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Discussion Starter #1
Hi! I have a '97 t-bird that sometimes is stuck in park. Actually the button on the shifter is like stuck (only sometimes) and I can't get it depressed far enough to move the shifter. Please, what's going on here and how can I fix it? Thanks so much for any help! Larry
 

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Courtesy of Bangster....

If the brake lights are not working, check the fuse and the brake switch on the brake pedal.

If your brake lights work, then it is likely the shift interlock. There a bunch of posts on that if you search for it.

Min was balky for a little while, someone spilled a soda in my center console. I cleaned it up and the cable to the shifter (the interlock cable) and it only gives me fits when it is cold.
Maybe this will help.

Jay
 

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the shift lock cable runs from your brake pedal to the bottom of your shifter. mine did the same thing when i got it then it stopped. then all of a sudden one day i couldn't get the damn thing out of park without hitting the button with my palm. i got fed up and just took my console apart and disconnected the cable. i don't neccessarily recomend you doing that only because if you happen to shut the car off in drive (as i've done on rare occasions when not paying attention) your keys will still come out and your car will basically be in neutral and able to roll.

basically what happens is the same as a bicycle brake cable when it gets dirty or rusted. it's a braided metal cable run thru a sheathing. on cars as old as these it gets dirt or moisture in the sheathing over the years and tends to roughen up the inside. this causes the cable to seize. and unfortunately the way the cable is designed it pushes towards the shifter to disengage rather than pull. if it was pulled it wouldn't be a problem. but since it's a flexible metal line being pushed thru a hole it binds up and fails to work. spray some white lith grease or even some dry graphite lube in the sheathing and try to work it into the line. otherwise you can just do what i did and disconnect the whole thing. just remember what position your shifter is in when you get out of your car
 

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I had that problem on my 98 TA. I removed the console top and unplugged the connector to the interlock switch. Now I don't have the brake interlock, but it is just there to protect from idiots.
On that car the switch is only activated when you turn the key on and released when you push on the brake. If the key is only turned to the unlock position (not where the idiot lights turn on) you can move move the shifter to neutral, start the car put it in D or R and you bypassed the interlock. Not sure how the MN12 works, but see if you can get in neutral (key in unlock) if it happens again. Also, as mentioned check to see if you have brake lights.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Ok. I had someone press on the brake and the lights come on for a second and go out even though the brake is still depressed.
 

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its a safety thing and is not recomended but i ditched the cable
 

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as long as you remember to pay attention to your shifter position you'll be fine. that is of course if you decide to go that route and disconnect it
 

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The brake switch is a pain to replace. Its extremely hard to maneuver a larger person into the area to fix it. I changed mine, then I found out the reason for being stuck in park was a loose shifter. Bad design on ford's part. Good luck with this.
 

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You have to look up through the brake pedal, you will see something attached to it with a wire plugged in. It is kind of time consuming and also difficult to manuever underneath. The part is relatively cheap though. I paid 6 dollars at an auto parts store for mine. Once i replaced it the problem was gone. I had the same thing as you did, the lights will go on and then off.
 
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