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  #1  
Old 02-12-2011, 02:21 PM
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park/neutral safety switch?

I have been having problems with the truck lately wanting to start...It never wants to start in park and only sometimes will start in neutral after some switching back and forth.
My more recent problem is sometimes it wont go into park...i turn the truck off, let my foot off the brake and it starts rolling.
from what i have read i assume the neutral safety switch although I am not sure. Is this my problem? If so, should i replace it or is there an adjustment on it? My indicator doesnt line up with my gears very well either.
I much appreciate any ideas.

I have a 1997 F150 with the 4.6L, auto transmission (not sure what tranny...not sure how to find out)

when it comes to transmissions, i am a complete newb and am completely lost. any help is greatly appreciated.
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  #2  
Old 02-12-2011, 10:14 PM
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The switch is now called the Transmission Range Sensor (TRS.) It cannot be the problem of not going into park.

Is your shifter handle loose and sloppy? There are two bolts underneath the steering column that holds the shifter tube to the column. These are known to loosen. This will make it hard to find the right gear, hard to find the right spot to get it to start, and hard to get it in park.

You have a 4R70W transmission. That was the only automatic that came with the 4.6L engine.
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  #3  
Old 02-13-2011, 10:07 AM
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In addition to the two Torx-headed bolts loosening, there are bushings in the shift tube that wear out and cause excessive play in the shifter linkage.

Excessive play in the shift linkage will keep the shift lever from placing the transmission fully into PARK which will also prevent the transmission from starting when you think it's in PARK.
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  #4  
Old 02-13-2011, 10:15 AM
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http://www.f150online.com/forums/art...inter-fix.html

I did this write up for the pointer alignment, but this will not help you if you have a mechanical failure or a shifter out of adjustment.
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  #5  
Old 02-13-2011, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Patman03SprCrw View Post
http://www.f150online.com/forums/art...inter-fix.html

I did this write up for the pointer alignment, but this will not help you if you have a mechanical failure or a shifter out of adjustment.
I have read your write up before...i dont have that adjustment on mine.
but yes i think i have mechanical failure.

everything yall have described seems like what I have.
where is that bushing at...and can i buy a replacement for it like at autozone or somewhere?
also, these 2 bolts that can become loose, are they accessible by looking under the dash, or is it something I will need to take the dash apart to do?
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  #6  
Old 02-13-2011, 03:12 PM
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A contortionist would find it easily. Anyone else, not so easily. However, a flash light is all that is needed. There is no need to pull the dash apart for inspection.

Refer to the exploded diagram of a 1997 F150 steering column:

Click the image to open in full size.

Item 15 (there are two) are the bushings. The Torx-headed bolts (shown but not labeled) are what hold bracket #19 to the end of the inner shift shaft.

Pointer realignment cannot fix this type of problem. That can only address the mis-registration of the pointer when everything else works properly.
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Last edited by projectSHO89; 02-13-2011 at 03:15 PM.
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  #7  
Old 02-14-2011, 03:04 AM
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thank you so much for that diagram...that is great help! I will definitely take a look at those.

now my next question...if i were to have to replace that shift tube (labeled 13 in that diagram i believe) would i have to pull the steering wheel to do that? I have had my whole dash apart countless times so i could do that with my eyes closed, but taking the steering wheel off is something i have never done. depending on what it entails to do determines when i attempt this project. if it takes removing the steering wheel it will have to wait til i can be back at my parents (more space and more access to tools at the moment)

Thank yall for the help!
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  #8  
Old 02-14-2011, 03:17 PM
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Pulling a steering wheel is not difficult. All it requires is a T-50 Torx and a cheap 2-jaw puller ... How to: replace steering wheel 97-03 F-150
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  #9  
Old 02-14-2011, 09:14 PM
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great write up! looks fairly easy like you say.

quick question...is it possible to put the steering wheel back on wrong...like turned left or right when its supposed to be straight? or does it only go on one way? just curious mostly...i can just leave the wheel straight and put it back on straight.
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'97 F150 6" Fabtech + 2" torsion bar + 3" body lift = 11" of lift on 38" Mickey Thompson tires!!
8 lug 14 bolt in the rear with 4.10s
Solid axle up front soon to come
followed with 4.88 gears in both.
2 12" Kenwoods in a custom ported box under back seat.

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  #10  
Old 02-14-2011, 11:54 PM
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i dont believe you'd actually need to pull the wheel to do the column servicing.

and IIRC as long as you dont take the clock spring out you can only put the steering wheel on one way. For peace of mind tho you can use an awl or a sharpie and make a mark on the wheel and the column behind where the bolt goes to reference where it was in relation to the column shaft.
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  #11  
Old 02-15-2011, 02:00 AM
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The wheel will only go on one way ... a few splines missing on the top of the mounting hole in the wheel, w/ a corresponding key on the shaft.
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  #12  
Old 02-21-2011, 06:59 PM
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Once again yall have provided me with a great solution...those 2 bolts were loose...really loose. i tightened those up and the column is firm now. Doesnt seem perfect but a thousand times better than before. It starts like normal now, goes in park like it should, and my reverse lights turn on on a regular basis.

much easier fix than what i was expecting so the help is much appreciated guys.
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'97 F150 6" Fabtech + 2" torsion bar + 3" body lift = 11" of lift on 38" Mickey Thompson tires!!
8 lug 14 bolt in the rear with 4.10s
Solid axle up front soon to come
followed with 4.88 gears in both.
2 12" Kenwoods in a custom ported box under back seat.

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  #13  
Old 02-21-2011, 08:23 PM
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Please go to NHTSA.gov and file a report. This is another of those things Ford might need to fix.
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  #14  
Old 03-01-2011, 02:37 PM
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Im having the same problem on my 2001 screw. Reading you guys post helped me alot . just wanted to say THANK YOU to everyone
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  #15  
Old 03-01-2011, 08:11 PM
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Well its good to know my thread has helped someone else besides me!
Good luck and post what your result is.
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'97 F150 6" Fabtech + 2" torsion bar + 3" body lift = 11" of lift on 38" Mickey Thompson tires!!
8 lug 14 bolt in the rear with 4.10s
Solid axle up front soon to come
followed with 4.88 gears in both.
2 12" Kenwoods in a custom ported box under back seat.

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Old 03-01-2011, 08:11 PM


 
 
 
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