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Shift Cable Connection


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November 22, 2009
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Year, Model & Trim Level
1992 xlt
Hello, I am wondering if anyone has encountered the problem in which the part of the steering column under the hood where the transmission shift cable connects, the little ball the the cable connects to is worn out and the cable just falls off, if you have what was the fix, besides replacing the stering column. by the way its a 92 xlt


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Same thing happened to me today. Did you ever find a fix?

I haven't spent too much time trying to fix it yet, but learned zip ties won't keep it on.

I was thinking to drill a hole through the knob and the part on the lower cable then putting a thin bolt through them.

This pic is from a windstar, but closest to what the part looks like


Replacing the Kick-Down (Throttle Valve) Cable on an A4LD Transmission

Not sure if you are referring to the manual (shift) linkage or kick-down cable... but this write up may help either way :)

Morning! Mine kick-down cable end actually snapped off! Went to a salvage yard and picked one up for about $30. It only really took about 20 minutes to replace... No parts dealers carry them new anymore (or I couldn't find it anywhere at least). Don't drive it much with the cable unattached as it plays a very important role in regulating the hydraulic pressure in the transmission.

To remove the kick-down cable you disconnect it at the gas pedal by pulling the black grommet forward and lifting the cable out of the fork. Then you push in the two tabs on the mount on the firewall behind it to push it out through into the engine compartment (this is the kick-down cable adjustment, by the way). Then pull the cable off of the mount on the transmission and you should be able to lift it out from the engine compartment. Try and remember exactly how it was run around in the engine compartment so you can replace it again the same way. Installation is the reverse of removal, except you might want to push down on the gray button on the adjustment mount and push the cable back in towards the end where it attaches to the pedal, adding slack for installation.

After you are done, you need to take the slack out of the kickdown cable. To do this you push down on the gray button and pull the cable as tight as it will go. Then hit the gas ALL the way down slowly and you will hear a series of clicks as it auto-adjusts.

A little mod that really makes a difference after you are all done is to take the slack out of the kickdown cable and accelerator linkage. To do this you can wrap some zip-ties around each of the linkage ends at the pedal (at rest) so there is only a TINY bit of slack. This will give the proper signal to the transmission more accurately as to the position of the throttle and give you more WOT (whole-open-throttle) for better acceleration when desired.

Good luck!

Hey Yank... It's the shift cable joining point that broke, where the cable from the column and the cable from the trany meet.

The cable on the trany has a little rod with a ball on it, and the lower shift cable clips over it.

Here is a pic of the lower cable that keeps popping off.


The connection on the right attaches to trany and left end attaches to cable from column.

I will post a pic of the actual broken part later... Cam is at work now.

Like the kickdown cable, a temporary fix with zip ties probably won't last long. I think that the shift cable is a pretty reliable part (except for your instances) so I'd just call a couple of auto salvage yards and see if they have a similar model and can pull one off a wreck for you. Good luck! Sorry about the confusion... hope my write-up earlier will help someone searching for replacing the KD cable.

I ended up buying a new cable from for about 80 bucks shipped.

The whole process of swapping cables was about 30-45 mins, but now I could do it in about 5-10. the tricky part was detaching it from the mount near the trany....there are two tabs on the side of the cable you press and then slide it towards the front of the truck. It should then come out.

Wonderful! Thanks for the follow-up! You probably saved yourself over $300 doing it yourself. Nice work!

shift cable slippage

I had the same problem and zip ties do work for a while if you baby the shifting but the only solution is to replace the whole cable. $90 from the dealer, but maybe $30 from the bone yard. It seems like a lot of work though, or is it? I may just keep using zip ties. Thoughts?

okay, I can invest 30-45 mins. anyone have instructions how to replace the shift cable?

It was easy, but getting the cable out of the bracket was a little tricky, seeing I didn't know how to do it. Now, I could do it in 5 mins.

I don't have instructions, but the steps were

Remove from the cable comming from the steering column. It pops out when pried off. (I didn't have to do this since this is where mine broke)

Get under the car, and disconnect from the gear selector on the transmission. It should also pull off by prying off.

Remove cable from small clip on will see it and it pulls out by hand.

The hard part, (but now easy since I know how to do it) was to remove the cable from the larger bracket underneath. You will need to squeeze the two tabs on the side of the cable, on the rear siude of the bracket. When squeezed, you can slide the cable forward. Look at your new cable for these tabs I am talking about.

Also, you will notice a white sliding plastic piece on the new cable. This part is used to adjust the cable length. If you don't set it right, your gear indicator on the column will not be fully accurate. It took me a few eadjustments to get it right.

Don't be affraid to try wasn't bad at all.

Good luck!

(I'll check my hanes manual later to see if it is in there then post if it is)

Shift Cable Plastic Socket Fix

I took a old roll of wire I had in my shop, bailing wire I think you call it and cut off a piece about 10 inches long or so. Bend the wire in a U and put it over the top of the base of the metal ball and wrap it tightly in both directions, go around twice and stop with wires hanging down and crossed. Make sure they wrap tight around the base of the ball where the diameter is smaller, use plyers if needed. Push plastic socket onto metal ball and bring wire around shift cable just under plastic socket and twist it tight. But not to tight. Cut off excess wire and your through. I did this 18 months ago and its still working great.

Replaced the cable and the ball is no good

Hi all,
I replaced my cable because it wouldn't stay on and it turned out the ball on the shift column has rusted to the point where it's smaller now. I used baling wire and it's worked for a year, but I want to replace the ball. Does anybody know how large it is?