C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly - Ford Muscle Forums : Ford Muscle Cars Tech Forum
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post #1 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 07:35 AM Thread Starter
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C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

Hey Guys-- New to the forum but I was told this was the place to go to get some good advice. I've searched around but can't really get an answer based on my particular situation. I have a 73 Mustang Mach 1 with a 3 speed C4 automatic. I have never done any type of work on the transmission at all.

I've had the car for about 6 months and have driven it at least a few times a week since, with no transmission or shifting issues at all. The other day, I was out in the car for a bit, everything was fine, but when I get home and pull into the garage, I can't move the shifter into Park, it just stops and won't go past reverse. I put the car in neutral, apply the e-brake, and let it sit.

Next day I try with with same result. I drive the car a bit and it gets through all the gears fine, but when I come back to the garage this time, it will now not shift into Park or reverse; the shifter now just won't move past Neutral.

Is this just an issue with the shift linkage? Or something more serious? I really haven't been under the car yet, mostly bc Im not exactly sure what to look for?

Thanks in advance for any thoughts!
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post #2 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-08-2015, 10:37 AM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

Welcome to the Forums, Awiz88. I would first attempt to isolate the issue as either internal or external to the transmission, by crawling (safely) under and detaching the linkage at the trans shift lever/arm. If the trans can be placed into R or P manually at that point, you know it's external (linkage/shifter). If it won't, it's a trans issue, and the valve body and internal parking pawl linkage would be the next targets.

David

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post #3 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 12:28 PM Thread Starter
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by PSIG View Post
Welcome to the Forums, Awiz88. I would first attempt to isolate the issue as either internal or external to the transmission, by crawling (safely) under and detaching the linkage at the trans shift lever/arm. If the trans can be placed into R or P manually at that point, you know it's external (linkage/shifter). If it won't, it's a trans issue, and the valve body and internal parking pawl linkage would be the next targets.

David
So today I did some checking. I first removed the shift plate and the shift handle to make sure nothing got wedged in there, which there wasn't. Next, jacked the car up and got underneath. I'm not exactly sure what I would be looking for, but I disconnected the linkage from the shifter itself, got up and put the shifter into park, and then got back underneath and reattached the linkage, which just barely fit back on. Got out, and now the transmission will shift from park, to R, to N, to D, but now just won't shift down into 1 or 2. It's like there is just something from just stopping it for the 1st 2 or last 2 gears. I took a few pics so maybe someone could tell me what to try next. One is of the linkage from the shifter to the transmission body itself ( just not sure what I'd be doing here lol), and the other is a linkage from the transmission to the steering column (again, not really sure what I am looking for here)

Any help or next steps would be appreciated!

Thanks Guys!
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post #4 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 03:33 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

With the linkage disconnected are you able to get all gear positions at the transmission?

If so you have a problem in the steering column.

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post #5 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 05:26 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by Stuarta View Post
With the linkage disconnected are you able to get all gear positions at the transmission?

If so you have a problem in the steering column.
If the car had the stock shifter you may have a broken cable that goes from the buttom down to the shifter detent! I had this happen to me
when this happens if the car is ni gear it will shift to the neutral then hit the notch and won't go past! if the tranny is in park when the cable brakes brakes the car will not come out of park. the only fix ids to change the shifter!
Stuarta He said the car is a mustang they all have a floor shifter!
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post #6 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:10 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by MY TWO STANGS View Post
If the car had the stock shifter you may have a broken cable that goes from the buttom down to the shifter detent! I had this happen to me
when this happens if the car is ni gear it will shift to the neutral then hit the notch and won't go past! if the tranny is in park when the cable brakes brakes the car will not come out of park. the only fix ids to change the shifter!
Stuarta He said the car is a mustang they all have a floor shifter!

If you look at one photo it shows steering column.

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post #7 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-10-2015, 08:35 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuarta View Post
If you look at one photo it shows steering column.
That is the first mustang I ever seen with a column but yes your right his pictures show the steering Column with the linkage on it! Is this car from some were besides North America!
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post #8 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 04:16 AM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by MY TWO STANGS View Post
That is the first mustang I ever seen with a column but yes your right his pictures show the steering Column with the linkage on it! Is this car from some were besides North America!
One photo shows a steering column while the other shows definite floor linkage. I am not sure what is going on.

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post #9 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 07:48 AM Thread Starter
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by Stuarta View Post
One photo shows a steering column while the other shows definite floor linkage. I am not sure what is going on.
Did you read my post? I'm trying to figure out where to look to help solve the problem for my shifter not being able to hit either the top 2 gears (R & P) or bottom two (1 & 2) depending on how I have adjusted the linkage at the shifter.

Any other ideas?
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post #10 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 10:03 AM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by awiz88 View Post
Did you read my post? I'm trying to figure out where to look to help solve the problem for my shifter not being able to hit either the top 2 gears (R & P) or bottom two (1 & 2) depending on how I have adjusted the linkage at the shifter.

Any other ideas?
Yes we have several times.


One of your photos show a floor shift linkage.
The other shows a steering column linkage.

Did you read one of my responses?

If you remove the shifter at the transmission can you select all ranges?
If so you have a problem with the shifter.

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post #11 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 10:10 AM Thread Starter
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

Quote:
Originally Posted by Stuarta View Post
Yes we have several times.


One of your photos show a floor shift linkage.
The other shows a steering column linkage.

Did you read one of my responses?

If you remove the shifter at the transmission can you select all ranges?
If so you have a problem with the shifter.

Ok so here is where I am confused. When you say remove the shifter at the transmission and try to select all ranges -- I'm not sure how to do that? In the pic of the transmission I posted, do I remove that whole unit (in the red circle) to be able to try and shift through the gears manually?


I included a pic of the steering column because in the 73's(from what I am told) there is a lockout mechanism connected from the tranny to the steering column. Another forum told me to disconnect that to see if it solved my problem, which it did not.
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post #12 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 01:07 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

Quote:
Originally Posted by awiz88 View Post
Ok so here is where I am confused. When you say remove the shifter at the transmission and try to select all ranges -- I'm not sure how to do that? In the pic of the transmission I posted, do I remove that whole unit (in the red circle) to be able to try and shift through the gears manually?
Yes. I think you are thinking about this too hard. As I said:
Quote:
Originally Posted by PSIG View Post
... I would first attempt to isolate the issue as either internal or external to the transmission, by crawling (safely) under and detaching the linkage at the trans shift lever/arm. If the trans can be placed into R or P manually at that point, you know it's external (linkage/shifter). If it won't, it's a trans issue, and the valve body and internal parking pawl linkage would be the next targets. ...
So, simply disconnect the shifter linkage rod from the transmission shift arm at the point shown in the red circle of the 1st photo. I know, it's a C6 in that photo, but it's generally the same on a C4. Once the shift linkage is disconnected, you should be able to move the transmission's little shift arm by hand, to select any and all gears. Can you do that?

David

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post #13 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-11-2015, 01:52 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

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Originally Posted by PSIG View Post
Yes. I think you are thinking about this too hard. As I said:
So, simply disconnect the shifter linkage rod from the transmission shift arm at the point shown in the red circle of the 1st photo. I know, it's a C6 in that photo, but it's generally the same on a C4. Once the shift linkage is disconnected, you should be able to move the transmission's little shift arm by hand, to select any and all gears. Can you do that?

David


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post #14 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 03:14 PM Thread Starter
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

Quote:
Originally Posted by PSIG View Post
Yes. I think you are thinking about this too hard. As I said:
So, simply disconnect the shifter linkage rod from the transmission shift arm at the point shown in the red circle of the 1st photo. I know, it's a C6 in that photo, but it's generally the same on a C4. Once the shift linkage is disconnected, you should be able to move the transmission's little shift arm by hand, to select any and all gears. Can you do that?

David
Ok so finally was able to do this. I was only able to get three clicks, which means its only shifting though 4 gears (P,R,N,D I assume?) Here is a link to a vid just so you guys can let me know if that looks/sounds right, as I said before Transmissions are completely new to me. Maybe time to take it to the shop? https://youtu.be/9UVr7U7aHyE

Thanks in advance
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post #15 of 47 (permalink) Old 05-13-2015, 09:44 PM
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Re: C4 won't shift into reverse or park suddenly

From your first description, it sounds like R-N-D-2, but it doesn't matter really. The point is that you now know the primary problem is in the transmission. The issue is either in the shift spool or the parking pawl linkage. If you are the type that can do an oil change, it is not a big deal to drop the pan and take a look, and is the same procedure as a fluid and filter change. While you are in there, take a look at the linkage going into the transmission and just inside, for how and why it is binding. When you drop the pan, you can see about half of the internal linkage, and it may have simply popped a clip off the linkage, where the fix is 15 and 2 minutes to replace it. If the linkage is binding at the rear, you would have to remove the extension housing, taking about another 30 minutes and a gasket to do.

You may want to consider doing the fluid and filter change so you can check yourself, as some transmission shops and mechanics will charge you a lot for that 15 clip, if they don't also charge you for a rebuild you probably don't need. If that's not it, the problem may still be obvious and you can still handle it yourself if you can see the problem. If you drop the pan, let us know what you find, and perhaps some photos if you can.

David

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