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Shifter Cable in '73 Johnson 70 hp needs replaced

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  • Shifter Cable in '73 Johnson 70 hp needs replaced

    We are new to the forum and are looking for a little help and advice on how to repair our little motor.

    Our shifter cable broke at the end point where it connects into the lever of the throttle box. Left us about 2 miles from the dock and made for an adventure in running the gas and shifting it forward by hand. We docked without damage or injury and learned a little more about the joys of boating.

    I have opened the box up and was able to pull the cable out of the "bracket" that it went into. I have no idea what the official name of that bracket is, so feel free to teach me the correct name.

    So here's where it gets out of my experience level - do you remove the bracket (see photo attached with the red screwdriver handle pointing to the connection) and, if so, how do you do it? Does it require special tools?

    Then - how do I know what cable to replace it with?
    Click image for larger version

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    Any advice on why the cable breaks - the boat is old so obviously age is an issue. But, is there an issue that caused to much strain on the cable?

    Thanks in advance for all the advice and help.

  • #2
    Re: Shifter Cable in '73 Johnson 70 hp needs replaced

    See the little allen screw, loosen it up. Look just ahead of the lever, there is a small hole in the control box, move the cable end over the hole to access the little allen screw on the other side. With both allen screws loosened the cable will come out of the end.
    Zoom in and look at #'s 1 & 91.
    It depends on the type of ends on your cable, but I think you will need a series 400 cable. You can check with a local dealer or order on-line.


    • #3
      Re: Shifter Cable in '73 Johnson 70 hp needs replaced

      Thanks much for the information. I really appreciate it.

      I was able to loosen the allen screw per your instructions and I reinserted the cable back into the housing and tighten the allen screw down.

      Now, here's where I need a little more advice.

      I reassembled the throttle control box, set the throttle shifter to neutral and restarted the motor. She did fire off beautifully, but in forward gear and at "speed". Since that occurred, I assumed that the forward shifter cable is either too short or in an incorrect position. Even though I never found a small piece of the cable, I still wonder if it broke where it was attached to the housing. That would explain now why its short.

      Do I need to replace the cable or make an adjustment to the "black knob"? (see picture above of black knob on shifter cable- the red screwdriver points to it towards upper left corner). I notice that there are screw threads before/ after it. I also noticed other knobs on the cable attaching to the motor that allow for some kind of adjustments.

      Thanks agin for your help. I really appreciate it.

      Again - thanks for the help.


      • #4
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        Re: Shifter Cable in '73 Johnson 70 hp needs replaced

        If the cable broke, and is too short, you may be able to adjust the knob or thumbwheel at the motor end, but if it's too short, you'll never get the full range of motion so the motor shifts positively into both forward and reverse. If the cable didn't break, you may have pushed it too far into the casing guide before tightening the allen screws. Try loosening the screws and pull it out a bit. Usually if the cable end just pulled out of the guide because of a loose allen screw, you still see the crimp marks where the allen screws bit into the cable.