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Old 05-06-2006, 11:02   #1 (permalink)
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Heard a snap as I shifted gear- can't shift out of Park

Went to put the 92 Merc Grand Marq in REVERSE last night. "SNAP!" Then the gearshift handle went floppy in my hand. I have not take anything apart yet-still reading on how to procede without getting an airbag in my face.

What the Heck happened? Did I throw a "e-retainer" or worse? Anyone else have this happen?

Thanks,

Ed
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Old 05-06-2006, 15:37   #2 (permalink)
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Re: Heard a snap as I shifted gear- can't shift out of Park

I never had it happen, but I can almost guarantee you broke this shifter handle or the retaining pin. Don't even take the wheel off- just pull the plastic covers (five or six screws from the under side) and you can access everything that way. You'll see what I'm talking about- follow this shifter handle down into the steering column and you'll find whatever broke.

Good luck and keep us posted.
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Old 05-06-2006, 20:56   #3 (permalink)
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Re: Heard a snap as I shifted gear- can't shift out of Park

Freshmeat, Thanks for the tip. So here is what I found:

1. On the 92 Grand Marquis there is a panel about two feet long under the steering wheel column housing. It is a puzzle to figure to get off. There are two screws at the bottom end. Then there are 3 bolts at the top behind the "wooden" trim inlay. To get the inlay off just pry one end out with a screw driver blade- the prongs will pop out, allowing access to the bolts.

The tilt wheel lever must be turned out with about a 3/16" box wrench. Then there are 3 philips screws under the column housing. Remove these the there is one more screw at the rearmost right lower housing. Back it out then wiggle the lower half free.

The upper half has a few tricky moves: Remove the ignition key plug by inserting a drift or nail into the release hole. Push the nail against the spring loaded pin- the hole is located a couple of inches left of where the key is inserted- in a pot metal housing- next to the screw you removed on the lower housing right side nearest you. As you apply the mail to the pin you must turn the ignition key in the lock to the start position then pull on the silver keyway straight out- it will likely catch on the plastic housing in the upper half- so wiggle a little.

Insert the tilt lever a few turns so that you can tilt the wheel downward to facilitate the removal of the upper half. When it is all but clear give it a brisk tug to free it.

Now if your shift lever is suffering the same malady as mine you will see that the white bracket that holds the gear selector wire (PRNDL) is snapped in two. The plastic only takes so much abuse- I think it is mostly from using the gear shift lever to release the parking brake instead of depressing the e-brake pedal.

Anyway I have to run over to the wrecking yard in the morning to see if I can save a trip to the dealer desk.

Tip: count the number of threads exposed on the wheel bracket to make the install go faster. The wheel is used to "dial-in" the selector for the "PRNDL".

Hope this helps- email me if it does.

Ed
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Old 05-07-2006, 09:23   #4 (permalink)
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Re: Heard a snap as I shifted gear- can't shift out of Park

I don't remember it being that complicated to remove the steering assembly in my father's '90 and I'm pretty sure they're basically the same. Oh, well- I've been known to tear into things and put it all back together perfectly and not remember a single thing about the process. LoL

Good luck getting it all situated. Let us know how it turns out.
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Old 05-07-2006, 22:12   #5 (permalink)
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Re: Heard a snap as I shifted gear- can't shift out of Park

I have fixed this problem twice on my taxi The problem you are having is the shift tube cracked. There is a tube and a plunger that run down the upper right hand side of the steering column. This is attached to the shifter the pin goes into the plunger. Any way if you already have that lower cover off remove the brace that goes across below the steering column. Remove the two upper steering column bolts and loosen the lower ones almost till they are out. The column will drom down and you will be able to see the tube it has 3 or 4 u-shaped clamps holding it down with torx screws if I remember correctly take them all out and you can pull the tube out. The first time I bought a whole steering column because I didn't know any better. The second time I went to the dealer which is what I recommend I think it was like $35 for the 2 pieces and it has'nt broken. Just be careful not to damage the little arm that the shift indicator cable attaches to I havent had mine working for about a 1.5 yr.
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