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Q: Hard to move automatic gear shift that is inside of cab on colum. on 2002 Ford Ranger

I am having difficulty in moving the gear selector from park to D2. I disconnected the cable at the transmission under the vehicle and there was no resistance what so ever. I then moved the linkage bar on the transmission itself by hand when the cable was disconnected and i could move it. Someone told me that it mat be the transmission sensor attached to the linkage and that the plastic sensor may have too much around it to shift properly? Or could it be the cable? Thank you for your help.

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Possible or most likely binding 'inside' the netural safety switch that's behind the trans. linkage. I think that is what you called the sensor. They give some trouble from time to time!! You could move it by hand but with the cable attached it may bind up at some point from P to D2.
Thank you for your reply and the clarification of what the part is called. I will pick one and install it. Any tips on the install? I know to disconnect the battery, also to put the truck in neutral. Unbolt the nut to the linkage, disconnect the wire harness and to take off the two bolts holding the switch. One question when i put the switch in is there anything specific i should line up? Thank you so much for the help.

It's pretty straightfoward, just apply park brake first thing!! It may be tight coming off, spray it good with some Pb blaster or WD-40 then let it sit for awhile. Maybe do that now then again in the morning and before starting work on it! The more the better.
Now you don't have to worry much about the old switch, couple of screwdrivers and pry it working it back and forth, until it will come off. Note the grove in the shaft and align the new switch center to match, clean up and lube the shaft a bit before install. Easy as you go when putting new part on! Find a deepwell socket that is exactly the right size to push on by hand to help seat the new switch. Also mark or note the position of the slots to bollts on the old switch!!!! Install new one in the same position. Just take your time, it aint that bad!
I have seen these switches lock up and shifter would not move at all. So i think we are on the right track!
Thank you, you have given me some very good advice, much appreciated. I have already soaked the old switch with PB. Hi...Just wanted to get back to you. Replaced the neutral safety switch as you instructed me to. I used a deep socket to put the new one on, good tip!! The old switch was junk. After putting the new switch in the transmission shifted like it just came off the showroom floor. Thank you for the advice. I learned something and saved some money and felt good that i did it myself. Thank you again.......Russ
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