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Shift cable adjustment

Discussion in 'Modified 1995-2001 Explorers' started by Scotts96sploder, May 30, 2019.

^^Searches ExplorerForum.com^^





  1. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    so my x doesn’t like to start in park anymore, sometimes I can pull on the shifter and get it to start, most of the time I have to shift into neutral. The indicator doesn’t point at the gear it’s in unless you push it there, and shifting to drive the lever floats between D and 2, until I wiggle it back.
    I’m assuming there is a way to adjust/tighten that up? I’ve never played with shift linkage before, so if anyone had a picture of what to do that would be awesome!
    96 5.0 2wd automagic
     
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  3. fastpakr

    fastpakr Elite Explorer

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    Sounds like the range sensor is out of position. From a quick search, this video should give you the procedure you need:
     
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  4. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    There are two adjustments, the main one at the transmission(DTRS), and the indicator in the dash. The main cable adjustment should be what you need to work with to correct the starter engagement issue.

    The dash indicator is relatively easy to adjust. There is a tiny vertical screw/bolt(5.5mm I think) under the column on the right side of it which holds it on, and a thumb wheel adjuster that rotates horizontally. I don't know if you can get to it without removing the knee cover pieces, so look first. Look straight up under the area where the key goes, the thumb wheel piece is white I believe.

    I'd adjust that first, and expect it to not help the starter circuit. The DTRS(range sensor) is bolted to the shift lever at the trans, and has an adjustment mark on it. I forgot where the trans has to be to bolt the DTRS on, I'd say you can tell by carefully watching what gear it's closest to while loosening the bolt. Basically the trans is placed into the proper position with the shift lever of the transmission, and the DTRS is loosely placed on it, and the mark lined up, and then bolted tight.

    It sounds like yours is just off a hair from where that DTRS adjustment is supposed to be. This is all done at the trans, not inside, so pull the battery cable off and turn the ignition on to unlock the column. So find the marks on the DTRS, and the other part adjacent to that.

    Move the shift lever and watch that mark, to locate the other mark or shape it needs to line up with. Get it close to lining up, most likely it'll be off a hair and won't line up perfectly(you will feel the shift lever at the transmission, move from each gear to the next). Loosen the bolt that locks the DTRS down, and move it the small amount it needs to, to line up the two marks. Tighten the bolt wrist tight, and then gently run the shift lever through all positions. Then check the shifter on the column to see that it also reaches all positions.
     
  5. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    Wow thanks! I’ll climb under there and let you know what I find.
     
  6. MAS Tequila

    MAS Tequila Elite Explorer

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    Shift Indicator Cable
     
  7. fastpakr

    fastpakr Elite Explorer

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    The indicator cable will help with what's shown on the dash, but isn't involved in the neutral/park start issue.
     
  8. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    You guys it could also be his shifter bushings in the steering column...when they start to go out the whole cable/setup gets out of whack
    Any looseness in the column shifter?
     
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  9. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    Very true, and more likely than the shifter cable/DTRS becoming loose.
     
  10. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    Yes, that’s what I was trying to describe.
    For instance, I went to put it in part today and it was in reverse, it’s like the cable is stretched, I had to slam it in park a couple times to get it to not be in reverse, and it’s almost like it’s in neutral when in park.
    I have to pull to 2nd to shift to drive and then settle the lever back into drive.
    I haven’t had time to get under there yet, I’ll start digging tomorrow.
     
  11. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    There are plastic bushings in the shifter linkage in your steering column, they wear out break or the bolts just come loose and it all falls apart.
    let me see if I can find a thread for this issue it is very common
     
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  12. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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  13. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    That might be it! Now that I see how that works that seems like a logical place to start. I’ll get on that after some coffee, thank you!
    Kinda sucks a little, I just had the dash apart to replace the odometer worm gear and a bunch of bulbs. The cel bulb went out so I guess I’ll go pick up some 37s and do that while I’m at it.
    Need to check my lotto tickets to see if there will be a thread about the r2.8 soon! Lol
     
  14. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    Well, the first bushing isn’t even inside the clamp. So that seems promising

    D35651B4-5383-4D1D-AF85-25180A2C2CE1.jpeg
     
  15. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    Found it! The bushings are worn out, but there’s a bolt missing that connects the cable arm to the shifter! I’m gonna dig through my parts and see if I can’t find one to fit.
     
  16. 410Fortune

    410Fortune Firewood Season Staff Member Moderator

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    That missing bolt will cause some issues!!
    Many of the Gen II trucks I work on need the column shifter bolts tightened up and or the bushings fixed/replaced. it seems to be hit or miss, like maybe some people pull harder on the shifter than others.....
     
  17. Scotts96sploder

    Scotts96sploder Active Member

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    Thought I would post these for anyone that might have a similar issue and doesn’t know what’s in there.

    Thar spose was to be a bolt in thar!

    Luckily I actually found it on the floor board a few months ago and had the foreskin to put it somewhere easy to find! Lol

    54317F09-449F-4538-993C-CA7B3DD1F7C4.jpeg

    BA5EFC7A-8749-492C-ACA8-F352E3DB2733.jpeg

    14B8D9A2-CB32-4BA8-B878-1E18FB3D1207.jpeg
     
  18. CDW6212R

    CDW6212R Hauls the mail. Elite Explorer

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    That's good to see the problem on yours, good pics.

    I replaced the main items for my 99 when I bought it and had the whole truck apart. From what people here said, I bought those and put them in to be ahead of any issues. My two 98's have some looseness too, but I haven't had time to do either. I bought another set of the parts from Ford a couple of years ago, they were still under about $50 for the bushings and two main aluminum shifter parts.

    I have them out laying on my 99 in the garage now. I didn't have time yesterday to grab them and post the part numbers. I'd change those four parts on any older 2nd gen Explorer to keep.
     

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