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2005 Explorer difficulty shifting out of park (4x4 AWD RSC)

Discussion in 'Stock 2002 - 2005 Explorers' started by CS223, June 24, 2011.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^

  1. CS223

    CS223 New Member

    January 12, 2011
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    2005 XLT 4x4 FlexFuel 4.0
    My wife's daily driver, 75k miles. She has been complaining for some time about being intermittently being unable to shift out of park. Today she broke the gear shift lever off. (I've read that thread, part is on order) So I had to go rescue her. In the past, I've checked the little interlock solenoid and showed her how to manually release it if it happens to her and what to look for to determine if that was indeed the culprit. I could find nothing wrong with the solenoid or it's operation. I chocked the problem up to the parking pawl being loaded on an incline or the steering wheel lock being loaded.

    When I showed up today, I removed the trim around the steering column and had intended to simply manually shift the vehicle linkage to get it home.

    The linkage wasn't going to budge. I could see and confirm that the little interlock solenoid plunger was retracted. And would retract when I depressed the brake pedal and the micro switch. No amount of prying on the steering column bell crank would budge it. I popped the cable end off the pivot ball to eliminate the column linkage and attempted move the cable with the screwdriver in the cable eye, no luck. I snapped it back on the bell crank ball and pried & jockeyed the linkage some more and suddenly it decided to shift. Didn't take any effort from that point on to move the linkage from PARK to Reverse to Drive back to Park. I drove it home without further incident. It wasn't parked on a steep incline, steering wheel wasn't locked, vehicle was running at the time. I guess it could still be possible that the parking pawl was loaded.

    My question is, is there anything internal to the transmission, a secondary locking solenoid etc. or something that could stick, bind or jam that could cause the intermittent mechanical hard to shift symptom?
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