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I have a 4.3 mercruiser that I believe the neutral switch is bad in. Last 10 times or so had to play with shift lever to get the motor to start, the last time I tried i could not get it to start at all. My question is what is involved with tearing apart the shift lever, throttle etc. to get to the neutral switch. I guess I am assuming the switch is in the control at the helm and not back at the motor linkages? If i go to take the controls apart am I getting into a big bag of snakes or is it not so bad? What exactly am I looking for?
I had problems with the neutral button on my 5.7 Merc. I pried it out with a small screwdriver and doused it with WD40, poped it back in and it worked, but I took the control box off the side and got in behind it and greased everything I could see that moved and all was fine. Try it and good luck
The bag of snakes depends on which of the eleventeen models of control box you have. In all probability, there will be a microswitch activated by the shift cable, so if you can eaaily see that, you're just about home free!
I experienced this same problem with my '98 mercruiser 3.0L sterndrive. I too thought it was in neutral switch. Turns out it was a starter problem. Moisture in the starter. Only solution was to replace the starter. Has worked fine since.