My 1994 Nissan Sentra started being difficult to start a couple of weeks ago. I'd have to shift into Neutral in order for it to start. I figured the automatic shifter cable was loose again, so I went and took a look. Everything seemed reasonably snug.
This week, I could no longer shift from Drive to Neutral. I mean, I could move the shifter to Neutral, but the tranny was still in Drive. The only way to reach Neutral was to shift up into Reverse first, then Neutral. And the shifter started feeling stiff. So I took the shifter housing off and went to take a look, I figured something needs lube or something wore out. No, everything looks the way it should, I couldn't find the cause of the stiffness or why it's not shifting properly.
Last night, I went over to my friend's place for him to take a look, and it's also easier to adjust the tranny cable with 2 people. He couln't find anything either, so he completely disconnected the cable from the transmission housing in order to rule that out. The shifter was still very stiff, but moving it wasn't moving the tranny-side end of the cable. We disconnected the cable from the shifter's end, and found the cable had snapped.
The cable is a solid core steel cable, with twisted "aircraft cable" on the outside. The twisted part snapped first and bunched itself up at the shifter's end of the cable and was jamming.
Part stores don't have a replacement, neither do transmission shops. Everybody is sending me to the dealership, and they're back-ordered. I've found a shop that can reattach the old ends onto a new cable, but I need to supply the cable. I've tried finding a supplier for this type of cable but have failed.
I've also gone to the local junkyards, the 1 location that has this make and model is a friggin manual transmission, not an auto. Ebay doesnt have this, neither does mercadolibre (Mexican eBay, this car is very popular down there).
Any ideas what applications (tower tethers, structural cabling, etc) use cables of this type?