How to Adjust the Shift Cable on a Yamaha Outboard Motor

Explore America's Campgrounds

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.

Items you will need

  • Screwdriver

Step 1

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

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 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.

Step 5

Replace the grommet and close the cable retainer cover.


  • 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.
Gone Outdoors