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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi everyone! How you guys are having a great day! My 2009 P71 Crown Victoria is having a really weird transmission shifting issue. I noticed it last night when I was driving home from my parents house. The car starts and runs perfectly fine, however, when I put my shift selector in Drive, the car doesn’t move at all the engine revs but that’s it. The funny part is that if I manually select 1 or 2, they engage and hold perfectly fine. I drove the car in 2nd about half way to my apartment and once I stopped at a stop light I put it back in drive suddenly it started working again. This morning when I was driving to work the car shifted perfectly through 1 and 2 but as soon as it needed to shift to 3 it just neutrals out. After driving about half way to work I put the tranny but into Drive and it shifted through 3 and OD perfectly fine. I checked the fluid and it’s in the crosshatches and the car doesn’t make any weird noise at all. The only thing I recently did to it is drop the pan and replace the transmission filter. The fluid was not burnt did not smell burnt either. No big chunks of metal in the pan, no check engine light. I just drove home from work and the transmission shifted perfectly fine. I have no idea what to even think about this issue any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
 

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97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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11,171 Posts
Either the MLPS or the shift linkage being loose is what it sounds like to me.
 

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97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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11,171 Posts
Yep. As far as the PCM is concerned, the shifter is either in neutral or manual 1 or 2. Since D is right between manual 2 and N it's easy for the MLPS to report (if it's all tight down there) that it's in either of those two positions if it's worn out inside.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Yep. As far as the PCM is concerned, the shifter is either in neutral or manual 1 or 2. Since D is right between manual 2 and N it's easy for the MLPS to report (if it's all tight down there) that it's in either of those two positions if it's worn out inside.
Wow I would have thought that maybe it would throw a CEL since it was electronic. Is there a procedure to test the MLPS and the shifter linkages?
 

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97 Thunderbird 4.6, 98 Mark VIII LSC
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11,171 Posts
Just crawl under and make sure there aren't any loose bolts or something in case you had to disconnect it for some reason. Once I forgot to tighten the bolt at the end of the linkage after swapping trannies on one of my cars and it had some slack in it. I had to pull it back to manual 2 and then put it into D to get it to behave normally and I was freaked out for a little while until I went back under to double check my work. I was lucky the nut didn't fall off the end of the stud. :)

As far as the MLPS... there are specific resistance values for each position but I am not sure if the 09 values are the same as what my 97's would be. The resistance should progress smoothly from one end of the range selector to the other without dips/sags/spikes as you move it.
 

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SuperNewbie
1995 Thunderbird LX 4.6 red
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3,592 Posts
Either the MLPS or the shift linkage being loose is what it sounds like to me.
I agree with theterminator93. The other thing that could be possible is the shift linkage under the dash for the column shifter could be loose. I fix those things all the time. That and the bushings on the top of the steering column for the shifter mechanism wear out. Both conditions cause all kinds of excessive play that will keep you from actually selecting the correct gear even though the shift indicator might suggest you are in the correct gear.
 

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So I went underneath the car and examined the linkage. This is what I found.

2009 P71 Shifter Linkage
That looks normal for a crown vic. I would start by dropping the pan again and making sure the filter stayed up in the valve body.

 
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