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Okay I tried all the above and nothing made sense. I just bought this boat so no idea of history or repairs. In desperation I pulled the outdrive.
Someone had it apart and the linkage from the shift cable to the shift lever was disconnected. There is a roller ball on the cable that fits into a notch on the shift lever, it was not in the notch. I tried shifting the lower unit with a 1/2" wrench and it goes easily into forward, reverse, and neutral......No wonder I couldn't find it.
Now I have a transom water leak to find and I have to pull the engine as the rear main seal is pissing oil into the bilge.