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TOPIC: Johnson Ship Master Controller

Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 3 days ago #139555

Hi,
I recently bought a 66 Johnson Super Sea Horse 40 hp RDSL-28 on a 66 Sports Craft Ski King. The previous owner had just about everything rebuilt in the motor including the gears and clutch dog...but I can't get it to shift. My mistake I did not take it for a test run...just a engine start up. But he claims he had no problems shifting...but I'm suspect. I understand how they work with the shifting as I previously owned a 59 Evinrude Fat 50. I'm thinking the problem may be in the shift controller. Trying to locate a manual or any info on adjustments. The levers shift the shift lever on the engine to what appears to be the correct location. I can shift to forward neutral and reverse from the engine not running but can't get the controller to shift properly. Have not tried it from the engine with it running by myself for obvious reasons. I realize the engine has to be a slow idle then snap the lever to get the clutch dog to engage the gears...just not doing it. Any help would be appreciated.
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 2 days ago #139559

Disconnect the shift cable at the engine.
Try turning the motor over by hand as you shift.
Or sometimes use your foot and move the prop as you shift.
This should move the gear to align and slip in to place.
But sounds more like a shihfting cable adjustment.
If the previous owner had all the work done you described run the motor in water and I bet it will shift just fine.
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 2 days ago #139560

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If I read your post correctly it sounds like you are on the right trail.
You can shift the gears at the motor using the lever so you know the problem is not on the motor end.
Sounds like the problem is in the controller and it is not throwing the motor lever far enough to engage the gears either forward or reverse? Or will it shift into forward but not reverse? visa-versa?
Here are pictures of an older shifter but the insides are similar. The cables are connected to a rack of gears and are moved forward or backwards with the lever that has matching gears. If those teeth are not aligned properly they will not move the cable fully in either direction. My suggestion is for you to remove the top cover of the shifter.(BE CAREFULL, IT WILL BE GREASY AND THINGS MAY FALL OUT) Take pictures of it before you do anything.
Disconnect the cables from the motor and then move the shift lever full forward. The gears should be in their final position, ie. first tooth on the lever matching with the first groove on the cable rack. If they do not match up just physically lift the rack and put it in position. You can see in the second picture that those gears are not right. They are one tooth away from where they should be.
If everything is correct inside the controller that like Herters said the adjustment would probably be at the motor end of the cable where the black thumb wheel rests in the cable mount.
There is nothing else to adjust. As an afterthought make sure that when the PO assembled the LU he correctly connected the shift lever coupler.
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 2 days ago #139568

Good info..thanks..I did push the shift lever all the way forward on the controller and it does move the shift lever on the motor all the way forward. However, I will open up the controller and check the teeth position as you suggest. Is it okay to run the motor with flush attachment and shift gears to check it out...knowing I have to be careful not not let the muffs hit the moving propeller. Had it in the water 4 times and never left the dock due to the shift issue and want to make sure it's fixed before I do that again.

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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 2 days ago #139571

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I always put the muffs on from the front of the motor, opposite of the prop that way there's no way it's going to hit. Yes it's fine to shift while running on the muffs.
Bummer launching and not going anywhere. I've done that maybe only a 100 times and usually because of motor not starting etc. :laugh:
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 1 day ago #139584

I'm now thinking about upgrading the steering to hydraulic from the current cable type...and see a lot of options available. But also thinking about upgrading the Ship Master controller, as well. First, is it possible and if so, what types are available? Being new to the old boat hobby, I have a lot to learn.

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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 1 day ago #139590

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My opinion only.
Hydraulic steering is pretty much overkill with that 40hp motor. A good push/pull would work just fine and a lot less costly. You will need the type of setup that has a transom mount brace for the cable since the older motor is not set up with a tilt tube for the newer versions.

Don't know how deep your pockets are but a changeover would be pricey.
www.wholesalemarine.com/teleflex-ssc154-series-tfxtreme-rack-steering-cable.html
I would stick with the cable/pulley that you have, Get some new cable from eBay or your local hardware store and you're good to go.
With that shift setup an "upgrade" would be no more that a nicer looking lever system. It will still need the rack and lever to move those cables.
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 2 months 57 minutes ago #139595

I really appreciate your advice as it is very obvious you have much experience and knowledge. While money matters, my main consideration is to have a reliable boat..which I know is what others want too. To that end, I want to keep the boat as original as possible but if there are more modern and more importantly reliable upgrades, this is what I want. Fortunately I have located a man here in Florida who became a mechanic in the early 60's and is very knowledgeable..and owns a marine repair service..so I'm optimistic my vision will be fulfilled. If your would like, I'll let you know how it turns out.
Thanks,
John
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 1 month 4 weeks ago #139596

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]Wow. Nice clean boat. I can see why you want to keep it pristine. Sounds like you're doing all the right things, getting advice and keeping safety and fun in their proper orders.
Looking forward to your decisions and maybe some pics on the water.
I lived in FL in the '60's while in service. Mayport/Jacksonville area then traded that for colder climates in the "frozen tundra" This pic might look interesting but it was about 43deg. Still hoping for warmer weather.
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Johnson Ship Master Controller 1 month 4 weeks ago #139603

43..that's pretty chilly..even without wind. Will post results of my appointment with the boat doctor. Did a trial run yesterday to his shop and had a nice chat.

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