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Removing the Lower Unit and Shift Shaft Coupler on a Mercury 50 HP Outboard (50ELPTO)

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Uploaded on May 1, 2010

This is clarification on how to remove the lower unit of my 50 HP Mercury Outboard. In my opinion the most puzzling part is not finding and removing the 5 screws, it is actually figuring out how to remove the shift shaft (aka shift linkage). No other videos explain it on a Mercury very well so that is the purpose of this video.

Step 1 - Accessing the Shift Shaft/Shift Linkage: Per Mercury the shift shaft/shift linkage is made of four parts: a threaded lower shift shaft, the M10 lower lock nut, the M10 coupler and the threaded upper shift shaft. The lock nut and coupler can both be accessed through the 2" opening in the drive shaft housing just a few inches above where the lower unit bolts on. There is no need to even take the cowling off in this process.

Step 2 - Exposing the Shift Shaft Nut and Coupler: On my motor I put the remote just barely into the forward position to expose the lower lock nut on the shift linkage. (As the JD video shows I guess on a Yamaha you put it in reverse to accomplish this.)




Step 3: Once the M10 lower lock nut is exposed, turn it clockwise a 1/4 of a turn. Once you have this loose you can remove M10 coupler (aka hex collar nut). The coupler is removed by turning it counterclockwise a few turns until the lower shaft separates from the coupler. The M10 lock nut will stay on the lower shift shaft on the lower unit. The M10 coupler will stay attached to the upper shift shaft.

Step 4: Now that the upper and lower shift shafts disconnected you can start removing your 5 screws and drop the lower unit. As other videos show be careful not to bend the drive shaft or shift shafts by putting any pressure or weight on these parts.

I hope this helped you if you got stuck like I did. I certainly did.
Thanks for watching.

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