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Auto tranny won't shift out of park

Old 07-24-2006, 09:17 AM
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Auto tranny won't shift out of park

Well I just got me a 1998 4Runner Saturday, drove five hours to see it, and five hours back home with it, and it ran great, no problems. Auto transmission, 4WD, 3.4 engine.

Yesterday I totally removed the interior and cleaned it out (the owner must have spilled coffee every..single..day going to work and her kid likewise with hot chocolate). While the center console was out, my dad attempted to remove the shifter using the two screws in front, and it wouldn't come totally off because of some cable that was connected, so he put it back. There was a problem after he put it back, and that it wouldn't shift. So he spent a couple of hours figuring out how to get it to work again and it was a mechanical thing where the shift button didn't seem to push down far enough to engage the mechinism to let it shift. But by last night it worked great, I took it for a drive, and put it back in the garage.

Now, this morning in an attempt to leave the house to get a lot of stuff taken care of for it (new keys made, wash/wax, new wipers, etc.), and it wouldn't shift again, same problem as yesterday. Now my dad is out of town and I don't want to have to go through taking the whole console out again. I unscrewed the shifter though and gave it a smack down and it shifted into reverse so now I have it sitting in the driveway, but it wouldn't shift back into park unless I slammed it down again.

If I'm going to be out and about I don't want to have to unscrew the thing everytime I want to be shifting gears.

I should mention that when the brake is pushed, I can hear the relay clicking in the dash and when my hand is on the shifter I can feel the lever tick, so I know the brake pedal is engaging it. I made sure the truck is on too.

If anyone has any idea what this is, it would greatly be appreciated. Driving my 4runner is much more ideal than sitting in a hot house .
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:53 AM
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i'm not sure this is related, but mine would not shift out of park when the fuse for my tail lights went out, it is supposed to be a saftey feature to keep you running with out tail lights. hope you figure it out. good luck
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Old 07-24-2006, 09:56 AM
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If you/your dad didn't disconnect the shifting lever from the transmission, the level may be off possibly putting the transmission in reverse but the shifter will still say Park. Try disconnecting the shifter from the transmission (one bolt on driver's side of tranny - you'll see which one if you have someone jiggle the shifter) and push the lever ?UP? then reconnect the bolt. It should be very easy to push up.
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:04 AM
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Searching for "stuck shifter" in the 1995.5-2004 4Runners yeilded me a lot of results.

But here's one for you to check out since I'm feeling gratuitous today...
https://www.yotatech.com/forums/show...=stuck+shifter
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Old 07-24-2006, 10:36 AM
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Originally Posted by Tanto
Searching for "stuck shifter" in the 1995.5-2004 4Runners yeilded me a lot of results.

But here's one for you to check out since I'm feeling gratuitous today...
https://www.yotatech.com/forums/show...=stuck+shifter
Thank you, I actually did find that post, got under the car and got my sister in there to shift it, and again I narrowed it down to the shift mechanism, not the linkage.

I did fix it just a few minutes ago, and for future search records I'll explain.

When my dad tried to get the shift lever cap off for cleaning, it wouldn't budge because of the overdrive wire being too short. What I did was take that center cover off and found that when the button was pushed, it wouldn't go all the way down past the level that it was needed to change gears. I took the cap off all the way being careful not to pull the OD wire, because it can't be unplugged. There is a nylon cover over the spring, and the shift button pushes on that nylon cover. It has an angled head, at maybe 45 degrees. What had happened when it was taken off yesterday, it got turned around so the top of the angled part was facing the wrong direction, so the button couldn't push it down. All I did was turn it around and put it back together and it works like it should now.
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:43 PM
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glad that it works for ya, and great that you included so the problem can be found later
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Old 07-24-2006, 12:56 PM
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Awesome. Nothing worse than having your truck become undriveable because of a misaligned nylon cover
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Old 03-17-2013, 01:25 PM
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Thank you for posting this... I think I did the same thing - I'm going to go check it out...
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Old 03-17-2013, 04:13 PM
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THANK YOU NEVADA PETROS!!!! Sure enough I had turned Toyota part #33625-35050 around backwards just like you dad did and the dang thing would not come out of park. I turned it around so that the downhill part faced the front and BINGO! I owe you.
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Old 03-31-2015, 05:51 PM
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What about if thumb button is on side of shifter



I believe this may be my problem (described above). However, the diagram I see for the part and this particular issue leads me to believe you describe a thumb button that is integrated into the TOP of the shift lever. I have a button on the left side of a tbar type handle see photo. Is there a sleeve type part for this configuration. I have this problem not going out of park simply because I did some cosmetic stuff (new shift indicator plastic). Put the thing back together and I cant get it out of park. Thanks for any help.
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