[Image Site Banner]
Image of Ranger


Selecting any gear or neutral position was far more difficult and required much more effort than it should. Cable-operated linkage is never going to be perfect, but this was obviously something that needed attention. There also didn't seem to be any noticable detents for the gears. We were just going by the lights on the display.

Disconnecting the cable at the transmission didn't reveal any problem with the shifter or cable. The shifter moves fine with no load and the cable appears to be fairly new. The rubber boots on both ends of the cable are in excellent condition.

Searching forums on-line gave me a clue that the problem could be inside the transmission cover. The transmission shift lever didn't seem to work as smoothly as it should. Removing the side cover only requires removing 5 bolts and one clip. Yea Right! Both shafts on mine were so corroded, no way that cover was just going to pull off. Spraying WD40 helped loosen the electrical switch so the cover could be pulled off that shaft. The shifter shaft and detent lever stayed with the cover when it would finally pull off the shaft that operates the switch for the dash lights. If that happens to you, try to catch the detent lever spring before it comes shooting out of there. My spring came out but it was already broken into three pieces.

Removed Shift Cover

If yours looks anything like this one, look no further for problems shifting gears. Everything in there should be shiny metal and lightly greased. A broken or missing detent spring would cause no detents for the gears. The spring pieces were used to find an identical spring rummaged from a bin of experienced parts. That's the main reason I never throw anything away. The forum response stated that the roller for the detent lever can come apart. There was no sign of a roller or any roller pieces. The cover was left off for a day or two while checking various parts lists and other forum responses to see if anything else was missing. After considerable research, it appears that the roller-type detent pawl didn't appear until around 2014. The same identical non-roller type part number in my 2005 was used for at least seven model years.

It took a few days to get around to putting the cover back together. It was a rainy day, so the cover, other loose parts, and the replacement spring were taken into the shop to be thoroughly cleaned and lubed. There are also some o-rings that should be replaced. Remember, the shifter shaft and detent lever stayed on my cover when it came off. Moisture must have gotten to it while it was off. The shift shaft was now frozen solid in the cover. The detent pawl moves, but that shaft is completely stuck. Leaving it off must have accelerated corrosion or allowed it to dry out. I had to use the shop press to shove the shifter shaft out of the housing. Lots of rust and dried-up stuff flaked out of there. Once it was out it took some serious elbow grease to remove the rust and clean everything. With a thin coat of grease and new o-rings this should work much better.

With engine off, the shifter now works smoothly, with a positive click into each position. With engine running, it shifts easily from neutral to forward or reverse. Unfortunately, it is still difficult to shift from forward or reverse to neutral. Shut the engine off and the shifter moves easily again. Hmmm, that behavior could be caused by engine idle being a little high, or the drive belt may be a little tight. Oh well, it works better than it did. I'll add check idle and belt tension to my list.

NEXT = Exhaust Tip

1Research and Purchase
2Soft Cab and Bed Rails
3Lighting Upgrade and Wiring
4Cranking Problem Fixed
5AWD Switch Upgrade Problem
6Seat Cover and Winch
7Gearshift Service
8Exhaust Tip and Trail Rides


Content and Web Design by K. LaRue — This Site Was Last Updated 02 FEB 2023.

Optimized for Firefox
Get Firefox

All Tradenames and Trademarks referred to on these web pages are the property of their respective trademark holders. None of these trademark holders are affiliated with this web site, nor is this site sponsored or endorsed by them in any way.

My email address is provided for tractor questions. I enjoy answering those. However, unsolicited spam messages sent to my email address are filtered and deleted. NO, I do not want help improving my ranking on search engines. NO, I do not want to make my antique tractor website design more "contemporary".