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Loose shifter - can't get into P or 1

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Old 11-21-2010, 06:26 PM
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Loose shifter - can't get into P or 1

Well, after two the past years and 35,000 miles of doing virtually zero maintenance, my truck has actually required me to do a few things the past few months.

The one that I need help with seems related the steering column. As typical with high-mileage Fords, the shifter seems pretty loose. Mine has gotten to the point where it has enough slop that it won't go into Park or 1 reliably. Sure, the shifter will go into those physical positions and the needle will move, but it's not moving the arm on the transmission. I typically have to put it in neutral to start, and have to hit the foot brake because park isn't engaging in the transmission.

What usually wears out to cause this, and is it something that I can adjust out? I've never taken apart the column on a Ford, and it's been a while since I've done it on, well, about anything else. Any suggestions for what to look at or courses of action?

Overall, this truck has been excellent to me. 144k on it total. I bought it at 90k. Have had to do the pads and rotors twice, needed a new computer and coils when I bought it. Other than that, just tires (which got out of balance recently), and today the exhaust cracked right before the muffler. Easy fix. It actually sounds pretty cool as-is, maybe I'll leave it.
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:06 PM
gr8scott72 gr8scott72 is offline
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There's two small screws and probably one of them is coming loose. They are all the way at the brake pedal end. you don't have to take anything apart to get to them or even see them. If you get under there and have someone move the shifter, you'll spot them quickly.

Oh, if you can't get it into Park, one of those screws is probably sitting on your floor mat.
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Old 11-21-2010, 07:16 PM
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Thanks, Scott! When I get up to the shop tomorrow I will take a look.
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Old 11-22-2010, 01:32 PM
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Took me about 5 minutes to do, mainly because I had to go ask someone to borrow the tools (not at my house). All repaired. Thanks!
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Old 11-22-2010, 09:30 PM
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Are these the 2 screws on the black piece you need to tighten?
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Old 11-22-2010, 10:40 PM
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No, I don't think those are the ones.
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Old 11-23-2010, 01:43 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8scott72 View Post
No, I don't think those are the ones.
That black whatcha-ma-call-it with the rod attached is the steering column. Am I close? Should I look further up? I think I may need to remove the fuse panel cover.
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Old 11-23-2010, 02:09 AM
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My shift column is a little loose, drives me absolutely nuts. I'm gonna take a look at this when I get home from work and see if tightening anything down there helps out. I'll post some pics with whatever I tighten, figured if I pic everything, hell one of them has to be right?
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Old 11-23-2010, 06:33 AM
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Yes it's easiest to remove the lower panel then stick you face under the right side. Look up towards the shifter. You'll see two black screws, wiggle the shifter and look for movement.

If those are tight you may need new shift column bushings or even a new actuator rod.
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Old 11-23-2010, 07:10 AM
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I had the same problem,found one of the bolts you pictured on the floor.Tightened em up and the shifter works just fine now.
BTW,it's a torx head bolt,use a T25 to tighten.

Last edited by SGnAZ; 11-23-2010 at 07:16 AM. Reason: add text
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