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Hard to move out of Park when cold

Discussion in 'UK Explorer Owners Forum' started by Hux, January 3, 2018.

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    1. Hux

      Hux New Member

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      Hi, I have just picked up a 1998 Explorer and it takes a lot of time and wiggling of the shifter to get it out of Park when the car hasn't been used for an hour or so. Once it has warmed up it is fine! The brake lights are working, it's just really difficult to get the lever to move. Any ideas?
       
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    3. alohamonte

      alohamonte Active Member

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      seized transmission neutral switch, which is what that shifter on the dash connects at the other end of the transmisson cable, would be my guess. it's not an expensive part to replace
       
    4. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Also, the 2 torx bolts that hold the shifter to the steering column tend to get loose and can even fall out. They're a bit hard to get to, but worth checking. They're kind of gold colored.

      Is it possible that the steering wheel lock is fighting you? Do you normally park with your wheels straight or turned?
       
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    5. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Second the gold colored torx bolts.
       
    6. Hux

      Hux New Member

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      Thanks for the replies, the shifter on mine isn't on the steering column, it's on the floor. The steering lock isn't on.
      It feels like the release button is stuck, if you keep pushing it hard it moves a little bit further each time until it releases the shifter. After it's been moved the first time it's fine unless you leave the truck for an hour or so, then it locks up again!
       
    7. koda2000

      koda2000 Explorer Addict

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      Hugh? A '98 Explorer automatic with a floor shift? Never heard of such a thing.
       
    8. swshawaii

      swshawaii Explorer Addict

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      OP shows England in profile info. Did British automatics have floor console shifters?
       
    9. Hux

      Hux New Member

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    10. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      Wierd. Most of us aren’t going to be of much help then, since all US Second Gens are column shifts.
       
    11. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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      Yes, the RHD's had floor shift in the few I've seen pictured. I'm kind of looking for a RHD Explorer, for the dash and AC boxes on the firewall. I'm going to find a RHD Explorer mail truck, and upgrade it a little more.

      I suggest lubricating the shift mechanism parts, which at this age don't move as well as they used to. Just the door latches, spray the moving parts with some WD40 and Lithium grease as a final touch. My 98 Mercury used to be trouble opening the rear hatch, it was very stiff. I finally got to lubricating the latch parts, and it's been great for many years now.
       
    12. Morley

      Morley New Member

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      If you can remove the cable for the button you could see about maybe cleaning it with some electrical parts cleaner, spray it in the ends and slide the cable back and forth in the housing. Then blow out with compressed air and lube it with some thin lithium grease.
      It may be the cold is making any gunk in there start to solidify
       
    13. Turdle

      Turdle I bake stuff Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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    14. dezufo

      dezufo Elite Explorer

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      Spray some WD40 in there and keep pressing the button until it operates freely
       
    15. Mbrooks420

      Mbrooks420 High Voltage. Elite Explorer

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      I’d be cautious about spraying WD40 into the shifter. I’m sure there’s plastic and electrical stuff in there. WD40 is a solvent, and not a lubricant. It’s very rarely the final solution.
       
    16. Hux

      Hux New Member

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      I wouldn't use WD40, I've tried plastic friendly silicone spray, it did seem to help a little. I guess stripping it down and checking it it out is what's called for.
       

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