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My 1987 50hp force outboard quit pumping water. The plastic screen by the water intake has broken away somehow. I ordered an impeller & screen. My question is when dropping the lower unit is it necessary to put it in forward gear ? I changed the impeller a few years ago & don't remember doing this but a guy at work says you have to. Thanks for any replies.
 

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not sure on the force but my mercruiser says to put in forward before dropping the lower unit...i think it just keeps things in alignment...
 

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It may help to align the gear selector shaft when puling it a part I am not completly sure either not a real hard fix though impellers
 

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Merc manuals from that era say to put the shifter in neutral. I think they say that, because the later steps in the manual involve pulling gears. When changing impellers, I put the motor in forward. That way, when you put the lower unit back on, you can turn the prop to easily align the drive shaft with the power head.
 
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