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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10963
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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I have a 2003 90 )hp 4 stroke with very few hours. I have

Customer Question

I have a 2003 Johnson 90 )hp 4 stroke with very few hours. I have owned it about a month and it has run flawlessly. I loaded the boat this morning cranked it up and untied and the boat would not engage in gear, forward or reverse? I took the engine cover off and could see the throttle and transmission lines moving like they should. What is wrong..?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Hello. My name is Tan.

This may take more than one reply to find your issue.

If the linkage is moving you have one of 2 issues the prop or the gearcase. Remove the prop and shift the engine into forward now see if the prop shaft locks. Does it lock into gear?

If yes then the prop is the problem. If it doesn't lock then the gearcase is the problem. Which could be broken drive shaft broken shift rod or snapped pinion gear.

Check the gear lube at the bottom drain plug what color is the lube?

Post back with fiondinhgs.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It was discovered that the factory brad that holds the shifter linkage had failed. The center pivot point of the linkage us what came loose. A minor problem that caused a major repair in that the cowlings and lower unit all had to be removed. All fixed now with a mobile repairman that charged just $175.
Expert:  Tan replied 1 year ago.

Ok great glad you were able to find the problem. This is one of those situations where an inspection is the only way this problem could have been found as this is not a usual type of failure. In this case all I could do is point you in the direction of looking for the problem.

I did the best I could without physically inspecting the problem myself.

Thank you........Tan

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