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Mid 80's Merc 25 hp

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OK guys... this pain in the ARS motor continues to give me headache. The latest is that its run fine in FORWARD at pretty much all speeds. When I put it in REVERSE, the prop spins in reverse but I don't get any pull backwards. Its almost like its slipping or something. (makes sort of a grinding noise) When I have it on the trailer and hook a hose up to the motor, it works fine in reverse. But get it on the water, it just doesn't have any pull backwards. What gives?

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Its way out of adjustment and/or the clutch dog and reverse gear is wore out. Have you drained the gear oil and what does it look like? shavings? chunks? burned smell?

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Have not drained gear oil. I guess thats the next step. Is replacing the clutch dog/gear an expensive fix?

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