1990 OMC Cobra Shifting Issues


New member
I have a 1990 OMC Cobra sterndrive (model number 985685) that someone swapped a 5.7 into at some point, and I am having issues setting up the shift cable to shift properly with the hand controls.

The first thing I did was disconnect the lower shift cable (the red cable), and tried to push/pull it into gear manually but it would only travel like an inch before binding up. So I removed the stern drive and found whoever worked on it last did not have the shift cable aligned with the shift rod when they assembled it. Manually moving the shift rod up and down, I am able to get the prop to fully lock and spin the drive shaft. So I put it back together and tried like hell trying to adjust the lower/remote cable to work properly with the hand shifter/throttle controls. The best I could get would be for it to lock into one gear, but not the other, even after adjusting that slide retaining nut.

My hand shifter/throttle control unit is shot (held together with electrical tape and prayers), so I was looking into getting a Teleflex CH1700 Series Side Mount Control to replace it with something reliable.

My question however, is which way the red throttle cable engages forward gear? Do you "push" the red cable in, or do you pull it out to engage forward gear? I am 99% certain I have a standard rotation sterndrive.

I am concerned that the new throttle control unit wont have enough shifter "cable throw" to fully engage into gear. Also I am not sure if I have the proper shift bracket mounted to the top of the motor.

I am almost tempted to buy and mount a separate hand shift lever that is independent of the throttle controls.