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Loose Shifter, Can't Quite Get All Gears

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Loose Shifter, Can't Quite Get All Gears

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  #1  
Old 03-01-2015, 07:55 AM
David Watson707
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Loose Shifter, Can't Quite Get All Gears

I have a 97 Ford e350 Club wagon, and recently my shifter thing came loose ( i honestly am wayyyy over my head here, i dont know any names of the parts or anything)
what i do know: the problem was recently adjusted, slightly fixed by tightening a torx screw with a t27 bit. the other torx screw fell out, and id like to know where it goes, so that i may reinstall it. (a coworker tightened the first one)
Also, id like to know where i could purchase one (or two) of the Torx screws.
the positioning of the selector compared to the dash display of gears is slightly off... will that be fixed by installing the second screw, or is that a problem with my shifter cable?
Please help, and thank you!
 
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2015, 08:21 AM
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If you already believe you're over your head then most of us who've been inside one of these steering columns would agree. While they're not overly complicated they do require a level of skill or mechanical ability to do the job correctly.

Because the fasteners associated with the steering column are specific and specialized they must come from a dealer or a similar used or discarded column.

Your issue with the position indicator inside the instrument cluster is related to shift tube bushings found inside the column. Typically once those are refreshed that self corrects.

While I don't tend to discourage DIY repairs some of these do require previous experience or knowledge with a sub-system such as the steering column. This becomes a bigger issue if the van is a daily driver and needed on a regular basis.
 
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:15 AM
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As JWA stated, repairing a steering column for the first time could become a tragic mistake.
I had a coworker put a column back together wrong, and had the steering wheel lock going into a corner at a dangerous intersection. But for the fact that traffic was light that morning, someone could have been badly injured or killed.
 
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Old 03-01-2015, 11:43 AM
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I know where that screw goes but I would need the exploded view to show you ...I can't explain it here....
 
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:45 PM
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blageurt, Google can be your Friend




As you can see by the part diagram, yes, this can be very complicated

Pre-'96 had a small nylon wheel, attached to the gear selector cord, off the shiftier tube (#38), that made fine adjustment to the dash indicator.
Not sure about this '97??
 
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Old 03-01-2015, 12:59 PM
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I had to tighten both # 56 screws on mine a bit back for same issue. No major dis-assembly required. Just a massage after due to contorting to get to the bolts.

I used Loctite Red on them to be sure they never come out again!
 
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Old 03-01-2015, 01:53 PM
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I have the Factory Manual....I don't need to google it ..BUT by the picture you so graciously provided I think it would be # 65 or # 56.....
 
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Old 03-02-2015, 08:11 AM
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Originally Posted by PStruwing View Post
I had to tighten both # 56 screws on mine a bit back for same issue. No major dis-assembly required. Just a massage after due to contorting to get to the bolts.

I used Loctite Red on them to be sure they never come out again!
FWIW Loctite Green (290) or Blue (242) works great for those too---Red (271) is pretty much in there for the rest of time!
 
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:31 PM
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why i love this site , simple solutions to simple problems .

Shifter was sloppy for about a year till I read this post , its a five minute fix.

For the record the torx size is a T -30 use a short extension on a 1/4 drive ,flash light required,the bolts are under the dash on the drivers side of the steering column . the shift cable runs right to the plate that needs to be tightened.

thanks
 

Last edited by richter roxs; 03-09-2015 at 07:18 AM. Reason: more better
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Old 03-07-2015, 08:44 PM
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All of the steering column gearshift/ linkage assembly bolts are T-30 ....and they are all gold color ....Titanium maybe ?
when I go to the Junkyard I grab as many as I can ..... They are difficult to find otherwise...
 
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Old 03-08-2015, 07:33 PM
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Originally Posted by blageurt View Post
....and they are all gold color ....Titanium maybe ?
.
I don't think so.........the Gold Coloring in just a plating, a rust proof plating.

Same as on a wood deck type screw. Reason......possibility to prevent a electro-galvanic reaction between the steel screw and the aluminum housing.

I don't think the OEM's would spend the $$$ on Titanium

But your right on finding the screws, and the pick-n-pull is a great source.
 
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:01 AM
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Common problem, in my experience. I've tightened those screws on probably 3 different vans for people I know. As I get much older, though, I may have to teach my kids how to do it--it's always been painful for me to do, with decent-sized hands and not-great flexibility.

Absent the blow-up parts diagram, the screws aren't hard to find if you jiggle the shift lever while feeling around above the pedals. That's how I found the loose screws the first time (in our church's daycare van, which "needed a new transmission"--5 minutes later, it didn't).

Jason
 
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Old 03-09-2015, 07:28 AM
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My (07e350) shifter is loose also. I haven't checked anything under the dash but once I checked up high near the base of the shifter handle. Found some loose bushings and one special-order-looking part was demolished. No loose fasteners though.

I will check out the blowup diagram on a real computer later. Too small/detailed for a smartphone.
 
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Old 03-09-2015, 05:44 PM
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My 09 E350 work van has a loose shifter. After two trips to the dealer i bought it at and being "replaced" i went to a different dealer who installed a complete shifter assembly plus cable its still sloppy. Not as bad ad it was but still sloppy, no where near as tight as the shifter on my 04 F350

iPhone from IB AutoGroup
 
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Old 02-14-2016, 03:59 PM
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I have a 1994 f-250 and my shifter completely broke loose today. It was in Park and when I attempted to put it in gear, it just went down and nothing happened. It is now stuck in park. I will have to get a tow truck to tow it tomorrow to the Ford dealer to get it fixed. The good news is, is that it broke down in my driveway.....
 
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