I thought I would once more share something with you I learned, maybe you know, but you have to pull that motor often, and clean the splines, as well as the female splines on the transaxle input, you must then replace the rubber bumper (they don’t last long) at the bot of the female transaxle input, then re-grease the splines with a VERY high , repeat VERY HIGH moly grease, I think “HONDA” makes one, MAYBE a high Teflon grease ?
Put the grease on both sets of splines, but more in the female.
GEM SEZ use VERY little, I found use enough ! OK ?
In a few hundred miles they will go dry, anyone who has owned a boat with a sterndrive knows about greasing the splines !
IF you don’t it gets very expensive, very fast. The splines wear like “knife Edges” and you get a clicking sound at low speed and a really funny noise at high speed when you release the throttle.
Then you have to buy a new motor output drive spline, AFTER you determine which one you have, yes there are two different ! Not by year either !
THEN the old one has to be “Machined OFF” the motor shaft, and the new one heated and pressed on, THEN you have to replace the transaxle input female splines, and they are machined onto the input gear of the transaxle, as well as install a new seal !
This is going to set you back about $3-400. in parts, PLUS the machine shop costs, you can install the gear in the transaxle yourself very easy, but most will have to have the drive splines machined off by a shop as well as the new one pressed on.
Hope this tip saves you some coin ! PULL THAT MOTOR !