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Sounds like the shift shaft linkage Is not lining up correctly. What gear do you have both the motor and shift control set in?
It's binding when pushing the lower unit up?
Did you put to much grease on the end of the drive shaft by chance?
Do you have a helper that can move the flywheel back and forth as you push up on the lower unit?
Also, if you look at the front of the lower unit where the shift shaft comes down, can you actually see it alighn?
Is there any chance your sealing coupler is upside down on the water pump, have you tried flipping that?
That could cause the water tube not to go all the way in.
It is literally just an 1/8th of an inch?
It could also be hanging tight on the locating pins, have you tried pulling it tight with the bolts?
Are you able to thread any of the bolts into place?
Nothing is standing out at me, I will opt out and leave this open to the other guys. If somebody else has an idea they will jump in. Good luck.
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