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OMC Cobra Shift Cable Removal Installation Adjustment Instructions Guide


1. Remove Outdrive (Not covered in this guide)

2. Disconnect the transom bracket shift cable from the shift bracket located on the engine.

3. Loosen both set screws from the casing guide and then loosen the lock nut  and unscrew the casing guide jacket so that only the bare wire end of the shift cable is exposed.

4. Remove rubber boot end from the end of the transom shift cable tube by cutting the two tie straps. Pull the boot off the tube that is running down to the transom assembly and then just slide the boot completely off the cable. (Try and not lose the small grommet located on the shift cable)

5. Going back to the Transom Side of the boat... Remove the bolt that holds on the shift cable retainer and then rotate the shift cable retainer until it comes off of the threaded end of the shift cable.

6. Use a screwdriver or other flat-ended tool to "lift" the U-joint bellows out of the Bell / Pivot housing. Once you have this started use your fingers or a flat tool around the inside of the bellows to separate it from the pivot housing. Push the separated end of the bellows "into" the gimbal housing.

7. Use a snap ring pliers to remove the snap ring that is holding the exhaust bellows in place. Push these disconnected bellows into the gimbal housing as well.

8. Remove the nut from the water hose nipple. Use a piece of wood or other blunt object and tap on the end of the nipple to separate / pop it from the housing without damaging the nipple itself.

9. Remove Pivot Pin on each side of the Gimbal Ring (1/2" hex socket or wrench)

10. Pull Pivot Housing away from transom assembly and then loosen and remove shift cable's retaining nut. The Pivot housing should now be completely free and separated from the transom assembly.


11. Slide the plastic corrugated casing off of the shift cable and pull the shift cable out of the transom assembly housing.


12. Push the inner cable flush with the shift cable casing. Wrap electical tape around the end of the cable to prevent water from accidentally entering the core of the wire when cable is inserted into the transom tube sleeve.

13. Wrap corrugated tube around the shift cable. The end of the tubing should be flush with the cable's hex nut. (You can use soapy water to make this process easier.) Push the cable through the transom tube sleeve

14.  Apply some Gasket Sealing Compound (Permatex 80019 Aviation Form-A-Gasket) to the threaded end of the new shift cable. Then apply some sort of lithium or marine grease (i.e. quicksilver 2-4-C) to the entire length of the the cable's exposed metal end.

15. Insert the cable through the rear of the pivot housing and into the guide. Screw the threads in and tighten to 35-37 ft. lbs. (Just remember you're working with brass & aluminum here if you decide to do this without a torque wrench)


16. Install pivot housing into the gimbal ring. Guide the water tube nipple through the housing and position the U-Joint and exhaust bellows behind each of their respective openings.

17. Install Pivot Pins. Make sure the pivot pin washers are still in place yet. Get each side seated and snug first and then make sure everything moves freely up & down without binding. Torque each pin to 105-120 ft. lbs.

18. Pull the water hose nipple through the pivot housing as far as possible and install the nipple nut. Make sure the water hose's square nipple collar is seated correctly in its respective spot in the pivot housing and tighten the nut to 96-120 ft. lbs. Double check again that nothing is moving around and that the square of the water tube is properly seated in the pivot housing.

19. Apply the Gasket Sealing Compound (Permatex 80019 Aviation Form-A-Gasket) to the inside v-shaped lip of the u-joint bellows opening. Pull the U-Joint Bellows through the opening and seat it in the groove lip. Make sure that the bellows is seated properly and that there are no flat spots on the seal indicating the bellows not properly seated in it's respective groove.

20. Pull the exhaust bellows through the pivot housing and seat it in its channel around the pivot housing opening lip. Install snap ring to keep it securely in place. 


21. Slide rubber boot over end of shift cable. Attach the small grommet onto the cable and push it into the boot. Apply a tiny amount of gasket sealant to the inside of the rubber boot where it contacts with the shift cable transom sleeve tube.  Slide entire boot and grommet onto the sleeve and secure both ends with tie straps.

22. Screw metal casing guide jacket into the end of cable until it is all the way seated. When properly installed it should measure no more than 4-15/16" from the forward end of the threaded brass cable tip. Tighten lock nut over the metal casing to 35-50 in. lbs. Lightly apply some marine grease to the metal casing guide.

23.  Slide the casing onto the guide jacket until the inner cable seats against the sight hole. Carefully install both set screws and tighten both to 30-35 in. lbs. while visually confirming that the end of the cable is still visible within the sight hole.


24. Screw Cable Anchor onto end of core wire until it's flush with the end of the threaded wire.

25. Install Bellcrank Alignment Plate on the two lowest pivot housing studs. Slide Cable guide in or out until the bellcrank pin is captured by the slot in the alignment plate. Use a few washers and two of the nuts from the studs you removed earlier to securely hold the alignment plate in place.


26. Slide the casing guide at the engine end of the shift cable until everything fits properly into the SHIFT CABLE TOOL. You can use a wrap of tape around the end of the cable where it sits on the steel dowel to make sure everything stays in place while you're outside the boat making the final adjustments. With the cable secured to the tool. Rotate the barrel anchor until it lines up with the arrow indicated on the tool


27. Making sure to not disturb the cable setting in the boat. Screw on the swivel retainer until it just contacts the end of the shift cable guide. Install the screw from the shift cable guide finger tight.

28. Remove the the Bellcrank Alignment Plate and SHIFT CABLE TOOL

29. To fully engage shift cable guide and prevent binding of the shift cable...Push cable all the way forward into the pivot housing. Hold the cable guide vertical with at 9/16" wrench and then tighten the screw to 10-12 ft. lbs. You will need the hold the guide vertical to prevent twisting while it's being tightened.

NOTE: Not holding the cable guide vertical during the tightening process will cause the cable to stick at the end of travel when it's pushed in. The cable actuation force should be light as possible in either direction. (AKA Should be able too move smoothly in both directions)

30. Coat the bellcrank pin with some marine grease

31. (Optional) Put the Bellcrank Alignment plate back on and then re-check with the Shift cable tool to ensure all the dimensions still seem correct.