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Jeff G.
Jeff G., Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 4724
Experience:  42 years experience, Certified Master Technician, All Major Outboards, Sterndrives, Hi-Performance
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How do I install the shift linkage arm on a 1988 Evinrude

Resolved Question:

How do I install the shift linkage arm on a 1988 Evinrude 40
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
I will be happy to assist you. If you have a question or need clarification please post back at any time.
If you look at the shift linkage there is a shaft # XXXXX this connects to the shift attachment #110 and #85. There is a pin that you pull on the shaft #81 then push the shaft towards the engine, this slightly separates the parts #85 and 110. The pin that is part of part #85 then indexes into the hole in the top of the shift shaft.
It is much easier to see if you remove the air silencer from the front of the carbs. When you have the pin from part #85 through the hole in the shift shaft pull the lar
ge shaft #81 back towards you and put the pin #74 back into place with the washer to the inside. You will see the drilled hole in the #81 shaft.
Also remove the control cable to make moving the shaft easier.
If you don't understand something or have a further question on this let me know.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I undersand but when I did that the engine would only shift into forward and reverse??
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
The Johnson and Evinrude engines shift forward then neutral then reverse. You can not get from one gear to another without neutral. Most control boxes have a positive neutral detent in the box. If yours is worn out then you may not "feel" neutral they way you should.
Try this.
Make sure the attachment pin #85 is through the eye in the shift shaft that comes up from the lower unit.
Remove the shift control cable from the shift linkage.
With the engine off and spark plug wires removed so the engine can not start, stand on the side of the engine and while turning the propeller clockwise with your foot push the shift linkage all the way forward.
The prop should make a partial turn and then stop, the clutch has engaged the gear.
Now move the linkage slowly backwards while turning the prop again with your foot. You will find a spot there where the prop freely spins, that is neutral.
keep moving the linkage backwards until it stops and you have engaged gear again.
This will tell you, you have F-N-R.
Shift back to neutral,
Shift the control to neutral.
Now put the shift cable back on aligning the adjustment trunnion so the shift cable and linkage are both in neutral.
Make sure you are putting the proper cable on! If you removed both cables the easy way to tell is from neutral the first cable to move when shifting and giving throttle is the shift cable and the last to move the throttle.
Let me know what you find and your results.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Sorry, I mint to say it would only go in reverse and neutral, is that because the shift linkage arm is screwed into the lower unit too far?
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
Did you drop the lower unit and unscrew the shift shaft?
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
With the gearcase in neutral from the flat of the housing itself to the center of the eye of the shift rod should be 15 29/32 for a standard shaft engine and 20 29/32 plus or minus 1/32"
So get it as exact as you can. A metal stiff tape measure will do OK.
Screw the shift rod in or out to achieve this measurement.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Not completely, the old lower unit blew up and I purchased a used one. It was checked out and is good, but I have not been able to get the shift linkage back into the 81 part. Did once but the it would only go into reverse and neutral. Now I can not get it back into 81 at all?? When installing the lower unit sould the shaft be in neutral, pulled up or pushed in. What gear is it in when pulled up
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
First I would drop the lower unit and make sure the shift shaft is the proper height adjustment.
When you put the gearcase into position it will probably push down on the shift shaft so the position is not that important, you can pull up on it with a pair of needle nose pliers.
The offset of the shift shaft must be pointing forward. Then just maneuver the linkage #81 until you get the pin in #85 centered in the eye and pull back on 81.
That should get you full shifting, then just follow the instructions above.
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So are you saying when the unit is in neutral the measurement for a 20" motor is 20 29/32 from the flat of the lower unit housing?
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 6 years ago.
Yes from the flat top of the gearcase itself, not the shift shaft housing.
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