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Help with gear shifter

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  • Help with gear shifter

    My Mastercraft is a 2008 X35. So I am hoping I didn't seriously harm my boat. I summarized this year and did something really stupid. I forgot to reconnect the water pump hose. I had my marina place the boat in the water a few days later and slowly pulled off at idle speed keeping and eye on all the gauges just in case I did something stupid. Sure enough I notice the engine temp going up and I turned the engine off. I opened the engine compartment and there was a lot of heat and a lot of water in the hull. I started to bilge and I had a passing boat pull me back in to the marina. I knew exactly what I did wrong and I let the engine cool overnight. The next morning I came back and reattached the water pump hose. The boat cranked and idled and the temperature remained good but here is my problem! When I tried to pull away from the dock, the boat gear shifter would not budge. This has never happened before. I feel it has something to do with me running the boat hot but I am not sure. Will not shift forwards or reverse. Hoping someone else has an idea what I did!! THANKS!!!

  • #2
    Overheating of really should have nothing to do with gear engagement, it IS possible you overheated the transmission badly but I doubt it if you had usually you get what we call a "dirty neutral" this is because the trans is a series of metal plates with friction plates stacked together. When you go into gear hydraulic fluid is pumped into the clutch pack and it squeezes the stack of discs together so they grab. When overheated these tend to warp and sometimes melt together and the effect is that when you are in neutral the warped plates hang up enough that the transmission still swings the prop in neutral.

    I suspect one of two things. 1 - you got enough water in the boat to get water into the transmission either through its bleeder or the shaft seal. I sort of doubt this in that with V-drives usually the transmission is high enough and forwards that at plane the water would need to be really high in the boat like swamped high to get to the trans. 2 - you're saying the shifter itself doesn't budge.

    In 2008 I would bet that your shifter has an electronic linkage to the throttle but a cable to the transmission. This sounds mechanical and probably incedental - I would open the engine hatch, locate that shift cable. Remove the cable from the shifter arm on the transmission and by hand move the trans shifter lever to verify it moves smoothly. Then with the linkage disconnected try to move your throttle lever into gear.

    Report back.

    It is possible you have an electric shift trans I really don't know the years of those on V-Drive boats - if you do it brings up electrical faults but I wouldn't think this would impact your shift lever.

    Oh final thought make sure you have the shifter lock outs in the right place, I've had sketchy times where when something was going poorly I did something stupid like a boat was leaking badly due to a blown seal on a I/O around the lower unit got it to the trailer got it pumped out, fixed the seal and then the boat wasn't running - well I had stepped on the lanyard jumping to the dock to run and get the trailer and then a month later I'm there like doofus upside down inspecting the engine and its the stupid lanyard.


    • #3
      Thanks! I am going to check out what you said. I really don't think the water got that high either. It was about 6 inches in the bottom of the hull. If it melted the plates together I would be surprised. I ran at no wake speed about 200 yards from the marina before shutting the whole thing down and getting towed. It didn't run hot for very long. I didn't even check the lanyard. That would be a nice fix!! Thanks!


      • #4
        Doubt its your lanyard but for instance the neutral knob might be jammed partway.

        Nothing is too complex with these boats, the transmissions on the fanciest of them are pretty similar to what's been in fishing boats for 100 years.


        • #5
          A boat is different from a car in that the water not only cools the engine, but also cools the exhaust system. When the water isn't flowing, the exhaust system overheats much sooner than the engine overheats. If the transmission shift cable is routed anywhere near the exhaust system, then the housing of the cable may have melted and bonded to the inner cable.

          Regardless of this being a potential cause of your shifting problem. You should thoroughly check out the exhaust system after an overheat. Two things to look for, are the rubber hoses damaged and overly soft or are the inside of the hoses de-laminating. Second, check all the fiberglass mufflers and connectors. Sometime the heat will compromise their integrity and it sucks to have the boat flood because a fiberglass exhaust part fails.
          Mastercraft ProStar 2019 5.7L - Current
          Mastercraft X25 2014 6.2L - Current
          Nautique 200 OB 2012 5.7L - Current


          • #6
            Good points. After opening the engine compartment I really noticed the heat coming off the exhaust system first. Smelled a little burning on the rubber hose connections. Seemed to be intact and no real melting observed. I will check that out also. Thanks!!


            • #7
              Originally posted by rxprbh70 View Post
              Good points. After opening the engine compartment I really noticed the heat coming off the exhaust system first. Smelled a little burning on the rubber hose connections. Seemed to be intact and no real melting observed. I will check that out also. Thanks!!
              I second the internal inspection as stated above . As inconvenient as it may be, check the internal part of the hose(s). A hose can look good externally but the ply(s) will separate internally and create more issues. Been there.

              US $0.02

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