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Author Topic: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.  (Read 5345 times)

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Offline DrgHybrid

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Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« on: February 22, 2011, 08:39:24 PM »
We had to replace the gauge cluster on my 88 Dodge Ramcharger 2WD and we can't get the indicator back to where it needs to be. We are reading that it has to be in some sort of loop and we got that far, but it never stays where it is suppose to. Is there a specialized tool for this job or just a pain in the butt to do? Basically, it would be great if we could get a full step by step on putting this back where it correctly needs to go and not just "installation is reversal of removal" as the Haynes book says.

Wish I could afford an actual service manual.
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Offline 88raminator

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #1 on: February 22, 2011, 09:08:06 PM »
I'm going by memory- not usually the best bet. remove the panel under your steering column and find the small cable with a j-hook on the end of it. it will be hooked in one of several slots on the column. on my 88 rc i just experimented on which slot brought the indicator closest to the markings. all thats required is needle nose pliers and patience
2-88 ramchargers, 57 dodge 1/2 ton 340 auto ,really miss 80 ramcharger and 98 v-10 3/4

Offline DrgHybrid

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #2 on: February 22, 2011, 09:14:10 PM »
It's off the column. If you pull it down into 1st to try and position it, it's way past the actual column to hook it into. Is there some special trick or where we trying to put at the wrong position? I heard about a loop or a knot, but not fully understanding what is being talked about.

Let me also be more specific. Think of it as we got this truck and it didn't have a gauge cluster, so need to install it. (Obviously the truck did come with one, just figured this would help with the analogy.)
« Last Edit: February 22, 2011, 09:47:17 PM by DrgHybrid »
88` RC 360 4BBL. Holley Carb. Eldebrock intake. Flowmaster dual exhaust.
11' Jeep Wrangler Black Ops Edition
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Offline 88raminator

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #3 on: February 22, 2011, 09:50:02 PM »
Not sure about loop or knot either- guess if the cable stretches, it's a bandaid fix to shorten it. Did you move the gear selector while holding tension on the cable to check if the cable is broken. Ran out to the garage to check the FSM I got from Dodge Boys, but didn't find info on cable routing
2-88 ramchargers, 57 dodge 1/2 ton 340 auto ,really miss 80 ramcharger and 98 v-10 3/4

Offline DrgHybrid

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #4 on: February 22, 2011, 09:59:48 PM »
Cable moves just fine. Feel better knowing that we wouldn't had found it in the FSM either. Seems like it's just really frustrating.
88` RC 360 4BBL. Holley Carb. Eldebrock intake. Flowmaster dual exhaust.
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Offline ChrisKD

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #5 on: February 22, 2011, 10:09:11 PM »
Isn't there an adjustment nut on the J-Hook? or on the bracket that holds the cable housing?
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Offline 88raminator

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #6 on: February 22, 2011, 10:14:11 PM »
sorry i cant be any help, but at least the cable still moves, and for some unknown reason the cable is now way to long. hope someone jumps in with an answer before you are left with putting knots in the cable- i feel that there is an easy fix out there, but it eludes me.
2-88 ramchargers, 57 dodge 1/2 ton 340 auto ,really miss 80 ramcharger and 98 v-10 3/4

Offline cjohhny

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #7 on: February 22, 2011, 10:17:02 PM »
Isn't there an adjustment nut on the J-Hook? or on the bracket that holds the cable housing?

There should be a bracket on the steering column with 3 slots in it for the j-hook on the end of the cable to hook into.  Is that bracket there on the column?  Can be a royal pain to get hooked again sometimes.
I always hooked it back up with the shifter in park.
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Offline DrgHybrid

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #8 on: February 22, 2011, 10:27:23 PM »
The slots are there but there's more like 6 slots. Not sure there. No adjustment nut anywhere...wish there was. We can put in park to put the j-hook back on but it's just way too long. How would you shorten this wire so that the tension would be there?
88` RC 360 4BBL. Holley Carb. Eldebrock intake. Flowmaster dual exhaust.
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Offline cjohhny

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #9 on: February 23, 2011, 01:10:16 PM »
The slots are there but there's more like 6 slots. Not sure there. No adjustment nut anywhere...wish there was. We can put in park to put the j-hook back on but it's just way too long. How would you shorten this wire so that the tension would be there?

I think that's where the knots come from.  You tie a knot or two into the cable.  That shortens the cable.
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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #10 on: February 23, 2011, 04:32:20 PM »
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Offline silvermopar1

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2011, 06:29:02 PM »
The bracket on the column with the 6 or whatever holes connected to the shifter is "bendable"  A little trial and error bending and adjusting which hole to use is sure to correct the problem.  I've fixed a number of these gear indicators.  If you have trouble getting full travel from P - 1 you may need to tweek the angle of this bracket to adjust the throw travel.  Fixing them the first time is hard, but after doing it a couple times they are very simple to adjust/fix.
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Offline DrgHybrid

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2011, 10:09:09 PM »
I appreciate all the info given. Got the cable on, but it snapped off and broke. Sometime in the future will get it right. During all the problems I never posted what I've got up. Gotta figure out whats wrong with my computer to read the memory card from the camera. Either way, first time Ramcharger owner. Purchased about a week and a half ago and already loving it, even through the repairs.

--88 RC 360 V8. After market Holly Carb, Edelbrock intake, and Hitman Headers. Dual Flowmasters for the exhaust. Is in need of a paint job, but that's really about it that isn't minor. Will post up pictures soon as I can.
88` RC 360 4BBL. Holley Carb. Eldebrock intake. Flowmaster dual exhaust.
11' Jeep Wrangler Black Ops Edition
93' Jeep Wrangler Sahara

Offline 88raminator

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2011, 11:35:06 PM »
i will have to check the cable routing on my rc, i start days off tomorrow just sounds odd how that cable could be to long
2-88 ramchargers, 57 dodge 1/2 ton 340 auto ,really miss 80 ramcharger and 98 v-10 3/4

Offline silvermopar1

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2011, 11:32:02 AM »
Getting the indicator assembly from another dash may be the easiest fix for the broken cable.  However, I didn't have access to another dash when mine broke, so I made one using a wire leader cable and it's worked perfectly for over a year now.
1990 Dodge RamCharger 4x4 318 TBI 191,XXX
1985 Dodge RamCharger 2wd 318 Carb 91,XXX
1995 Dodge Ram 1500 2wd 5.2 Magnum 137,XXX
1995 Dodge Stratus 2.0L 5 Speed 220,XXX
1996 Yamaha XT225
1984 Pontiac Sunbird 1.8L Turbo

Offline 88raminator

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Re: Automatic transmission gear shift indicator problem.
« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2011, 09:45:29 PM »
If you dont mind cold weather (going down to -30 C tonite) , you are more than welcome to check out the cable routing om my 88. lol we can have a cold beer and bitch about the weather
2-88 ramchargers, 57 dodge 1/2 ton 340 auto ,really miss 80 ramcharger and 98 v-10 3/4