're still reminded of the saying "Welcome To The World Of Boating". (lol)

    Anyway, I got the old control out and, in fact, took it with me to purchase the 'New' one. They matched up Identical in every way.

    I began the installation process and first attached the wiring for the 'tilt' (which is a plug in) - I then attached the 'Gear Selector' cable and (AT THE TIME) did not think anything about having to 'MOVE' the control lever out of the neutral position slightly in order for the 'end' of the cable to align with the 'pin'.

    My next move was to attach the throttle cable - HOWEVER - in trying to move JUST the throttle (by depressing the neutral button) found there was NO spring action AT ALL with the button - in other words, I could NOT get the lever to control throttle only - it was locked in the gear selector position.

    I could NOT believe I was again experiencing a similar 'problem' with this neutral button, and assumed it was a defect in the 'NEW' control. SO, I proceeded to remove the new one thinking I would be returning it.

    To my surprise (and only out of curiosity) once the control was totally disconnected, I tried moving out of the neutral position WITH THE BUTTON DEPRESSED - and low and behold - it worked fine. Got throttle ONLY with the button 'IN' and BOTH throttle and gear without.

    Which brings me back to the part I had to MOVE the lever slightly forward to attach the gear cable.

    I've done alot of car and truck repairs through the years - but have NO experience with boats - although - I can't help but think now this Gear Cable may be out of adjustment, and is putting too much pressure on the 'button action', thereby restricting it from freely moving in and out.

    I would appreciate anyone familiar with this motor, and the possible cause of this control malfunction to offer your thoughts and guidance in helping me complete this repair and get back in the water.

    I'm even wondering if I even NEED the new control - and (if it is in the cable) if this situation was causing my 'OLD' one to be the cause of the initial problem. Agreed - you can't beat NEW - but I would certainly be 'pleased' to save that $250 if in fact it isn't necessary to replace.

    I can't seem to find ANY step by step instructions on 'cable adjustment' for this motor (or control), which is what I'm seeking help with.

    Look forward to any feedback, and Thanks in advance for anyone responding - TommyE