Well, I just came up with a broken shift cable on my 1998 Taurus, 3.0 L auto trans, Duratec engine.
The inner cable broke off in the engine compartment. The cable housing also is broken there, and is probably why the cable broke: pushing a noodle, it flexed too much and broke at the place where the solid link is crimped on.
1. Does the cable / housing come as a unit?
2. I have the console covers removes enough to disconnect the cable end and housing in the passenger compartment. I can see the cable disappearing under the carpet on top of the hump heading for the firewall. How much of the interior must I remove to be able to R&R the cable & hoousing?
3. The places (both ends) on the housing where the housing is anchored are large and square. They push in to slot-shaped brackets to anchor the cable housing ends. Are these removable, or is the hole in the firewall big enough to push the cable housing ends through?
4. I am having trouble disconnecting the cable housing anchor from its' bracket in the engine compartment. How is this done? Any pictures available as to how this thing is snapped into the bracket?
Thanks for any tips.
Fixed it today, and was able to answer my own questions. So, here is the scoop for changing a shift cable on a 1996 3.0L Duratec with auto trans, floor shift:
1. The shift cable comes as an assembled unit with inner cable, outer cable housing, housing anchor molded parts, cable ends, firewall grommet, and a short length of heat insulation for where it passes close to the engine. All assembled. Caution: One part from the old assembly needs to be either replaced or salvaged and re-used. That is the white clip that connects the engine compartment end cable anchor to the cable anchor bracket. It is a loose part, in order to reduce the size of junk you have to route through the firewall hole. Be careful in removing it. Push the tabs on R & L side of the clip towards the firewall, to disengage the buttons from the holes, then lift the clip and cable anchor out of the bracket carefully. Remove the clip and set it aside. Or go get a new one from the sealer. The cable assy was ~$98 at the dealer, cheaper than any others I found. No aftermarket replacements that I could find.
2. Here is how much interior to remove:
a.) Take out the ashtray/ cigarette lighter thing from the front of the console, forward of the shift lever. Pep Boys site has good photo instruction for this trim removal step. Unplug the cig lighter from the console wall (passenger side) to clear the ash tray assy. You will have to put the shifter in low (all the way back) to get clearence. And remove the negative battery cable, to stop that annoying beep beep beep sound, since the key is in the ignition and ON, in order to shift.
b.) Now you have a nice hole to look down and find the shift cable. There are two control cables. One, the shift indicator repeater cable, has a red attachment anchor that pivots. Leave it alone. The other is attached right to the shifter, and it is kind of hidden by the floor shift indicator panel. Do not bother removing the panel. The cable end comes off by snapping towards the driver side. It is a simple compression fit, no clips. the cable housing anchor has a cast-in clip. Use a tweaker or scratch awl to push the button through the anchor bracket to release, then slide the anchor up.
c.) In order to clear the pathway for cable routing, you can remove all of the center trim and fron carpeting. I didn't. I popped one push fastener on the drivers' side carpet, and peeled it back to the tunnel. Reaching in through the console, and laying on my side/stomach on the drivers side, I split the carpet and padding down the center of the tunnel, back to the partial split where the shift cable disappears under the carpet. then I peeled one fold of carpet back from the center top of the tunnel (under the center console / dash) on both sides, so the top of the tunnel would be exposed from firewall to shift cable.
d) only it wasnt. The air duct for the rear seat center console vent is on top of the tunnel. It splits in a wye into two smaller ducts, right & left. The shift cable disappears under the V formed in the split duct, then forward to the firewall.
e.) So I also had to peel back some of the rubbery sound insulation that was between the duct and the tunnel itself, because the shift cable dove under this insulation, and was too tight to route the new cable through.
3. On the engine compartment side, the cable was broken, so it was freed up as soon as I removed the anchor clip mentioned in step 1, above. Remove the engine air filter cover and air duct to get a lot more visability. The new cable assy has the firewall grommet molded over the cable housing, so the proceedure is to poke out the old grommet from the passenger side through the firewall into the engine compartment, and pull the whole mess out through the fire wall to the engine compartment.
4. Take the new cable inside, and wire the engine side cable end to the old passenger side cable end. Use the old cable as a pull wire for the new cable assy. I needed a friend for the pulling step.
5. The guy in the engine compartment lays over the intake manifold from the front of th ecar with left hand under the intake manifold, behind the distributor, and on the cable to be removed, near the firewall. The right hand is reaching across the intake, and down to the engine side cable end near the TRS
/ neutral Selector switch box, which is just under the air intake tube, a little closer to the firewall. Pull with right hand and wedge, twist, pull with left hand while your friend in the passenger compartment pushes the cable. It will get stuck or wedged at every fat place in the cable assy as it tries to pass under the V of the split duct. the gyt inside has to poke and prod and wedge the duct up with a screwdriver, and also help each piece of assembly through the tight places. The worst part to get through was the largest - the grommet. The replacement grommet is torpedo shaped in the front, with a groove and typical flat side on the passenger side. It ends up getting wedged under the duct, and the cable comes through it. So the grommet has to be pushed and prodded up to the firewall, then wiggled and poked with a screwdriver until it is in.
6. The old cable effectively rerouted your new cable in the original calbe route. so just anchor the cable housing in the engine, push the shift arm on the transmission all the way forward into park, loosely connect the engine side slotted cable end to the manual shift arm on the transmission, go inside and anchor the cable housing to the bracket, Put the shifter in Park, then push on the inside cable end onto its bulb on the shifter mechanism.
7. Put the trans in Neutral, then go in front and tighten down on the engine side cable end. If the indicators were properly adjusted before the cble broke, this should get you back into adjustment. Start the car, and make sure Park indicates park and is in Park (and starts). Do the same in Neutral.
8. Put back the carpet and ash tray and you are golden!
7. To adjust the cable so the transmission is in Park when the indicator says so,