Shift stuck in drive sometimes / also won't reverse


New Member
Hey everyone, I'm a new owner of a 2000 Challenger Twin Rotax! I took it out for the first ride and the water was really choppy. Toward the end, the shifter got stuck in drive. I tried shifting back to neutral many times, but the shifter would only move about 1 inch before locking (the throttles were both all way back). The only way I could fix the problem was to drive around a bit more and hit some more hard waves, then the shifter allowed me to go back to neutral and "reverse."

I plan to add marine grease to the metal arm that comes out of the back so it can shift smoother (per a video I found online) and also lube the shift cable to see if those help with the sticking gear issue, but it felt as though something was physically preventing/locking the shifter after about an inch of pull to go from drive to neutral. Maybe a bump jostled something into locking the shifter internally and then jostled it back out once I hit more choppy water or maybe it's just that they needed to be lubed?

The second issue is that I noticed reverse never really did much of anything the whole time. Backing up from the trailer was very painful and slow even though the shifter was fully in reverse. What I noticed after the day was over is that the shift plate in the back of the jets (sorry for the bad terminology) would only move maybe 5-10* from reverse to neutral, but then moves all the way vertical to drive. I don't think this is normal.

Here are some pictures showing the position of the jets at each shift from 2 different angles.

Any help would be greatly appreciated, thanks!


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Good news! I figured out the issue with the shifter being stuck in drive. The problem was that the bolt on the back was sometimes snagging on the black plastic of the jet housing. Adding a couple washers to the other end of the bolt shortened it up enough to stop snagging altogether.

Now I still need to figure out the reversing issue. Are these angles typical for the engine and is reversing just very slow or is something wrong with the alignment?


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