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GM Tech (Cam)
GM Tech (Cam), Chevy Technician
Category: Chevy
Satisfied Customers: 29502
Experience:  GM Grand Master Technician 2007. 14 years experience.
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2000 Chevy: Z71..1500 extended cab wont re-start..indication

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Column shifter on a 2000 Chevy Z71 LS 1500 extended cab 4-WD suddenly wouldn't go into park. My wife shut off the truck when I wasn't watching, and now it won't re-start, because the column shifter won't engage in any gear position. In fact, now the column shifter just flops around without any tension or indication on the dash. Yet, the truck rolls like it is in Neutral. Is this a linkage cable that came out of alignment and snapped, or a transfer case that went bad ? What about the bolts holding the shifter to the steering column ?
Welcome. This sounds like the linkage at the transmissions under the truck has become disconnected. I recommend you block the wheels and climb under around the drivers door area. Look on the drivers side of the transmission and see if the cable is off. If so, line it back up and pop it back on. Let me know what you find.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Ok, I'll take a look tomorrow after work. Not gonna happen tonight, though. I'm showered, dressed in white, and the beast is in the driveway in total darkness.
OK, until tomorrow then. Have a good evening.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I jacked up the truck enough to get underneath and have a look. I wasn't too sure of what cable or tubes to be looking at, but I didn't see any rod or linkage conspicuously attached alongside the driver's side of the tranny. I did notice an open ended 6" long 1/2" dia. rubber tube with nothing attached sticking out of the top-dead center (12'o clock position) of the tranny, pointing towards the back of the truck. This small piece of rubber tube was attached to one of several metal brackets circling the outer shroud of the tranny. However, I looked all over several feet away and didn't see any other missing snaps, attachment points, or broken connections. I'm not sure any of this helps.

Look at the picture below and see if yours is the same.

Object Number: 858985  Size: SH

Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hmmm... something looks familiar about that line in the drawing, but I didn't see it going up against the tranny like that. Perhaps that is the passenger side of the tranny ? The cable line had a label on it for "4-WD" which indicates to me it's a line for the 4-wheel drive feature. It came out of the floorboards near the firewall on the driver's side, ran towards the back about a foot or so away from the tranny on the driver's side, and then looped up and over the driveshaft and turned back into the tranny somewhere on the PASSENGER SIDE of the tranny. It definitely contained a cable, and some large springy snap connections along it. But it appeared intact, and didn't take the route of anything discussed so far.
I won't be able to look at it again until tomorrow or the next day. Thanks.
Nope, not chance of this being on the passengers side, it is always on the drivers side. The cable loops down from the top beside the drivers side between the drive shaft for the front diff and the transmission. The shifter is between the front drive shaft and the transmission.
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
I was able to find it right away, and I manually shifted it into park, and started the beast up. Thank you.
The shift cable is not "snapped off" or disconnected anywhere. In fact, with it running, I was able to use the column shifter to put it in drive. But when I attempted to move it out of drive, it wouldn't go back to Neutral Reverse or Park. Apparently, the linkage will only allow it to shift to lower gears, and will not shift into gears in the other direction. Before I "accept" your reply, please tell me what can be done to free-up this sticky linkage cable, and the tranny lever. I'm concerned that the lever on the side of the tranny is seizing up. This probably needs lubrication or adjustment. Besides spraying it with WD-40, what needs to be done ?
Ok, is the cable bent at the transmission? With it disconnected from the transmission can you freely move the shifter from top to bottom?
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Nothing appears bent or out of alignment. With the cable disconnected, the lever on the tranny moves by hand ok, but has quite alot of resistance, like it wants to seize up from corrosion. Should'nt it be greased so that it moves smoothly, or smooth enough for the cable linkage to move ?
No, you do not need to lube the lever. If it moves freely, even though it is stiff, it is ok. What I suggest is you hook it up and watch from under the truck while someone moves the shifter.
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Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Yeah, sure. I don't know if I'll find someone to trust that with. My chest doesn't fit beneath it without the truck being on blocks or a jack.

What can I do to the cable tomorrow night before I decide it needs to be replaced by a mechanic with a garage ? Spray it or straighten something ?
I was looking to see if the cable is bending when it is moved.