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Dominick
Dominick, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 1009
Experience:  25 Years Experience as Mechanic, 20 Yrs Boat Yard Owner/Mechanic, Factory Certified
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I have a 1971 650 mecury after changing water pump I put LU

Customer Question

I have a 1971 650 mecury after changing water pump I put LU back on if shifted ok and then it stayed in forward and seemed to lose contact with shifter in the LU and would not go in N or R
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 2 years ago.
You need to remove the lower unit.With the lower unit off shift the control into neutral.Using a pair of pliers carefully shift the lower unit into neutral. Prop should spin freely. Turn the shift shaft clockwise while turning the prop it should shift into forward and catch. Shift back counterclockwise and you should get neutral again.With the spark plugs out put the lower unit back up making sure not to turn the shift shaft.With the lower unit in place shift with the control.What happens is the shift shaft is turned wrong to begin with and shifting causes the gearcase to lose any gears other than forward.Try this and post back what you get.Thanks
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
I did it this way several times and I had forward,neutral and reverse for a few shifts and then R & N are lost.IT feels like the shift shaft has lost contact with the splines in lower unit.
Expert:  Jeff G. replied 2 years ago.
There is a shift shaft bushing that screws into the gearcase. The shift shaft has a groove with a C clip on it just under the bushing. The shift shaft in the gearcase is splined into a shift cam. Unless the C clip has come off, the bushing removed, the C clip should prevent the shift shaft from moving upwards enough to come out of the shift cam in the bottom of the gearcase.It appears that the shift cam is backwards in the gearcase. This does sometimes happen. With the gearcase down turn the shift shaft while turning the prop shaft and see if you can't get it back into position about 180*. The cam is ramped and pushes on a cam follower in the prop shaft. If it is accidentally turned too far it won't allow the shifting.Your only other alternative is to take the gearcase apart. This i wouldn't recommend as you need special tools and it may be corroded enough to not come apart without damaging something.With the gearcase in neutral forward gear and reverse gears are only about a 15-20* difference from neutral on either side of neutral, clockwise from neutral forward, CCW from neutral reverse.