1966 Lark 8 Electric Shift Problem

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    Good morning AOMC members.

    I have a slight problem. I bought a 1966 Lark 8 Electric shift model for 25 bucks. Motor is in great shape from the looks of it. It did not come with the controls for it though, so basically I am wondering if it would be easy to build a small switch running 12V power to select F, N, R. The wires don’t look very thick either, so would a boat battery overheat those wires? I doubt I could find a shifter for this close to where I live, and I don’t want to sink hundreds of dollars into something that might not even work.

    Also, there is a tube attached to the exhaust plate, and I figure that as the exhaust gets hot and travels down the tube, it expands the metal coil in the automatic choke to then turn the choke off. Is that how it works? However, there is also another hole in the exhaust below it that is also threaded but has nothing plugging it. I am more than happy to not use the automatic choke and would like to remove that pipe… my question is, should both of those holes be capped if I get rid of the auto choke?

    Thank you for any advice. I know they didn’t make electric shift models for that long, and in my opinion, you can’t go wrong with a mechanical shift linkage. No wires, fewer problems!


    US Member - 2 Years
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    see my reply on your other thread


    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 925
    Topics: 146

    Very confusing to have two or more overlapping threads. I wrote a comment but it did not appear either here or there, but I was able to find it under my profile:

    You likely know this already, but when shopping for control boxes, remember that the Electramatic spring-clutch setup (which you have) uses an entirely different control logic than the Hydro-lectric motors and they don’t interchange.

    Ginning up a homebrew switch for either type is easy enough, the problem is in not having an interlock to prevent shifting at speed.

    You likely also know that the Johnson control boxes are different than the Evinrudes. Either will work on either motor–but in my experience the sliding interlock piece on the Evinrude push-button boxes is very often missing or broken. I like the Johnson design much better but the shift switches can go bad and are scarce/expensive, as people are noting.

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