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Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers Questions related to non-modified 1995-2001 Explorer, Mountaineer, Ranger and '02+ Sports and Sport Trac. Problem solving, maintenance, TSB, service bulletins, owner reviews, specifications.

gear / shift indicator broken

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Old 06-20-2005, 07:26 AM   #1
762mm
Canada
'99 XLT (4x4, SOHC)
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
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Thumbs down gear / shift indicator broken

Yesterday while parking the truck at work I've put the shifter into "P", and then suddenly my orange gear indicator went all the way to the right and stayed there (beyond the "1", basically off the scale). I was pretty surprised to see this, as I've never seen something like that happen before...

I know that it's probably some kind of wire or retainer that snapped, but I don't know what's involved in fixing this (I just assume it's a common problem since I didn't do anything unusual for this to happen, but couldn't find anything relevant while doing a search). Could someone please confirm what's needed to perform a repair on this, and if there are any more quality parts I need to order from Mr. Henry Ford? The truck is driveable, but I have to get this fixed asap. Thanks in advance.

P.S. Is there an electronic shift indicator available out there? My friend has a '96 Grand Marquis and has one of those in his instrument cluster... I'm sure there's gotta be something for an Explorer as well (with no snapping wires, lol). Thanks.
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Old 06-21-2005, 12:30 PM   #2
762mm
Canada
'99 XLT (4x4, SOHC)
 
Join Date: Jul 2004
Posts: 191

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Angry

Fixed it, broke something else in the process. As it turns out, the fault was in a small flexible wire that runs through a rubber "tunnel" from the gear selector panel to a shifter bracket (the wire had snapped at the panel). After some thinking, I fabricated a new wire like that with 30-35 LB test fishing line and ran that like the original Ford wire, and it worked just the same after calibrating it with the small screw-type adjuster.

After reassembling the dash (which takes approx 10-15 minutes once you know how everything goes), I started the truck and noticed that my RPM meter became somewhat screwed up - the RPMs are never under 1000 and jump then descend very rapidly (with no smooth motion like before) as the engine turns faster or slower, and the needle reaction time is about 2 seconds late. I did accidentally get the RMP needle off the scale to the right while handling the instrument cluster panel during re-installation, so my guess is that this probably broke some king of a retainer or pressure spring inside the panel, thus making the needle jump up and down when RPMs change.

If anyone has any ideas or recommendations at this stage, they would be very appreciated. RPMs are not a vital part of the instrument cluster, but I enjoy looking at them from time to time when I drive to see how the engine behaves...
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