Re: New 226 Owner - a few questions
The drive lever should stay in position once placed. Particularly in full forward.
A few common culprits here ... either the brake is applied, the brake return spring is monkeyed up, or the neutral safety switch is worn out.
As for the surging at high RPM, that's a common symptom of running lean or ignition break down. Check for air/vacuum leaks and good spark, no damage to wires, etc.