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Ask Kenny Z. Your Own Question
Kenny Z.
Kenny Z., Ford Senior Master Tech
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 5437
Experience:  Auto Trans, Drivability and Electrical Specialist
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After replacing the shift tube in my 2002 F350, I have to

Customer Question

After replacing the shift tube in my 2002 F350, I have to hold the shift lever in Park to remove the key.
JA: In addition to the key, do you also have a key fob? Do you have a key code?
Customer: That doesn't affect my issue
JA: Tell me a bit more about what's going on so he can help you best.
Customer: Simple. I can't remove the key from the ignition without holding the shifte lever in Park.
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself?
Customer: Yes
JA: Great! What have you tried so far?
Customer: Nothing.
JA: Is there anything else important you think the Ford Mechanic should know about your Ford?
Customer: No
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Ford Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 1 year ago.

Hello, my name is***** and thanks for your question.

Does the shifter appear to be adjusted correctly? All ranges line up with the indicator? Is there any slop in the shifter now with the new tube? How far can you move the shifter in park and is there any tension on the lever when in park?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Kenny-The shifter has maybe 1/4" of play when in Park. The resting position in Park will not allow the key to rotate fully back in the ignition so that it can be removed. If I raise the shift lever slightly, I can easily turn the key all the way back and remove the key. All ranges line up with the indicator, and the tension on the shifter lever is minimal in Park.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 1 year ago.

Thanks, ***** ***** pull the shifter towards you in park is there good spring tension?

At the base of the tube there are 2 torx 30 bolts that hold the shift cable bracket. Take a look and see if the bolts are tight, the spring is present behind the bracket and the pin moves in and out of the center hole when pulling the shifter towards you in park. Also if the shift lock detent bracket is worn it might not be fully releasing, you might want to try loosening that and try moving it tight up against the bolts then retorque.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The T30 bolts are tight. The shifter has plenty of tension in the front to back motion. The issue is that the ignition switch does not know that the shifter is in Park when it is in Park. I do not know what the "shift lock detent bracket" is. Do you have a diagram?
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 1 year ago.

Does the engine crank in park without holding the shifter up?

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
the engine cranks fine in park without touching the lever. When I insert the key, I can turn it forward without any resistance. Sometimes, I can even rotate it all the way back and out. The adjustment is just slightly off, or the ignition switch could be worn to the point that it won't turn back consistently. The truck has 224k miles. The original shifter tube and bushings were completely shot. However, the key went in and out without any problems on the old worn shifter tube.
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 1 year ago.

Ok when you said the ignition switch doesn't know its in park you must of meant the ignition cylinder. If the switch didn't see park it wouldn't crank. The ignition cylinder and switch only has a spring to release from crank to run, it has no function on the cylinder moving back. You might have a worn shift cable, or its slightly out of adjustment. If you release the adjuster down at the trans you might be able to move it just that little bit so the lever sits high enough.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I should have said ignition cylinder. I will look at the cable at the trans end and see if I can get a little more travel. It might be a couple of days before I get back on this. Are you sure there isn't anything I should look at on the column?
Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 1 year ago.

The only other thing is the shift lock actuator. If you look closely at it (I cant find a diagram) you will see how the plunger needs to be able to retract completely in order for the cylinder to move all the way back. If you take it apart again turn the key on and hit the brake and watch the plunger. Then move the shifter out and release the brake then move back to park and see if the plunger is hitting, preventing it from fully releasing.

Expert:  Kenny Z. replied 1 year ago.

Hello again,

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Kenny Z