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  1. #1

    Default Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Hi,

    I need some help, and think you guys are the only persons that really can help me

    I have a Johnson 70 Vro from 1987.
    The issue is that when i took the boat in the water yesterday, i noticed that the reverse gear didnīt work. Neutral and forward are OK.
    Itīs grinding and wonīt get into gear.
    I tried to force with my finger at the "mechanism" on the enginge when my friend tried to get the gear into reverse, and it worked.
    And if i tilt the engine up and tries to get in to reverse gear, it goes in without force.
    But when the prop is under water, it just wonīt get into gear. *strange*
    Everything worked fine last season.


    For notice i had a marine service company that changed the impeller recently. Can that has to do something with this?
    I also tried to adjust the "wheel" at the shift cable and adjusted until it took stop.
    Is the shift cable defect? Or what can the problem be.

    Please help

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jun 2013
    Location
    Duluth Mn
    Posts
    4,237

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Yes, could be shift cable, there can't be any play when you move the control lever, and the cable end doesn't respond immediately. Did a responsible shop do the water pump?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21,463

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Check shift rod height.

  4. #4

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    @Timguy: Yes a responsible shop changed the water pump (but i will not be surprise if they had done something wrong, just a feeling).

    @Racerone: How do I check the shift rod height? Do i need to take the whole lower unit apart?
    Or is there any "quick checking" (the boat are on water and would rather not take it to land)

    But could that be the problem when the reverse gear works when the engine ar tilted up from water?
    Last edited by erkipekt; 04-03-2021 at 10:08 AM.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21,463

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    ?----If shift rod is not set correctly there will be shifting issues.-----It shifts out of water because there is no load on the prop.------Lower unit must be removed to set / check shift rod height.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    155

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    As Tim said, check your cable first. And then as Racer said, you need to double check your shift rod height. It is very specific. The shop could have easily got it wrong.

    Taking the lower unit off isn't that hard. It's intimidating the first time, but you can do it. I have a 90 hp, and I have taken mine off three or four times now. Good luck!
    Last edited by riopga; 04-03-2021 at 11:50 AM.

  7. #7

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Thanks all for the replies/help.
    Its just that it kind a difficult to drive from where the boat stand on water without drive backwards and to lift the boat from water....

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21,463

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    I guess you paddle or ask for a tow

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Mt. Zion, Illinois,
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Quote Originally Posted by erkipekt View Post
    @Timguy: Yes a responsible shop changed the water pump (but i will not be surprise if they had done something wrong, just a feeling).

    @Racerone: How do I check the shift rod height? Do i need to take the whole lower unit apart?
    Or is there any "quick checking" (the boat are on water and would rather not take it to land)
    This video shows you how to check/adjust shift rod height.
    https://youtu.be/Ufy6W9EI1cg
    Since the LU was off recently for a water pump service I'd suspect the rod height changing is a good possible explanation. Did the grinding happen before this service was performed or did it suddenly start after? If it started after then I would contact the service shop, tell them the situation, and demand they correct it.

    You can verify shift cable operation by removing the end from the shift linkage on the engine. Now, without the engine OFF and the cable free from the linkage, move the shift handle between forward and reverse. Does the end of the cable go back and forth with ease? Do you feel any resistance in either movement? If the cable moves both directions without binding then it's not your problem. However, if you feel significant resistance in either direction you'll want to replace the cable.

    KJ

  10. #10

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Update:
    I went to the boat today to test a couple of thing.

    I disconnected the shiftcable to test the gear manually (with my hand).
    I started the engine and tried to push the linkage to reverse. Yes it was grinding but with a little bit more force, it went in to the reverse gear.
    But when I connected the cable again, it went back to same problem.

    @kevinj: Yes, it was grinding before the LU was off but it went into reverse. I think that the grinding aint a problem, because the outboard does not have any clutch?
    I tried to push and pull the cable end a couple of times when the cable was off from the linkage, and it was some kind of resistance. It wasnīt smooth. But then i donīt know if some resistance are normal or not.

    So, could the cable be the problem? Especially when the gear goes into the reverse with a little bit of force (without cable). If the shift rod would be the problem, wouldnīt it be impossible to get into reverse gear, even without the cable?

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21,463

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Where the shift rod goes through a cover into the lower unit might be binding.----Outboard are to be shifted QUICKLY so the grinding is kept to a minimum.----Outboard do have a clutch dog that engages gears that are turning at about 400 RPM.

  12. #12

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    Where the shift rod goes through a cover into the lower unit might be binding.----Outboard are to be shifted QUICKLY so the grinding is kept to a minimum.----Outboard do have a clutch dog that engages gears that are turning at about 400 RPM.
    Can you please explain your first sentence, about the binding?
    Do you think it could be the cable?

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    21,463

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Sorry I am not there to inspect stuff.-----With both cables disconnected does the control box move smoothly ?---The shift rod goes through a cover and into the lower unit.---It might be binding there.---Up to you to inspect and trouble shoot.

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Mt. Zion, Illinois,
    Posts
    1,140

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Quote Originally Posted by erkipekt View Post
    Update:
    I went to the boat today to test a couple of thing.

    I disconnected the shiftcable to test the gear manually (with my hand).
    I started the engine and tried to push the linkage to reverse. Yes it was grinding but with a little bit more force, it went in to the reverse gear.
    But when I connected the cable again, it went back to same problem.

    @kevinj: Yes, it was grinding before the LU was off but it went into reverse. I think that the grinding aint a problem, because the outboard does not have any clutch?
    I tried to push and pull the cable end a couple of times when the cable was off from the linkage, and it was some kind of resistance. It wasnīt smooth. But then i donīt know if some resistance are normal or not.

    So, could the cable be the problem? Especially when the gear goes into the reverse with a little bit of force (without cable). If the shift rod would be the problem, wouldnīt it be impossible to get into reverse gear, even without the cable?
    Quote Originally Posted by racerone View Post
    -Outboard do have a clutch dog that engages gears that are turning at about 400 RPM.
    ** The cable should move smoothly, so it's possible you have a worn/rusted cable. However, if it went both directions then at least it's moving.
    ** I think Racer may have nailed part of your problem. On outboards you don't "ease into gear", instead you need a swift, quick movement from neutral to forward or reverse. If you are at idle you should hear a clunk as the clutch dog engages but never grinding.

    Three things need to happen here:
    1) Remove the lower unit and verify/adjust shift rod height to the correct setting
    2) After shift rod adjustment, adjust your shift cable linkage so you have full movement in both directions
    3) Change your shifting technique so the gears are swiftly engaged.

    If that doesn't solve your problem you may need to replace the shift cable. Also, it's possible your shifting habits may have ground down the clutch dog. I sold a boat to an acquaintance several years ago with an Evinrude 140. He was having some issues and asked me to look at it. While on the water he shifted the lever verify gently and the LU was grinding a bunch. I told him not to grind and we worked on the other issues. Later that year he brought me a bottle of gear oil full of shavings and said I sold him a bad engine. Nope, the LU was just fine when I sold it, the problem was his shifting patterns ground them down.

  15. #15

    Default Re: Canīt get in reverse (grinding)

    Quote Originally Posted by kevinj View Post
    ** The cable should move smoothly, so it's possible you have a worn/rusted cable. However, if it went both directions then at least it's moving.
    ** I think Racer may have nailed part of your problem. On outboards you don't "ease into gear", instead you need a swift, quick movement from neutral to forward or reverse. If you are at idle you should hear a clunk as the clutch dog engages but never grinding.

    Three things need to happen here:
    1) Remove the lower unit and verify/adjust shift rod height to the correct setting
    2) After shift rod adjustment, adjust your shift cable linkage so you have full movement in both directions
    3) Change your shifting technique so the gears are swiftly engaged.

    If that doesn't solve your problem you may need to replace the shift cable. Also, it's possible your shifting habits may have ground down the clutch dog. I sold a boat to an acquaintance several years ago with an Evinrude 140. He was having some issues and asked me to look at it. While on the water he shifted the lever verify gently and the LU was grinding a bunch. I told him not to grind and we worked on the other issues. Later that year he brought me a bottle of gear oil full of shavings and said I sold him a bad engine. Nope, the LU was just fine when I sold it, the problem was his shifting patterns ground them down.

    Thanks all!
    The company that changed the impeller called me today after I complained. They will check the engine and gears. I hope that they will find the faulty part and fix this.
    I will post the results here.
    Thanks once again.

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