Steering Column Shift Lever no longer connected to Transmission! - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 08:51 PM Thread Starter
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Steering Column Shift Lever no longer connected to Transmission!

2004 Taurus, Vulcan, 203K miles
My column shifter suddenly stopped operating.
Just flops around.
I can start the car, set the emergency brake. Shift it into gear at the quadrant under the hood on top of the tranny and drive normally but not so easy to reverse!
Nothing obviously wrong at the transmission, everything seems to be properly connected.
Is this a common problem?
How do I fix it?
All help and advice is much appreciated, John Kenneth
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-25-2019, 09:36 PM
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Sounds like either the actuator or the cable has let go

It's SHO time!


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Last edited by jag1959; 06-25-2019 at 09:49 PM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 11:30 AM Thread Starter
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Update - And, best source for Cable?

I have no choice but to drive the car. Here are a couple of observations:
Start the car in Park
Foot on brake and move shift lever to drive. (shift lever is loose, obviously not connected to anything)
Set emergency brake.
Open hood and move quadrant on top of transmission clockwise.
Don't stand in front of the car! and if starting from cold let the idle slow down first!
Close hood, release Em brake and drive normally. Until you get to your destination in which case you need to plan ahead!
Here's where it gets more interesting:
Move the shift lever back one notch (Neutral)
Now the shift lever has resistance, it's obviously working.
Move it back another notch (Reverse). It selects reverse and you can back up the car.
But it won't work the other way, can't select Drive, have to repeat the Em brake process.

So what I assume is this:
Cable must be broken, it won't pull the quadrant. IE, won't work in tension.
But it will push the quadrant. IE. it works in compression.

So looks like I have to change out the cable, seems to be conflicting information out there about the process which varies with the year. I will post my findings.

Anyone recommend where to source the cable??
Thanks, John Kenneth
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 12:51 PM
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^ Pick-n-pull jy?
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 02:32 PM
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^^^^^ +1...... Cable is a rare fail, so JY would be a great source.

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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-28-2019, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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Thanks, now I know exactly what to do.
I live in an ideal location! 15 minutes from Harbor Freight and 25 minutes from Pick N Pull.
Usually a good selection of Taurus's but they rotate them quickly too.
Also, cars are raised up, ideal height to work on something like this.
And you get to practice on someone else's car so when you have your part you also know how to fix your own car.
Downside, it's mid 90's and high humidity in Coastal Carolina right now and the Taurus's are at least a 1/4 mile dusty trek with your tools. Will post a report when done. Thanks again, John Kenneth
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 06:54 PM
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I'd love to see a picture of where this quadrant is located if you're able to upload one. Just very curious. TIA!
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:23 PM Thread Starter
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Picture

Start the car.
Apply the brake.
Move the shift lever to drive.
Make sure the emergency brake is well applied.
Grab the lever in the photo and turn it clockwise to the right to select drive.
Don't stand in front of the car.
Use a rag or glove, all those parts are hot after the car has been running.
Regret I don't always use the right terminology. I think the "quadrant" is called the range sensor.
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-29-2019, 08:56 PM
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^+1 on the trs. Aka nss and mlps.
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-30-2019, 12:36 PM
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Not sure on your car, but on the gen 2s there is a bracket where the cable attaches at the column shift tube. There are 2 screws that will loosen and or fall out where the bracket attaches to the tube. Kinda hard to get to them by lying on floorboard, but I was able to tighten them up. Found this in search 03 Taurus, I think. Bracket is in figure 24. bushings could also be worn out in figure 29. HTH
https://www.taurusclub.com/encycloped...ringColumn.pdf
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