2002 Ranger XLT 3.0 - Only starts in neutral - Ranger-Forums - The Ultimate Ford Ranger Resource


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Old 08-22-2014
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2002 Ranger XLT 3.0 - Only starts in neutral

Hello all. First post...

I have a 2002 XLT 3.0, and as of recent, it won't start in park, but will in neutral. Most online sites reference a neutral safety switch. Is that the most likely problem? I can only find people talking about this in other trucks, not rangers.

Battery is full charge, and it'll start 50% of the time in park, but is becoming more frequent that I need it in neutral.

Thoughts/ideas/suggestions welcome.

Thank you
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Old 08-23-2014
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This is a common problem with all Ford truck column shifters.

Google: ford ranger loose shifter cable

Under the dash there are two screws that come loose or even fall out, this causes play in the cable end so it won't go all the way into Park.
99% of the time the above will be the problem

But also check the cable from firewall down to transmission, I have heard of one than split it's cover and slide over itself, shortening the length, so less travel and no Park.
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Old 09-08-2014
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Wow, you were SPOT ON right. I threw it into drive the other day, and the screw fell out. Problem is, I removed the plastic and metal under dash, and I can't figure out where the screw that fell came from. Is there a schematic or diagram that can show me how, or anyone who could describe it?
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Old 09-08-2014
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There are a few videos on how to find and tighten or replace those screws:

Google: ford ranger loose shifter cable

Doesn't have to be a Ranger, all Ford trucks used the same shifter and has the same problem

Found this post with a couple of pictures: http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/...d.php?t=219144

Last edited by RonD; 09-08-2014 at 10:22 PM.
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