Replacing the Edson plastic control handles with stainless steel

August, 2013

I had the original plastic control handles on Reality Check and knew I had to replace these with stainless steel - the plastic ones are noted for breaking and THAT would be a real problem. Last year I ordered the new stainless steel handles from West Marine and finally got to it.

WOW! Easiest project EVER on Reality Check! Should have done this years ago. Or at least last year when I got the parts.

Parts & Supplies

  • Edson stainless steel dual lever controls, 1 gear shift, 1 throttle - about $68 each at West Marine.
    • Cheaper online, google Edson Dual Lever engine control handles, or get them on sale NOW for $17.98 each at Marinepartdepot, a tip posted on the forum on August 13 2013.
  • Spray Nine for clean up, scrotchbrite pad to get the old crud off the shaft.


  • Flat end screwdriver for the old screws, phillips for the new screws.

How to replace the Edson plastic control handles

Original Edson plastic dual lever control handles
Original Edson plastic dual lever control handles
  1. Move the gear shift into forward.
    • Why forward gear? Some people have had problems with the new stainless steel gear shift handle hitting the pedestal guard. Might as well find out if that's a problem FIRST.
  2. Remove existing handle by removing set screw and pulling handle off the shaft.
  3. Clean up the shaft - the instructions say clean with emery cloth.
    • I didn't have emery cloth, used Spray 9 and a green scotchbrite pad. The shaft on the gear shift was almost spotless, shaft on throttle required a lot of scrubbing.
New Edson stainless steel dual lever control handles
New Edson stainless steel dual lever control handles
  1. Slide new shift handle into position, you're going to know at this point if it hits the pedestal guard. No problem? GREAT! Insert the new set screw and tighten.
  2. Check reverse position to be sure there aren't any problems with clearance.
  3. Replace the throttle handle the same method.

Photos of this project

Edson Dual Lever Pedestal Controls photos

What do you do if YOUR new stainless steel shift control handle hits your pedestal guard?

Last year I looked into replacing the control handles, and people have a variety of fixes to problems with the new handles hitting the pedestal guard - most fixes involve bending the new handles so they don't hit. Here's a link to a recent discussion AND info on getting these handles CHEAP at! Got my parts at three times that price last year. Edson Engine Control levers


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Edson Pedestal Controls