On a 1975 Ford F-100 V-8 column shift, auto trans. Neighbor calls it a 'neutral switch actuator' and it is positioned on the shifting tube. It is on the tube under the dash and sort of snaps on to the tube with a point or lever sticking off of it so that it will actuate the lever on a switch box there. It is metal and in a way half moon shaped so that it fits part way onto the shifting tube and is moved when you move the lever on the steering column. Any references or sources that you might suggest would be helpful.
Yooper, I would start with looking in a shop manual for your year. I don't have the correct year manual, but there are some steering column breakdown illustrations that show internal parts for a/t column shift. My guess would be you will have to hunt down the part in a local wrecking yard. Try posting your problem in the F-Series forum for 1977 models. There would be more people with 1977 experience than in the Michigan chapter.