Shift Lever and/or Cable

Tiny
MADMOOSE
  • MEMBER
  • 1999 GMC SUBURBAN
  • 160,000 MILES
My shift lever and cable were working fine, when recently the pot metal on the shifter assembly on the side of the steering column cracked and I had to replace it. I replaced it with a Dorman after market assembly. After it was installed, it would no longer allow me to shift into low 1 (although I can pull the cable manually from below the steering column and it will go into low 1).

Two Questions:

1.) Is there an adjustment that I could tweak that would allow it to go into low 1 without keeping it from going into park on the other end of the scale?

2.) Which is more likely - that the Dorman part isn't quite to spec and isn't allowing the proper range of travel, or that the shift cable has stretched and needs to be replaced (although it did work OK before the original shift assembly broke)?

Thank you in advance for your help.
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 AT 10:45 AM

11 Replies

Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
There is an adjustment on the transmission that once you unhook the cable(there are two upper/lower) has to be readjusted. I would suggest however that this be done professionally as the cable has a few parts that can get lost and once that happens you have to replace the cable.
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 AT 10:55 AM
Tiny
MADMOOSE
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Do you have instructions on how to make the adjustment, or a link to a page that does?
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 AT 11:00 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Put both steering coloumn shifter and transmission in park with key OFF. You will have to unhook cable at trans prior to doing this. Slide black retaining ring out and move white clip out but do not let the clip o]go out all the way. Turn key on and move shift lever all the way through ranges 10 times. Put shift lever in park and turn key off. At trans turn clockwise until it is all theway inpark it may hit then come back a little. Push in white button to secure core adjuster body inside range selector cable end. Slide blackretainer clip rearward over cable end until it covers white button lock clip over cable end. Turn key on and ensure all shift positions engage and illuminate. Make sure engine only starts in park and neutral. If engine does not start in park and neutral positions you have to adjust pnp switch which is at bottom of steering column.
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 AT 11:12 AM
Tiny
MADMOOSE
  • MEMBER
Thank you!

Any place I could locate illustrations of the procedure? The rear cable mount uses a metal horseshoe retainer clip, but from the sounds of your instructions, that isn't the retainer clip you are referring to. Any illustrations would be much appreciated!
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 AT 11:25 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
There are none unless you can gain access to one like a chevy manual. We have no pics either.
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Saturday, May 4th, 2013 AT 11:33 AM
Tiny
MADMOOSE
  • MEMBER
OK. I made the adjustment per your instructions. Here's the problem - If the cable is adjusted so it goes into park, it won't go into 1st. If it is adjusted to go into 1st, it won't go into park. Seems like there's not enough travel somewhere.

Do you think it is more likely a problem with the new Dorman shifter assembly, the cable, or something else entirely?
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 AT 7:35 AM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
It may be the dorman assy that is not allowing you to shift correctly. Or it was installed wrong but I kind of doubt that did you match it up with the one you replaced? I'm sending a pic of the dorman part I looked up.
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 AT 8:02 AM
Tiny
MADMOOSE
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Yes, that's the one. It does match up with the old one.

I suppose its possible I installed it wrong, but it's pretty straight forward - 3 torx screws to the column, shift cable and switch control snaps in the lever, and the ignition switch lock cable snaps into the ignition.

Anything I should look for on the Dorman that would be a problem?
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 AT 3:13 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
Nothing that I can think of if the part matches and the cable is new it shold work the only other thing I can think of would be the cable is to short. But from all the cables I've looked at they are all 118" long. Was the cable run the same way as it was taken out, like maybe above the frame or below that could make a difference. I can offer no other suggestions on this one.
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 AT 3:23 PM
Tiny
MADMOOSE
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Only the shift lever assembly was replaced - it still has the original shift cable. Do you think an old cable could cause it to be both too short in park yet too long in low 1?
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 AT 3:37 PM
Tiny
HMAC300
  • EXPERT
I think the only way that would happen is if the cable was somehow stretched. If you only replaced the shifter mechanism on column then it should have no bearing on it. Especially if it was shifting ok prior to teardown I really don't know what to answer you with.
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Wednesday, May 8th, 2013 AT 3:48 PM

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