Introduction: Change Shift Shaft on 1984-96 Yamaha 115 - 225hp Outboard Motor, WITHOUT Powerhead Removal.

Here is an overview of how to Change the Shift Shaft on 1984-96 Yamaha 115 - 225hp Outboard Motor, WITHOUT powerhead removal. On these engines the shift shaft was made out of carbon steel, and after time in the salt water they will rust twist and break. (Motors after 1993? had SS shift shafts) The official factory replacement method requires that you pull the powerhead off of the outboard, but this is not possible for many of us because (1) the bolts holding the powerhead are rusted in place and (2) we dont have the equiptment to physically lift the powerhead off of the boat.

Here we will discuss how to create a modified Shift-Shaft that will allow you to insert the shiftshaft up from the direction of the lowerunit instead of down from the top of the motor towards the lower unit. IMO, this is how the shift shaft should have been designed by yamaha, to make servicing of this shift-shaft easier.

In the second photo above, that rusty looking chode is my broken-off shift shaft. Below it, is a spined shaft that comes from the gear house. The rusty broken shift shaft just slides right off. Hold onto this piece we will need it later.

Step 1: Internet Research.

Here are a list of links of folks talking about their broken shift shaft.

  1. Helpful:
  2. Not helpful:
  3. Kinda helpful:

Step 2: Do You Have a Long Shaft or a Short Shaft? What Did She Say?

For these motors [1984-96 Yamaha 115 - 225hp] the shift-shaft parts are the same except for two differences -- they come in a "Short" and a "long". Short, which is 21.5", & Long, which is 26.5". To determine what you have; 1) Look at the metal plaque located above the engine mount. You may see a series of letters and numbers. If you see a TL in that series, you need a Short. If you see a TX in that series, you need a Long.

Step 3: Remove Your Lower Unit.

Here is a youtube video for a 50hp yamaha lower unit removal. Same idea.

It has 6x14mm bolts and 1x 12mm bold hidden under the zink. Dont forget the last bolt!!

Step 4: Buy Buy Buy

  • You need some parts. We will recycle what we can, but time to buy;
  1. You need a shift shaft in your size. Long/Short
  2. You need the lower shift-shaft that we will canobalize. This is item #12 in the exploded view of the lower unit.

This is for rod replacement part numbers for the shift shaft:

  • [new part number] 68T-44143-10-00 Yamaha ROD, SHIFT
  • [Old Part Numbers] 60R-G4143-10-00
  • [Old Part Numbers] 60RG41431000MSRP

MSRP of the shift shaft is like $35. Not sure of the price of the lower shift-shaft.

I didnt look up the lower shift shaft part number -- please look it up and comment it below.

Step 5: The Problem: Why You Need a Custom Shift Shaft?

AS described, you do not want to pull your powerhead. So to snake your new shift shaft UP-through the shift shaft hole, you need to cut off the current shift shaft lever bracket from the rod, then have some mechanism to re-attach the shift shaft lever bracket and make it so that it can be re-attached.

At the top of part # 41, you can see what the lever on the shift shaft looks like. We will need to cut that thing off, and them make a mechanism to re-attach it once it is inplace. How will you make such a magical mechanism? Simple; read the next step.

Step 6: Make Your Custom Shift Shaft.

You can make it using the steps below, or message me and I will sell you a pre-made one for about +10x the component costs. ($400?). If I was you, I would just make it.

  1. Measure the entire length of the shift shaft from bottom of lower female spine to top of lever before starting. Write that down. Should be 26.5".
  2. Take the lever (photo 1) and cut it off.
  3. take the old shift shaft female spine (photo 2) and cut off the extra rusty part.
  4. Drill out the lever from photo 1 so that the new hole can accommodate the female spine (photo2).
  5. Weld The female spin from photo two into the newly drilled hole from photo one.
  6. Take the lower-shift shaft that you purchased. Cut the spin off. Measure and weld the spine onto the top of you new shift shaft. Make sure the lengths are correct. It should be as square as you can make it, but the system can accomidate some error.

Thats it, you now have a custom shift shaft!

Step 7: Install

  1. Cut the old shift shaft off with a saws-all under the motor lower case.
  2. Pull it out. OR, remove your carbs and airbox so you can pull it out.
  3. Install your new shift shaft.
  4. Re-assemble.

Step 8: While You Are in There, Replace Your Waterpump Impeller

Do not question me. Replace it. This is an OLD motor and you have already invested all this time into the new shift shaft. Get a new impeller and replace that crusty old one you have in there now. .

Step 9: Happy Boating