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Goalie_ken 12-03-2012 11:57 AM

Transmission not engaging when cold

Got a problem that driving me nuts. When the boat is cold (2000 Maristar ZF trans) the transmission will not engage. This has happened last year int he fall and I had the transmission fluid changed and I did not have the problem until the weather got cold. Fluid looks clean and normal. The linkage is all good, but the boat will rev until the trans catches.

Any suggestions please???? Search didn't help much.


Spork 12-03-2012 12:14 PM

which fluid was used ATF or 15w40?

pram 12-03-2012 12:21 PM

I would also check the oil that was put in

MikeyOrange88 12-03-2012 12:44 PM

Is it doing it when going into both forward or reverse? If the shift linkage is slightly out of adjustment, it can present similar symptons, which may be more apparent when cold. When mine was slightly out, it would take several seconds to engage the forward gear. If it only does it in one direction only (F or R), it could need some adjustment. Different boat/transmission I realize, but something to check.

jfw432 12-03-2012 01:52 PM

I would start with visually checking the shifting mechanism. Put the shifter in gear and see if it's actually moving all the way on the transmission. Wiggle all the mounts and make sure nothing is loose as well. One loose screw can cause shifting problems. Next, I would change the fluid. Cost you less than $10 and takes 15-20 minutes to do both of these things.

jakethebt 12-03-2012 02:15 PM

I too would be suspect of the cable. Since things contract when cold, the cable may be just a bit too short. I would have to look at mine (which is not near me) to figure out if it would be in both directions or only one. There should be an adjustment on the cable.

Also of note, I have the ZF tranny book for mine. I dont think that yours is the same tranny as mine (45c or 63c), but I believe that you do have a ZF. If you find out is it, I can Email it to you. I down loaded the manual from either ZF direct or from skiDIM. skiDIM has lots of manuals you can down load. Just go to their site and shop for manuals. Maybe the manual will help you out?

Goalie_ken 12-03-2012 05:42 PM

Thanks guys for the help.

I've had the MC dealer change the fluids on an annual basis and last time I'm pretty sure they use 15w40. I can check when I get home.

The problem happens both in forward and reverse. When I mean cold.. well that is a relative term for us in AZ. The air temp is about 70F when it happens. I will double check the linkage.

Jake - the manual would be a big help - [email protected]

MikeyOrange88 12-03-2012 05:54 PM

On my '88 Velvet drive, the shift cable locks into a bracket on top of the transmission with a simple clip that can be 'opened' or 'closed' manually with no tools. You could easily check whether the linkage is causing the issue by opening the clip and pulling the cable away so it isn't operable. Then, while still 'cold', manually shift the transmission linkage into gear using the linkage on the transmission, not the throttle (you might want to be away from docks, etc. if you're by yourself). Again, no idea how your transmission is set up compared to what I'm familiar with. In my limited experience, just looking at the cable moving the linkage into F-N-R doesn't really tell you if it is slightly out of adjustment or not. The adjustments can be very slight.

Goalie_ken 04-04-2013 02:21 PM

Bringing back this thread from the dead....

If the linkage was the issue I would suspect that it would work in either in F or R. Mine does not. I'm thinking if the linkage was out of adjustment for F then R would work no problem.

Am i wrong here?


MikeyOrange88 04-04-2013 09:27 PM

No, I think you're on the right track, as that was what I was indicating in my first post above. I'm not much help beyond that though. Good luck.

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