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Tan, MerCruiser Certified Technician
Category: Boat
Satisfied Customers: 10898
Experience:  40 yrs. experience with complete engine repairs both inboard/outboard and MerCruiser Certified Technician.
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My 1988 Seaswirl Spyder 5.7 liter Chevy outboardwill not

Customer Question

my 1988 Seaswirl Spyder 5.7 liter Chevy outboardwill not engage into neutral or reverse when. my throttle is in neutral position it goes forward on my throttle was in Reverse position it goes forward when I thought I was in for position it goes forward all it does is go forward
JA: Sometimes things that you think will be really complicated end up being easy to fix. The Marine Mechanic I'm going to connect you with knows all the tricks and shortcuts. Is there anything else important you think the Marine Mechanic should know?
Customer: on my throttle it says Forwrd neutral and reverse on the top of it it also says pool for neutral it has the red button underneath which releases that lever on the side so I can move it forward and reverse it also has a button where my thumb would be on the right hand side for trim up down what does it mean when it says pull for neutral I thought it was just straight up
Submitted: 12 months ago.
Category: Boat
Expert:  Jason replied 12 months ago.

Hello my name is ***** ***** am I speaking with?

Which sterndrive is in the boat? Is this a Mercruiser, OMC, Volvo or something else?

Customer: replied 12 months ago.
Augustine. Its a cobra im guessing omc would be it.
Expert:  Jason replied 12 months ago.

Hi Augustine,

Got it. What is the story on this boat, when was the last time it shifted correctly? Have you done any work on your own yet?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
not too sure on the history of the boat just recently purchased 3 months ago when I bought it from the owner it was in driveway we hooked up the water to the prop and engaged forward and reverse I took it out with my daughters and we when we took it out it went in reverse to back up the dock after that no forward yes I did do a little bit of work on my own as far as on the internet and the blogs they told me it was the drive line or or cable I took the cable off the top of the engine and played with it back and forth manually and all I hear is a click everytime I move it back and forth manually on the lower end where the cables seats in not to really sure on boats and proper terms first time boat owner but I'm learning didn't disconnect anything else
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
I don't know if I would be able to move the prop by hand when I manually shift the the cable but it doesn't shift I mean move didn't turn the power on battery was disconnected when doin there was a gentleman on the dok that lives there that lives thereshe pulled the cable off the housing where the nut that I just sits and we were able to put it in Drive or forward and run like that and it ran all day like that but no neutral and no reverse as soon as I start it it starts going slow Push the throttle forward and it goes fastreally fast she's a nice boat
Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

Hello Augustine. My name is Tan.

Do you have an engine model number?

When you say you are disconnecting the cable which cable?

In this pic which cable are you removing? The top cable and the bottom cables should move when you shift the control do they move?

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
they do move together. I took the bottom one off. I can slide black plastic cover left and right about 2-3in and when doing so i can hear a tik or click sound in the housing where cable seats. Should i be able to move prop by hand L/R when doing so w/batt off . It does move maybee a 1/4-1/2 in but not to much it
Customer: replied 11 months ago.
Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

The prop should lock with control in forward gear turning the prop CCW then shift into reverse prop should lock when turning the prop CW. Do this procedure and post back with findings.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
the prop stays locked in all positions even in neutral does not spin freely in neutral nor does it unlock and lock when I move to forward and reverse I believe it may be stuck in Drive I know on my throttle handle I have forward reverse and neutral in the middle w/ pull. I pull. Handle spins free. But no movment on prop
Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

Ok we need to check the gear lube in the drive pull the bottom plug let some lube run out what is the color?

The chances are you have a broken shift cable. The cable that runs from the bracket to the drive. Bottom cable in the shift bracket on the motor.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
sir will do as soon as i get off work. Which can be ? I service fuel stations in northern California. So im busy. All day/ night. What color should i look for and what should i refill w/ as I was doing research online and basically diagnosing by myself before I got a hold of you guys I pretty much came up with the same answer broken cable I looked at the specs of the job put it off the lower unit learning how to run the cable stuff like that but that doesn't tell me what size or length of the cable but as soon as I do get home I will check the fluid for any kind of metal shavings or color and I'll get back to you I'll send an email thank you
Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

The lube should be a amber color when clean and black when dirty. If it is milky in color or looks like glitter then we have a drive issue. Now if water runs out we definitely have a drive issue. The shift cable is one standard length.

# 93 is the cable that will be broken.

Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

If the cable is bad when you order the new cable you will need these tools to install the cable correctly.

Customer: replied 11 months ago.
okay thank you for the information I will contact you when get further information for you
Expert:  Tan replied 11 months ago.

Ok Thank you....Tan

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