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Q: Hard to move Gear Shift from Drive to Park on 2003 Ford Explorer

I have a 2003 Ford Explorer and it is very hard to move from any gear right of the P sign.. meaning If im in 1st, 2nd gear, Drive, Neutral, or Reverse its hard to go into park. I have to basically pull the gear shifter towards me and then up and it will finally go into park (I bought it this way). The gear shifter is on the steering column, not on the console in between the seats.
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Sounds like a binding shift cable, or a bent or damaged shifter linkage. A good phyiscal inspection by a technician is in order to see what is happening.
I'm sorry to say that a good physical inspection is in order. It's possible that your concern can be repaired by an adjustment. This would cost relatively minimal.
I have a 2002 Explorer in the shop right now, it had the same problem, now the shift selector is broken.
The cause on this was the shift interlock solenoid did not release completely. Be aware that Ford won't sell these parts separately, you need to buy the complete steering mechanism for about $1200,00.
Get your truck to a shop and ask them to diagnose the problem before the shifter will break.

Good call, Zee; i'm only familiar with the console mount shifter binding, not the column mount.
It seems to be a common problem on the Explorers. Apparently there are over 5000+ similar cases are documented if you do a search online.
My main line are the European cars, but this client has an Audi A6 and he won't trust other shops, so he asked us to repair his Ford also. Believe it or not, he had to order the solenoid from New Zealand and the broken bracket from Sweden, otherwise he had to pay over $1200 for the steering column assembly. It's interesting that you need to get parts from outside of the US for a domestic car.....

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