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truck wont stay in park

Fish Man

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1995 Explorer XLT
Hey everyone. After 17 years and 140000 miles the park function of my auto transmission no longer works. When you put it in park if its anything but perfectly level it rolls while making a clunk clunk clunk noise. Using the parking brake helps, but even though its all new, its never been that strong. My remote start rarely works now and I usually have to put the rig in neutral to start it. Tranny still runs great, no problems shifting or anything. What can I do?? Thanks in advance!
 



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Chikar

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There's a parking pawl in the transmission. Think of it as a pin that seats in a hole and stops the trans output shaft from turning, thus stopping the truck from moving.

If that pawl isn't seating all the way but just barely touching it will make a clunking noise as the truck moves.

I ended up with the same problem when a driver backed up in a parking lot and caved in the front of my Explorer which of course was in park. Turned out the collision bent the parking pawl. Fortunately it was covered by my insurance.

This is a wild guess on my part but it may be possible you have a problem with the shift cable from the shifter on the wheel down to the trans not fully moving the trans into park.

Your comment about having to put it in neutral to start it sort of confirms my thought. If the trans isn't in park or neutral a switch prevents the starter from engaging. Which would probably also explain the remote start not working when the truck is in park.

Hope this helps
 






sport97

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connellsville pa
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1997 sport SOHC 4.0
I would agree with Chikar about the parking pawl being the issue. Whether its a shifter cable issue or a broken pawl I dont know. It just makes sense all across the board and explains all the issues.
 






koda2000

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it might just be that the cable (or some part of it's bracketry) is out of ajustment, bent or broken because PARK isn't fully engaging and you start it in neutral. check that before tearing into the tranny. if the pawl was bent it won't have anything to do with your remote start not working.
 






4rd Xplora

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On a Round Rock in Texas
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Had This on my wife's Lincoln some years back. Don't really remember the fix except it was simple and I did it myself, and I don't remember if I pulled the pan or did the repair from the outside. Old age has struck again.....rats....
 






Fish Man

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Thanks for the help guys! I will have to check the shifter cable/bracketry before doing anything too drastic...could the cable itself have stretched/worn out?
 






koda2000

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i guess it's possible, but you won't know until you check it out. it could be something simple.

I just read the below post under a new STICKY. is your shifter loose?

Had the same problem on my 01 Explorer Sport. Took it to my transmission guy, who said it was the "PRINDL" effect (Except without the L). What happened was, what the gear shifter said the gear was, was not actually the gear. Park worked only some of the time (Which was fun with no functioning parking brake). So, took it to the transmission guy, who looked into it, and found that it was just the lost bolt. Tightened it up in 15 minutes and was done. Problem solved. It happens, and it wasn't fun.
 






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