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Q: why is the indicator for the shift free to move whenthe trans is in gear on 1997 Lincoln Town Car

there appears to be some play in the system
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There was a recall on your vehicle with regards to your specific problem. Information follows:

1997 Lincoln TOWN-CAR Recall Item Affected: POWER TRAIN:AUTOMATIC TRANSMISSION:LEVER AND LINKAGE:COLUMN SHIFT
Date Announced: 10/16/1999

Description of Recall:
INCORRECT BOLTS WERE USED IN THE TRANSMISSION LINKAGE ADJUSTMENT MECHANISM. CONSEQUENCE OF DEFECT: THE TRANSMISSION GEAR SHIFT SELECTOR LEVER ON THE STEERING COLUMN WOULD BE ON THE WRONG TRANSMISSION FUNCTION. SHOULD THIS OCCUR, THE DRIVER WOULD FIND THEIR CAR IN A GEAR OTHER THAN THE ONE INDICATED BY SHIFT LEVER INDICATOR. THIS COULD CAUSE AN ACCIDENT IF THE CAR IS LEFT UNATTENDED.

Action Needed To Fix It:
REPLACE THE SHIFT LINKAGE TRUNNION, GROMMET AND ADJUSTMENT BOLT.

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