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Old 09-28-2010, 12:51 PM   #1
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Stuck in Park - Automatic Transmission

Okay, so this morning I drove my Jeep to work and put it in park. Seconds later my gal jumps in the driver seat and the Jeep won't move out of park.

I discover that if I take off the shift cover (cover that reads P R N D 2 1), I can still push the pin downward and I am able to shift into gear (with foot on the break and pushing in the shift button on the shift handle T-grip).

So it appears that the shifting mechanism has a problem. It looks like others have repaired it by replacing the shift handle or by using a dowel rod. I need to take off my shift handle T-grip to see if the components are broke on the inside. Is that the only thing that could be wrong, or is it possible that the linkage housing has a problem? Thoughts?

Thanks!

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Old 09-28-2010, 12:59 PM   #2
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It is very likely nothing serious, the usual cause for that issue is a broken plastic push rod that is inside the vertical part of the shifter itself. The top button pushes a cam sideways that pushes down on the plastic shift rod that unlocks the shifter.

The shift rod is easily replaced. The 'T' top of the shifter is removed by pulling HARD straight up on it. No screws, pins, bolts, etc. hold it, it just has a very tight friction fit. Once the handle is off, the white plastic (nylon actually I think) push rod is right there and you can see then if it is broken. Some claim to have even used a plastic chop stick to replace theirs.

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Old 09-28-2010, 01:14 PM   #3
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:28 PM   #4
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Quick update...

I just removed the shift handle t-grip. [Pushed in the button as far as it would go (not sure if that was necessary) and pulled straight up with a bit of force. It came up on 3rd attempt and is just held on via friction. It pulls up with relative ease after first removal). I couldn't shift with it installed, but if I use my hand to push the plastic piece that the handle pushes on, I can shift without a problem. So it appears that it is a broken shifter handle (proper term = billet?). Dealer charges $36 unless I want an aftermarket replacement.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:42 PM   #5
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Okay, just followed the link provided above and can see that mine plastic linkage piece (with the beads) is indeed broken as well. When I pull mine out, it only has 4 balls showing. I wonder why they manufacture it with 5 weakened "joints" that seem to be designed to fail. Anyhow, it looks like I'll use a plastic coat hanger or a chopstick to repair it since it looks like a new shifter handle is NOT the problem and is this broken plastic piece.

Just for any future readers, it appears that the broken plastic rod can only be replaced by replacing the entire "linkage housing" (this is what my dealer called it) at a cost of $196. Otherwise, the plastic coat hanger or chopstick looks like a fine option to me. Thanks everybody!
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:46 PM   #6
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Those balls are there to make the shift rod flexible and help reduce friction for easier shifter unlocking. That said, it's still not a good design. I'd contact the various Jeep junkyards like Davey's who should have old shift mechanisms coming out their ears they can pull the shift rod out of... if they will at all since they likely would rather sell the entire shifter.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:48 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alaska TJ View Post
Okay, just followed the link provided above and can see that mine plastic linkage piece (with the beads) is indeed broken as well. When I pull mine out, it only has 4 balls showing. I wonder why they manufacture it with 5 weakened "joints" that seem to be designed to fail. Anyhow, it looks like I'll use a plastic coat hanger or a chopstick to repair it since it looks like a new shifter handle is NOT the problem and is this broken plastic piece.

Just for any future readers, it appears that the broken plastic rod can only be replaced by replacing the entire "linkage housing" (this is what my dealer called it) at a cost of $196. Otherwise, the plastic coat hanger or chopstick looks like a fine option to me. Thanks everybody!
Yes, the good old 5,000 year old chopstick. Where would the world be without the good old chinese. Believe me I am 100%.
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Old 09-28-2010, 01:55 PM   #8
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Yes, the good old 5,000 year old chopstick. Where would the world be without the good old chinese. Believe me I am 100%.
My wife & I like to frequent our local Chinese restaurant. What's funny is that after 22 years of trying, I can't get her to even try to eat with chopsticks. I'm not great with them but I'm competent.. at least I can easily finish my bowl of rice with chopsticks.
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Old 09-28-2010, 09:46 PM   #9
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Mine broke after only 50k and I just removed it and make sure not to bump my shift lever. Kinda nice after I got used to it on the trail because you don't have to push the button to shift to first or reverse.
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Old 09-28-2010, 10:39 PM   #10
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I used the chopstick trick over three years ago on my 04 auto. Has been working like a champ ever since. I carry spares, but have never needed to use them.....they are still in their paper wrapper!
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Old 09-14-2013, 09:35 PM   #11
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Thank god for this forum. I am new to the Jeep family and my jeep just broke in 2 places. The linkage fell apart, fixed that still wouldn't go into park. Learned about the push pin thing and replaced with chopstick, all works great. Cost of repair??? FREE!!! The best kind! Time to go play. Thanks for the info.
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Old 09-15-2013, 08:56 AM   #12
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yup....the chopstick mod actually works perfectly.

I bought a used shifter assembly from a local junkyard for almost the same price as a new assembly (rip off!). It also broke within a few months. I've now got 2 shifter assemblies, both have been fixed with the chopstick mod, one is obviously installed in the Jeep - and has been working for years.
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Old 02-04-2014, 10:54 PM   #13
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This thread really helped out on a cold dark snowy night here.

Mine broke at 4 beads too - my question is was I supposed to try to get the lower broken piece out (if that's even possible before I made the rod, or just make it the right length to push on the broken piece still in the shaft?

It works fine that way using 4.5 inches of orange fiberglass driveway marker rod after filing the top end a bit smaller to fit the recess in the T handle, but wondered if I really should have tried to get it all out first, if that's even possible.

Thanks, Scott
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Old 02-04-2014, 11:06 PM   #14
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You did it right. The lower piece does not come out. As long as you can shift in and out of park, and into 1st, you're good to go.
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Old 06-08-2014, 03:14 AM   #15
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Hey guys, i have Sahara 2008 automatic and gear is not shifting to D!!
It shows on N but the gear is on P although car is running nice and everything is working. It happened when after reversing, i tried to put it back on D but i felt like it was loose and i went straight to P but it never moved since then.

I removed the gear case and tried pulling the black rod real hard twice but i was really scared it would break! HELP GUYS!!!!! It worked with everyone and i dont understand why its not working with me! Thanks

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