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Shifter jumps out of forward gear on 64 9 1/2 hp Johnson motor

Shift lever jumps out of forward gear on my 1964 9 1/2 hp long shaft Johnson Evenrude boat motor. It snaps into reverse and neutral ok but does not snap into forward and lock in place .

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Sound like the shift fork, or fwd gear is damaged in the lower unit.....special tools are required for this repair .....if you got them cool, if not seek a shop for further assistance.......hope this helped...GL

Posted on Jul 06, 2009


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Posted on Jan 02, 2017


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Hey Jerry,
No, you do not want a lighter spring.. it will cause the engine to start "falling" out of gear, or not staying in gear when you shift... hard shifting is usually a sign of something wrong.. possibly a bent shift shaft, or worn/bent shift forks.
If it is hard to shift, both up and down, in all gears, its more than likely a bent shift shaft..(the shaft the shift lever is bolted to and runs through the center cases to the right side and controls the shift cam.).. You will have to remove the shifter(lever) and the right side cover, the clutch assy, and maybe a couple other small items..IF you are NOT intimately familiar with this repair - Take it to a qualified professional!!!

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I just rebuilt my 97 s10 getrag nv1500 trans. the shifting pattern is off and i have no rev or 5th gears.

On reviewing the manual, there are two cautions regarding installing the shift shaft that may be the source of your problem. One, the shaft must be installed with the detents at the front end of the shaft facing upwards. These detents are what the ball/spring seat into when the shaft moves forward/aft (like into 1st/2nd gear). The shaft can be installed 180 degrees out, but you would not feel the shifter 'lock' into gear.
The second caution seems more probable. When inserting the roll pin holding the shift shaft lever and bushing onto the shift shaft, the roll pin must be driven down flush with the surface of the shift shaft lever. If not driven flush, it can bind on or interfere with the movement of the bushing, possibly preventing the lever from being able to engage all of the three shift forks (3/4, 1/2, 5/rev). There are two roll pins used with the shift shaft. The shorter one (7/8") is used to secure the shift shaft lever/bushing and the longer one (1 1/4") to secure the shift socket in the rear.
Unfortunately, confirmation will require removal and partial disassembly (removal of the front case) to confirm.

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I have a 1973 Johnson 40hp outboard motor that will not shift into forward gear. It will only go in reverse

Does it jump in and out of gear,if so,clutch dog and forward gear need replacing

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My 1998 softail custom won't shift above third gear, and i have a really hard time getting it to shift back down

It could be your shifter pawl in the transmission. But, check for any binding in the long linkage between the shifter and transmission. Disconnect the long connector link at the shifter in the front and check for free movement of the connector and the shifter itself. If that moves freely, then I'd suspect the shifter pawl. You'll see the short lever that connects to the shifter pawl shaft. Make sure that it's tight and not loose on the shaft. If it's loose, the splines are probably worn in the lever and on the shaft as well. Move the lever like it would move to shift to a gear. You should feel spring tension against the movement and it should return to "center" when you let go. If not, the shifter pawl return spring is broken. Usually when this happens, all you have is first and second gear.

Good Luck

Aug 14, 2011 | Harley Davidson FXST Softail Standard...

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I am trying to take the lower end of my 9.5 Johnson Model 9R72 apart. I have take the 4 bolts of at the water pump area and have loosened the shifter shaft bolt. I thought it should now come apart but it...

Completely remove the lower shift shaft coupler bolt to separate the assemblies. It is a snug fit, so be deliberate in your straight pull-out of the gear case.

Feb 21, 2011 | Clymer EvinrudeJohnson Outboard Shop...

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2000 harley davidson softail custom 3,500 miles on stock motor when in 3rd gear trying to downshift into second it goes by it right into nuetrual??? why its annyoing

It should not do this. Evidently, there is something amiss in the shifting portion of your transmission. I would try adjusting the shifter pawl first. This adjustment is not difficult but requires a specail tool with which to get onto the adjustet. The adjuster is on the left side of the transmission just forward of the shifter shaft lever. It is behind the outer primary which makes getting to it difficult without the special tool.

To check it, with the engine off, gently depress the shifter lever downwards like you are going to shift into low gear. Depress until you feel the shifter pawl engage the shifter drum cam and is beginning to shift the transmission into gear. In other words depress the shift lever down until you feel it bump but don't shift it into gear. Then, do the same thing lifting the lever up like you are going to shift into second. Does the lever travel the same distance downward as it does upwards. If not, the shifter pawl needs adjusting.

If this is not the problem, you may have to remove the transmission top cover. With the cover off, you can see the adjustment of the shifter pawl. You may have a problem with the shifter pawl itself or the detent ball may have a problem.

At any rate, it should be something that can be repaired without a major disassembly of the transmission.

Good Luck

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1 Answer

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Try taking the shift cable off and just work with the engine. Right now you don't know if the shifter on the boat is stuck. I would then pull on the motor lever to the neutral side and grab the prop(take wires off sparkplugs) and try to turn the prop backwards. If that fails see if the shift rod is jammed under the cover. You may have to pull the lower unit, but you want to know if the shift rod is the culprit or the internal gearbox.

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Outboard boat engine shifting problems

Check for a lose or sloppy shift linkage.

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