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  1. #1

    Default Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    I am working on a dual engine 87' 28' Chris Craft with MR drives. Installed new everything. Bellows, gimbal bearings, shift cables, controls and control cables, the works...... Everything is back together as it should be. I have done many of these jobs and never run into the issue I have run into here. OK, The control end of the cables are in the outer hole on the shift lever in the control. The new control is the exact same brand and model as the old one, so no change there. All of the cable ends are new, I even wire brushed the shift shaft before reinstalling it. At the shift bracket assembly, I adjusted the cable ends as they were supposed to have been adjusted. Here goes; If forward catches, reverse will not even grind it is so far out. Adjusted the other way, If reverse catches, forward will not even grind it is so far out. Adjusted dead center, Both forward and reverse grind and will not engage. It is as if the stroke is not long enough even though it is as long as it can possibly be. The clutch dogs looked good when I had the units apart. If I disconnect the shift cable from the shift bracket and pull and push the cable by hand it goes into forward and reverse just as it should. The control cable does not have a long enough stroke to engage the shift cable at its ends. How in the world can this be? The drives worked fine when it was pulled from its slip and parked in a hangar 4 years ago.
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  2. #2
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon,
    Posts
    11,262

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    If I disconnect the shift cable from the shift bracket and pull and push the cable by hand it goes into forward and reverse just as it should.
    If the shift cable has been disconnected from the throttle/shift unit, and if it works by operating the cable by hand ........ I believe that you have just described the problem.


    The control cable does not have a long enough stroke to engage the shift cable at its ends.
    It sounds as though it is not a cable issue, but rather the shift unit's lever travel is not great enough to push/pull the cable far enough in either direction!

    Are you able to post a few photos?



    .
    Rick ... aka Ricardo..... AQ series Volvo Penta repair
    Portland, Oregon
    28' SDN F/B w/ twin Volvo Penta 5.7L DP drives

    "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death." Albert Einstein

    Please... no PMs! Post your questions on the forum.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Island Heights, NJ,
    Posts
    3,118

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoMarine View Post
    If the shift cable has been disconnected from the throttle/shift unit, and if it works by operating the cable by hand ........ I believe that you have just described the problem.




    It sounds as though it is not a cable issue, but rather the shift unit's lever travel is not great enough to push/pull the cable far enough in either direction!

    Are you able to post a few photos?



    .
    I would double check that the jacket of the shift cable retains (lock/clamp) to the shifter at the helm correctly.
    Capt Bob
    1969 23ft ChrisCraft Lancer
    Merc 5.7L 260HP/ Volvo 280

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Portland, Oregon,
    Posts
    11,262

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    Good call, Bob!
    However....... what are the chances of this occurring to both shift cables?


    .
    Last edited by RicardoMarine; 09-11-2019 at 11:51 AM.
    Rick ... aka Ricardo..... AQ series Volvo Penta repair
    Portland, Oregon
    28' SDN F/B w/ twin Volvo Penta 5.7L DP drives

    "Intellectual growth should commence at birth and cease only at death." Albert Einstein

    Please... no PMs! Post your questions on the forum.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    Location
    Island Heights, NJ,
    Posts
    3,118

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    Quote Originally Posted by RicardoMarine View Post
    Good call, Bob!
    However....... what are the chances of this occurring to both shift cables?


    .
    Normally not, however O/P indicated both new cables and controls.
    Capt Bob
    1969 23ft ChrisCraft Lancer
    Merc 5.7L 260HP/ Volvo 280

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    Location
    Northboro, Ma, USA
    Posts
    5,342

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    He says he adjusted everything.
    We need specifics on how he adjusted the short shift cable...also if he assembled it correctly.

    Shift cable travel at this juncture should be ruled out based on brand new control cables.

    He does make mention of what hole in control box cable was attached, its been a while so i cant say for sure which hole the shift cable should be attached to but if the outer most hole then that is maximum travel at the control.
    Jack
    Mass.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Location
    Jersey Shore
    Posts
    5,622

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    Factory Adjust it for forward and increase the throw on the engine for reverse.
    Chris
    Dockside Marine Services
    Jersey Shore.
    Mercruiser/Mercury Certified
    Let the insanity begin.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Location
    Maryland - USA
    Posts
    7,885

    Default Re: Mercruiser Sterndrive wont catch forward or reverse

    Without know who's control box is being used, its only a guess and what Chris posted is the best option.

    Mercruisers usually need 3" of travel in the cable (from N to either F or R) and not all control boxes will provide that....

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