based on early 1960's Mopar Logo

1962, 1963, 1964, 1965 Mopar push-button transmission:
sticky buttons and PARK cable tech tips

Lyle asks: On my 1963 Fury push buttons, only Reverse, Neutral and Drive work. I have been under the car and played with the adjustment on the cable. I actually got it where nothing would work. We went in small increments all the way from end to end settling back where we started (about mid way). Still no function from first or second button. They will depress part way and eject whatever button is pushed in, but won't push in all the way or stay in. I have not pulled the cable all the way out of the case yet as I don't have a lift, but it seems to be jamming at the push button mechanism. Maybe another attempt to keep someone from Hot Rodding like the carb and throttle cable? Any suggestions?

1964 Dodge dash push-button shifter (Thanks to Rich K. for these three photos.) Rich writes: I took the push-button assembly out of the dash and some of the bolts were loose. I cleaned it with spray cleaner and I tightened everything, then lubed it with silicone spray and it was like a new car. :-) There are some adjustments you can make to the assembly but unless it is obviously way out of whack they are best left alone. 1964 Dodge b-body dash push-button shifter
1964 Dodge b-body dash push-button shifter 1964 Dodge b-body dash push-button shifter

How the cables are attached to the dash push-button mecahnism. (Thanks to Paul L. for these two photos.)

torqueflight dash push-button shifter park cable torqueflight dash push-button shifter gear selection cable

Paul L. adds:On a 1963 Plymouth it is fairly easy to get to the shifter button assembly. There are 4 screws I think that hold the instrument bezel in the dash. If you remove the two bolts that hold the steering column under the dash it gives you a little more room when getting the instrument panel out. You might put a few pieces of masking tape on top of the column to protect the paint. This gives you pretty good access to the shifter mechanism without having to get under the dash. It is easy to get the shifter cable loose, there is only a “hairpin” holding it on. The park cable is a different matter. It is crimped into a steel collar. It is possible to open it up to free up the cable but unless your careful the collar can break off and then you've got to McGyver something to get it fixed. So I do not recommend trying to take that one off.
But as recommended you first need to get the cable adjusted correctly. The procedure as outlined in the tech section of this website. If you have an analog ohm meter it can be used to make the final adjustment. When it is in neutral the neutral safety switch will be grounded. As you can see when you rotate the adjuster wheel you will get varying resistance. After finding the sweet spot make sure you shift it in and out of neutral a few times to make sure you have got it right as there can be some small amount of variation inherent in the mechanism. Also make sure the cable is not binding in some way. And as previously stated get the shifter mechanism clean an lube it with some silicone spray.

Bob notes: The push-button assembly should NOT be greased! The operating parts mostly slide back and forth, and grease will attract and hold dirt, grit and grime and lead to more problems. A good thorough cleaning with solvents and air pressure, and some silicone spray lube that dries completely, or perhaps some powdered graphite work just fine on the button assembly.

Kevin M. notes: I recommend that you remove the transmission oil pan and have a look at the shifter mechanism that the cable attaches to. It looks like a Rooster comb and as the cable pushes in and out, the rooster comb rotates. Loosen the cable totally and have someone push the neutral button and hold it. Then adjust the cable until the main point on the rooster comb is sitting on the end of the neutral starting switch. Insert the screw to hold the adjuster wheel there and then have your assistant press each button to see if the rooster comb goes through all the gears. Reverse is at one end of the travel and first is at the other end. The cable only moves a small amount in each direction and a total of about 1/2 inch. Incorrect adjustments can lead to jammed buttons.

Steve C. adds:If the push-buttons are sticking you can pull the instrument cluster and see the shift cable side of the pushbutton unit. Perhaps someone has rigged something like the “low gear lockout” some fleet vehicles were treated to years ago. It would not take much to produce the effects you've described.
Anyway, have a look - you can pull the hairpin (and washer?) off to free the eyelet and remove the small 5/16" hex head screws to free the cable housing. At that point you'll be able to tell if the pushbutton control unit is at fault or if you have deeper issues. It shouldn't take much effort to slide the cable in and out of the housing and check for all 5 positions.

“MO” Steve M. adds: Occasionally a problem adjusting the push-button cable is difficult or impossible due to a bent inner wire at the end of the cable.

Removing the PARK cable from the Mopar push-button TorqueFlite transmission

TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
Factory Service Manual illustration of park cable removal See more details

John deV. writes: The end of the cable and the assembly it locks into: the spring I am pointing to sets in the groove cut in the assembly. The spring locks into the groove in the tapered end of the cable when it is pushed into the assembly. TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
The spring viewed from the side TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
The assembly in the housing: the dark circle below the spring is the Allen screw that is removed. The screw in my housing is stuck and I can’t remove it. TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable

But you take out that screw, push a screw driver into the hole, and lift the free end of the spring up. While holding it up the cable can be pulled out. The retaining bolt needs to be moved so the groove is in the middle to allow the cable to be pulled out of the housing.

TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
A close up of the free end of the spring and the Allen screw below: TorqueFlight push-button shifter park cable
(Thanks to John deV. for the PARK cable housing photos.)

Tip on PARK lever not holding

1) Go under the car and loosen the adjustment nut on the transmission so the parking cable will move in and out a little.
2)Have a helper move the PARK lever on the dash so that the lever is all the way in the park position. Physically hold the lever in position.
3)Simultaniously, under the car, gently pull on the park cable until it stops moving. Tighten the justment nut.

September 28, 2014

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