It should be pointed out that on the A4 there is a definite detent going into forward -- you should feel a "click" or "thunk" going into gear. It should take a bit of effort.
Going into reverse, there is no similar detent (you will feel it coming back out of forward, though). Reverse is a different animal altogether, and the shifter essentially acts as a brake lever of sorts, though you shouldn't have to hold it in place.
This is the basic setup: forward has a three-fingered "claw" that has to slide over the detent to grab. To illustrate, make a circle with the thumb and index finger of your left hand and make the "claw" from the thumb, index and middle fingers of your right. Place the "claw" on the outside of the "O" and push the "claw" over it so that they grab on the other side. That's the "detent" you feel going into and out of forward.
Reverse is essentially a brake band that grabs a rotating cylinder to give you reverse (a 2:1 reduction, usually). When you pull the shifter back the claw pops back over the detent, then the brake band tightens to give you reverse.
There are two separate adjustments on the A4 tranny for forward and reverse, but they are both very simple and easy to make (depending on access). By all means, head over to the Moyer Marine site, and get Don's A4 manual while you're there. It's well worth the $40 or so.
S/V Free Spirit
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