I have a 1964 Mercury Comet Caliente that I am restoring and I'm trying to make it drive as smoothly as possible. However, the car's gear shifter lever on the steering column (automatic transmission) is super easy to move around. Barely any pressure is required to change gears in the car.

This wouldn't be that big of a problem but the car will sometimes go from park to reverse with hardly a bump to the lever. Are there any adjustments I can make to tighten the gear shifter so that it's not so easy to shift? Or does this sound more like something is worn out on the transmission/shifting components? Thanks in advance!


2 Answers 2


Ford had poor engineering those years (1966 1980 but earlier models have the same issue after years of wear.) for auto trans linkage, most of the problem was in the steering column, they actually got sued and lost for the F100 trucks due to this, people got run over (killed) because they slipped into reverse all on their own. The problem is in the steering column linkage. Parts will be non existent for that model, you are best to install an aftermarket floor shifter.... http://www.thetruthaboutcars.com/2012/03/automotive-lawsuit-history-unearthed-junkyard-style-the-ford-park-to-reverse-warning-label/

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    Definitely not the answer I wanted to see, but the more I research the more it's looking like the right one. Thanks, @Moab +1
    – Dalton D
    Sep 8, 2016 at 15:53

Not positive how it is set up on your vehicle, but here is where I would look.

Go under the hood, find the steering column. There should be a tube around the column with linkage that goes down to the transmission. There should be a piece with raised pieces to help you not accidentally shift out of park. Around here somewhere should be a spring that holds everything in place.

If this doesn't work out. Find the linkage at the transmission and follow it back.

There are 2 factors. The spring (how hard you have to push) and the raised edges (how far you have to push). Be aware some shifter are only made to pull so far, and if you pull them further, you will break it! I found this one out the hard way...

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