Choosing Gear Correctly On An Outboard Motor

Choosing Gear Correctly On An Outboard Motor

Are You Damaging Your Gearbox when Changing 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 choose gear slowly and caretotally with these gearboxes you will actually be damaging the gear box.

Do you hear a grinding or chattering noise when choosing both forward or reverse gear?

For those who do, something wants to vary or someday your lower unit is not going to have any drive and it'll always soar out of gear.

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

They've an input shaft that's pushed from the engine or 'power head'. (This enter shaft is called the driveshaft. The driveshaft has a gear connected to the bottom of it called the Pinion gear. The pinion gear is always in fixed 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 is 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 fixed mesh with the propeller shaft.

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

When the Clutch Dog is moved to pick gear it engages with the identical sized sq. teeth on the particular gear that's being engaged.

Keep in mind that both 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 tooth of the gear to 'skip' over the teeth on the Clutch Dog. This steady skipping wears away the great sharp edges of the tooth and can ultimately cause the motor to leap out of gear.

The best way to Choose Gear

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

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

· Don't shift into reverse when you find yourself moving forwards quickly. It creates a huge amount of pointless force on the gearbox (and engine). Gradual the boat down of the plane, come back to an idle and pause in impartial to let the boat slow right down. Reverse is solely a reverse, not a break...

Engine Idle Pace Too High

· Another cause for damage being finished to the Clutch Dog is your idle velocity is likely to be too high. In the event you motor is idling higher than round 900rpm in neutral you can be doing damage each time you are choosing gear.


· Be sure that your idle speed is set to what the Producer recommends!

· Positively select gear

· Pause in neutral between gear changes.

· Let the boat gradual down before becoming reverse

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

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