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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Greetings all : I'm trying to determine an intermittent cause of a hard shifting from park to other positions on starting (1997 3.0 Vulcan w/AX4N). Transmission fluid completely changed after leak from line going to cooler; fluid level is good; tranny filter changed and everything cleaned out of pan & new gasket. Transmission shifts fine while driving, but upon initial shifting from park to other gears, I'm sometimes getting a very hard jolt as if the transmission hasn't properly engaged. I'm wondering if the electronic connection from the TRS, or perhaps the TRS itself, is the cause of the problem. My thinking is that once the car heats up, the heat is affecting the electronic communications from the TRS to the PCM. Once driving, no problem. Or is it possibly mechanical adjustments needed to the YRS. Any thoughts/suggestions? Thanks.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Greetings all : I'm trying to determine an intermittent cause of a hard shifting from park to other positions on starting (1997 3.0 Vulcan w/AX4N). Transmission fluid completely changed after leak from line going to cooler; fluid level is good; tranny filter changed and everything cleaned out of pan & new gasket. Transmission shifts fine while driving, but upon initial shifting from park to other gears, I'm sometimes getting a very hard jolt as if the transmission hasn't properly engaged. I'm wondering if the electronic connection from the TRS, or perhaps the TRS itself, is the cause of the problem. My thinking is that once the car heats up, the heat is affecting the electronic communications from the TRS to the PCM. Once driving, no problem. Or is it possibly mechanical adjustments needed to the YRS. Any thoughts/suggestions? Thanks.
P.S. No error codes.
 

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There is a solenoid that releases the shifter when the brake pedal is pressed. It must make the brake light switch or no way to shift. If it is just sticky but hot locked: there is a procedure for the brake light switch to be bypassed and get home. Not expected for hard to shift but: Do this. With the key OFF, turn it one position only but not to run. Then push the brake and shift to N. Brake pedal not needed but prevent car rolling. Then start. My previous '03 (old rusty) was sticky shift out of P but shifted easy when key was in first position. If this works your issue is the lock solenoid and cable to the shifter lock. This will isolate the issue. No fix that I know.
-chart-
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
There is a solenoid that releases the shifter when the brake pedal is pressed. It must make the brake light switch or no way to shift. If it is just sticky but hot locked: there is a procedure for the brake light switch to be bypassed and get home. Not expected for hard to shift but: Do this. With the key OFF, turn it one position only but not to run. Then push the brake and shift to N. Brake pedal not needed but prevent car rolling. Then start. My previous '03 (old rusty) was sticky shift out of P but shifted easy when key was in first position. If this works your issue is the lock solenoid and cable to the shifter lock. This will isolate the issue. No fix that I know.
-chart-
Thanks for that info. I was not aware of a solenoid/shift lock mechanism association tied into the brake system. Since I replaced the brake booster and master cylinder 3 months ago, which required work around the brake pedal, I will have to recheck my work and do further inspection. And I will try your suggestion too. Fingers crossed --
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Are you parking on any kind of a grade, like in a driveway? If I do that, shifting out of park can be a jolt if the parking brake was not engaged first.
I know what you're talking about, but unfortunately that isn't the issue. But your post makes me want to inspect the parking brake cable going to the rear calipers.
 

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There's a cable that connects to the shifter. At the end away from the shifter there's a solenoid. Pressing the brake pedal makes the solenoid pull the cable to release the shifter so it can be moved from Park.
This is a horrible design. It gets sticky, especially in cold weather. Ford did a design change on the cable to supposedly make it more reliable. Buy a new cable assembly and replace it, if you like taking apart quite a bit of your car. I bought a new cable assembly for my 97 LX but haven't installed it yet because it's only a problem when the weather is very cold.

No idea why Ford didn't simply put the solenoid right on the shifter, without any cable, or why they didn't use a 100% mechanical system like GM where the release cable just connects to the brake pedal. As long as the cable doesn't break (which apparently they never do), pushing the brake pedal releases the shifter. No electricity required.
 

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If this is on cold start, idle high, shift to reverse or drive, and your bull violently engages, it has to do with the accumulator internal to your transmission. My 02 has done this for 4 years, since I bought her from a salvage yard. I start mine, buckle belt, tune music. About 20 seconds after starting, fast idle has dropped, she's good. Warm it doesn't act up either. Rebuild in my future, per silver paint, it probably was in the past, but until then, just letting pressure build up b4 shifting.
 
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