I was referred to Amber Marine in Costa Mesa to take a look at my lower unit. I'm told Brad guys will actually work on these ancient motors and that he is an honest and skilled guy. So I took all 3 lower units to him (59 Short Shaft, 59 Long Shaft, 60 Short Shaft).
I'm not sure there is anything wrong with any of them but I wanted him to review, inspect adjust, reassemble, reseal and return at least (hopefully) 2 working lowers. My guess if there is anything wrong in the lower(s) it would be in the cam selector or the pin that rides on the cam selector.
The cam selector is shown in Neutral. Move it down for forward, up for reverse.
Its important to remember that the lower is a sealed unit that needs to be properly sealed and pressure tested after reassembly, I figured having a pro perform these inspections/repairs is the way to go.
Step 2 - Make sure the Upper Shift Mechanism is Working Correctly.
If the lower unit is correct then the only other culprit would be the Upper Shift Mechanism. There is a shift arm on the starboard side of the motor that is clamped to a rotating shaft. The shaft has another arm (under the power head and inside the motor case) that is attached to the top of the shift rod. If this has slipped or moved then the full shift travel would not be transferred to the lower.
If the lower is fine, I will pull the power head to inspect fix the Upper Shift Mechanism.
Hopefully I'll know a little bit more about my motor in the next couple weeks.