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Old 02-28-2021, 01:33 PM   #1
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New Gear Shift System

Hi, I have outdated gears on my 1979 Californian (2 gearshifters and 2 throttles on top and bottom) which are difficult to use and blister my hand. I would like to add a new operating system with 1 shifter and 1 throttle for both motors. Can anyone recommend a system and how much should I pay a mechanic to install it?

Thanks in advance, Mark from the MaryAnn.

Gearshift, trawler, twin diesel, calif
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Old 02-28-2021, 02:13 PM   #2
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I'd guess that cleaning and greasing the control heads and replacing the cables would go a long way in improving the feel. Might also take a look at how the cables are run, it might be possible to find ways that have less friction.
I've ZF electronic controls going to mechanical throttle and gear. Love the feel and how compact everything is but sometimes the fact that they're electronic makes me nervous.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:28 PM   #3
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Most of your problems probably reside in the cables. Teleflex cables would be what you need to fix the system. But if you are dead set on replacing everything Morse makes acceptable throttle/gear levers for pleasure boats. If you want to upgrade Kobelt probobly makes the highest quality shifting systems. There prices reflect that as well. Teleflex cables are quality products and used through the entire I industry both pleasure and industrial use for push pull systems. And when replacing that would be the only advisable option to go with. The setup you have would probably be quite usable if you serviced the control heads and replaced the Teleflex cables. Shifting over to fly by wire setup would be hugely expensive and unadvisable, possible but not worth it unless you plan on a repower.
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Old 02-28-2021, 04:56 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by The MaryAnn View Post
Hi, I have outdated gears on my 1979 Californian (2 gearshifters and 2 throttles on top and bottom) which are difficult to use and blister my hand. I would like to add a new operating system with 1 shifter and 1 throttle for both motors. Can anyone recommend a system and how much should I pay a mechanic to install it?

Thanks in advance, Mark from the MaryAnn.

Gearshift, trawler, twin diesel, calif
Hand over hand inspect the shift cables for cracks in the outer jacket, especially at any bends. They are probably at end of life. New cables are fairly cheap to purchase and install.
Q- If they slid easily, would you still keep them?
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Old 03-09-2021, 04:21 PM   #5
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Hand over hand inspect the shift cables for cracks in the outer jacket, especially at any bends. They are probably at end of life. New cables are fairly cheap to purchase and install.
Q- If they slid easily, would you still keep them?
Yes, my gearshifts are old and outdated, so do you think just replace the cables and shifters and im good to go?
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:26 PM   #6
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Wait, What? Blisters on your hand? How often are you changing direction and speed?

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Old 03-09-2021, 07:37 PM   #7
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Somebody may have shot some lubricant down the cables in the past and that has now gummed up. Some of the dry film lubricants have a carrier that will dissolve old grease and leave Teflon dust. Can be messy if there are cracks in the casing, but a $15 fix.
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:52 PM   #8
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Wait, What? Blisters on your hand? How often are you changing direction and speed?
L

Any suggestions
pete

Thatís not why, The station of the cabin works easily no blisters itís the one on top that doesnít work properly I can tell the cable is not working right.

I want to put in duel shifters that have to gearshifting throttles on the same lever so itís easier to drive.
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Old 03-09-2021, 07:54 PM   #9
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Thatís not why, The station of the cabin works easily no blisters itís the one on top that doesnít work properly I can tell the cable is not working right.

I want to put in duel shifters that have to gearshifting throttles on the same lever so itís easier to drive.
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Old 03-09-2021, 08:05 PM   #10
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Yes, my gearshifts are old and outdated, so do you think just replace the cables and shifters and im good to go?
Not so fast. There are at least a dozen moving parts between the knob and the engine. Before replace anything,
Visually inspect the cables, and then disconnect the engine ends and move the levers. The problem might not be in the levers or cables at all. Find the fault then fix the fault.
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Old 03-10-2021, 04:32 AM   #11
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Thanks

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Somebody may have shot some lubricant down the cables in the past and that has now gummed up. Some of the dry film lubricants have a carrier that will dissolve old grease and leave Teflon dust. Can be messy if there are cracks in the casing, but a $15 fix.
will try this in the future, I need a new updated gear system for sure though with the gear and throttle on the same lever, anyone know how I determine what length cables I need?
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Old 03-10-2021, 08:24 AM   #12
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Careful on this one...

With single function dual station mechanical controls, the usual set-up is for the upper to push-pull the lower to push-pull the throttle and transmission.

This turns out to be problematic with dual function controls because the calibration has to stay correct or one can ends up making high speed shifts and things like that. As a result, you won't find this type of system around very much anymore. You won't find it, for example, from SeaStar/Teleflex. But, I think someone does make one (I forget who).

To get dual station/dual function controls, one usually does one of two things: (a) Installs electronic controls, or (b) installs the controls using the solution that SeaStar/Teleflex does offer, which has a mechanical lever that actively and positively switches from one helm to the other, so each can be calibrated separately w.r.t. the transmission. It works, but, because one can only switch when both the upper and lower controls are in neutral, there is some inconvenience. Additionally, there can only be one upper-lower switch lever, not one per helm.

One thing to note, if you haven't seen it before, is that you can adjust throttle while in neutral by "pulling out" the lever and then rotating it. This can be done, regardless of which station is selected.

My boat uses this system. I have attached a .pdf with the catalog section and overview. See pages 3/5 and 4/5. I've also included the instructions for the various dual function parts, combined into one .pdf. And, I've included a picture of my switch lever, located net to the door by my lower helm. Notice the empty panel space beneath the know -- the lever and bracket extend into that space behind the panel.

Basically, you'd need a CH5300P dual function control for each helm, the switch lever, and the dual station units for both throttle and transmission, as well as the cable. I recently posted about trying to buy a BrandX knock-off instead of a Seastar/Teleflex replacement for my aging MT-2 controls (the predecessor to the MT-3, which is the predecessor to the CH5300P). The tolerances were bad and the fit and finish only acceptable. They could have been made to work. But, I decided to spend the money and get the brand-name units and quality.

Funny story. My boat has upper and lower helms and, when I was shopping for it, I notices that there were no throttle or transmission controls at the lower helm. The hole had been covered over with a "stuff tray". The MT-2 dual control unit was stowed. I asked the sales person about it. He told me the PO took it out because he didn't use it and wanted a place to put stuff and that all I'd need to do was to put it back in, if I wanted.

After buying the boat, I asked the PO about it. He told me it never worked during his ownership. It had been disconnected years ago. So, I called the PPO. He told me that the controls never, ever worked. He said that Hardin mostly made sailboats, which only have one helm. They put this system into an older sister of my boat, and there was some kind of accident and law suit involving the installation. So, Hardin quit installing the controls and left it to the dealer. The dealers, seeing the problem, left it to the owner. And, the owners never bothered, because the visibility isn't great from the lower helm. As for why both units looked sun-worn, at some point, when the cables were being replaced, they were swapped to make the one on the flybridge look new again.

I can't stand to see something disconnected or not working, so I reinstalled the controls. After researching it, I went with the dual station setup from Seastar/Teleflex. I put the control lever by the lower helm door. This makes it easy for me to come down from the flybridge and switch it over to quickly bump the throttles if I want to while tying up. And, for exactly that reason, I am glad I have it working. I don't need it very often. But, single handing in wind, on some days, am glad to have the lower controls working.

At any rate, I hope this is of some help to you.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:23 AM   #13
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Personally, I wouldn't switch away from the 4 lever setup you have. Going to a 2 lever setup will make the 2 station setup more complicated. And it's personal preference, but I hate having shift and throttle in 1 lever. I much prefer the longer lever throws and more defined shifting motion of separate levers.

For what it's worth, your controls appear to be the same Morse controls I have. They're pretty simple and durable. Most likely, with fresh cables and some cleaning and lubrication on the control units, you'll find they work just fine.

As an easy test, unhook the cables from the problematic controls and move the levers. If everything moves freely, smoothly, etc. then the problem is the cables, not the controls.
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Old 03-10-2021, 09:45 AM   #14
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Personally, I wouldn't switch away from the 4 lever setup you have. Going to a 2 lever setup will make the 2 station setup more complicated. And it's personal preference, but I hate having shift and throttle in 1 lever. I much prefer the longer lever throws and more defined shifting motion of separate levers.

For what it's worth, your controls appear to be the same Morse controls I have. They're pretty simple and durable. Most likely, with fresh cables and some cleaning and lubrication on the control units, you'll find they work just fine.

As an easy test, unhook the cables from the problematic controls and move the levers. If everything moves freely, smoothly, etc. then the problem is the cables, not the controls.
Having had a similar problem many years ago on a 48' Offshore Sedan, I consider the above council to be extremely valid. (Helpful)
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Old 03-10-2021, 10:22 AM   #15
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I agree w both above.

Blisters???
You must have old dirty cables. Inside
Just fix/clean them.

“Outdated”?
In w the new out w the old?
Much of the time the simpler older things are better.
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Old 03-10-2021, 07:47 PM   #16
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I agree with above. There is something nice about simple push pull cable setups that I prefer over electric throttles, air is still the best though. Push pull have been used for a very long time and I do not see them being replaced any time soon. Also any reputable company still makes dual controls like you are looking for, and as for someone saying they are problematic and hard or impossible to find he hasn’t had them or looked very far because Morse still makes them and they have sold more throttle controls then every other company combined, and as for some of the other stuff most of that should have been addressed with proper preventative maintenance. There were plenty of no name companies that haven’t stood the test of time that made crap when new and may have had some issues like over shifting or synchronization issues. I’ve got a set of kobelt Throttle/gear levers on my one trawler, that’s a dual station push pull setup and they have better detents and are smoother than just about any throttle setups I’ve ever used, although they should be for over a grand per unit. I’m honestly not a real fan of electric throttle setups and I use them every day for work and use them on commercial grade equipment with 1,500-3,200 hp applications and I still see the downside and issues with them, I haven’t used them on pleasure boats but don’t see how they could come anywhere close to the quality of the commercial grade units so..... For only a 2 station setup push pull is my favorite and for more than 2 I like air shift/throttle.
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Old 03-10-2021, 08:00 PM   #17
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will try this in the future, I need a new updated gear system for sure though with the gear and throttle on the same lever, anyone know how I determine what length cables I need?
I had a single engine boat with single lever, and 2 twin engine boats with separate gear and throttle levers. I liked the single set up, good for aggressive gear/throttle manouvering, docking etc. Now very used to separate controls, though now and then combined would be useful, like docking days when I need to power up to help gear operated direction change/adjustment.
If it`s ok, could you indicate why the firm preference for combined, it might help those giving advice.
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Old 03-10-2021, 08:07 PM   #18
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Whatever you choose for a solution to your problem DO NOT INSTALL electronic controls.
Whenever you see a video of a ship running away from the dock and crashing into other boats, think "how could this happen"

Total electronic controls are sometimes to blame.

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Old 03-10-2021, 08:53 PM   #19
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I was going to convert the shifters in the Green boat to Kobelt single lever dual function units. My plan was to use two Vetus shifter combiners https://www.mauriprosailing.com/us/p...4aAr9pEALw_wcB one for the gearbox and one for the throttle. We sold the boat and bought the NP39 before I made the conversion.

I still have the Kobelt controls as mentioned on another thread and want to get rid of them. It does sound like your issues are cable related and new cables may be the cheapest fix.

To determine cable length it may be printed on one end of the unit. If not would it be possible to attach a messenger line to one end of the cable, pull it out and then measure it? You would have the messenger line to pull the new one in.

Rob
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Old 03-11-2021, 03:17 AM   #20
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Originally Posted by Jmarsh203 View Post
Most of your problems probably reside in the cables. Teleflex cables would be what you need to fix the system. But if you are dead set on replacing everything Morse makes acceptable throttle/gear levers for pleasure boats. If you want to upgrade Kobelt probobly makes the highest quality shifting systems. There prices reflect that as well. Teleflex cables are quality products and used through the entire I industry both pleasure and industrial use for push pull systems. And when replacing that would be the only advisable option to go with. The setup you have would probably be quite usable if you serviced the control heads and replaced the Teleflex cables. Shifting over to fly by wire setup would be hugely expensive and unadvisable, possible but not worth it unless you plan on a repower.
Nice boat, how do I know which cables to order? I'm going down tomorrow to see if I can find a part number or something.
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