1977 85 HP Johnson.
I disconnected the shift rod, removed all the bolts, the LU slides down about 18 inches but then gets stuck, its needs to come down a few more inches and it would be out. I think its the shift rod getting stuck.
Try removing the little "barrel" on the end of the rod. It unscrews just like a nut. It may be catching on something.
Thanks Eddie, it worked, new waterpump is in, lower unit is in and everything seems to be working well.
there was a bunch of rust that got inits way on the way down.