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Author Topic:   79 Johnson 85 ESL Reverse
Landlocked posted 08-16-2000 10:59 PM ET (US)   Profile for Landlocked   Send Email to Landlocked  
Recently purchased 78 Montauk with 79 Johnson 85. Boat is excellent, Motor will hopefully hold out long enough for me to pay the boat off. One rather annoying problem is lack of reverse. It clicks into gear but I have very little throttle. I realize this is probably a simple cable adjustment but where? at the motor or at the console? How do I adjust reverse throttle without screwing up forward throttle which works fine. Experience tells me that this time I ought to ask for advice (before I try to fix it)


jimh posted 08-17-2000 12:31 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I can't offer direct advise on how to adjust your cables, but I would recommend that you get a service manual for your outboard.

A manual--either a OEM factory manual or an aftermarket one--would probably have a procedure for adjusting.

Or, if you are mechanically inclined and able to deduce the operation of the cables, take a shot at adjusting them.

You might also want to disassemble the the remote control level mechanism. The problem could be in there. On my 1976 Merc controls I found the grease pretty much dried up, and metal-to-metal contact was producing a lot of friction and spalding of the parts. I was able to refinish the surfaces with some sandpaper and when new grease was added, the mechanism started working like-new again.


Clark Roberts posted 08-17-2000 06:02 AM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Landlocked, the adjustment is at the motor! there are "barrel shaped" stops on a threaded shaft (through which the cable travels) which can be screwed either direction to make adjustment.. adjustment should be so that neutral is "in the middle". That may solve the problem for shift and the same adjustment technique for throttle... inspect linkage starting at carb. and work back to cable... check the timing linkage as some motors(all newer ones) idle on timing only! Jim's advice is better than mine... get a manual! Get someone who is familiar with that model to give a look... oh yes, some of those older OMC engines had electric shift! Happy Whalin' ... Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy
Landlocked posted 08-17-2000 08:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

Thanks, I had already taken a look at the barrel adjustments was just concerned I would mess something else up. I remember trying to adjust the cable lengths on a 10-speed when I was a kid. Never new what gear I was in after that. The shifter is stiff so I would say you are right about the grease as well.

Gotta go shock some fish for a couple of days.

Thanks all.

andygere posted 08-18-2000 09:33 PM ET (US)     Profile for andygere  Send Email to andygere     
I have a very similar boat (79 Montauk, 79 Johnson 85) and noticed a similar condition, though not as severe. In reverse, rpms are quite limited. I have the shop manual, so I'll take a look, and tinker with it this weekend. Do you have the Morse control supplied by Whaler, or is it from Johnson?
Landlocked posted 08-19-2000 02:40 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

I have the original Boston Whaler Morse Control. Any help would be greatly appreciated.


Lil Whaler Lover posted 08-19-2000 07:28 PM ET (US)     Profile for Lil Whaler Lover  Send Email to Lil Whaler Lover     
You have the original Morse Binnacle mount control. You need to determine whether or not the stops on the binnacle come into play before the lever hits the console. The binnacle has some adjustment in it for the neutral position. If it is set back a notch too far, the lever may go as far as it can but not give you sufficient throttle in reverse. If so you need to set the position when in neutral to another setting. I have seen this on a couple of set ups and adjusting the neutral position solved the problem. Good luck with it! David
bboeri posted 08-19-2000 09:08 PM ET (US)     Profile for bboeri  Send Email to bboeri     
This may seem obvious, but check the entire throttle cable to see if the outer cable is intact. I had the opposite problem, where I could increase the rpms in reverse, but the boat (1988 Montauk) would'nt move (it was ok in forward). Turned out that the outer shift cable covering was broken and would compress in reverse, but stretch out in forward. Any weakness in the cable sheath could cause this. The only solution is to replace the cable. Hope it helps.
Landlocked posted 08-25-2000 11:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

Hope you are online as I have dis-assembled the morse control and I have a breakfast date with my wife 15 miles upriver from here.
In other words, she told me not to take the darn thing apart tonight!

It apears that the lever is hitting the console prior to full engagement of thottle in reverse. Do I just take the lever off of the spindel and re-position while in reverse, or is there another adjustment point?


Landlocked posted 08-25-2000 11:11 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     
OOPS that question may need to be posed to little whaler lover. (IF you don't mind I think I'll call you lwl from now on
Lil Whaler Lover posted 08-26-2000 10:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Lil Whaler Lover  Send Email to Lil Whaler Lover     
Well let's see if I can help. You can reset the control while in reverse, but I would expect that the resetting should be done in the neutral position. Basically when you are done,the lever on the binnacle whould be in a positon slightly forward of where it was previously when in the neutral position. This gives more throttle when in reverse. You also need to verify that you still get full throttle when in forward. You do not want to limit the speed in farward to increase the speed in reverse.

Good Luck LWL

Landlocked posted 08-26-2000 02:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for Landlocked  Send Email to Landlocked     

Thanks for monitoring my progress! I was making something complicated out of something easy... I guess complex terms like binacle were throwing me off. ha.

my problem turned out to be two fold, not only was I not getting full throttle to the stop in reverse because the lever was hitting a piece of teak trim, I was'nt even getting full throttle in forward. The previous owner had installed a key switch at exactly the point where the lever hit the console costing me about a half an inch in play. I adjusted the lever, and moved the switch. All appears to be well now.

Unfortunately, we got up early and went down to the river only to find everyone already packing it in for the day... Seems we are under a severe storm threat all day.

Tested it out with water hose in the back yard this moring. all appears to work.


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