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I have a twin engine 1953 33 foot sedan cabin cruiser. It's never been particularly easy to shift into forward or reverse, but this spring the port shift arm is especially stiff. It seems much more stiff than it was last fall before winterizing. Phoned my mechanic, I was wondering if this was in the transmission but he felt it would more likely be in the linkages. For the starboard shift lever I put some drops of oil up high where the shift arm connects to the vertical rod and there is the small gap between that and the flange. That seems to have helped significantly. However, trying the same thing on the port side has not been helpful. The port side seems extremely tight, kind of like in the old days when I was working on my bicycle and I tightened the hub too tight and the wheel wouldn't spin well on the axle. Anyway, it feels very stiff and it seems to be up high at the console where the rod rotates through the flange. Haven't taken it apart yet, basically there is the chrome flange with four screws into the wood holding the shift lever in place, mounted to the top of the console. Is it easy/advisable/feasible to disconnect that and lubricate up high? Is there an actual bearing inside the flange? Also, I'm assuming I would disconnect things below the cabin floor and sort of tap the vertical rod up through the flange in order to lubricate the area? Thanks so much for any advice and guidance.
I would start by disconnecting the linkage from the reverse gear to tell for sure that it is the linkage that is binding. Lube all the linkages also.
Boats are to be made of wood, otherwise, God would have grown fiberglass trees.