How to Adjust the Shift Cable on a Yamaha Outboard Motor

by Will Charpentier

When you remove the carburetor from your Yamaha outboard motor, or if the remote shift lever hesitates when you move the motor into or out of gear, you probably need to adjust the shift cable. Usually, you have to take slack out of the cable, but whether there's too much slack or the cable seems short, the procedure for making the adjustment is the same. Either way, the procedure for setting your shift cable to rights is the same, too.

1.

Locate the cable retainer cover, found on the lower engine cowling. Open the cover with a screwdriver.

2.

Pull the forward-most grommet free. Pull the barrel holder free. Lock the shift cable in place on the shift pin lever using the retainer latch.

3.

Fit the shift cable barrel into the lowest hole of the barrel holder in the lower engine cowling. The barrel holder must slide freely into the retaining pocket.

4.

Ask an assistant to turn the propeller by hand as you move the control handle from "Forward" to "Neutral" and "Neutral" to "Reverse" to ensure the adjustment changes gears.

5.

Replace the grommet and close the cable retainer cover.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

Warning

  • Disconnect the negative cable of your battery before performing any maintenance work on your outboard motor to prevent electrical shock or accidental starting. Remove the nut from the negative post with a 5/16-inch box-end wrench. Lift the cable from your battery, move it outside of the battery box and close the lid of the battery box. After the work is complete, reconnect the negative battery cable.

References

  • "Yamaha/Mercury/Mariner Repair Manual 4-Stroke, 1995-2004"; Seloc Marine; 2007

About the Author

Will Charpentier is a writer who specializes in boating and maritime subjects. A retired ship captain, Charpentier holds a doctorate in applied ocean science and engineering. He is also a certified marine technician and the author of a popular text on writing local history.