Re: [OMC-Boats] OMC/Johnson and Evinrude Shifter switches

From: jd <jdood@...>
Date: Fri, 14 Aug 2009 08:53:50 -0700

On Aug 14, 2009, at 7:07 AM, Lee Shuster (lib1) wrote:

> Jeff D,
> Yes the black knob is a throttle friction adjustment.

no, not the black knob - the screw on top by the red lever. it's on
the top side, but down inside the housing, yet made to be
accessible. what does that one do?

> But the switch you mention is worth alerting all OMC electric shift
> owners about:
> There are four different switches used on OMC boats. The dividing
> line was 1969. Two for E-rudes, two for Johnson/OMC's.
> Both Evinrude (push-button) and Johnson/OMC (single lever) and third
> party (like Morse) introduced the 5-wire Neutral-only starter
> interlock circuit, for 1969, most likely as a result of liability
> concerns, but I don't know for sure. (If you remember, a lot of
> federal safety legislation was mandated in 1968 on the automotive
> industry, as a result of Ralph Nader's book, "Unsafe at Any Speed."
> Prior to 1969 all remote control shift swicthes used only 3-wires
> and did not have the safety interlock. E-rude pushbuttons all have a
> mechanical sliding "aperature" that prevents operating the shifter
> buttons beyond a partial throttle setting.
> If this ever slips out of place, and prevents you from shifting
> (being stuck in neutral, at your favorite fishing hole, 5 miles off
> shore is not FUN!) simply carry your hand Phillips-head and pop off
> the cover surround the push buttons. This will allow you do move the
> slider back into place and allow you to now engage forward or reverse.
> In my opinion, the Evinrude design, while perhaps less ergonomic (it
> takes two hands to simultaneously move the throttle and shift, as in
> docking) is a more robust design, and the switch assembly rarely
> fails. Johnson owners aren't as lucky.
> The Johnson/OMC switches are a weak point and often fail. In fact,
> I've come across a couple of sources for present-day, aftermarket
> sources. A gentleman, in Portland, OR is rebuilding these switches
> and a Canadian source has claimed it has ramped up production of new
> switches. (I have no direct experience with either and I'll leave it
> to others on this list to track them down and have Phil add it to
> his website.)

oh man! right here in Portland - I would love to know who that guy
is. I looked at the Pollak site and although their still around, I
didn't see my switch anywhere. Maybe i missed it but i don't think so.
> Bottomline is these switches are like gold. In either style, 5 or 3-
> wire they are extremely hard to come by. Supply and demand dictates
> market prices. Anyone who owns a Johnson should start looking for a
> spare today! You should locate the current third-party sources. Just
> buying a used control off eBay, won't insure you are getting a
> useable switch. About half of them are defective, or will soon fail.

yeah, I'm lucky with my other shifter. it's in good shape and I
will rob the switch from that if needed. If everything changed to 5
wire in '69, this spare must be a '68. It's 3 wire, and instead
of a plastic housing it has a metal housing. Much sturdier.
Would like to have that safety feature of the 5 wire though, so 3
wire spare is a last resort.

> I've also got a little tip for 69-70 Johnson 5-wire owners. I find
> that once in awhile my 5-wire, will only "reset" properly if I
> "back" the throttle into REVERSE after shutting down the engine in
> NEUTRAL. I call this my built-in, anti-theft device, like having to
> know the secret key-code combination. Only problem with this little
> quirk, is you don't want a big barge bearing down on you when your
> forget the code!

The resetting prob seems to be part of the switch design. Even
though mine was broken, I could still sort of see it did'nt really
have a "center". Just a spring in there to add resistance when you
move it forward or reverse, but no centering notch for it to click
into. I guess it relies on the main shifter lever to do the
centering, but there's so much extra space I can see how these little
switches could not get into neutral sometimes. And they are
COMPLETELY sealed up. No where to get any lube in there. Even the
rubber cover over the wires wasn't really a cover, it's a glob of
rubber melted and formed right over the 5 wires and terminals. Had
to get my scalpel out to get that off to test things.

> Lee
> On Aug 13, 2009, at 11:05 PM, jd wrote:
>> hi, so for whoever is keeping track, got my boat out today for
>> first time after weeks. temp prob was previous dilema, rewired
>> about 75% as result. Ran around about about full speed for about
>> 20 mins and temp stayed right at 160!! So yes, as I HOPED,
>> knock on wood, but it appears the crazy high temp readings on 3
>> separate gauges and senders I have been getting for 3 summers now
>> were ultimately the result of some funky wiring grounding thing.
>> Wow what a relief!
>> But of course, another prob popped up (although everything seems
>> downhill minor from here on). Sometimes the key would crank and
>> sometimes absolutely nothing. Tracked it down to the shifter.
>> Pulled it apart, poked around, traced it to a prob with the
>> Pollak switch that controls forward or reverse. It was sticking,
>> and not sending juice to the white wire while in neutral.
>> Actually went further and did some surgery on the switch - drilled
>> out the rivets, carefully took it apart. All plastic, and a
>> crucial plastic piece in there is broken in half. Have it in the
>> vice tonight and am hoping I can glue it back together strong
>> enough to hold. Not fun. Fortunately, Have an older shifter
>> as back up just in case, but it doesn't have the ":won't start in
>> F/R" wires.
>> Anyway, on to my question - what exactly does the adjustment screw
>> right above the red throttle lever do? it doesn't look broken to
>> me, but seems to be doing nothing. Is it a friction adjustment
>> for the lever?
>> jeff d
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Received on Friday, 14 August 2009

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