Stalling when trying to engage gear - Suzuki DT20 2 stroke

Hi. We recently bought an elderly Shetland cruiser, fitted with a Suzuki DT20 outboard (with remote steering, throttle and shift).

After a new set of plugs the engine starts 1st pull and revs through the whole range sounding nice and smooth (as good as a 2 stroke can anyway..)

The problem is, when you push or pull the shift lever it stalls. If you push it gently you can hear the cange in ton and save the stall by putting it back into neutral. However I cannot make it actually get into gear and move the boat.

Any suggestions gratefully received.

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