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Old 03-19-2012, 11:26 PM
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Unhappy Forward and Reverse Gear Adjustment Issues

Hello,

I've got a 1975 Tartan T30 with a forward/reverse mode issue.

It all started when the original Morse cable for our gear shift lever bent at its mounting point in the cockpit. Forward gear had become more difficult to engage over time and the increasing pressure eventually caused the bend, necessitating a replacement Morse cable.

I installed a replacement cable without making any forward/reverse gear adjustments or stiffing the cable mounts and the cable lasted for a couple months before bending in the cockpit mounting area again. That was an expensive mistake!

The second time around I had a friend make a sturdy aluminum mounting bracket for the front part of the cable, close to the transmission arm. Made of sturdy aluminum billet, that part of the cable isn't going anywhere.

Next, I followed Don's Forward Mode and Reverse Mode Adjusting Procedures, as listed below. Unfortunately it didn't solve the problem of the 'difficult to engage' forward gear.

If I turn the adjusting collar clockwise to where the transmission no longer slips in forward it takes a lot of pressure from the cable to move the transmission arm into forward. I can't engage the transmission manually into forward without using a big screwdriver to get enough leverage. This resistance soon causes the cable to bend where it mounts in the cockpit.

On the other hand, if I turn the adjusting collar counter clockwise from there to relieve pressure on the cable, then the transmission slips and the prop barely turns.

I'm adjusting the collar one notch at a time, being careful not to go too far in either direction.

Have I potentially overlooked something in following Don's procedures?

Do I need to make sure the front and rear mounts for the Morse cable are gorilla strength?

Any help is welcome at this juncture!
---------
C. Riste
Menagerie II
1975 Tartan T30

====================
Don Moyer

FORWARD MODE ADJUSTING PROCEDURE

1) Place the cockpit shifting lever in neutral.

2) Recheck to be sure the reversing gear is in neutral by turning the prop shaft. The neutral position is at the point where the prop shaft turns most freely.

NOTE: If the forward clutch assembly is not in a good neutral position prior to adjustment, it will be very difficult to rotate the notched adjusting collar in step 6.

3) Remove the access plate on top of the reversing gear assembly.

4) Rotate the gear case cluster until the retaining pin of the adjusting collar is facing upward.

5) Loosen the retaining pin until the staked collar can be turned on its threads. It is not necessary to completely remove the retaining pin from its threads to turn the adjusting collar.

6) Turning the adjusting collar clockwise (as you would be facing the engine from the rear) will tighten the clutch disks when in forward. As a frame of reference, one notch on the adjusting collar make a large difference and is usually sufficient to prevent slippage.

7) Retighten the retaining pin.

CAUTION: It is very important that the end of the retaining pin extends into one of the notches on the adjusting collar before final tightening. If the end of the pin presses on the collar itself (between notches), or if the pin is simply over-tightened, it is extremely easy to break the cast iron pressure plate.

8) Place the cockpit lever in and out of the forward detent several times to insure a proper "feel". A solid detent should be felt while going in and out of forward, but the adjustment should not be so tight as to cause any concern that the ship's cable and levers may be overstressed.

NOTE: Moving the forward adjusting collar one notch makes a rather profound difference in the force required to get the clutch assembly into and out of the forward detent. In some cases (particularly in pedestal mounted shifting levers) one setting can result in more force than might be desired, while the very next notch looser results in some slippage of the clutch assembly at high power settings. In the very latest engines (circa 1979 - 1981), Universal installed forward clutch adjustment collars with notches closer together to provide more control when adjusting the forward clutch assembly. You can check the difference in the two collars in our online catalog at moyermarine.com, product number: OREV_05_306.

9) If, after readjusting the forward clutch assembly, the neutral position of the shifting lever in the cockpit is in an awkward location, you can adjust the cable shackle at the engine, or cockpit shifting lever, until the cockpit lever is in a more natural neutral location.

REVERSE MODE ADJUSTING PROCEDURE

1) When the forward mode adjustment is correct, recheck the reverse mode for proper adjustment. There should be a well defined neutral range when coming out of the forward detent, and reverse mode should be felt comfortably before the shifting lever in the cockpit reaches the limits of its rearward travel.

NOTE: There is no detent in the reverse mode.

2) If the shifting lever in the cockpit reaches the limits of its travel before reverse mode is securely established, turn the 3/4" hex-headed nut of the reversing brake band clockwise.

3) If the reverse mode is reached too soon, and/or the neutral zone is so small that it is difficult to find a spot where the prop is not turning (one way or the other), turn the adjusting nut counterclockwise.

NOTE: It is not necessary to remove the retaining spring in order to turn the nut on the reversing band adjusting bolt.

FOR PEDESTAL MOUNTED SHIFTING LEVERS:

By way of background, pedestal mounted shifting systems typically have somewhat less cable travel than those which are mounted on the side of the cockpit. This makes them very prone to having problems associated with being able to reach both forward and reverse and still have a reasonable neutral zone.

It's very important that the cable assembly is adjusted so that you're able to engage the forward detent near the end of the travel in the forward direction. This adjustment is necessary so that you will have sufficient travel in the rearward direction to accommodate reverse, and still have a reasonable neutral zone between forward and reverse.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:13 AM
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Craig,

I too have a T30 and I also replaced the shifter cable last year. I don't know what size cable you replaced the old one with, but I had to go to the big Teleflex Extreme 4300 to get good strength and reliability. Reading your approach, I think you are doing the proper things. The cable ends really need a strong connection point to keep "play" to a minimum. Although shifting into forward takes a little push, it shouldn't be enough to bend the cable.

Have you tried shifting the transmission by hand at the shifting arm?

I've also heard that synthetic oil is bad ju-ju for the transmission... it's so slippery that the clutch plates slip on each other.

There are several folks who've rebuilt their entire machine that can probably offer other things to check. I'm sure they will be along shortly.
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Old 03-20-2012, 09:18 AM
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Do you have a "direct" connection from shift lever to cable to lever on the engine? Or do you have a binnacle with shift lever to linkages to cable, etc.?

And, as Tom asks, did you use a sufficiently heavy cable?

The shifting "cable" on my boat (1968 Pearson) is nearly as thick around as my finger (and I've got largish hands). It's not so much a "cable" as a fat, flexible steel rod, it seems. I'd guesstimate it's about 1/2" diameter.

It does take some effort to engage the forward detent. You should be able to move the shift lever on the back of the engine by hand pressure, though - although to snap it into the forward detent will take a little extra effort.

Have you tried disconnecting the cable from the engine shifting lever and try to see how much effort is required simply to shift the cable by itself versus how much effort is required to shift the lever itself? You want to try to isolate where the excessive resistance is coming into play - if there is some extra linkage in the system, or if the curve or bend in the cable is too tight, that also will put extra strain on the cable and make it harder to shift.
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Old 04-18-2012, 04:42 PM
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My shift cable wore out. Somehow it got dirt in the cable. A new one cost $150 in my area. These cables do not have a warranty because they donít last.
My understanding is the gear shifter on the A4 has to move three inches back, or forward to engage.
I have been told the stupid cables do not last. Mine went out at about three knots twenty feet from a dock in a tight area.
I designed a chain gear shifter using parts from a ten speed bike. (Sprockets, and chain.)
When I get it all mounted Iíll post pictures.
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Old 04-18-2012, 10:10 PM
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I've always thought it would make more sense to have, if possible, based on space and configuration of the boat, a metal rod with a ball joint on each end or something along those lines, rather than a big cable. I have sort of half thought out something like that for my boat - with two metal rods. One to go pretty much vertically from the cockpit shift lever down to the engine level, which connects to an L-shaped pivoting arm, and then from that pivoting arm to the shift lever on the back of the engine. I think it could work and based on the relative lengths of the legs of the "L", you could get a mechanical advantage to make it a little easier to shift (although requiring perhaps slightly more travel on the shift lever in the cockpit.

It's something I probably never actually will do, but it's an interesting idea.
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Old 04-19-2012, 09:45 AM
Dave Neptune Dave Neptune is offline
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Lightbulb Straight line!

Craig, re your cable issues. First on the shifter you NEED to use the large cable that Bill described the smaller stuff is ok for the throttle. Second and most importatn is to support the "housing" ends solidly and in as "straight line" as possible. You can set the angle of it slightly to shift into forward with the cable as straight as you can and a lil' angle off for reverse or neutral will not bother the larger cable. OR keep the ends as linear as possible.

A hint, cables are a bit expensive and the factories "got by" with the shortest cable (cheapist) that would "work". In working on boats for many years I have learned that trying to stretch the cable from point to point IE a bit short but workable OR a bit long but "squeezed" between the point to point cause a shortened life span. If the cable is akward or just doesn't fit right get a much longer one and put a loop in it so the ends can point straight and the cable will last many more years and it often makes instalation much easier. It will also makes for smoother shifting.

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  #7   IP: 98.206.214.37
Old 05-05-2012, 01:08 PM
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Hi everybody,

Thanks for everybody's input. We have Heim joints mounted on both ends of the cable to eliminate all play, and the ends of the cable are securely mounted in rather large aluminum, custom-made cable clamps.

Also, as I stated before, engaging the forward detent by hand is almost impossible. If we adjust the collar to make it easier to engage the forward detent then the clutch plates slip. So, we are unable to find the 'sweet spot' where forward detent can be engaged by hand, and the clutch plates are not slipping.

We are using a Teleflex marine cable, the 33C Red Jacket 13' long. http://www.westmarine.com/webapp/wcs...classNum=50394

Model CC33213. It sounds like my cable is not as thick as some of you are using.

Take a look at this photo to see the mounting assembly for the control end of the cable: https://picasaweb.google.com/1165763...80505027181410.

Lastly, I am using 10W30 oil, would switching to SAE 30 weight/or ATF help?
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Old 05-05-2012, 01:19 PM
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In the photo I see another problem, the location of the clamp. As others have said, the 33C cable is too small for shifting duty on our engines but the outer sheath clamp location is similar on the larger 64C cable.

The metallic portion of the cable just beyond the red jacket has a groove. The clamp engages the groove without play but also without applying any pressure on the outer portion of the cable. The way it's pictured the outer cable is being squeezed and applying friction to the inner moving part. The tighter the clamping pressure, the more friction.

The standard cable clamps look like small plumbing straps but the difference is they have a pressed key that fits in the groove I mentioned.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CraigRun View Post
Lastly, I am using 10W30 oil, would switching to SAE 30 weight/or ATF help?
I certainly would not use ATF, as the engine still needs engine lubrication, and ATF won't provide that. I don't think the oil should make it easier or harder to shift in an out of gear.

However - if adjusting it so that it's possible to shift it allows the clutch to slip, I suppose it theoretically is possible for the wrong oil, or an oil containing a lubricity additive, to cause the clutch to slip when plain old straight-grade oil would not.

But I dunno if that would be it. I would make absolutely sure whether it's the cable itself that is adding the resistance to shifting, or whether the resistance is in fact in the actual shifting mechanism of the engine. If you do isolate it to the engine itself, the next step would seem to me to be opening up the reversing gear cover or housing to get a good look-see at what's going on in there - are the fingers or the cone excessively worn for some reason, or is something else out of alignment or awry.
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Old 05-05-2012, 06:44 PM
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wrong cable

Here's the cable you need to shift the A4 in and out of gear.

http://www.jamestowndistributors.com...+Control+Cable
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Old 05-16-2012, 06:11 PM
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Picture Atomic 4 Transmission with adjustments

I attached a picture of the Atomic 4 Transmission. I labelled some of the important items. It took me a couple of dives into the engine compartment to figure out what was where. Hope this helps.





Picture of Atomic reverse gear and adjustments.pdf
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Old 05-17-2012, 07:22 PM
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Thanks

Thanks Greidy for the PDF, it really helps.

Looking at the photo I can tell I didn't do the reverse adjustment properly.

It really would be helpful if somebody could put your PDF in a sticky along with Don's forward and reverse adjusting mode text that I quoted above. A picture's worth a thousand words as they say.

I added some more photos of our custom cable clamp setup to the photo album so folks can better see what it looks like. It was very carefully machined to put just the right amount of pressure on the cable.

I'm going to give our existing setup with the 33C cable one more try, but if it doesn't work, then we're going to have to go with the bigger cable that folks mentioned.
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Old 05-17-2012, 10:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ILikeRust View Post
I've always thought it would make more sense to have, if possible, based on space and configuration of the boat, a metal rod with a ball joint on each end or something along those lines, rather than a big cable. I have sort of half thought out something like that for my boat - with two metal rods. One to go pretty much vertically from the cockpit shift lever down to the engine level, which connects to an L-shaped pivoting arm, and then from that pivoting arm to the shift lever on the back of the engine. I think it could work and based on the relative lengths of the legs of the "L", you could get a mechanical advantage to make it a little easier to shift (although requiring perhaps slightly more travel on the shift lever in the cockpit.

It's something I probably never actually will do, but it's an interesting idea.
Bill,
It sounds like you're talking about using a bell crank to replace the cable. I think somebody posted a few years ago that they had done just that. I replaced my cable a few years ago and haven't had any problems since, but it's not a bad idea if you have a good layout for it. The only problem I can see is lining everything up properly, and a cable would require less dedicated space.
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