Instrument Cluster Shift Cable Replacement | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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Instrument Cluster Shift Cable Replacement


Well-Known Member
August 3, 2010
Reaction score
City, State
Brooklyn, NY
Year, Model & Trim Level
2002 XLT
Hey Everyone,

I recently came across a problem with my 2002 Explorer XLT, V6, 4x4. I had taken the instrument cluster out to re-solder one of the cracked solder joints for the infamous intermittent odometer fix.

Upon re-installation, I realized that the shift indicator was a little off. Meaning that when the car was in Park, it was a little to the right of "P" between Park and Reverse. When it was in Drive, it was in between "D" and "3" and so on. So I then went to adjust it using the little gear inside on the steering column. Everything seemed fine except when I switched from Park to Drive, it didn't move past Neutral, "N".

I tried to readjust it again, but it seems that the (very thin) cable that runs the adjustment was knotted and unknowingly, the cable popped. So at the moment I don't have the needle in the dashboard to show me which gear I'm in. Luckily, I've been driving the car long enough to know when I'm in drive and reverse etc, by how the gear shifter stick feels. The car still shifts into gears perfectly fine, and it drives normally, just that it doesn't show which gear I'm because the cable popped.

So, I took out the needle by sliding it out from under the instrument cluster. For now, it doesnt show any gear. I had a few questions about what to do next.

1. I have half the cable and the other half is tangled up in the steering column back in the car. Exactly how is the cable attached to the shift lever? Is it easy to access to pull off the old string in case I want to run another cable of the same length and strength back through? (Pictures would be nice if possible).
As of now, the cable is just tangled up in the steering column. When I was in there earlier it seemed to be pretty closed up. So how can you access where the cable meets the shift lever?

2. Is it worth it to run a cable/wire through it, or should I just try to go to a junk yard and pick up a new unit entirely?

3. Do you need any special tools to get the old cable off of the shift lever?

Thanks in advance!

The indicator assembly is very easy to replace. It just loops around the transmission cable. The new part is around $20 and is part # 4L2Z7A110AA


I just picked up the part. It was $23. Now to figure out how to access the shifter end of the assembly. Any ideas as to how to remove the lower steering column cover? It seems that I cant get into where the gear shifter would meet with the steering column because its too closed up.

Just an Update.

I replaced the part, it works fine now. the hardest part was getting the loop from the mechanism to fit around the hook on the gear shifter. Otherwise, a pretty quick repair. Thanks for the help!