shift drive selector indicator | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

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shift drive selector indicator

jwhiting

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Joined
June 19, 2006
Messages
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City, State
Roseville, MN
Year, Model & Trim Level
99 Explorer XLT
I have a 1999 explorer and recently the shift selector and the indicator that shows which gear you are in is not matching up. In other words when i put it in reverse it shows the vehical in Neutral and when I am in drive it shows it in 2 gear. All positions of the shift indicator are basicaly off by one in each position.
How and what should I do to fix it?
Thanks
Judd
 



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There is a small thumbwheel on the steering column to adjust the indicator cable. Remove the 4 screws and the plastic trim from the column and use the thumbweel to realign the I/P indicator to the gear selected.
 






There is a small thumbwheel on the steering column to adjust the indicator cable. Remove the 4 screws and the plastic trim from the column and use the thumbweel to realign the I/P indicator to the gear selected.

Thanks
Dose this thumb wheel use a screw driver to move or is is an actual "thumb" wheel?
 






It's a genuine thumb actuated wheel - very easy to use.
 






It's a genuine thumb actuated wheel - very easy to use.

I must be dumb because I can't find it. I took off the plastic halfs arond the column but see no thub wheel.
What side is it on?
 






My apologies. I was going by feeble memory and the factory manual (which is as bad as my memory on this one). So I went out and looked at my truck which is half apart right now.

The thumbwheel is screwed to the bottom of the column all right but it is farther forward on the column under the dash. To actually see it you would probably have to remove the steel knee bolster under the dash after removing the bolster's plastic trim.

If you knew in advance exactly where it is, it would not be hard to reach under the dash and find it by feel without removing the bolster. It could even be adjusted that way. However, it might be hard to do that the first time around.
 






Here's a pic of the thumbwheel with the bolster removed. It's the black wheel in the white bracket, dead center.

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also you might wanna check the 2 torx bolts at the end of the shift mech, wayyyyy down towards the bottom of the colum. lay on your back, put your head on the brake pedal, shine a flashlight straight up, and while you lay there looking at a big mess, wiggle the shift lever and you will see the shift cable that attaches to a flat bracket (on top of the colum the 2 bolts that hold the bracket to the rotating tube, come loose making a sloppy shifter and sometimes misalignment of the indicator. i think they are a t-35 maybe
 






My apologies. I was going by feeble memory and the factory manual (which is as bad as my memory on this one). So I went out and looked at my truck which is half apart right now.

The thumbwheel is screwed to the bottom of the column all right but it is farther forward on the column under the dash. To actually see it you would probably have to remove the steel knee bolster under the dash after removing the bolster's plastic trim.

If you knew in advance exactly where it is, it would not be hard to reach under the dash and find it by feel without removing the bolster. It could even be adjusted that way. However, it might be hard to do that the first time around.


You can locate the black cable by looking through the gap between the steering column and the bolster cover. The thumb wheel is located on this cable, about one inch above the visable portion of the cable. Reach up while looking though the gap and feel for the wheel. The wheel on my 99 was very easy to turn. I was able to adjust it by running my index finger across it.

This takes less than 5 minutes, and no tools are needed :)
 






i have a 99 xlt 2wd v8. my white bracket is broken. ford wants $42 for an entire assembly replacement. my mechanic wanted $150 to fix whatever he thought it was (mentioned an aluminum tube). ignore those awful instructions that tell you to take your steering wheel off! they should've told you to look in the most obvious place first. i read on another post someone used wire ties as spacers to fix their problem, so that gave me an idea. i unhooked the tension wire, took off the broken piece of the bracket, hooked back up the tension wire using needle nose pliers (took a few tries), twisted the thumb screw into location (by looking up at the dash while pulling on the cable until it touched the other piece of the white bracket), then used a long wire tie to secure that position to a piece of metal nearby. tested it a few times, then reassembled everything i took apart just to find that thumb screw. not to mention that i broke loose that blue sensor in the ignition that beeps when your keys are inserted, so i had to use 2part epoxy and a thick rubber band wrapped around the ignition to secure it back into place... hope this helps the next person!
 






My shift indicator decided to malfunction this past Saturday. Removing the 2 steering column covers and knee bolters revealed a broken white bracket around the thumbwheel adjuster.
I used the wire tie idea with a rolled up piece of duct tape underneath to make it thick and sturdy. However, the whole thing feels kinda flimsy and cheap. The cable almost feels like a piece of string. I'm surprised this hasn't broke sooner. Anyway, now the indicator and gear match up again.
$0 cost!!!

Took some pics:
#1 - What it should look like
#2 - What it looks like broken
#3 - My fix with the wire tie
#4 - A closer view
 

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Pumpkin, thanks for the great pictures. Used them to "fix" my broken shift indicator bracket this afternoon. I used your duct tape then wire tie repair. Took about 45 minutes.
 






hmmm so that little white bracket thingy that holds the thumbwheel in place is broken. Its the top half of it that is closest to the copper wire in the pics is broken off of the bottom half which lets the thumbwheel go way out. Any ideas on how to patch that?
 






this same problem was on my explorer, i just took off the white piece all together, flipped it, put it back on and maybe i was just lucky but it lined up perfectly, just a suggestion.
 






Pumpkin, thanks for the great pictures. Used them to "fix" my broken shift indicator bracket this afternoon. I used your duct tape then wire tie repair. Took about 45 minutes.

Your welcome. Pictures do come in handy:thumbsup:

this same problem was on my explorer, i just took off the white piece all together, flipped it, put it back on and maybe i was just lucky but it lined up perfectly, just a suggestion.

I though about removing the broken pieces too but I was scared about losing the cable down in the tube if I unhooked it. I was too chicken to find out...
 






I pretty much had the same problem as pumpkin and I made a spacer out of the tip of a bic pen cap instead. It works pretty good and I will see how long it lasts
 






My 99 Explorer developed the same problem recently.

Can anyone walk me through how to remove the knee bolster cover to get to the part to make the adjustment?

Thanks!
 






From memory...correct me if I'm wrong guys.

Remove the two screws holding the hood cable release. There should be two (maybe three) more screws along the bottom of the panel. Remove those and the panel snaps in on top. Pull straight out. There should be a metal panel under it held on by a few bolts. Remove those. Something like a 7 or 8 mm socket. Now you can get to the adjustment wheel.
 






Thanks Cobraguy!

I see that you're in Phoenix, as am I. Is there any chance we could get together in the future and have you help me if I can't figure out how to do this adjustment?

I'll buy a beer / chips at Macayo's or Sullivan's if you are willing to help! :salute:
 



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My 99 Explorer developed the same problem recently.

Can anyone walk me through how to remove the knee bolster cover to get to the part to make the adjustment?

Thanks!

You can locate the black cable by looking through the gap between the steering column and the bolster cover. The thumb wheel is located on this cable, about one inch above the visable portion of this cable. Reach up while looking though the gap and feel for the wheel. The wheel on my 99 was very easy to turn. I was able to adjust it by running my index finger across it.

This takes less than 5 minutes, and no tools are needed
 






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