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  #1  
Old 02-05-2011, 11:42 AM
gcpommom gcpommom is offline
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Gear Shifter broke...

I went to put the van in park, and the gear shifter just went all floppy in my hand. I was able to wiggle/jostle it around and get it into neutral or drive, but nothing else. Tow truck driver crawled under the van, and put it into drive for me, and told me it was probably just going to need a new cable or link shaft (tube shaped thing)...sorry, I'm not too technical here, my hubby usually fixes these things, but is now living 1700 miles away.

Anyway, the shop called me and said I needed a new steering column, and said something about the 'lower' cap or half??? He quoted me $340 for the job. I am not getting the connection between the gear shifter being loose/floppy and the steering column needing to be replaced? Is this right?

It is a 1993 Aerostar, 3.0 by the way
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  #2  
Old 02-05-2011, 12:59 PM
gcpommom gcpommom is offline
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Mechanic said the hollow aluminum rod housing is broke, and the steel rod within that housing has gouged/wore down the steering column...the bearing cap at the bottom of steering column--bushings gone?? Sorry, this is all greek to me...he is getting the replacement steering column at the junkyard, I am just so worried about this, and wish my husband were here to double check everything they're saying...
I have read other's posts saying they only had to replace the outer housing or 2 bolts or the cable...I am confused as to why I would need an entire steering column...
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  #3  
Old 02-05-2011, 02:30 PM
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Does this sound like what you were told?

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/34...t-trouble.html

Or check to see if it's this issue.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/89...something.html

or this.

http://www.ford-trucks.com/forums/72...er-issues.html
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  #4  
Old 02-05-2011, 03:29 PM
gcpommom gcpommom is offline
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Don, thanks...yeah, I've read all the posts here and on other forums about this...was really thinking it was probably just loose bolts, or cable, or at the most have to replace the aluminum shift 'tube', but this mechanic says otherwise...he said it would be cheaper to just get a whole steering column from scrapyard than to pay dealer prices for each broken component within the steering column...just don't want to get taken here
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  #5  
Old 02-05-2011, 06:12 PM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is offline
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I'm not familiar with the column shift mechanism of the newer Aerostars. But if the mechanic is willing to go hunting for parts in the junkyard for you, I don't think he's going to intentionally cheat you. It's a matter of how much time he has to spend looking for a serviceable part.

I'm guessing that the extent of your damages are caused by prolonged usage after some bolts have loosened up, allowing some parts that are supposed to be separated to come into contact with each other, and wearing out. This can happen subtly enough that you won't notice the slop slowly developing until a part breaks. It happened to a column shifter I had; it was a 3-on-a-tree manual, but also an old Ford. It was always sloppy, but one day it just broke in my hand, and as you say, flopped down.
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  #6  
Old 02-05-2011, 09:00 PM
429CJ-3X2 429CJ-3X2 is offline
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Same thing happen to our '93 this week. I haven't had a chance to get into it, but this shifter was never sloppy at all. I did check the screws at the bottom of the column, and they're tight. I was sure they were, but best to check the easy fix first. It seems pretty obvious the problem is in the upper end of the column. Like gcpommom said the shifter is all floppy. Moves several inches both sideways and toward the steering wheel, but won't come out of park. Fortunately, it's in our driveway.
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  #7  
Old 02-07-2011, 05:09 PM
gcpommom gcpommom is offline
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Thanks for your input. I just picked it up from the shop...they showed me the old steering column, and the shifter linkage tube/housing (I think that's what it's called) was broken right in the middle, it had been loose for a while, and did just like xlt4wd90 stated, wearing down other components.

Anyway, they said I will need a new shifter cable soon....um, why didn't they call me and tell me this while they were fixing it??? I'll just get my brother in law to help me with that, hopefully this isn't a really difficult job..
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  #8  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:58 AM
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Financially, you are not too far into this. It happens, things get old and wear and tear gets to them. The new parts are dealer only and very expensive, seems your mechanic is honest and reliable.
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Old 02-08-2011, 06:48 PM
gcpommom gcpommom is offline
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I know, I just have a hard time paying any mechanic...my husband has always done all our car repairs, but had to take a job out of state, so I'm on my own, and freaking out a bit, lol...thanks to everyone for your input.
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  #10  
Old 02-08-2011, 07:22 PM
xlt4wd90 xlt4wd90 is offline
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Well, that will be the first item on his honey-do list when he gets back; replace that shifter cable. Glad things worked out as well as they did.
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  #11  
Old 02-08-2011, 09:46 PM
gcpommom gcpommom is offline
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for what it's worth, I find working on cars to be very challenging, and I love a challenge...I research the problem, narrow down the cause, and he fixes it. Although when my radiator hose burst 2 weeks ago, I fixed that myself : ) yay me
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  #12  
Old 02-24-2011, 08:13 PM
429CJ-3X2 429CJ-3X2 is offline
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I just replaced the shift tube in our '93 after work yesterday. Took me maybe 3 hours actual work time. I had a couple of lengthy breaks/interuptions. Not a bad job - for a 10 year old contortionist. But I'm 6'3" and 55 yrs old. Wasn't moving very fast this morning! You can maybe get to the 2 screws at the bottom of the column from the top once the column is dropped, but my wrists don't bend that way. They aren't bad to get to to tighten, but to remove and replace, they're a pain. Spent way too much time on the floor reaching up getting them in and out. The job is pretty self explanatory as you go. It really isn't bad except for getting positioned for those screws.

The lock cylinder didn't want to cooperate going back in. Don't force it. It eventually popped right in.

Check shifter operation as you reassemble - before bolting the column back in place. Do not overtighten the bolts holding the tube in place, or you won't be able to move the shifter.

I assumed new parts would be priced out of my budget, but the Dorman part #905-100 was $28.99 at O'Reilly's. The outer tube looks pretty much just like the original. The inner piece is a cheaper cast piece, with reinforcement ribs cast in, instead of a solid rod like the original. It doesn't look to have that much stress on it, so should be ok.
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  #13  
Old 02-25-2011, 03:05 AM
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96_4wdr 96_4wdr is offline
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not many men will tackle working on an Aerostar especially in the engine bay.
good going on the burst hose, not fun, dirty and messy. that stickly coolant and the greasy dirt make a mess.
keep posting your repairs.
love reading them
thanks


Quote:
Originally Posted by gcpommom View Post
for what it's worth, I find working on cars to be very challenging, and I love a challenge...I research the problem, narrow down the cause, and he fixes it. Although when my radiator hose burst 2 weeks ago, I fixed that myself : ) yay me
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  #14  
Old 02-25-2011, 03:08 AM
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96_4wdr 96_4wdr is offline
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good write up on a tough to do repair
keep them coming
did all the work except warranty side window reseals on my Aero for 16 years but the body parts (mine) are giving up.


Quote:
Originally Posted by 429CJ-3X2 View Post
I just replaced the shift tube in our '93 after work yesterday. Took me maybe 3 hours actual work time. I had a couple of lengthy breaks/interuptions. Not a bad job - for a 10 year old contortionist. But I'm 6'3" and 55 yrs old. Wasn't moving very fast this morning! You can maybe get to the 2 screws at the bottom of the column from the top once the column is dropped, but my wrists don't bend that way. They aren't bad to get to to tighten, but to remove and replace, they're a pain. Spent way too much time on the floor reaching up getting them in and out. The job is pretty self explanatory as you go. It really isn't bad except for getting positioned for those screws.

The lock cylinder didn't want to cooperate going back in. Don't force it. It eventually popped right in.

Check shifter operation as you reassemble - before bolting the column back in place. Do not overtighten the bolts holding the tube in place, or you won't be able to move the shifter.

I assumed new parts would be priced out of my budget, but the Dorman part #905-100 was $28.99 at O'Reilly's. The outer tube looks pretty much just like the original. The inner piece is a cheaper cast piece, with reinforcement ribs cast in, instead of a solid rod like the original. It doesn't look to have that much stress on it, so should be ok.
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  #15  
Old 02-25-2011, 03:49 PM
429CJ-3X2 429CJ-3X2 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 96_4wdr View Post
good write up on a tough to do repair
keep them coming
did all the work except warranty side window reseals on my Aero for 16 years but the body parts (mine) are giving up.
Thank you for the kind words. I have learned so much from posts on this forum - whether I posted on the thread or not - in the past 2 months, I figure I should contribute where I can. 3 months ago I wouldn't have been able to figure out what broke in this case, let alone how to fix it.

The people on this forum seem to fall into 1 of 2 categories. Most are probably in both. 1. We can't afford to pay someone to fix our Aerostars. Some of us are driving 18 year old vehicles because we have to. ( Of course some of us, me included, probably would anyway.) 2. We can't stand to shell out $$ to someone else if we can fix it ourselves. Some repair jobs seem too challenging to tackle, or diagnose, but if we can read what someone else did in the same situation, we find out it's doable.

I had to change the HC in my '78 F100 w/AC, a job the Haynes manual says is "beyond the scope of the home mechanic" or something like that. But 2 guys in the parts dept of a GM dealership told me it wasn't bad and how to do it - and it's not how the manuals tell you to do it. There are tricks to everything. The 1st one is finding the person who's done it before!
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Old 02-25-2011, 03:49 PM
 
 
 
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