View Full Version : Reverse Bucket on '02 240efi Merc

06-03-10, 11:19 PM
Shifting into either forward or reverse has been hard for a while and getting harder. I disconnected the cable at the bucket and the control lever goes in either direction like butter, so I think the cable is good. I have the service manual and am going to adjust the cable barrel to see if it helps. I see that with the lever in the forward position, the bucket is not on the forward stop, and just barely clears the nozzle.

My question is: how hard should it be to manually move the bucket up and down, once the cable is off? Mine is very stiff, and I thought that was by design in order to keep the bucket from flopping around, but maybe i'm wrong. Could there be corrosion in the pivot bolts or bushings that would cause the stiffness in the control lever? (used in saltwater but always washed down after). Or, is it possible that a needed adjustment could cause that level of control lever stiffness?

If anyone has played with it and knows if the bucket is supposed to be stiff or pivot easily without the cable attached, that would be a big help before I start making lots of cable adjustments. Thanks!


06-04-10, 12:33 AM
Mine flops around freely without the cable attached. It should have almost no friction within the thrust reverser assembly itself. All tension and "locking" comes from the FNR lever assembly in the console.

FWIW, I can move my FNR lever back and forth by moving the thrust reverser by hand. The F and R detents, up at the FNR lever, are clearly felt when I do this.

06-04-10, 03:27 PM
Oh Snap! I was afraid of that. I'm going to pull off the nozzle assembly and try to remove the bucket pivot bolts and try to clean them. It looks like a bit of a project. Will report back. Thanks for the response.


06-04-10, 03:50 PM
Go here:


...for my writeup on proper winterization of the M2 jetdrive. You don't have to proceed past the removal of the steering and reverse assembly, so no fluid replacement will be required.

I would, however, replace the cotter pin on the thrust reverser cable with a brand new stainless steel one. Make certain it has a SS washer underneath it, too, when you reinstall it.

Once you've removed the steering/reverse assembly, you'll have easy access to the pivot points.

Report back!

06-06-10, 11:26 AM
Finished last night and it went well, except for a smashed pinky.

Took off the bucket assembly and removed the nozzle, punched out the nylon pivot bushings and cleaned out the bores with sandpaper. There was just enough corrosion in the bores to cause the pivots to bind. Reinstalled the nozzle and it moves like butter now.

Same thing on the reverse gate, except I had to pry out those trilobe pins first with a crow bar...that accounted for the black and blue pinky. Sanded the pivot bores and cleaned up the bushings and now the reverse gate flops up and down with no resistance. Shifting is now super easy.

The only problem is that when I went to adjust the cable, when I tighten the barrel all the way, the bucket is almost touching the forward stop when the lever is forward.....but not quite touching it like it's supposed to. I think the cable is stretched from a year of trying to wrestle the lever into and out of gear. Not looking forward to a cable replacement but I'm concerned now about the strength of it if it really is stretched. Anyone ever run out of adjustment thread on the shift cable? Thanks.


05-01-11, 11:00 PM
I was examining the bucket on my 01 challenger 2000 and I noticed that in the forward position the bucket is not at its stop. It is also obvious that the thrust from the nozzle will hit the bucket when I turn hard to the right or left, which would explain the vibration I felt in the controllers last season with an aggressive hard turn with speed.

My question is can you help me with the procedure for adjusting the cable to the proper stops. I was looking at a diagram from the m2 manual and was wondering what is involved in adjusting the barrel.

Thanks again for any advice.