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Old 08-22-2006, 11:24 AM
Greg Auleta Greg Auleta is offline
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Full Shift into Forward versus gradual

I'm back--with a couple of questions which, of course, are part of our on-going marital debate.

Backing up our Hughes '38 (she's 37 years old, with the original engine and transmission--except for new plates 8 years ago) is a bear. In reverse (going backwards--just to be clear because going forward is technically reverse for some afficionados), there is no clear clunk/locking into reverse; the gear seems to need some rpm's to tighten and then fully engage. Once it is fully engaged, I can feel plenty of energy being transmitted; it's just getting the boat to follow the wheel which is the problem. Is it okay to have the reverse engage in this manner?

Next issue, which is really the reason why I am writing, deals with how I engage the transmission going forward after generating a fair level of momentum going backward--and a fair rate of rpm (probably between 1300 and 1800). It feels better to me to gradually engage in forward rather than fully shifting (going forward I do feel the clunk of engagement). My argument or intuited belief is that the prop and shaft have a considerable momentum (right term?) spinning in the opposite direction--and that an abrupt shift into would put unnecessary strain on the transmission. So, my reasoning goes, by gradually applying pressure to move the transmission into forward gear, I reduce the torque stress at the coupling between the shaft and the transmission. I don't wait long to make the complete transition, but there is noticeable time gap. I can't say that I know for sure, but I would guess that I might have the shift lever at the halfway point betwen neutral and complete forward for a couple of seconds before pushing it completely into forward and hearing the satisfying clunk of engagement.

My bride argues that this approach does great harm to the transmission--well, maybe not great harm, but some, or at least that I should not do so. I don't necessarily argue that I am protecting the the transmission, but I guess I argue that my approach seems to provide a sensible transition that does less harm than the abrupt shift/engagement.

As usual, I look forward to your response. And once again, thanks for your wonderful insight, advice, and incredible knowledge

Greg Auleta
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