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Thread: shift indicator - 1987 mgm

  1. #1

    Default shift indicator - 1987 mgm

    The shift indicator on the 1987 Grand Marquis has been misaligned for years. Today it's on P and won't move. I've seen some threads about collars, cables, and zip ties, but not enough pictures or diagrams to understand the problem, or especially, a solution.

  2. #2
    drink a beer, grow a beard, cut it, grind it, weld it back His Royal Ghostliness's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jim View Post
    The shift indicator on the 1987 Grand Marquis has been misaligned for years. Today it's on P and won't move. I've seen some threads about collars, cables, and zip ties, but not enough pictures or diagrams to understand the problem, or especially, a solution.
    Alright, the indicator you see thru the dash is moved by a cable. The cable exits the gauge cluster from the bottom, loops around under the steering column, and hooks up to a lever on the top right side of the steering column. The lever itself is bolted to the tube that the shifter handle is attaches to, when you pull the shifter handle down from park the tube rotates and the small lever also rotates with it, thus moving the cable for the indicator. Naturally, a cable needs to run thu some sheathing to guide it - the sheathing attaches to the steering column via that collar you read about. When the collar breaks the sheathing is no longer firmly attached to the steering column - as a result when the shift tube lever pulls on the indicator cable the whole sheathing moves with it and the indicator doesn't respond properly (or at all). The solution is to reattach the clamp firmly to the steering column again - the easiest way to accomplish this is to use a big zip-tie and wrap it around the clamp and pull it real tight. Keep in mind that the position of the indicator behind the PRND31 characters in the gauge cluster is adjusted by slightly rotating said clamp around the steering column, so don't go too medieval on the zip-tie right away - just pull it snug at first, rotate the clamp till the indicator lines up where you want it (I usually put shifter in drive just cause that's its middle position), then tighten the zippie all the way.

    Sorry, have no pics to show ya, but when you pull the covers off your steering column all will make sense. Just follow the small cable sheathing (white in color) coming down from the indicator and you'll figure it out in no time.
    The ones who accomplish true greatness, are the foolish who keep pressing onward.
    The ones who accomplish nothing, are the wise who know when to quit.

  3. #3
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If it doesn't move at all, check to see if the arm hasn't broken off. Usually when the clamp breaks, the needle moves but doesn't land on the right gear. Once you pull the covers off you'll see the bits in question.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  4. #4
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    Sorry to pull up this old thread, however:

    How do I get to the bolt that holds the lever arm to the shifter shaft? I already removed the wiper arm connector and tried to take off the fuse box plus the panel it sits on. No luck. Both, the lever plus the bracket are broken of. I believe I can fix both parts once I can unbolt the lever but can’t seem to get to it.

  5. #5
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    If removing panels won't give enough access, pull the shift cable collar off and just drop the column. Should be 2 nuts underneath above the brake pedal area and the whole thing will just drop to the seat.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  6. #6
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    I was afraid somebody was going to suggest this. Never did this before. Can the column simply
    be pushed back into place and bolted back on or is there some sort of alignment involved? And how do I pull that shift collar off?

  7. #7
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    No special alignment involved, just push it back up until the holes line up.

    The collar for the shift indicator is a plastic loop. Its got one screw that you remove and then just pull it off. Assuming it hasn't already broken into several pieces, in that case you can skip removing the screw.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  8. #8
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    I aware of this white collar. Sorry. I meant how to get the shifter shaft out.

  9. #9
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    oh, no need to remove the shift shaft, once the collar is out the whole thing will just drop down without any fuss. Be careful lowering it in case there is a wire getting stuck somewhere but it should just lay down on the seat.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

  10. #10
    V8 addict and rescuer of unsaleable Full Sizes
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    Sorry to hijack this thread...

    Just finished working on the shift indicator.

    Thanks for the advice on the steering column, that ultimately helped. I unbolted the top two nuts and loosened the lower twos. The column dropped far enough to reach into the dash and get to the bolt on the shifting rod.





    I unbolted the remains of the black lever and pulled the other part off of the little line that goes to the indicator itself. Tryed to glue the parts together with superglue, didnīt stick. I belive the material is ABS or ABS-PC which canīt be bonded with superglue. So I used some regular universal glue. Since I didnīt want to wait the 20 min they recommend before putting both parts together (yes, I am impatient!) I wrapped some tape around the pieces to keep them from separating when I went on messing with them.





    I carefully attached the lever back on the shifting rod, fixed the thing with two smaller zipties and finally bolted the part on. Now the glue can take all time it needs to cure and hopefully the lever wonīt fall apart again.



    Then I took care of the collar in the way it has been described here various times. I skipped the glueing this time and simply ziptied the hell out of it. Put that little loop I had taken that one off before back on the lever. Moved the collar around until I was ok with the indicator in the dial. Not 100% accurate in all gears (ok in R and O/D), but ok for me and definately better than before. Sorry, no pics, but yall know how it looks under there anyways.

    Bolted the steering column back into place, reattached the panels, et voila, a working shift indicator!













    It looks more accurate from the angle I look at it when I sit in the car.
    Regards, Alex


  11. #11
    The Brown Blob 87gtVIC's Avatar
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    The plastics on these old cars are just disintegrating. I have yet to see that piece broken. I am well away of the white collar breaking though.
    ~David~

    My 1987 Crown Victoria Coupe: The Brown Blob
    My 2004 Mercedes Benz E320:The Benz

    Quote Originally Posted by DerekTheGreat View Post
    But, that's just coming from me, this site's biggest pessimist. Best of luck

  12. #12
    I'm an air-conditioned gypsy gadget73's Avatar
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    I broke one once when trying to unhook the cable to pull the cluster. I think Scott made a new one out of a piece of scrap aluminum bent into the right shape. I don't recall if that was on Tom's car or Donald's.

    but either way, the plastic was not meant to last 30+ years.

    86 Lincoln Town Car (Galactica).
    5.0 HO, CompCams XE258,Scorpion 1.72 roller rockers, 3.55 K code rear, tow package, BHPerformance ported E7 heads, Tmoss Explorer intake, 65mm throttle body, Hedman 1 5/8" headers, 2.5" dual exhaust, ASP underdrive pulley

    91 Lincoln Mark VII LSC SE, triple black (Timewarp) - poly front bushings, KYB struts and shocks, Holley SystemMax1 lower intake, SilverFox AOD valve body,

    1984 Lincoln Continental TurboDiesel - rolls coal

    Quote Originally Posted by phayzer5 View Post
    I drive a Lincoln. I can't be bothered to shift like the peasants and rabble rousers

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