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Jason, Marine Mechanic
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 16209
Experience:  Degree in Marine Technology. Gas and diesel marine mechanic.
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My 1985 sea ray shift is not right.Adjusting according to

Customer Question

my 1985 sea ray shift is not right.Adjusting according to merc specs the drive locks in to forward but will not lock in to reverse.It appears the dash cable does not travel enough in that direction to allow good solid engagement in reverse.Of course adjusting dash cable then takes away forward engagement
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Hi Tim, good morning my name is Jason.

I read what you wrote, it sounds like you have some worn parts. Did you have any kind of general or specific questions that you wanted to ask me, or did you want me to tell you what I think?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
what is the most likely parts that need replacement? I know my shift cable travels much more than the 9/16" recommended.I think the shift parts inside the drive were replaced 340 hours ago.Where should I start?
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

You would start with the cable that runs from the shifter control down to the shift plate on the engine and see what happens. The problem is all of these parts are wear and tear, and with an older boat any or all of them can be worn. So start with the upper shift cable first. If that doesnt' fix then then move on and change the lower shift cable, this is the one that goes into the sterndrive. If still no fix, then you would replace the remote control itself. That's the order you want to attack this in.

Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

I don't know how you want to leave this. But that is where you stand on your end and what needs to be done. I think that should do it, but I work for tips so I do want to make sure you are happy with my service before you go. If you had a further question on the issue by all means feel free to ask. If not, Just in case you do not understand the way the website works (and some folks do not). You do have to put forth a positive rating in order for it to credit me for helping you. When ratings are not done, the website simply keeps your deposit and they will not credit me. The ratings box is located at the top of the screen. To rate, you must select the star you wish and also confirm it. Please let me know if you run into any problems or errors when trying to do it. If you do have a problem, or if you can not see the ratings box which is at the top of the screen. Please reply back "I rate Jason's service _______" and fill in the blank.

Questions do not close out, so if you have to come back later on with follow up questions to the issue you still can even after doing a rating.

Thank you


Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

It looks like you read my reply without putting through a rating for me. Please keep in mind the website does charge you to speak with me, but they will hold your money and not credit me for helping you out if no rating is put through. If you have a problem with the ratings box or can not see it please let me know.



Customer: replied 1 year ago.
well i have issue with your answer.Since the cable running from the shifter meets merc specs I question how brilliant it would be to change it first.I am beginning to think this was a waste of 26 bucks.
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

Since the cable running from the shifter meets merc specs

I am Merc certified and I have never heard of a cable "meeting merc specs" Tell me what that means.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Really???You were clueless to the fact that merc says the cable running from shifter to switch plate needs to travel 3"?Plus or minus 1/8" so mine traveling 3 1/8" should in theory be ok?You just throw the cable out if anyone has an issue with one regardless if it is bad or not then?Did Merc training not tell you about the specs they post in their manuals?The merc school supersedes their own data to just replace never check or measure anything?I guess that makes them money on parts sales huh?
Expert:  Jason replied 1 year ago.

I know what the book says, but the book is not realistic, and you are missing part of the equation here..... It's 3 inches +/- 1/8ths of one inch WITH the cable is loaded with 15 to 20 pounds. When you measured your cable, did you remove it from the boat, climb up a ladder or get on a roof, let the cable end hang, and then attach 15 to 20 lbs of dead weight to the end of it? And then measure the amount of play in the cable?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Actually yes I did.