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Ford Flex shift knob install in Explorer

Discussion in 'Modified 2006 - 2010 Explorers' started by 06bluez, February 21, 2012.

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    1. JeepGuy25

      JeepGuy25 Member

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      They are so cheap...Im thinking about buying another one to keep around in case something happens to this one. Its so nice to rest your hand on, I find myself doing it often. Im afraid the leather will wear or get messed up from hand oils. So I might snag one just in case it needs a freshen up one day.
       
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    3. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      Picked up all the tools to swap mine at the weekend, tap, drill bit etc. hoping to do it Saturday but with it being Christmas Eve may not get to it. A little nervous about the drilling piece, but it looks fairly straight forward and removing the plastic rod from the shifter alleviates some of the worry!!
       
    4. JeepGuy25

      JeepGuy25 Member

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      Removing the plastic rod should relieve all of the worry! Remember to pull/wiggle that little shaft out to release the plastic plunger, dont twist. Couple of extra pointers. Make sure you measure twice before drilling. Get the knob all the way seated, and carefully mark the holes. Use a good center punch, and make a good punch mark at center. When you drill, make sure the bit is perpendicular to the shifter shaft. After you drill, make sure you clean it out. There will be a burr on the inside, as well as some shavings. There is a ton of grease in that shaft. My advice is to shove something down BEFORE you drill. That way after you knock the burrs down, you can pull it out and all the chips will come with it. Should be enough grease left on the plastic piece to keep it happy.

      Should go pretty easy for you! Good luck!

      Justin
       
    5. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      I wonder if my son's trombone cleaning brush will fit down in there. It's a stiff brush about 5/8" in diameter on the end of a flexible rod. Might work really nicely to poke it down in there and then clear it out after drilling. Hopefully the next post on this topic from me will be of a successfully installed shifter.
       
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    6. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      Well that was a complete disaster. Got to the point of removing the pin to take the plastic shaft out before drilling, and it won't budge. Tried various pliers, pulling at different angles, nothing works.

      So put the old shifter back on.

      Great, now that's not acting right. It lets me shift without putting my foot on the brake, it also lets me shift from R to N, N to D, then 3, 2, 1, 1-D without even squeezing the button on the shifter.

      Really incredibly frustrated right now and not sure how to fix it. What's worse is it's my wife's vehicle.

      Anyone done this mod in VA want to earn a 6 pack?
       
    7. JeepGuy25

      JeepGuy25 Member

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      Did you reinstall all the shift lock parts? Everything plugged back in like that solenoid? If you were able to budge the pin, then nothing should have changed. It took some wiggling to get that sucker out. It's just a press fit into that plastic plunger.

      Anyone else have trouble getting it out? Mine came without too much trouble.

      J.
       
    8. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      As far as I know everything went back fine. O/D plug went back in, reverse solenoid back in place, the only piece I was not sure about was the piece of black plastic in front of the reverse solenoid. That piece is loose, but I cannot see if it locks to anything. It's strange.

      I wonder is maybe the pin budged a little and it is having an effect on the shaft, but from what I could tell from your video it just slides through. The plastic rod moved up and down fine before I put the stock shifter back on. But even with the shift knob removed it lets me move without brake/button pushed.

      Is the pin smooth? In your video it looked like it is and came out easily. Wondering if I can twist it some before pulling it out or if it needs to slide out. In one of your earlier posts you said not to twist it. I was really pulling and noticed no movement. Annoying as it looked pretty simple to do!

      Also, Merry Christmas
       
      Last edited: December 24, 2016
    9. JeepGuy25

      JeepGuy25 Member

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      Yeah that would be frustrating. The pin has some serrations where it intersects with the plunger. That's why I say not to twist. If you twist, those serrations might remove some material from the hole in the plunger, and it might not be a tight fit when you put it back. Then again... It might be just fine to do it one time. Just don't twist a ton. Just a little to see if it'll move.

      As for the shifters current behavior, the mechanism is pretty simple. When you hit the brake, are you hearing/seeing the solenoid move? If so... Is it moving the plastic piece that actually blocks the shift? Sounds like something is just off.... And I can't recall how it looks exactly to think of what it could be.

      I hope you don't give up though! The mod is worth it IMO. Just give it another try after the holiday is over. Let us know how you make out or if you get stuck.

      Merry Christmas!

      J.
       
    10. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      I hear the solenoid move, but I suspect the piece of plastic is not in the right place (the piece that sits just in front of the solenoid). I did not touch the plastic, but for some reason it looks off to me. When I dig into it again I may take a quick video if I can't figure it out on my own.

      I might try to find a replacement pin and plunger before trying again, just in case I destroy mine pulling it out. I can't imagine it being that expensive, just probably tough finding the part number.
       
    11. SixPonies

      SixPonies Elite Explorer

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      Might it be possible to you to remove your console trim & take/post some detailed, close-up pictures of your solenoid assembly, & all of the plastic pieces as assembled? I did this mod a few months ago, and everything went well except for the fact that I don't have to depress the brake pedal to shift out of park. I'm thinking I may have something slightly off with that whole solenoid assembly, but can't figure out exactly what that may be.
       
    12. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      I wonder if something got messed up with the little white box that the O/D wire plugs into. While I have read plenty of people having an issue with this preventing them from shifting at all, I wonder if in my case it is making shifting without pressing the brake pedal. Need to find time to get into this again. At least that part is cheap... https://www.amazon.com/Dorman-924-707-Shift-Interlock-Module/dp/B009AAEK3Y

      Having a hard time finding the little pin though and plastic plunger incase I tear mine up removing it. I can find the pin for a Ranger, Explorer Sport Trac but only for earlier years. Anyone have the part numbers for the pin and plastic plunger? If they are cheap I am considering just grabbing them and if I don't need them can just return them. But want them on hand in case I tear mine up removing it.
       
    13. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      Going to finally get around to giving this another try soon. Was cleaning the garage some the other day and found the Flex shifter sitting in the box. Anyone else done this mod recently? Any additional tips, really hoping I can get the plastic shaft out this time so I can drill, get the new shifter on and then get the plastic rod back in place and my shifting back to normal behavior.
       
    14. MotorCityFats13

      MotorCityFats13 Active Member

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      so today I was bored and making my rounds on the junkyard inventory and was amazed to see that there was a 2006 xlt at the yard 2 miles down the street! Ive never ran out the door so fast! the thing was thrown off a cliff major front end damage but I took the whole shifter assembly paid $20 and went home a removed mine and replaced it.... now my shifter works 100% correct... going to take some time getting used to the functioning neutral lockout and having to hit the break to put it in gear but all in all the flex shifter is finally done correct and I can pass tech if this was ever taken to the strip...... and since I have an extra PRND321 trim I can finally cut it up so i can select 1st gear again.... also grabbed the cluster for shits and giggles... $14.99.... too bad the interior was not my beige color
       
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    15. MotorCityFats13

      MotorCityFats13 Active Member

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      here is a trick that is sure to get 40,000 dislikes.... all you have to do is splice in the OD wires then put some tape on the shaft and pound that handle right on there.... its firm and does not spin and no chance of ruining anything!
       
    16. naiku

      naiku Active Member

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      Assuming I am reading this right, basically cut the 2 wires on the original shifter, splice them onto the new one. Then, instead of drilling and tapping the screw hole, wrap some tape around the shaft with the original shifter removed. Pound the new shifter on and call it a day? Might give that a try, I hate staring at the Flex shifter sitting on my desk for now almost a year.

      Might also look at junkyards for a $20 shifter assembly!!
       
    17. ttbit

      ttbit Active Member

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      I spliced into the existing wires using solder and heat shrink tubing. No reason to not do that. Can't speak for the rest of the solution. :) Whatever works.
       

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