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Old 01-06-2016, 11:22   #1
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Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Took lower unit apart to clean impeller, and carefully reconnected linkage shaft, but lower unit shaft won't budge downward into neutral & reverse. Is there any way reworking the water pump area could affect trans, like bolts over tightened, misaligned, or any other cause other than shot gearbox. Is a Yamaha 9.9 electric. Unfortunately, it won't start in gear, even being a 30 yr old unit. Thanks for any thoughts.


Sent from offshore anchorage, Key Largo
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:29   #2
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Can you turn the prop on the lower unit and try to shift the linkage while doing that (lower unit off of engine)

Beyond that, you should be able to remove the neutral start interlock beneath the cowling and start it in gear. I've done that with my 5hp as it was always jamming anyway.
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Old 01-06-2016, 11:32   #3
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Wow, thank you especially for the quick reply. Will follow your suggestion and owe you one either way, thanks again mucho.


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Old 01-06-2016, 13:58   #4
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Hi again SailMonkey, your suggestion was very helpful, the bypassing the interlock let us charge ahead, in forward, at least. Not that going with sails alone should have stopped us, we've now got enough wind, but once in a while a bit of propulsion is helpful. Thanks again


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Old 01-06-2016, 16:06   #5
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Glad I could help, I'd be willing to bet once you get a chance to take it apart again in a less than rushed atmosphere it'll be one of those D'oh moments.

The Keys are a far cry from Rock Springs!!
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Old 01-06-2016, 16:13   #6
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Just read about this on another forum. They mentioned having it in neutral when reassembling the lower unit, that the linkage wasn't put back properly. The original poster took it apart and put it back together, with it in neutral, and it worked. Not my experience, just my observation.
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Old 04-06-2016, 00:32   #7
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Say, did you happen to do anything to the shift rod while you had the lower unit off, like rotate it by accident maybe. I did that once and learned to my detriment that (in this case) the rod had disengaged with the shift pall inside the gearbox - what a pain in the backside - had to pull the gearbox apart to get it reengaged, and found that one of the components had actually fallen off and was hiding at the bottom of the case....
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Old 04-06-2016, 10:24   #8
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Re: Outboard lower unit, stuck in forward.

Thanks very much for all the helpful replies, We agree that the solution will reveal itself after a complete "re-disassembly". At some stage of the disassembly, I expect the linkage rod at the gear box should become free again, baring the seemingly unlikely situation of a seized up unit. Meanwhile, we went "old school", from Biscayne Bay to Key West without benefit of propulsion. Neptune favored us with a perfect SE breeze - set the sails for port tack in Key Largo and breezed into Key West 34 hours later, still on the same tack. Not a record, of course, wind speed was variable, but we were sure happy.


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