On the shift plate mechanism up at the engine is a little micro-switch which is called the shift interrupter switch.
Most people call the shift interrupter switch the "kill switch" or "shift switch".
This kill switch is very important! It should never be altered, bent or disabled.
Basically, the kill switch helps the clutch go into the neutral position.
When the driver is pulling back on the remote control, to shift from forward to neutral, a tension will be placed on the drive shift cable.
This tension is a result of the clutch ramps being "locked" into the gear face.
The tension of trying to pull the clutch into neutral will activate the shift plate mechanism and actually stall the engine for a second.
The stalling of the engine will "jumble" the clutch away from the gear and the drive will be in neutral.
More on this later.......
When working properly, the shift will be almost smooth and effortless.
Failures in the shift system do occur......
As time puts wear on the shift components, certain failures are bound to happen.
The most common failure symptom is stalling while shifting.
The reason an engine will stall while shifting is because the kill switch is "over-killing".
This doesn't mean the switch is bad!
Stalling is usually due to a stiff drive shift cable or shaft.
The shift system has bushings and seals in certain locations which keep water out of the shift areas.
If any of these seals (or gaskets) fail, then water will seize the components and cause the kill switch to stall the engine.
Another symptom is difficulty in shifting.
If the "kill" system is not operating properly, then the drives wants to stay in gear.
The driver will have to pull hard on the control to get the drive out of gear and
when it finally DOES come out of gear it might pass neutral and slam right into the other gear.
maxum 2300sc (1997)