My forward failure was from shattered prop shear pin. Presumably, these should only shear it you hit something with the prop. I definitely didn't hit anything the night we lost forward but... this motor "hits" pretty hard when it goes into gear.
In the last two summers I've spun a prop and sheared off 3 or 4 cotter pins holding the beehive nut. (This has resulted in loosing 2 prop nuts and a prop to the bottom of the bay. The second prop would have been lost also but my son went diving in 12' of water and found it standing on end in the muck off the end of our dock.) Per my friend Mike's advice, I'm now only using brand-new 5/32" diameter stainless cotter pins which seem to be staying put. But now I assume I shattered a prop shear pin putting the motor into gear!
When I took in the lower Amber Marine said "somebody" (me) put a steel shear pin in the prop. I'm not sure if it was mild steel, stainless or what but it was shattered and they replaced it with a brass shear pin. When I bought the boat both the spares in the cowl were steel and this is what i have used as the replacements. Amber made me a custom brass shear pin. Cool huh?
Unfortunately after I reinstalled the lower and was running the motor in a bucket to test the cooling and shifting. As soon as I shifted the motor into gear I immediately sheared the new brass shear pin! Since I had one spare steel shear pin left in the cowl, I installed that one.
Dinner at Woody's Warf... dock the boat, order the Prime Rib!
Since the motor hits so hard, in order to try to soften the blow when going into gear I set back the idle as far as I could where it will stay running when shifting into gear. Hopefully this will reduce the shock. Maybe this will also reduce my cotter pin, prop shear pin and prop failures.Time will tell.
To replenish my spare parts inventory I went to West Marine and bought another set of 5/32 x 2 stainless cotter pins. But West Marine didn't have any shear pins the size I needed so after a trip to Minnie's and digging through a bin of ancient shear pins, I found a set of stainless 1/4 x 1-1/4 shear pins for .95 cents for the pair. These went into the boat tool box along with the cotter pins, a spare beehive nut and my off-the-bottom-of-the-bay SMC-626 prop.
So far so good, we ran the boat all day Saturday and Sunday with multiple stops and starts and everything is still in tact.
Oh yea... reverse? Not yet, I need to re-index the shift arm on the upper shift lever as I'm running out of travel. The shift arm hits the stop just before the transmission shifts into reverse. Brad at Amber says I have reverse it just needs some fine tuning. He offered to do it Saturday night but I figured I'd work on it next week when its out of the water for its mid-week flush and bath. Yes, I take it out of the salt every week and wash the boat and flush the motor. Stay tuned.