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Mercury 115 problems

I have a 1990 mercury 115. Goes forward fine, but grinds in reverse. The prop turns, but only slowly even if you idle up.

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This could me that reverse gear is not fully engaged.Adjustment on the cables is needed.Take the cowlings off.With the motor not running,move the throttle/gear selector into forward and reverse.You will see where the cables move in the engine area.Note which way the cable moves the selector when reverse is selected.Do this next bit from inside the boat.Hook up the flusher to the motor and start it.Select reverse.When you hear the grinding,push the selector by hand in the direction of travel.It should engage the gear fully.You will see the adjustment threads on the control cables.Move to suit.Hope this helps

Posted on Aug 01, 2009

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Mercury outboard 70 hp 1987 when in forward gear the prop turns one way when in neutrel spins both ways when in reverse the prop is locked both ways is my lower unit working property


mercury and others have a "sawtooth" cut for forward gear so the prop will rachet spin backward when dry tested, and a square clutch dog for reverse, which when it finally engages locks the prop in reverse. and will not spin in either direction.

So when you shift--- snap in in gear-- do not ease it in gear, as it will wear the dog out faster.

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If you have a control box, your shift cable end may be loose. It is swedged on to the connector and can break there, then stick, so check for a broken cable by holding the engine end when some one tries to shift it. If it pulls loose, you need to inspect it for breaks and loose anchors or connections.

If it is a manual shift, you may have a connector screw loose or missing. There is a posiability the shift cam in the lower is worn, or the center rod running inside the prop shaft is worn to the point it won't catch the clutch dogd. (shift quick/ don't rattle into gear.)

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If you are working on an older mercury, that shift rod can work both ways with disastrous results if you over spin the shifter to the back side of the detent.

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