By author Trish Dougherty
In 1977, they discontinued the production and manufacturing of the Stringer – Electric shift model. They
opted to keep the upper gear housing design the same as with the Stringer model; and in 1978 completely redesigned the lower
This new design would call for a sliding clutch dog in the lower unit which would engage and lock into the
forward or reverse gear.
This clutch was manually engaged by the use of a shift cable which contained 2 inner
cores (one or reverse, one for forward). These new models were called the 400 series (4 cylinder engines) and the 800 series
(6 cylinder, V6 and V8 motors).
The early models between 1978 and 1981 used a hydraulic oil pump in the lower
unit to assist the mechanical shift cable to engage the clutch dog into gear.
In 1982, engineers redesigned the
lower unit once again; and designed the out drive to shift with a mechanical shift cable. They removed the hydraulic shift
assist pump as they found this wasn’t needed with some of the new shifting components the new design called for.
The units were still called the 400 and 800 series models – but were widely referred to as the ‘mechanical
shift’ models. This version of the 400 and 800 series were produced up to the year 1985.