Trans shifter stuck in Reverse

Ilikemy3s

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
298
Well my day has not started well. Drove the 40 miles to work as usual and no issues. Pulled into parking garage and found spot to pull into. Went to put truck into reverse to back truck up so as to evenly park., and shifter did not feel right. Tried to take it back out of revere and the shifter was stuck. Would not go into park or down into neutral or drive. ?!. And I was only half into the spot and half into the isle. WTF . I was able to back the truck into another spot opposite of the one I was origially trying to park into. I was able to set parking brake, turn the motor off and remove the key, but the shifter is still in Reverse. Obviously I cant restart the truck cause it is not in Park or Neutral. WTF. I am think perhaps the neutral safety switch went? Thoughts?
 
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christo829

Platinum Donor
Dec 7, 2011
436
Fairfax, Virginia
So you can't move the shift handle, or the truck isn't doing what the shift handle is supposed to be telling it to do? If you can't move the shift handle, that sounds like the interlock may have failed. If you can move the handle but the truck doesn't care, first thing I'd look at is the cable/bushing. Mine failed between backing out of a parking space and shifting to go forward. Lucky for me it actually let go in neutral....and there was an auto parts store down the road.

If it's the cable, you can block the wheels and/or have someone sit on the brake while you slide under and move the shift arm on the transmission manually so you can at least maneuver the vehicle a little.

If it's the shifter handle itself not moving, you will probably have to open up the console to figure out what's going on.

Good Luck!

Chris
 
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Ilikemy3s

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
298
Well my day has not started well. Drove the 40 miles to work as usual and no issues. Pulled into parking garage and found spot to pull into. Went to put truck into reverse to back truck up so as to evenly park., and shifter did not feel right. Tried to take it back out of revere and the shifter was stuck. Would not go into park or down into neutral or drive. ?!. And I was only half into the spot and half into the isle. WTF . I was able to back the truck into another spot opposite of the one I was origially trying to park into. I was able to set parking brake, turn the motor off and remove the key, but the shifter is still in Reverse. Obviously I cant restart the truck cause it is not in Park or Neutral. WTF. I am think perhaps the neutral safety switch went? Thoughts?

update : went back out to parking garage, started truck and verified I can NOT heat the click of the switch when i hit the break pedal. So hoping that is it. Just dont know how to work on it while it is parked there. Called local garage I have used before to see if they can get to it.
 
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christo829

Platinum Donor
Dec 7, 2011
436
Fairfax, Virginia
There's a release lever for the shifter that you might be able to use to temporarily get the truck in/out of gear. Hopefully someone can post the location, as I'm not coming up with the diagram at the moment. If no-one passes it along before I get to work, I'll try to look it up there and post it. I recall it being down towards the base of the shift lever, under the rubber boot, but it'd be good to have a visual reference.

Maybe your brake switch went bad, or the shift solenoid is stuck, or there's a bad ground to it that's leaving it inactivated.
 
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Ilikemy3s

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
298
I am guessing the brake switch itself works as I can see the reflection of the brake lights on the wall of the spot I backed up into Also I wasn NOT able to start the truck, but the key did turn to on position that I would normally be able to move the shifter.
 

Blckshdw

Likes lights and stuff
Moderator
Nov 20, 2011
10,286
Tampa Bay Area, FL
The shifter release button is next to the wire harness plug. I took this pic when I had to replace the upper bushing.

Edit: The only way I can see you getting to it, without pulling the console, is to get in the passenger side footwell, pull the bottom of the console out and try and slip your hand up to get a finger tip on it.

20190616_174843.jpg
 
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Ilikemy3s

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
298
update : was able to access the shifter release button .. only to have the shifter move to freely to make my worse fear true ,.,, the linkage is popped off somewhere. Want to pull the console to find out, but with 100 degree temps and in a parking garage with very little air movement, I am letting it sit here over the weekend and will try again on Monday. My son is on his way to pick me up now.
 

christo829

Platinum Donor
Dec 7, 2011
436
Fairfax, Virginia
Can you get a look underneath to see if the cable bushing or the plastic retention sleeve have given up?
Hopefully it's something as relatively straightforward as that, and the cable was just binding someplace after it came loose from the shift pawl. That might be temporarily patchable until you can come up with a more proper fix.
 

Ilikemy3s

Active Member
Original poster
Dec 3, 2011
298
All great advice. I will keep everyone posted as I got a ride home from my son, so I cant tackle it until i get back to work on Monday
 

Mike534x

Hobbyist
Apr 9, 2012
754
Thats pretty much what happened to me during the dead of winter. Got back from lunch, reversed into a spot and I was able to shift the truck to park and turn it off. Looked down, couldn't figure out why I couldn't remove the key. Dash showed it in reverse, but couldn't shift or restart it. Sat there thinking for a minute, crawled as far as I could underneath, and took a picture of the linkage. The bushing was just done, and the linkage was sitting against the tranny pan. I wasn't aware the bushing was sold at a auto parts store, it was -5 out and I said f*ck it and had the shop that services our fleet change out the shifter linkage + cable for $230. I would've just done it myself, but time/frustration/just wanting the truck back for weekend use overtook the "oh $20 bucks to fix this? sure why not".
 

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