Johnson &Evinrude jumping out of gear 51/2 to 40 hp older motors

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    XR55
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 293
    Topics: 29
    #170681

    On Facebook a thread by Jesse Simmons discusses worn clutch dogs and worn dogs on the gears as the cause of popping in and out of gear. And several solutions have been suggested to fix the problem. Replacing the gear set and clutch dog. Flipping the forward and reverse gears. Replacing the clutch dog. First I will ask the question, what keeps the clutch dogs engaged with the dogs on the gear to stay in contact with each other ? Case #1 1958 Evinrude 10hp Motor was run 5 years ago all day at all speeds and never popped out of gear. Last year at a meet I went to use the motor and it would not stay in gear without popping in and out of gear. Later at the shop I disassembled the gear foot and found new looking gears and dogs. They showed no wear at all on the dogs. Case #2 1957 Johnson 10hp Motor. This motor came to me in stuck condition. I thought at first the power head was the problem., but as it turned out the culprit was a seized gear foot. On disassembly I found that 1/2 of the gear teeth rusted away and clutch dog stuck on the prop shaft. Half of the clutch fork was missing. Everything was frozen on the prop shaft and had to be heated and pressed off, even the driveshaft was stuck. This motor was in rough external condition too. I had a Very nice condition 1957 Johnson 18hp motor than was missing the skeg cover. The 10hp motor’s skeg cover was used on the 18hp motor after checking for a good clearance fit with match up and no binding of the internal parts., Even the paint condition was a good match. So I still had the 10hp motor that was for parts OR I could try am experiment. I had a green painted maroon gear foot from a 1952-1954 10hp motor that I saved from the scrap metal yard 10 years ago. I disassembled it and found a good fork and gears with good teeth, but the dogs on the gears and the clutch dog showed very worn rounded off edges. I had hoped to use these, but the shape these were in would make it hop in and out of gear. I decided to start my experiment. I went ahead with the reassembly of the gear foot using the worn out gears/dogs/clutch and the miss matched skeg cover. The cover was checked before assembly for clearances and binding. Next thing to do was a boat test, that I fully expected to not go well and would be a very short run. Well the run ended up 25 miles of running. The motor has been run now more than 20 hours. It operates well with no issues . I also did prop testing with this motor and with a bronze Michigan Wheel Aquamaster prop it went 22-23 mph on GPS It never at any time tried to hop out of gear and the gear lube showed no water intrusion after all of this running and no gear whine. I know it is not a good idea to swap skeg covers or mix or match gears., but in this case it worked out great. BACK to my original question at the beginning of this long winded post. What keeps the dogs engaged? I will follow up like Paul Harvey with the rest of the story a little later.

    • This topic was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Avatar XR55.
    outboardnut
    outboardnut
    US Member - 1 Year
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    #170699

    folllowing

    frankr
    frankr
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 4046
    Topics: 43
    #170728

    What keeps them together? Very little. They slide together and nothing really holds them together except the shift linkage and detent, whether it is at top or bottom. Later models had snap shift balls in the clutch dog. It is vital that they slide completely together in the first place. You are fighting a losing battle if the linkage is worn out. Along the same line, if the dog and gear are rounded off, it is going to jump out of gear, no matter what. You can’t even hold it in gear with your hand on the shifter lever. You say you built one up with worn out dog and gear and it held. Well thank some higher power, I suppose.

    Some motors are better in this respect than others. I don’t know if I’ve ever seen a Mercury with the jumping problem. Or Scott-Atwater. But, yep tens of hundreds of OMC and Chrysler/West Bends.

    Before you Merc guys get too cocky, remember the Mark 25 – type of motors that jump INTO gear and run over the pier.

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    aquasonic
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 321
    Topics: 31
    #170739

    Before you Merc guys get too cocky, remember the Mark 25 – type of motors that jump INTO gear and run over the pier.

    Got a good laugh out of that one!

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    chris-p
    Canada Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 2455
    Topics: 157
    #170758

    Something to note, 9 times out of 10, the clutch dog and gear lug damage is caused by the Owner.

    Remember to always SNAP that shifter into gear in a quick fast movement. NEVER slowly easeeeee it into gear. That is what causes the damage.

    My Father in Law is very timid with this, and thinks that shifting slowly is better for the motor. It makes me cringe when I hear his lugs smashing away against one another!

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    Peter Krause
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 1
    Topics: 0
    #170780

    Something to note, 9 times out of 10, the clutch dog and gear lug damage is caused by the Owner.

    Remember to always SNAP that shifter into gear in a quick fast movement. NEVER slowly easeeeee it into gear. That is what causes the damage.

    My Father in Law is very timid with this, and thinks that shifting slowly is better for the motor. It makes me cringe when I hear his lugs smashing away against one another!

    Dogs also work on an angle to “lock” and make better the engagement. The problem described above is certainly begun by grinding the dogs and rounding the teeth, such that the angle is no good anymore. If you “snap” it into gear, they will last MUCH longer, if slowly “ground into gear” it’ll never get any better.

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    dave-bernard
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 836
    Topics: 10
    #170782

    not owner error just poor design that the engineers blame on owner.

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    sydinnj
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 128
    Topics: 5
    #170819

    With remote control, make sure the cables are adjusted properly and in good shape. Had a problem on my daughters boat that had several of us scratching our heads. We could not get it to shift into both gears properly, could adjust to get neutral and one direction or the other but not both. We are also looking at this problem with the knowledge that the previous owner had a fat four on it that was made up from several motors. He said that it worked fine with these cables. After a bunch of time, I discovered that at some point someone cut off a bit of the inner shift cable, most likely to get rid of an early pinch kink where the end gets fastened on. They also cut off a piece of the end of the outer casing to compensate for the shorting of the inner wire. A new cable solved the problem.

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    1957evinrude
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 252
    Topics: 49
    #170898

    not owner error just poor design that the engineers blame on owner.

    Maybe not the best design but for sure if you let the dog slip by shifting slowly you will have problems down the road otherwise if you shift quickly and at low idle those gears will last many years

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    fleetwin
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 2556
    Topics: 29
    #170938

    I read your post but am not sure I understand just what you asking….
    In any event, like others have said, some outboards have a bit of an angled ramp on the dog/gear lugs that can help hold them engaged. Otherwise, just the pressure of the dog against the gear lug helps keep them locked together.
    Most of the time, the various linkages are to blame when clutch dog problems occur, remote controls add even more errors.
    This is why it is so important to check for slop and full forward engagement when repairing clutch dog/gear lug issues, otherwise the issue is likely to reoccur even with new parts. I have even noticed that some of the small gearcases with the detent that rides against the shift rods don’t have complete engagement in forward gear.
    But, it is important to note that “preloading” a clutch dog into the forward gear lugs in an effort to solve jumping issues, or in an effort to make sure they don’t occur, will just wear out the aluminum cradle and shift fork linkage.
    I too cringe when I hear people shifting gears slowly, that chattering noise is like hearing fingernails going down a chalk board to me!
    You speak of swapping gearcase skegs, it is important to note that the gearcase housings are a matched pair, just like crankcase halves. I know many guys do it with no problems, but you need to be aware of the risk you are taking when mixing/matching gearcase halves.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Avatar fleetwin.
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    XR55
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 293
    Topics: 29
    #170945

    Once fully engaged into gear (with out any remote controls connected) what keeps the dogs engaged and motor in gear?

    lindy46
    lindy46
    US Member - 1 Year
    Replies: 258
    Topics: 21
    #171008

    Once fully engaged into gear (with out any remote controls connected) what keeps the dogs engaged and motor in gear?

    Frank answered that in the second post: the shift linkage and detent

    Avatar
    XR55
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 293
    Topics: 29
    #171107

    OK, now as Paul Harvey would say this is the rest of the story. Case #1 The gear foot has a new looking clutch dog and new looking dogs on the gears and pops in and out of gear. The linkage adjustment at the shift lever was checked and the detent pin was correct. I went looking for the problem by disassembling the gear case and inspecting the linkage for wear. I checked the gear and cradle, fork nubs and linkage hole in fork, lower shift rod elbow that mates to the fork. No wear was found when checking all contact points in the linkage in the gear foot. No looseness in the linkage was found in the gear foot, for lack of a better word the linkage was “snug”. Reassembled the gear case and then removed the inspection cover the the side of the lower unit exhaust housing and checked the linkage connector, it was fully assembled correctly. Before closing the cover, I grabbed the linkage and tried to move it up and down looking for any play and found I was able to move it perhaps 1/4 of and inch. Next I pulled the power head to check for the source of the play. The shift lever where it enters the housing was not loose or worn. The upper shift rod to lever connector (swivel 303702) was not loose. The connector(swivel 303702) to shift rod lever(377188) was not loose. But the lever (377188) to adjusting lever shaft (277871) assembly was loose. The shaft was not worn, but the lever was worn where it mates to the shaft. Because the little lever(377188) is $40.00 , I did a outside the box repair. The lever is split and held on tight to the shaft by a cross drilled screw that squeezes the split lever tight on the shaft. But because of the wear it could not take up the wear on the inside diameter. I made up a .002 brass shim that I slid into place between the shaft and lever to take up the slop., then the screw could clamp the lever tight to the shaft. Now the linkage has no play or looseness and the clutch dog is fully meshed with the gear dogs and will not vibrate or hop out of engagement. Case #2 This motor that was assembled with rounded off clutch dog and the very worn dogs on the gears that would not pop out of gear. I checked the linkage for play through the side cover. You could not move the linkage, it was snug. My conclusion is that the very most important thing to prevent the popping out of gear is a snug, absolutely no play in the linkage from the gear all the way to the shift lever. The contact area of engagement between the dogs is very small.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Avatar XR55.
    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Avatar XR55.
    Avatar
    XR55
    US Member - 2 Years
    Replies: 293
    Topics: 29
    #171110

    Frank got it right on what holds the motor in gear. If you fix it by replacing the clutch dog and gears, but have loose linkage it will work for a little while if you are lucky and then the problem will come back. I hope by sharing my test that this will help when this problem presents it self. Also if shifted correctly with a snug linkage and at low RPM and properly maintained with the correct amount of oil and no water these clutch dogs will likely never wear out no mater how many shifts are made or what prop (aluminum ,bronze,stainless steel) is used. IMHO.

    • This reply was modified 2 months, 1 week ago by Avatar XR55.
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    garry-in-tampa
    Lifetime Member
    Replies: 3035
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    #171135

    Scott-Atwater had five years to find a way around OMC’s gear shift patents, and they made good use of the time. OMC came up with several ways to try to overcome peoples instinct to “ease it into gear”. Engineers are always surprised by the different ways people manage to destroy their outboards. Witness how many owners manuals you find on eBay that look like they were never opened . . . LOL

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