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  • Detent plate replacement

    I replaced my detent plate recently. I still have to wiggle the shifter to get the car to start. is there an additional adjustment that needs to be made?

  • #2
    You may also have to replace the shift lever. Even with a new detent plate is the shift lever is worn it will not lock in park correctly. If the lever feels like it's locking correctly then you can try adjusting the neutral switch under the steering column.

    John
    John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

    Thunderbird Registry #36223
    jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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    • #3
      Thanks John, The shift lever looks good. I will check the switch.

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      • #4
        Could it be possible the linkage arms that connect from the steering column to the tranny are worn or loose.

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        • #5
          Detent plate replacement

          Yes, it is possible that the shift tube selector ring/arm at the bottom of the steering column is worn after all these years and needs to be replaced. Here is what mine looked like. You can see the wear around the ring and in the notch. After some 50 years of use, it can wear and cause problems.
          Attached Files

          Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
          '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
          "It's Hip To Be Square"
          Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

          Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

          http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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          • #6
            Selector Ring Arm

            Over the years I have replaced my shift lever, shift collar and detent plate all helped a little. But replacing the shift ring arm made all the difference! I finally have eliminated all the slop and each gear position is usable. Big job but worth it.

            Neil
            CUUL59 Convertible

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            • #7
              Originally posted by cuul59 View Post
              Over the years I have replaced my shift lever, shift collar and detent plate all helped a little. But replacing the shift ring arm made all the difference! I finally have eliminated all the slop and each gear position is usable. Big job but worth it.

              Neil
              CUUL59 Convertible
              This is a job that's comming to me very soon. Can you briefly describe how long it takes and what is needed to take apart to get to the shift selector arm (just briefly)?
              Last edited by Rock&Roll Firebird; May 12th, 2013, 09:05 AM.

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              • #8
                There should be a TECH ARTICLE here describing this repair.

                Ray?

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                • #9
                  Shift Arm Replacement Process

                  You asked what's involved and it's a pretty big job. In a nutshell;

                  You will need to pull the steering wheel, then the shift collar (replace this if it is at all worn around the roll pin), disconnect the turn signal switch and neutral switch wires (label the wires you disconnect from, important to also mark the position of the neutral switch before loosening it), then loosen the firewall weather seal.

                  Next you will disconnect the steering column from the clamp under the dash. The shift tube and selector arm will now slide out leaving only the steering shaft in place. Before you put the news arm on, be sure that it fits over tube and locking lug with just enough clearance to allow it to slide up and down smoothly, but not as loose as the old one! This is critical.

                  While you have it apart, you should also replace the shift detent plate if you haven't already. A new shifter lever arm and roll pin would make it all the more likely to achieve the results you would be happy with. I did all this in about 3-4 hours...only a little cursing, actually a lot.

                  You can contact me offline if you have additional questions (cuul59@gmail.com)

                  Neil
                  '59 Convertible

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                  • #10
                    Shift Tube Selector Arm Replacement

                    Thanks to Neil~cuul59, and his information on replacing his shift tube selector arm on his '59 Squarebird, there IS now a technical item on this. I took his information, added some pix, and just put it into the Technical Resource Library (TRL). You will find it under the Steering Wheel section. Thank you, Neil for the documentation. It will be there for posterity for others to use. As always, you can access the TRL by just clicking the link under my signature on any post you see of mine. It will take you right to the TRL.

                    Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                    '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                    "It's Hip To Be Square"
                    Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                    Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by YellowRose View Post
                      Here is what I have been told by others. This problem can be a combination of several problems that have developed over years of wear and tear on parts. One is the Detent Plate. Another is a worn tip on the end of the shift lever at the steering wheel. Another is a worn connection in the round cup/collar that the shift lever screws into. Another is adjusting the Neutral Switch. Another is a worn Shift Tube Selector Arm. Another is a worn or missing rubber (as I recall) bushing down where the rod that comes off the Shift Tube Selector Arm and runs to the drivers side (as I recall) of the tranny, which attaches to the tranny and shifts it into the PRNDL positions.

                      Frank, one of our Down Under members, has had many years of experience working on the COM tranny and this problem. He swears that often it is a worn Shift Tube Selector Arm that is the culprit here. But it could also be the other areas too.

                      I hope this helps. Others might be able to amplify on this too.
                      I have several questions on this job:

                      a) can anyone please specify what is this part that Ray is writing about in one of his previos posts - '...worn or missing rubber (as I recall) bushing down where the rod that comes off the Shift Tube Selector Arm and runs to the drivers side (as I recall) of the tranny...'?

                      b) is the detent plate that can be ordered in this thread the same as this one? I have a feeling that the first one has slightly different shaped holes and maybe because of that it might work better (as it's mentioned in the thread)?
                      Attached Files

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Rock&Roll Firebird View Post
                        a) can anyone please specify what is this part that Ray is writing about in one of his previos posts - '...worn or missing rubber (as I recall) bushing down where the rod that comes off the Shift Tube Selector Arm and runs to the drivers side (as I recall) of the tranny...'?
                        They will appear similar to this illustration-

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by KULTULZ View Post
                          They will appear similar to this illustration-

                          Thank you Gary, have a better view now. Any idea how does it call in spare parts depots?

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Rock&Roll Firebird View Post

                            Thank you Gary, have a better view now. Any idea how does it call in spare parts depots?
                            The part shown is used on later models. The FORD/BIRD of this period used direct contact pins/holes in the lever(s).

                            I will send Ray an illustration.



                            If you have a 49/59 FORD MPC, go to ILL CATALOG A72 Page 237.
                            Last edited by KULTULZ; May 23rd, 2013, 09:22 AM.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by KULTULZ View Post
                              The part shown is used on later models. The FORD/BIRD of this period used direct contact pins/holes in the lever(s).

                              I will send Ray an illustration.



                              If you have a 49/59 FORD MPC, go to ILL CATALOG A72 Page 237.
                              Just looked into the catalog, not sure which part is it though. Can you advise the p/n from the catalog?

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