Stuck In Reverse

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Roy Cody

Well-Known Member
Apr 6, 2001
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I was out last night and when I got ready to leave my spot, I started the motor, tried to put it in forward, but it was going backwards. I played with the shifter a while but couldn't get it to shift into forward. I didn't take the motor cowl off to look. It was close to dark, so I proceed back in reverse, about 3-4 miles. This was on Lake Erie. Luckily, the waves were only about 1 footers.

What should I look for?
2000 901CDX w/200HP EFI

Thanks, Roy
A left handed prop maybe.... This sounds like a JLivley question... I'll defer to someone who is actually mech inclined....

"There's just one particular harbor, so far and yet so near..."

It sounds like your shifting linkage is lout of adjustment. The cable that runs the lower unit can sometimes come loose and throws shifting out of sync. This happened to me last year. There should be an adjuster somewhere where the cable meets the outboard. It can be adjusted up or down to shift properly. The motor does not have to be running to check it before tightening the lock. As you play with it you can check where it is by putting the control down into what should be forward and then checking to see if the prop is locked from moving forward but spins freely backwards. That means it IS in forward gear. Then just reverse the process for "reverse". Did that make sense? If that does not fix it, the problem could lie in your lower unit. Get it checked, can't help you there. Jim Lively would know that best. Let us know how it turns out. Good luck.

I had a similar problem, although it was on a kicker motor. My problem was a clip popped off of the rod that goes from the linkage to the lower unit. I have a feeling that Rob is correct, though. Probably linkage needs tightened.

Rich D
could be the linkage.... if it's not the linkage it will be in the lower unit it's self... I'd recomend taking it to dealer and have him tear lower unit down if it's not the linkage..
I pulled the top off the motor last night and I found that the shifting cable had came off the pin. The locking gizmo apparently came loose allowing the cable to come off the pin. I put it back together and tightened the keeper gizmo a few more turns against the retainer spring. I tried the shifter in forward and reverse and it seems to work ok now. I'll repost after I get it back in the water to verify everything is working OK again.

Thanks for your help!

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