Fixing the shifter

As detailed in a previous post, the engine shifter on the control column wasn’t working. I was hoping that it was nothing too serious.

Arriving at the boat, I got out the tool kit and set about removing the compass (this sits on top of the control column and has to be removed to access the insides).

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There are 9 screws in total, and I removed them all, after marking the locations with tape. Under the compass there is a hollow fibreglass dome, with a rubber seal on top. The rubber seal had definitely seen better days, and that will need to be replaced. This was secured onto the column proper with 4 large screws.

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I disconnected the compass wiring, and removed the screws. This allowed me access to the wiring of the controls. It’s hard to see in the bottom, but that bottom nut is part of a clamp, that is connected to the control cable. The clamp is clamped around a (looks like) bronze rod, which screws into the shifter control which you can see at the bottom.

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Now i could see the insides, I moved the control backwards and forwards. My hope was the clamp had come loose, and so it would be an easy fix. Interestingly, the rod did not move at all – suggesting the control wasn’t connect to the rod at all!

Looking on the control, I found a small, loose screw, right at the bottom. Unscrewing it let loose a dribble of water and crud. I think we were onto something.

I loosened the clamp inside the column and removed the entire brass rod with the shifter control. Aha! You can see on the below picture that there is a hold drilled into the rod, and it had slipped.

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Basically, the screw that used to hold the shifter control in place on the rod had corroded, and half of it had disintegrated, leaving nothing to stop the shifter rotating around the rod.

I got a brand new screw, screwed it into the hole (after lining up the holes) and tightened the whole assembly back into the clamp inside the control column. After a trial test – success! The engine now shifted correctly! Now for the weather to break…

Matt

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