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wl1193 12-19-2016 11:27 PM

Gear shift issues trying to go in reverse
Hi everyone. The title kind of sums up my problem.

I have a 2006 E250 V8 5.4 van with almost 159,000.

Last month Agile converted my van to 4wd. Very pleased with John and the crew and the van drives so much better and smoother. I will have to do a write up soon. I have driven the van about 800 miles since the conversion. All freeway and no offroad. Im very happy with the workmanship, customer service etc. Nothing but great things to say about them and the conversion.

When I bought the van used the gear shift lever was always loose and had some play. Shifting from one gear to the next was not a crisp feeling - more soggy like.

Two days ago i put the van in reverse to back into a parking space. I stepped on the gas and I didn't go anywhere. The engine revved up but the van did not go in reverse. It was if I was in neutral. I moved the gear shifter around and eventually was able to go in reverse. This happened again when I got home from work.

I got on the internet and discovered if I re-tighten two torx screws under the steering wheel and dash, that should re-tighten the gear shifter and solve the problem.

I did that today. The gear shifter still had some play in it but it was more crisp than before. I shifted into reverse and had no issues backing up.
I drove home and the issue cropped up again. The gear shifter had less play but I could not go into reverse until I move the shifter around.
And when I backed up this time, it felt 'rough" and not smooth. Kinda like a rough idle as I backed up. The van doesn't feel rough going forward. Shifts fine on the freeway.

I plan to re-tighten the torx screws again tomorrow.

Any advice is greatly appreciated.

What would cause my transmission to feel rough while only going in reverse?

Thanks in advance.


Flux 12-19-2016 11:39 PM

I had a truck that an issue with the linkage at the transmission. Kind of did the same thing. It was loose underneath by the transmission. Tow guy was able to pop it in by hand to make it go.

Not saying that is what yours is, just sounds similar. I am in no way a mechanic.

86Scotty 12-20-2016 07:19 AM


Originally Posted by wl1193 (Post 192139)
And when I backed up this time, it felt 'rough" and not smooth. Kinda like a rough idle as I backed up. The van doesn't feel rough going forward.

It sounds like the usual Ford shifter linkage problem except for this part ^. If you have a good mechanic nearby you might want to get a second opinion. It kind of sounds like it might be more than one problem.


wl1193 12-20-2016 08:26 AM

I think the rough reverse could have been me revving engine with high rpm while trying to find the right gear shifter positioning and when I found reverse I had the rough backing. This am I tried to rev less and the van backeavage up smoother.

Is there a part number for replacing the linkage?

carringb 12-20-2016 01:10 PM

I suspect your shifter isn't quite aligned with the range switch on the transmission anymore. Just follow the same procedure to re-align Neutral as if you were replacing the switch.

wl1193 12-20-2016 02:27 PM

Hi Thanks for the responses. I watched the video. Im not very mechanical but this is my take from watching. Buy a new transmission range sensor. Take off the old one. And replace it with new one following the procedures in the video?

carringb 12-20-2016 03:46 PM

You probably don't even need to replace it. Just loosen it, realign it like shown in the vid, and snug it back down.

mikracer 12-20-2016 07:13 PM

I had an issue with my shifter where there was a lot of play in the lever and I would have to hold it up in park to get the key to release. There are some bushings in the steering column that needed to be replaced and it solved my issue. Not sure if the same bushings would be causing your slop, but could be something to look into.

wl1193 12-22-2016 12:12 PM

Carringb I sent you a pm

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