Resetting Forward Drive Gear

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  • Trés 30
    Senior Member
    • May 2014
    • 117

    Resetting Forward Drive Gear

    Yesterday I attempted to adjust my forward (direct) drive gear in order to take out some of the whine.
    I applied slow, clockwise pressure to tighten by one tooth. To be sure the pin was in the notch completely (after reading the importance of this), I loosened it & applied counterclockwise pressure to the gear, to get it juuuust right. Then the gear spun and I lost my place.

    Any advice on resetting the drive gear?
    Also, are there dangers by running with it too loose or tight when there is no load?

  • Dave Neptune
    Afourian MVP, Professor Emeritus
    • Jan 2007
    • 5099

    Lil at a time.

    Tres, not a big deal. Just tighten a notch or two at a time until you engage the detent firmly, then lock it there. You want the detent engaged so it won't "pop out of gear (actually slip the clutches)" when applying power in forward. You can disconnect the linkage from the shift arm and it is easier to "play" with while adjusting.

    Don't run loose as it will slip and wear the clutches. If it is to tight the detent will not engage and it will still slip just like too loose.

    The detent actually goes in a bit harder than most think it would, it is a good click that can be felt with the shifter or it ain't right.

    Dave Neptune


    • krazzz
      Senior Member
      • Jul 2013
      • 60

      I've always wondered about my shifter. It seems to take a good amount of force to get it in gear. It does seem to positively click into forward, it has a neutral, and reverse works so it has been low on my list of things to fix. It is also very difficult to access on my boat so if it ain't broke...

      I know this is entirely subjective but how much force is too much to get it in gear?
      1971 Ericson 32, Atomic 4
      1976 Catalina 22

      Ludington, MI - Lake Michigan


      • Mo
        Afourian MVP
        • Jun 2007
        • 4519

        Just disconnect your shifter cable from the shift handle on the gear box. Move the handle by hand and you should be able to push it into forward, feeling the indent, using a moderate amount of force. I liken it to putting a HD truck in gear when it's sitting not started...that push and thump, it's there. Sometimes angles and deterioration of shifting mechanisms interfere with normal adjustment. Having to push really hard to get into forward is not the recommended setting but sometimes other factors such as a rusted or kinked teleflex cable can make it feel hard when the mechanical adjustment in the gear box itself is correct.

        1976 C&C 30 MKI

        The pessimist complains about the wind.
        The optimist expects it to change.
        The realist adjusts the sails.
        ...Sir William Arthur Ward.


        • Trés 30
          Senior Member
          • May 2014
          • 117

          Thanks for the pointers! I adjusted so it feels a bit more crisp putting into forward. Tightened reverse band by one click (face?) to keep from having to lean on the shifter so much (hopefully) when backing up. Parking involves a 180° wheel walk that I'm still trying to perfect