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My gear shift lever is 'loose'. It wiggles back & forth. Just replaced the shift tube assembly & shift indicator.

(1999 Ford F-250 Super Duty)
in Rochester, WA on April 22, 2016
Checked the brake shift lock actuator and it's fine. Put it all back together and the gear shift lever is 'loose'. I can shift from Park to 1st without any problem....except, when it goes into any gear, it does not seem to 'stop' securely into any gear (like, lock into place). I'm at a loss for what to do now. I'm not real excited about driving it for fear it will no stay in gear. Also, my truck is a "Late 99".
Displaying 1 answer & 15 comments
Popular Answer
on April 22, 2016
If I post a YouTube video link ... Do you know how to 'copy and paste' it? .. You know how to do that?
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on April 22, 2016
Maybe....lol
I have watched several YouTube videos. I have found nothing so far that is the cause. But would like to see what you have for me to see.
on April 22, 2016
This 'may' help..▪️https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=03zSv-MfAY8▪️ .. It's a pretty common problem!
on April 22, 2016
Thank You,
I checked those already, not the problem.
Getting so incredibly irritated with this. I use that truck to make money and right now it's been down for over a week. I am afraid to drive it anywhere right now.
on April 22, 2016
Ok... No response to the answer I posted here so .. Nevermind!!! ..... I'm not interested in giving out FREE ADVICE without a simple, courteous reply, so I removed the answer!! .... For other readers... reply here for the fix .. It's not in the steering column!
on April 24, 2016
I apologize for not repling!
I have been in the hospital with my husband for emergency surgery. So although my truck is a high priority, the life of my husband seemed to be more important!
I appreciate your willingness to help and was planning on getting back into my truck in the next couple days to work on it.....pending my husband's release from the hospital and need for care when we return home.

Seems less than mature for you to remove something that could be potentially helpful to not only me but others as well because you 'assumed' I was ignoring or using you for your knowledge by not responding within 24 hours. Life happens!
on April 24, 2016
That's certainly understandable, hope everything is ok, my apologies! .. Seems we are constantly giving out useful, free advice without so much as a simple reply and that is very irritating! .... Now, I have had this problem before on Ford trucks and the culprit was actually at the transmission linkage, under truck on drivers side of transmission.. There is an adjustable connector at the end of the shift cable that hooks to the transmission linkage .. This connector has a locking tab that can be raised so adjustments can be made.. IF that locking tab becomes dislodged (pops up) then you'll have a lot of lost motion in the shifter circuit.. That is what I suspect the problem is .. *Apply parking brake*!!! .. Have a helper hold down service brake pedal and slowly shift transmission from park to low gear and back while you watch for cable movement 'without' linkage movement.. It will still shift through the gears but will feel 'sloppy' at the shif lever .. Post results for adjustment info, if needed... Hope 'everything' works out ok!!
on April 25, 2016
I will be working on this Wednesday.
Thank You
on April 25, 2016
Let me know if I can help out with the repair!
on April 25, 2016
Ok.....so let me see if I can explain this well enough to make sense.....When the shift tube broke, we were able to take the gear shift from Park to 1st with absolutely no resistance! We replaced it, replaced the gear shift indicator with cable, checked the #30 torqued, checked the shift lock actuator and replaced the column.
So here is where I am now.....truck is started, shifting from Park to Reverse, I can hear the tyranny shift into gear, same with going into Drive, Neutral, etc. Shifting into any position, now there is the normal amount of resistance. However, the gear shift lever itself will not 'set or lock' into a gear at the gear shift lever. Normally you have to pull the gear shift towards you to shift into another gear, we don't have to right now, it will go from one gear to another without stopping unless I stop it and make sure it stays in gear. The gear shift has little movement except for loose movement from the steering wheel towards the dash about 1" of sloppy movement. But not in the direction of Park to 1st. Does this make sense?
Do I still try what you mentioned above?
on April 25, 2016
Ok.....so let me see if I can explain this well enough to make sense.....When the shift tube broke, we were able to take the gear shift from Park to 1st with absolutely no resistance! We replaced it, replaced the gear shift indicator with cable, checked the #30 torqued, checked the shift lock actuator and replaced the column.
So here is where I am now.....truck is started, shifting from Park to Reverse, I can hear the tyranny shift into gear, same with going into Drive, Neutral, etc. Shifting into any position, now there is the normal amount of resistance. However, the gear shift lever itself will not 'set or lock' into a gear at the gear shift lever. Normally you have to pull the gear shift towards you to shift into another gear, we don't have to right now, it will go from one gear to another without stopping unless I stop it and make sure it stays in gear. The gear shift has little movement except for loose movement from the steering wheel towards the dash about 1" of sloppy movement. But not in the direction of Park to 1st. Does this make sense?
Do I still try what you mentioned above?
on April 25, 2016
That's one of the problems with Internet auto repair.. Sometimes it's hard to get the exact mental picture from 'typed' conversation!.. 'Free travel' in shifter longitudinal movement sounds like the 'shifter detent spring' is broken or missing.. It is supposed to keep pressure on the shift lever to lock it in place when you shift gears then let go of it .. Spring should be located behind that plate at the bottom of the shift tube that the two bolts go into, those two bolts that are in all the videos concerning a loose shifter.. Like the vid I posted previously .. ✔️ This out: ▪️http://www.justanswer.com/ford/3rq29-shifter-does-not-work-loosely-shifts-down.html▪️See the whole page!
on May 01, 2016
Hi there.
Sorry I haven't been on here. I've been in and out of the hospital with my husband.
So, I went back into the steering column and started tearing stuff down again to look for the spring you talked about......nothing. I printed out a steering column diagram and found the spring on the diagram. I went to my local ford dealer and purchased it yesterday. Going to put it in tomorrow or Tuesday. Seems weird to me that I couldn't find it under there and there was no remnants of it in the old shift tube. Ugh!
Learning what I should know.......stressful, I'm not getting if completely fixed!
I'll let you know what happens after I install the spring.
Thanks
on May 01, 2016
Hope it 'ALL' works out ok!
on May 07, 2016
Hello,
Sorry it's taken so long. Finally got my husband home permanently.
However, I did get that spring put in and it is back to normal!!! Dealership told me that even though there was grease in the olde shift tube, they don't put it in the new one, so, going with that.
Heading to Texas shortly to pick up our new to us Ford F450!!
Thank You for all your help!!!!!
on May 07, 2016
Glad to hear 'ALL' is well & You're welcome! .. Enjoy the trip & the new ride!!
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