Mercury Shift Link / Gear Issue

Discussion in 'Outboard Maintenance' started by Bluwave, Jul 28, 2015.

  1. Bluwave

    Bluwave Well-Known Member

    My 2004 Mercury 40hp 2-stroke is having issues engaging in Reverse. I recently replaced the water pump so I think it might be an issue with the shift link alignment. It worked perfect before I dropped the lower unit.

    Forward engages quickly and right after neutral.
    Reverse is further back and makes the grind/clank sound. If I quickly hammer it back I can sometimes get it to engage.

    My question is do I need to move the shift shaft nut UP or DOWN. I've attached a picture of the shift linkage connecting to the lower unit. 


    I really appreciate any help with this. Flood tides start tonight, so I'm pressed to get this fixed or I'm gonna have to use a paddle for reverse.

  2. KeepingItSimple

    KeepingItSimple Well-Known Member

    On mine (disclaimer: I have an older 25 hp without the nut style shift rod linkage but would imagine the orientation of things would be the same) moving the shift rod upwards puts it in forward gear, downwards into reverse.


  3. Bluwave

    Bluwave Well-Known Member

    I talked with a mechanic a few days ago and he said I did everything right, but it could be a bad dog clutch. I got an appointment but they can't get to it until next week.

    It really sucks, because I just purchased this boat from someone on the forum who told me the motor was fully serviced, but that doesn't seem to be the case after replacing gear lube, water pump, thermostat... etc
  4. Creek Runner

    Creek Runner Well-Known Member

    Where  are you located? It's not the clutch dog take it to a technician not a mechanic.

    If it worked before you took it off and now it doesn't its not the clutch dog.
  5. Dillusion

    Dillusion devilray snob

    I did this on my last impeller change.

    When you removed the LU the shift should have been in neutral. When you re-installed the LU you may have had the shift rod slightly in FWD or R instead of in the neutral position when you screwed the doubl-ended nut back on.

    Put the throttle back in neutral, remove the double-nut from the lower shift rod, shift the rod by hand back into N and then re-thread on the double-nut.

    That order of operations was able to fix it for me.