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1985 F-250 Auto Transmission Shifting Problem Question?

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Old 04-19-2009, 10:40 AM
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Question 1985 F-250 Auto Transmission Shifting Problem Question?

Ok, I have a 1985 F-250 4x4 with the 6.9 Diesel and an Automatic Transmission. The truck and trany only have 134k original miles on it, and I know the trany fluid or trany filter have never been changed.

I use the truck every other week on the weekends, and when I go to use the truck lately, it is very hard to shift from park to drive or park to reverse. The Trany shifts fine when I am driving around town, and it doesn't seem to have any problems. Any ideas on why it is so hard to shift out of park? Could this be a simple vacuum issue somehow? I have searched a lot of posts in here, but didn't see anything about tough shifting out of park.
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Old 04-19-2009, 01:18 PM
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Possible shift rod(s) are bent or need adjustment...... check from the steering column down to trans.


Automatic Transmission Shift Rod or Shift Cable Adjustment... C6 and E4OD

1 Raise vehicle on jack stands or hoist. (I'd block well and scramble under)

2 From inside the vehicle, place the select lever in D/C6 and OD/E4OD . Hang a three

pound weight on the selector lever ( six pack still full)

3 Remove shift cable from the transmission lever ball stud/shift rod.

4 Pull down the lock tab on the shift cable body.

5 Position transmission lever in drive position. This is three detents from the front-most

lever position with the first position counting as one.

6 Connect the cable and end fitting to the transmission lever ball stud/shift rod.

7 Push up on the lock tab to lock the cable in the correctly adjusted position or tighten nut

and bolt.

8 Remove jack stands and lower vehicle from hoist. Remove three pound weight from

column shift select lever.

9 After making adjustment, check for Park engagment. Check the transmission control lever

in all detent positions with the engine running to make sure correct detent/transmission

actions, readjust if necessary. Reset the PRNDL indicator as required.

CAUTION:
Under no circumstances will it be permissible to adjust the cable/shift rod in any position

other than D for C6 or OD for E4OD.

Now all should be ok if it is in PARK and everything works, remove blocks.

Road test...................(drink warm beer)
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Old 04-19-2009, 07:52 PM
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Are you saying the shift lever is hard to move or the tranny doesn't want to go into gear.
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Old 04-20-2009, 07:15 AM
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Question

Quote:
Originally Posted by starmilt View Post
Are you saying the shift lever is hard to move or the tranny doesn't want to go into gear.

I think I am saying that the shift lever does not want to move without some serious persuasion. So I wonder if that means it is a shift lever issue or a trany issue? Knock on wood, but this truck has never had a trany or shifter problem.
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:16 AM
Lazy K Lazy K is offline
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Is the shift lever hard to move period or just hard to move out of Park?
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Old 04-20-2009, 10:25 AM
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Check the column pivot point for the shifter. The early collars were made of pot metal and wore out. Then the shift lever would flop around, not allowing the lock to release fully. You might just need some lubrication on the column linkage.
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Old 04-20-2009, 11:12 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Lazy K View Post
Is the shift lever hard to move period or just hard to move out of Park?
Let me check on that. I just have noticed how hard it is to go from Park to 1st and Park to Reverse. So perhaps you are right that it is just hard to get out of Park period. I'll let you know shortly.
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Old 04-20-2009, 12:08 PM
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I think others are right. This most likely is not a problem with the internals of the transmission of the vacuum system.

In some cases lubrication of the linkage is all thats needed. If you are only using the truck on the odd weekend I could see things stiffening up a little. You may have also driven over a branch just right to bend some of the shift linkage on the driver's side of the transmission.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:02 PM
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I know this is an older post, but I had another thought on this. Could it be the vacuum pump on the truck that could be impacting this as well? I have not been able to check the linkage yet, but I will. I read somewhere that bad vacuum lines or bad pump could affect the trany, brakes, etc? Whadya think?
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:35 PM
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Yes. the vacuum will affect the shifts if the VRV valve has insufficient vacuum, also the brake booster. Make sure you have 20+ inches of vac. check your vacuum canister for small holes and lines for cracks. I had to replace all my lines and the canister. I made a new canister out of a juice can.
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Old 06-28-2009, 08:44 PM
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Can you explain how to check vacuum PSI correctly, where to check it, and on what parts of the system?
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Old 06-28-2009, 10:15 PM
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You need a vacuum gauge to check for leaks. after you shut the truck off it should hold vacuum in the system for quite some time. To set the VRV you need an inexpensive vacuum pump. The pump would also check for leaks. Vacuum is not PSI, it's the opposite.
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Old 06-29-2009, 06:53 AM
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Gotcha. So where do you actually attach the guage on the truck to test this?
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:30 AM
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Glockem45: The vacuum system will have NO effect on how or whether the trans manually shifts out of park or into any other detent. The well-intentioned poster you are responding to did not read your previous posts so is offering incorrect advice on the problem.

Your likely trouble is either in the shift quadrant in the steering column or the shift linkage. There are many possible scenarioos if you break it down, including a worn lock cylinder that is not releasing fully (is the ignition key stiff? too), interference from a bent linkage or something against it, or rust in the linkage. Look down on the column in the engine compartment, under the power brake booster. Have someone work the shifter and watch how the parts operate down there. Look from underneath too. If there is binding, it will be obvious. You may just want to spray all that you see on the column liberally with penetrating oil , trying to spray though the slot upwards towards the steering wheel.
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Old 06-29-2009, 08:37 AM
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Good point. I will check on the linkages tonight and lubricate the poo out of everything I can find on the column.
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