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Old 13-06-2010, 20:16   #1
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Shifter Problem

I have a 1991 santa cruz 3100 with two mercruisers. The starboard engine shifter is sticking and going from foward to reverse with difficulty. It is not impossible to get it into neutral but many times it skips and occasionally shuts down the engine usually when I am docking it next to a million dollar boat. Is there an adjustment to be made which would help or is it a cable problem?



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Old 14-06-2010, 02:59   #2
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You'll likely need a new cable. They do wear out. Best to change out both while you're at it. Some controls wear as well and the neutral indent doesn't click anymore. It's a PITA job but worth the peace of mind when you're in tight quarters.

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Old 14-06-2010, 05:24   #3
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Our mechanic refuses to fit standard 'store bought' cables and insists on ones made to measure from the marine engineering shop. They are an order of magnitude more robust and reliable and well worth the extra cost.

"Remember, experience only means that you screw-up less often."
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Old 20-06-2010, 20:06   #4
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sticky cable

What are the chances it is just a cable adjustment, the type you do by putting the propeller all the way forward make adjustment and then the same in reverse.
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Old 21-06-2010, 04:29   #5
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The shutting down is probably related to a switch near the transmission, that kills the ignition as you shift gears. This is supposed to make it easier for the transmission to engage.

I had a mercruiser that died at strange times and it was that switch. The sticky cable is probably hitting just the right spot to kill the engine completely.

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Old 23-06-2010, 12:54   #6
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shifty shifter

The shift interrupt switch can be tricky to adjust as there is very little movement required to get it out of spec. The manual gives specific instructions on how to adjust it. As regards cable adjustment you have to find the mid point of the cable when shifting. This is referred to lost motion which is nothing more than the slack in the cable when shifting from forward to reverse. If your outdrives are the cone clutch type it is often the shift fork that is at fault. When set up correctly these units tend to be trouble free.

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