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Steering column shifter issues

Billccm

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Not sure what I screwed up when I pulled the column out of the Road Runner last month during the steering box rebuild. Something is not right as it does not go into Park properly after you shift it a few times.

Symptom is won't start in Park after a few shifter cycles. I can go back and adjust the rod at the transmission (and measure Neutral Safety Switch continuity to GND). It will start in Park. Run a few start and stop errands and by the third, or forth shifter cycle I need to start in Neutral.

Another item to note; as I was looking under the dash today I noticed two of the "shifter support clips" had cracked. Fortunately, I have replacements I bought from "Moparmanic" many years ago. Can't seem to press the new clips in, so does the column need to come out again? Perhaps this is my problem with starting in Park?

Thanks for any help here! Take care.
 
@Kern Dog - he should chime in on this. He recently pulled my column shift to help me do a Borgeson swap and upon reinstall it's experiencing the same symptoms. He says there's adjustment in the mounting plate and that it takes trial and error.
 
This does happen. The lever on the column....

SST 103.jpg


Is somewhat sensitive to alignment. The steering column has that mounting plate that attaches to the firewall from the inside.

DB 158.JPG


That plate has large holes for the mounting bolts. The large holes allow for a wide range of alignment and if you're too far up-down or side to side, (even diagonally) The lever on the column may not engage park or not engage 1st gear due to it being "out of center", so to speak.
You can try loosening the 4 bolts and shift the plate and column around. There is also the linkage underneath that can be adjusted a bit to get you there. Good luck....report back.
 
Well I'm stumped.

I'm using a ohm meter and measuring continuity to ground at the starter relay wire. This is the connection to the neutral safety switch in the transmission.

I cycled the shifter from Park to Reverse and Reverse to Drive and then back to Park

Every time continuity was less than 6 ohms in Park; even 20 out of 20 cycles Park showed continuity to ground.

Want to bet that next time I drive it the starter only engages in Neutral?

IMG_20240303_135746114.jpg
 
on my car with this issue, the shift position indicator needle is in-between gears (i.e. half-way or thereabouts between P and R). If the needle indicator lines up, mine works fine.
How's the needle alignment on yours?
 
on my car with this issue, the shift position indicator needle is in-between gears (i.e. half-way or thereabouts between P and R). If the needle indicator lines up, mine works fine.
How's the needle alignment on yours?
Needle alignment for Reverse is off slightly, but Park, Neutral, and Drive seems okay. Thanks for the reply and info.
 
Well I'm stumped.

I'm using a ohm meter and measuring continuity to ground at the starter relay wire. This is the connection to the neutral safety switch in the transmission.

I cycled the shifter from Park to Reverse and Reverse to Drive and then back to Park

Every time continuity was less than 6 ohms in Park; even 20 out of 20 cycles Park showed continuity to ground.

Want to bet that next time I drive it the starter only engages in Neutral?

View attachment 1620559
Forgive me, but for the neutral safety switch to be working correctly, what SHOULD the resistance be? Much higher?
Could it also be that the safety switch is physically misaligned or pressed funny on the brake pedal arm?
Just fishing here. Awesome color on your RR by the way. Looks like an aqua? Not sure of color code. I also dig the full blackout hood treatment. We need some angled front and angled rear full view photos!
 
Every time continuity was less than 6 ohms in Park;
6 Ohms is a lot. A wire connected directly to ground should have way less than 1 ohm. I'd check and clean your ground connection or look for another issue.
 
Forgive me, but for the neutral safety switch to be working correctly, what SHOULD the resistance be? Much higher?
Could it also be that the safety switch is physically misaligned or pressed funny on the brake pedal arm?
Just fishing here. Awesome color on your RR by the way. Looks like an aqua? Not sure of color code. I also dig the full blackout hood treatment. We need some angled front and angled rear full view photos!
The neutral safety switch should be near ground in ohms when the switch is closed (park or neutral). This allows the starter relay to energize with the start position of the ignition switch.

I'm measuring 5 or 6 ohms which is expected as wire lengths add to my measurements.

I'm not sure what color my road runner is painted. It is a original LL1 car, but the previous owner told me it was mistaken painted a different metallic turquoise.
 
6 Ohms is a lot. A wire connected directly to ground should have way less than 1 ohm. I'd check and clean your ground connection or look for another issue.
Six ohms is expected here.

The ohm measurement is not the cause of the symptoms of not starting in Park. I get the same ohms in Park or Neutral.

Let's just say I have continuity in Park and Neutral and disregard the ohm measurement.

The symptoms are it will not crank in Park about half the time.
 
Six ohms is expected here.
I'm measuring 5 or 6 ohms which is expected as wire lengths add to my measurements.

Well, I don't want to start an argument here, but I am not sure where you get the above statements.

Let's say your wiring for your neutral safety switch is 6 feet long (likely it's much shorter). Take a 6 feet piece of wire and measure the ohms through it. You won't get 6 ohms.

I don't know what the issue is with your car, and I agree that it sounds likely that your switch is a little wonky or misaligned. But 6 ohms to ground is not ideal at all.
 
Well, I don't want to start an argument here, but I am not sure where you get the above statements.

Let's say your wiring for your neutral safety switch is 6 feet long (likely it's much shorter). Take a 6 feet piece of wire and measure the ohms through it. You won't get 6 ohms.

I don't know what the issue is with your car, and I agree that it sounds likely that your switch is a little wonky or misaligned. But 6 ohms to ground is not ideal at all.
I agree let's not debate. If you ever find the time measure your circuit. You will be surprised. I've seen neutral safety switch continuity as high as 20 ohms and the car will crank.

If I were troubleshooting this with a test lamp I'm sure it would glow bright when the shifter is in Park or Neutral.

Again let's just say I am measuring continuity and disregard the ohm measurement.
 
I agree let's not debate. If you ever find the time measure your circuit. You will be surprised. I've seen neutral safety switch continuity as high as 20 ohms and the car will crank.

If I were troubleshooting this with a test lamp I'm sure it would glow bright when the shifter is in Park or Neutral.

Again let's just say I am measuring continuity and disregard the ohm measurement.
Sounds good. Look, I agree 6 ohms is not terrible, but I have PTSD regarding chasing grounds on a couple of cars! Electricity does weird things with non-ideal grounds.

Regardless, I wish you success with finding the issue :thumbsup:
 
I like to follow up on my threads; in conversation with a fellow Mopar collector and former professional mechanic about this issue he asked if my "shifter clips" were keeping the linkage tight.

"Shifter clips I ask?"

Then it occurred to me that I twisted and deformed the clip on the column linkage connection. Also, previous owner had stacked washers at the transmission selector and a cotter pin was in place.

Replaced two shifter clips and used a single washer. Adjusted the linkage.

I could tell a difference immediately when I shifted out of Park. Shifting from Reverse to Drive was also less clunky and sloppy. Each selector detent seemed solid now.

Drove around and made 6 stops over a hour and a half period. Car started all 6 times in Park. Time will tell if I fixed the issue, but it sure seems more like normal now selector wise.

IMG_20240527_103750966.jpg


IMG_20240527_103717764.jpg


IMG_20240527_103646775.jpg
 
Replacing the bushings and clips in my shift linkage really tightened things up, to the point that getting the column detents and trans detents synced up became kind of a pain. I finally got it right by putting it in neutral and making the adjustment. Now the pointer accurately aligns with the selected gear and the low and park detents effortlessly drop in.
 
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