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Author Topic:   Shift Problem on Older Yamaha
colorado posted 12-26-2003 01:36 PM ET (US)   Profile for colorado   Send Email to colorado  
Hello guys-- I have a 1973 Montauk with a 1985 90-HP Yamaha,. It is not shifting into forward. Reverse is fine. I adjusted the linkage and it worked for awhile. Then it started not going completely into gear again. Any suggestions on what to look for? Thanks for your time---Billy
Clark Roberts posted 12-26-2003 07:14 PM ET (US)     Profile for Clark Roberts  Send Email to Clark Roberts     
Billy, take shift cable off and try to shift into forward by hand. If successful then you have a cable/cable securing clip/control lever (control box) problem. My guess is that the cable clip/securing device (if memory serves me correctly it may be a lock nut)under the cowling has slipped off or something is broken... check it out! Clark.. Spruce Creek Navy
colorado posted 12-26-2003 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for colorado  Send Email to colorado     
Thanks for the info Clark, I will give it try.-- Billy
Sal DiMercurio posted 12-26-2003 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Colorado, the pre-1992 Yamahas are notorious for the shift rod to rust out because they were made of just plain steel that rusted so badly they all have to be replaced.
If it hasn't been replace I'm certain that is your problem because they were and are a very sore spot on Yamaha's reputation, bad news.
What part of Colorado are you from?
I own an 800 acre ranch in Glade Park, plus lease 10,000 acers of Bureau of Land Management land right on top of the ranch, just 25 miles south of Grand Junction up on top of the monument (big cliffs), property ends right on the Utah border, great elk, mule deer, duck, & goose hunting.
colorado posted 12-27-2003 09:20 PM ET (US)     Profile for colorado  Send Email to colorado     
Sal-- actually I don't live in Colorado any longer. I moved to Tampa three years ago. I did live in Ft. Collins for over 20 yrs. I don't miss it one bit. It got too crowded for me. I know tampa is crowded, but I didn't see it get crowded--if that makes sense. It sounds like you have a nice place! Yhat is some awfully pretty country. I don't think I have a rust problem-- at least I don't see any.

Would I be able to see rust in or around the cables? Thanks for your info--Billy

Sal DiMercurio posted 12-28-2003 12:41 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Colorado, I live in Calif near San Francisco, but bought that property with my son.

You wont see the rust on the cable, it's the rod itself that rusts out. The rod is from the powerhead down to the lower unit on the inside, better get it changed cause it's rusted darn near through by now.

Have a tech look at it to be sure, cause absolutely every one I have seen has either rusted to the point it wont' shift or rusted stuck solid in one place.

colorado posted 12-28-2003 09:51 PM ET (US)     Profile for colorado  Send Email to colorado     
Thanks for the info Sal-- I will get it checked by my mechanic. Have a good new year!--billy
Sal DiMercurio posted 01-06-2004 09:27 PM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Thanks Billy for the email letting me know the shift rod was rusted solid as I thought.
This is a known fact that the pre-1994 Yamahas had regular steel for their shift rods & they "ALL" rusted out or will rust solid.
For you people who own these engines it's a must to replace those rods with stainless steel rods or you will be in for a very expensive repair and most likely get stuck in some out of the way place.
jimh posted 01-07-2004 08:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for jimh  Send Email to jimh     
I have seen the model year 1986 cited as the year when the Yamaha engines changed over to stainless steel shift rods.

Here it is mentioned as either pre-1992 or pre-1994.

Since Billy's engine was a 1985 model, it fits all three scenarios.

Could we have further clarification on this? I've got a pair of 1987 Yamaha engines, so you know which year I hope they changed over!

RMS posted 01-07-2004 09:52 AM ET (US)     Profile for RMS  Send Email to RMS     
My 1989 Yamaha 90hp shift rod is holding up very well, at least the small section I can see. Boat has been moored in the salt 6 months a year since new. I believe they switched to SS in 1993, hence the advent of the Saltwater Series designation. Most of the rusty Yamaha shift rod problems I hear about are on the v6's.
Bigshot posted 01-07-2004 11:14 AM ET (US)     Profile for Bigshot  Send Email to Bigshot     
My 84 30hp rotted through and I got stuck in reverse. My 90 90hp was getting thin.
Sal DiMercurio posted 01-07-2004 11:44 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Jim, i'm not certain exactly which year they switched.
If I owned a pre 94 Yamaha, I would contact either a Yamaha dealer or Yamaha themselves & get the skinny on it.
I think Yamaha engines are great engines but the instalation of raw steel shifting rods was a major blunder on their part.
It's my under standing that they made the change in the early 90s.
I'm certain if yours are 87s, you had better change em.
kurtgru posted 01-07-2004 06:39 PM ET (US)     Profile for kurtgru  Send Email to kurtgru     
It's a lot of fun to pull the powerhead on those older Yamaha's. I am in the process of putting my '86 200 Yamaha back together after pulling it apart to replace the shift shaft. I broke off three of the long powerhead bolts in the removal process. Thanks to great advice from everyone on this site detailing the process for me, I was able to drill through the midsection and remove the powerhead. Just received all of my new parts and once it warms up a little bit I will put everything back together....


tkassner posted 07-12-2006 08:58 PM ET (US)     Profile for tkassner  Send Email to tkassner     
I have a 1992 Yamaha 50 HP (50ELRQ) on my 1977 15' Whaler sport. I have rehab the boat, and had a friend look at the engine and tune it up. The engine seemed to run fine, but got caught in reverse last weekend (third trip out). By lifting the engine and fidlling with the prop, we were able to get it back into gear.

Does this sound like a problem cause by a rusted shift rod. If so, is it just the rod that needs replacing, or other parts as well. I am using the boat up in Rockport/Gloucester Massachusets and I am in need of a good mechanic. Suggestions and advice are welcomed all around.

Watertown, MA

Mully posted 12-15-2006 10:00 PM ET (US)     Profile for Mully  Send Email to Mully     
Was the question of when (model year) Yamaha switched to stainless steel sift rods ever definitively answered? I have a 1993 90HP. Any info greatly appreciated.
ccampb1346 posted 12-15-2006 10:10 PM ET (US)     Profile for ccampb1346  Send Email to ccampb1346     
I have a 1989 Yamaha V6 175HP with the steel shift rod and that was the absolute first thing my mechanic said would be bad before he even looked at it. He says it has rusted about 50% and is probably good to go for another 100 hours or so.

Should I go ahead and replace it now with Stainless Steel? Or wait til it breaks?

Sal DiMercurio posted 12-16-2006 12:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Sal DiMercurio  Send Email to Sal DiMercurio     
Trust me, you don't want to wait till it breaks, because it aint gonna break on the trailer or at the dock.
99-9/10% it's gonna go out when your 37 miles out fishing Tuna alone & you don't have towing insurance.
I can tell you right now, you wont be close to anything or anyone when it decides to strand you.
Ever hear of preventative maintance?.....
If you don't change that rod, you will write a book on preventative maintenance & you will preach it on a street corner with a bullhorn,.....
The Judge posted 12-17-2006 11:49 AM ET (US)     Profile for The Judge  Send Email to The Judge     
Sal...Actually mine broke a the ramp. Got stuck in reverse unfortunately so back on the trailer it went.

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