2003 115 mercury shifting hard

antdog562

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Sep 25, 2013
338
89
norwalk
Name
Anthony
Boat
22' bayrunner
I recently bought a 88 17' invader with an 03 mercury 115 on it. I realized it takes a lot of force to shift in and out of gear, whether it be forward or reverse. It has the original shifter I think, which is an 88. I've already tried adjusting the cables with no success. When I disconnect the cables from the motor, it shifts like butter. Please let me know if any of you had this issue, and if or how it was resolved...
 

sdfishkiller

Cod Smuggler
Mar 13, 2005
5,057
522
Point Loma
Name
Todd Victor Mora
Boat
19' Whaler: EL SUPER LIZARDFISH
replace the cables.
 
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antdog562

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Sep 25, 2013
338
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norwalk
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Anthony
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22' bayrunner
Also, after disconnecting the cables from motor, it is still very hard, nearly impossible to shift into reverse by hand. Think it could be lower unit problems?
 

Bottom Line

Village idiot
Jul 9, 2006
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Warner Springs
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Steve
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Invader CC - Bottom Line
Also, after disconnecting the cables from motor, it is still very hard, nearly impossible to shift into reverse by hand. Think it could be lower unit problems?
Does the shifter in the boat operate freely when it's disconnected from the engine? The gear shift on the engine may appear to be stiff when the engine isn't running and may actually not shift into gear - this is normal
 

antdog562

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Sep 25, 2013
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norwalk
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Anthony
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22' bayrunner
Yes when disconnected from engine, it shifts freely.
 

sdfishkiller

Cod Smuggler
Mar 13, 2005
5,057
522
Point Loma
Name
Todd Victor Mora
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19' Whaler: EL SUPER LIZARDFISH
Replace the shift and throttle cables (both of them)

If your cables are disconnected from the motor.......you are not shifting anything, you aren't connected to the engine anymore.

Get Morse red jackets, look on your old cables for the length printed on them.

Tape or tie the new ones to the old ones and pull the new ones through the hull.
 

antdog562

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Sep 25, 2013
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norwalk
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Anthony
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22' bayrunner
Cool, thanks for the help. I'm gonna look into doing that this week.
 

antdog562

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Sep 25, 2013
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norwalk
Name
Anthony
Boat
22' bayrunner
I've been reading old posts on different sites and they are saying that it's a common problem, but somewhat normal. Any additional feedback on this would be greatly appreciated
 

KID CREOLE

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Sep 19, 2003
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Stefan
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Mako 224 CC, FULL RACK
Also, the engine really needs to be running to shift the OB in and out of gear.

If the shifter is easily removeable, soak the cables where the outer sheath of the cable and the inner shift cable move in and out with WD 40. You can also do this at the OB end of the shift cables. This will probably be a short term fix and cables will have to be replaced
 
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ShadBurke

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Oct 28, 2005
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Carlsbad
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Shad Burke
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22' Boston Whaler Guardians
shift and throttle cables are a maintenance item. Every so many years, they will need replacement. Welcome to boating.
 

antdog562

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Sep 25, 2013
338
89
norwalk
Name
Anthony
Boat
22' bayrunner
Thanks for all the responses guys. I have Friday off so I'm gonna swap them. I was just kind of surprised that my last boat had an 88 merc on it that shifted perfectly for the 7 years I owned it.