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  1. #1

    Default Forward and Reverse Backwards

    I recently purchased a boat with what I believe is a 1985 Evinrude 50HP. When I bought it, the boat would would go forward when put the throttle in reverse and vice versa. It could go to full throttle going in "reverse" on the throttle, so it wasn't really an issue. It was just annoying and I planned on fixing it during the winter. The previous owner told me "the cables were reversed" but now having researched this a bit, I know that doesn't make sense.

    I saw another post on this board about gear boxes on older evinrudes being the reverse of what they are now as far as the linkage to the lower unit, but that thread was about motors from the late 70s and I haven't been able to find any information on whether or not that applies to models from the 80s. To my knowledge it's the original lower unit however so I'm not sure that would be it.

    The other thing that has happened (and I'm not sure what I did because all I've really done was to open the control box and put it back together) is that the throttle no longer opens all the way in reverse. I assume it shouldn't normally but since I still haven't figured out why the directions are reversed, this poses a problem to being able to use the boat at all.

    Any help is appreciated, the motor runs absolutely fine otherwise, this is the only problem with it.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Is it possible it has a reverse spinning prop do you have a pic of the prop?
    It takes a nickle to go first class!
    If it aint broke dont fix it!!

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Correct ----Some of the lower units shifted to forward with a DOWN motion of the shift rod and later ones shifted to forward with an UP motion.-----Up to you to check out what you have.----Then find the correct lower unit for it or the linkages for the motor block to correct the shifting !.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    The prop that is currently on it is a right hand pitch prop. As far as I know this is the correct prop for this motor. I could get a reverse prop but that to me feels like slapping a band-aid on it, I'd rather figure out why it's backwards in the first place.

  5. #5

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    Correct ----Some of the lower units shifted to forward with a DOWN motion of the shift rod and later ones shifted to forward with an UP motion.-----Up to you to check out what you have.----Then find the correct lower unit for it or the linkages for the motor block to correct the shifting !.
    Is there anywhere on the lower unit that would have a separate serial number? I'm fairly certain it's the original lower unit.

  6. #6

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Also possibly relevant. The throttle box on this boat is 100% not the original. It is an OMC, but would that make a difference as to weather the shift rod went up or down depending on the model year? Or is that entirely dependent on the linkage within the motor?

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    What is the model number of your motor?
    It takes a nickle to go first class!
    If it aint broke dont fix it!!

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Why not answer the question.------Does this lower unit shift to forward with an up motion of the rod or a down motion, YES or NO !!!

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Just a mention here.... Long time ago, a old timer (younger at the time then I am now) told me a way of telling a right hand prop from a left one.... said if you can easily pick it up with your right hand, it's a right hand prop. He was right.
    We occasionally have questions. If you fail to answer, it may affect ours.

  10. #10

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    Why not answer the question.------Does this lower unit shift to forward with an up motion of the rod or a down motion, YES or NO !!!
    When I push the throttle to what should be forward and it spins in reverse the rod is being raised up. At some point the lower unit must have been replaced with the incorrect one. The previous owner had left me under the impression he'd done it intentionally by adjusting something however which is why I've been so confused. (God knows if he was telling the truth, I had assumed something like this would crop up eventually)

    For the time being, I'm ok with having to use the throttle backwards unless there's cheaper way to fix this than buying an entire new lower unit (I've gotten used to it the few times I used it this last Fall and I'm a bit short on cash at the moment) but the throttle no longer opens all the way in "reverse." I didn't actually adjust anything, all I did was open the control box to inspect that, and it changed something somehow with relation to how far the throttle can open going in "reverse." Can't use the throttle backwards if I'm only able to go 10mph in what is actually forwards.

    Quote Originally Posted by kimcrwbr1 View Post
    What is the model number of your motor?
    E50BELCO

  11. #11

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    So I did a little more research and I think I've confused myself even more... I believe that I've identified the lower unit as being the correct one for my engine based on the physical characteristics. In doing so, I also looked at all the diagrams and it looks like the change that flipped the direction of shift rod was in 89 onwards, and based on the physical appearance of my lower unit it's definitely not the newer lower unit.

    That raised a couple more questions:

    1) The lower unit I'm pretty sure I have unit I have says it was used from 1975 - 1988, did they change the shift rod direction within those years too? And why would the resources I've found say they were the same between these years if they're not/how can you differentiate when going to purchase if I have to get a new lower unit?

    2) Could the bearing housing assembly have been put in upside down? Is that even possible? I realized looking at the diagrams that were it flipped, that would reverse the direction of the dog clutch entirely with relation to up and down.

    3) Can you put the gearbox assembly from a lower unit where the shift rod is meant to go up into one where it is meant go down and vice versa? How interchangeable are the parts between the incorrect and correct lower units for these motors?

    Sorry if I'm coming across as not accepting of the advice given so far, I think I'm just overthinking things and all the other resources I've read before and after coming here to ask for help have left me more confused than I think I was at the start.

  12. #12
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    NO----The lower units that shifted the other way were used in 73 / 74 / 75 models.-----Your research is very faulty !!-----Linkages can be changed on the motor to correct this.---Up to you to find what you need.

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Nothing out of the ordinary I can see do you have a concealed side mount shift control?
    It takes a nickle to go first class!
    If it aint broke dont fix it!!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    It seems to me..................

    All of the single lever OMC control boxes function in the same exact manner from day one to the present pertaining to which way the shift cable moves when the lever is moved forward to engage forward gear.

    In moving the lever forward, the first 15 degrees pertains to shifting after which the control box mechanism automatically engages the throttle cable movement.

    From what has been said above, it seems positive that the shift cable is attached to the proper shifting linkage... but check it.

    For the previous owner to state to you that the cables were reversed is an insult to your intelligence and classifies him as a con obsessed with unloading a mistake (Eng w/wrong L/U) for a quick buck.

    Small Claims Court to get your money back? A Internet search for a proper correct good used lower unit?
    We occasionally have questions. If you fail to answer, it may affect ours.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    NO----The lower units that shifted the other way were used in 73 / 74 / 75 models.-----Your research is very faulty !!-----Linkages can be changed on the motor to correct this.---Up to you to find what you need.
    I found a linkage from a 1973 online, but it doesn't look like its compatible with the placement of the pins. Is this something that requires custom parts or am I just looking at it wrong? Are there any guides that may exist somewhere you know of?

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Why does it not look compatable to you ??-----And no it does NOT require custom parts.----Shift linkage parts from the 73 / 74 models 2 cylinder 50 will fit !!----Look up the different shift linkage parts right here on this site.----Should be all the " guiding " you need.

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    You mentioned the controls are not original what is the name on the controls?
    It takes a nickle to go first class!
    If it aint broke dont fix it!!

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Post # 10 clearly says that it shifts to reverse with an UP motion of the shift rod.-----This tell me it has the wrong lower unit !---Classic stuff as this is not the first time , nor the last that we see this.

  19. #19

    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    Why does it not look compatable to you ??-----And no it does NOT require custom parts.----Shift linkage parts from the 73 / 74 models 2 cylinder 50 will fit !!----Look up the different shift linkage parts right here on this site.----Should be all the " guiding " you need.
    Sorry I'm not great at reading the diagrams. I feel like an idiot now! The linkage on the 73-75 sit inside the Cam for the throttle as opposed to lower on the engine block as in the 85. I was looking at it as if it were supposed to go in that hole and just scratching my head thinking, "how the hell does this cable get from here to there"

    Does any part of the throttle linkage need to be replaced with ones from a 73 in order to allow he linkage to function properly. The cam specifically appears to be angled differently which I assume could interfere with the movement of the shift linkage on the outside.

    Thanks for bearing with me, this area isn't my strong suit but I'm trying to learn. This forum saved me big time, there's virtually nothing about this I've been able to find outside this board about this particular issue.

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Forward and Reverse Backwards

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