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How to Fix a Loose Column Shifter


Hey guys Chrisfix here today I’m going to show you how to fix a shifter that [doesn’t] really shift into correct gear like right now. It’s saying it’s in reverse and Really? It’s [in] neutral and this just feels really sloppy. There’s a lot of play a whole lot [of] play And then sometimes when you put it in Park It’s really not in park you go to try to start the car again And it won’t even start that’s because it’s not in park, and you can see even just in park There’s a lot of play in this this is typical on Ford vehicles right now I’m in a ford Windstar, and I’ll show you why it’s doing this it’s an easy free fix So we’re going to look under the steering wheel we don’t have to take anything apart Just find your brake pedal and go under here now. Here is your brake pedal you’re going to follow the brake pedal up Until you get to the steering column you can see if I move the steering wheel this moves So then we want to look behind this And kind of up [to] the side And you can see right [here] these two bolts that have the torques ends on them. I’m going to touch the gear lever and you [can] see that’s what moves so that you’re at the right location and what happens is these two bolts back out and Loosen up, so if I put my hand back here, and I kind of just wiggle this around a little bit You can see how they’re both loose And it allows a lot [of] slop in here a lot of play and that play gets transferred into this which then goes to your transmission and shifts the gears so easy fix [all] we have to do is tighten these up I’m actually going to take them out and Put the Red locker on them We’ll do one at a time and the thread locker will ensure [that] they don’t get loose again So we’re going to look at the engine here And just look at the shifter to make sure it’s not loose on this end as well You can see the transmission right there, and there’s where the shifter is And that looks really smooth and solid there’s not much play. We’re also going to come around from this side and check this side And again, there’s not much play, so that’s good. [you] always want to check [that] just in case It’s all you need is some threadlocker and a size 30 torques on this So we’re going to take off one at a time Then all we do is just add a little bit of this Removable [loctite] and this will just prevent vibrations from loosening up the bolt. We only do one at a time So that this is really [easy] to align Make sure it’s nice and snug You don’t have to go crazy tightening this but you definitely want to snug it up good, and then we’ll take this other one off I will do the same thing for this one. Just a little bit of threadlocker right on the end here Go back in here and hand tighten it And then finish tightening it with [this] size 30 torques Okay, now let’s give it a shot and see how it feels okay, [ah] Yeah That feels real [good] now, I could actually feel the gear nice and smooth There’s not much play at all And it clicks right into the gear compared to before where it I? Had no clue what gear I was in and it was just a mess and you can see there’s not much movement in here Hopefully this video was helpful. If it was remember to give it a thumbs up also consider subscribing I publish how-to videos weekly and answer all the questions and comments you guys leave in the comment section [below] on the screen are Gonna be a bunch of videos popping up to get to those videos you could click on them on the screen or you can find the Links to those videos in the description below also in description below are going to be the links to the Chrisfix Facebook and Twitter pages If you use Facebook or Twitter go check it out

Bernard Jenkins

100 Comments

  1. Collum Shifters are the best, makes so much more space in the middle. Too bad car manufacturers are just getting cheaper and lazy. They put counsol shifters, basically a primitive design from the 1940’s . They don’t wanna soend the money and time making collum shifters. So they put back the counsol shifts, make them electronic and fancy to make it trendy and cool. Meanwhile you are loosing a real gem. Nothing feels better than pride of pulling the collum shifter when driving. It’s even more convinent. Also, split bench seats like the 1996 Ford Taurus should come back as well. Because those were the best. Bench seats were the whole reason Collum shifters were invented and people throw that invention away, so sad 🙁

  2. Question: what if the bolts and everything is tightened down but it’s the shifter handle that’s the only part loose. It’s like in the steering wheel that’s loose. Have to take it apart and the pin is kinda loose. What then?

  3. You’ve helped me so much in fixing my vehicles. I hope your making good $ on YouTube

  4. Awesome video! Had it fixed in 10 minutes. Found the t30 on the floorboard and couldn't see where it went. It shifts into park again.
    Thank you!

  5. Hi Chris! Can you do something like this in a standard or comventional manual transmission car? Sedan type would definitely do.. thanks im advance!

  6. All my torx screws are tight I have new plunger ,bushings and new shift handle ,but yet have tons of slop still in the shift handle itself kinda confused I used all doorman products help please thanks

  7. I have 2008 Tahoe and I don't know how to fix looseness of the shifter. It will lock in place but maybe there is a spring broken or something inside it. Hope u understand that.

  8. God bless you, child ! You got this one eyed 78 yr old koot to git'r fixed. Even swept out the floor while I was down there. Now to look in to the broke OD button/wire in the lever. Thank you much.

  9. This was exactly my problem on a 2001 Ford F-150! I thought I was going to have to have some transmission work done and then I found this post…I didn’t even finish watching the video…went right outside and within 5 minutes it was fixed! Thank you thank you!

  10. Found this for my issue late at night. Dying to try it out to see if it fixes my issue

  11. Mega thanks to you sir
    I was sitting in a customers driveway waiting for triple A when i found your video to find out how to fix my problem and I got my truck working in seconds thanks to you

  12. Hey Chris I got a 94 Ford Tempo I just watched your video. My shift cable is lose on the floor column shift does not engage gears. I thought it might be a bushing, I'll check the gear shift under hood and all.

  13. Hey Chris I was trying to find a video closer to the problem I'm having. I recently took out my 03 4.0l sohc Ford ranger engine due to broken timing chain guids. Long story short the truck shut off and did not want to start it was weird because just the fan and belt was turning but the engine sound like it wasnt doing nothing like there was no compression or something. My mechanic told me over the phone that it must of jumped time. Well now that im looking at it I noticed some loose rocker arms any help please!!??

  14. I have 1994 f150 pu. A screw that looks like what you showed being loose fell and hit my leg. And my shifter does what you were saying, is it most likely that area I should look at or the shifter tube, I can't get it into park and have to start it what looks like 2nd it's probably neutral, any advise

  15. Hey Chris how about if your missing the small pin that goes where the cable is I can send you some pictures

  16. Thank you so much for the video after fanangaling my huge self into position I fixed a problem I’ve had forever. One bolt was nearly all the way backed out

  17. i am going to try this I am hoping this is how to fix my shifter Thanks

  18. Huh? NO!!! My gearshift is not working! (CLICK) Here we go now! (Beep) Hey guys ChrisFix here!

  19. What process should I take if both screws are so loose one fell out and now the gear shifting arm hangs limp

  20. Do you have to lay on your back to see them? I can’t figure this out lmao.

  21. The instructions was spot on, the quality was excellent, the outcome worked to perfection. Thank you for taking the time to share your work.

  22. Thanks for the tip fixed my truck in 5 minutes both screws/ bolts were falling out .

  23. I have a 97 Explorer 3.0, mine has done this a long time. Last week I found one of these torx head screws in the floorboard. Thanks for the video . Now wondering if the shift tube bushing in the steering column is bad also ….

  24. I have 2007 Chevy impala gear shift stuck on park and the shifter is on the side of the steering wheel column

  25. That is not a little bit of threadlock. Lol. A little goes a long way. I feel bad for the person that has to take that out in the future.

  26. Do you think that could be my problem, My mom passed and this was your car, when I try to start it I get nothing, it’s like the shift is not recognizing that it in park, if I fiddle with it sometimes it will start, thanks

  27. Thank you for the quick fix! You made an annoying issue an easy fix and repair.

  28. Got a 2001 dodge ram 1500 drove it to my fishing spot the other day an went to get out an put the truck into park but it will not go into reverse or into park at all just a dead stop but shifts from neutral to drive to 2nd to 1st just fine just will not go past reverse or into park ne ideas an tryed to shift it on the trans by hand an with everything hooked up it will not shift to r or into park still

  29. Could this also stop my truck from bumping into neutral when i hit a small pot hole?

  30. This was probably the most helpful video I’ve ever found definitely works and would definitely recommend for anyone with 97-03 f150

  31. Thanks,this was problem on my E-150.Much harder to get to though.On top of column.Only very little access through front of dash.

  32. I have the exact same truck i dont know what im doing wrong but mines is extra loose can change gears at all

  33. Hey bud ! Your videos helped me out alot with my 99 mercury mountaineer! I saved thousands of $ THANKS !

  34. So I have a question. My dad's bronco had the same issue but it's the part that the bracket bolts into that needs replace. What's that part called?

  35. My 2001 Ranger has not been this solidly shifting in years. Nice Video…

  36. Thank you so much, that is one less issue I just resolved in under 5 mins on my 99 Ford Windstar. A local mechanic wanted $85 for labor and tried to convince me I needed some new parts to fix that problem and it was just those two screws the whole time. I just need to resolve my cluster instrument box on my dash for fluctuating gauges and I should be able to pass state inspection now. Thanks a bunch for that.

  37. I tightened both screws but my shifter is still loose and tough to switch gears, thinking it might bushings or something to that nature, any advice?

  38. The gear selector on my dream truck is loose! Need to fix it! (Click) Let's do it! (Clip activates) Hey guys ChrisFix here!

  39. It would be nice to know what torque bit or star bit you used. I guess I'm the only one in the comment section that doesn't have one. I had to buy a 40 for my seat belts, but that is smaller. Would love to know what to ask for. Thanks

  40. Watching your video just helped me so much thank you so much for this 💪🏽

  41. Similar issue in my c10 but it’s cycles through the gears with no clicking at each gear (th350) is there a deeper problem inside the trans?

  42. I have a 2000 Mazda b3000 and I looked at the linkage and one of those bolts is missing

  43. Where do you live. I have a few vehicles that need regular care which I used to do before handicap injuries. And I do NOT trust local shops.

  44. Just did this on my 2001 Ford Econoline E350 cargo van. The results were amazing. Ive been dealing with this loose shifter for probably 6 years and this past year it got worse to the point of not staying in park and starting to roll which was very dangerous.. The Vans have way less space to get a screwdriver in there so i had to so it with drill bit extender and just tightened as much as I could. Thx for the info

  45. This was exactly what was wrong with my 1999 F150. It also affects starting because the shifter has to be in Park to activate the start switch. Fixed it 10 minutes. Thank you for this video.

  46. this should have more views because its a common problem. reupload it in 2019!

  47. Been searching for right video,believe its yours, 63 Ford falcon with exact issue, wouldn't start because wasn't in park like I thought it was, started rolling back too,went to start,just shuddered and shut down,had to hold shift arm in exact park area,finally started, I'll follow break pedal up see if I can find those bolts,lots of play like yours too,thanks for help

  48. This was my problem on a 2000 Ford Explorer and this was all I had to do! I’ve been cranking this suv in neutral for over a month with the sloppy shifting and now it’s like new. Thanks!

  49. So if it's broken where the screw goes into do I have to replace that hole piece?

  50. Its 2019 and I still have my 2000 Expedition. I lent my expi to a buddy of mine and he broke this nut. And I was able to fix this. Thanks a bunch.

  51. Either A. Chris was tired Or B. Wasn’t energetic as today

    Either way, my mother has a column shifter in her truck, so I showed her this and it helped her

  52. I got the same year Windstar and recently I found that if you disasemble the upper cover of the steering wheel by removing the ignition column (key), there is a little gear that calibrates de red.mark.on the cluster.

  53. 97 Ford Expedition. Awesome. Thanks. Very easy to fix after viewing your video. No special tools other than torx 30.

  54. I have a 2001 Chevy s10 blazer and the column shifter is super tight and it is hard to shift between reverse neutral and drive i was wondering if i can just loosen those bolts a tad bit or do i need to replace the shifter cable entirely

  55. Big time ford problem.. Every econoline i ever owned had this problem. Thanks for the info

  56. I almost the same problem with my 1999 chevy s10 except the shifter is not loose. the gear indicator doesn't change from neutral to drive.

  57. I laugh in manual transmission.
    Edit:

    That is until the slave cylinder, clutch, or clutch pedal bushing breaks. Then I'm just pissed off.

  58. I actually had one of my screws fall out and lost. Any idea was size/ spec of screw I need to find?

  59. Chris we did it again you saved me a lot of money thank you so much i was hoping you had a video on this subject your videos are so easy to follow.

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