Choosing Gear Accurately On An Outboard Motor

Choosing Gear Accurately On An Outboard Motor

Are You Damaging Your Gearbox when Altering Gear?

Clutch Canine Gearboxes

Outboard motors and most stern drive gearboxes (like Mercruiser's Alpha drives) use a Canine Clutch set up for choosing and shifting gear.

If you select gear slowly and carefully with these gearboxes you'll actually be damaging the gear box.

Do you hear a grinding or chattering noise when selecting either forward or reverse gear?

Should you do, something needs to alter or at some point your lower unit is not going to have any drive and it will always soar out of gear.

Firstly I'll clarify how the decrease unit/gearbox works.

They have an enter shaft that is pushed from the engine or 'power head'. (This input shaft is called the driveshaft. The driveshaft has a gear related to the underside of it called the Pinion gear. The pinion gear is always in constant mesh with the forward and reverse gears. When ever the motor is running, the pinion gear is rotating the forward and reverse gears. Between the forward and reverse gear there's the mechanism that selects gear. This is called the Clutch Dog.

The Clutch Dog sits on the propeller shaft that protrudes out the back of the gearbox and drives the propeller. The Clutch Dog has an inside spline that is in constant mesh with the propeller shaft.

Image the Clutch Canine having a front and a back. At each finish it has massive, square teeth. When you select gear on the motor you move the Clutch Canine forwards and backwards along the propeller shaft.

When the Clutch Canine is moved to select gear it engages with the same sized square enamel on the actual gear that's being engaged.

Remember that each of the output gears (forward and reverse) are rotating as they're in fixed mesh with the pinion gear (input gear).

If you choose gear slowly, the Clutch Dog will slowly move into mesh with the gear. This sluggish movement causes the teeth of the gear to 'skip' over the enamel on the Clutch Dog. This steady skipping wears away the good sharp edges of the teeth and can finally cause the motor to jump out of gear.

Learn how to Select Gear

· The way to keep away from doing damage to your gearbox is to positively choose gear. This means to actually bang the engine into gear so you hear one clean engagement of the gearbox, not chatter.

· You should also pause in neutral when shifting from forwards to reverse or vice versa. This allows the propeller time to stop spinning.

· Do not shift into reverse when you're moving forwards quickly. It creates a huge amount of unnecessary force on the gearbox (and engine). Slow the boat down of the aircraft, come back to an idle and pause in neutral to let the boat gradual proper down. Reverse is only a reverse, not a break...

Engine Idle Velocity Too High

· Another cause for damage being performed to the Clutch Dog is your idle velocity might be too high. When you motor is idling higher than around 900rpm in impartial you'll be doing damage every time you are choosing gear.


· Make sure that your idle pace is about to what the Manufacturer recommends!

· Positively choose gear

· Pause in neutral between gear changes.

· Let the boat slow down earlier than becoming reverse

· Have the gear oil changed every one hundred hours or annually, which ever comes first.

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