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Adjust/Repair Instrument Cluster Gear Indicator (Auto Trans)

Fall 2009



Original Poster: Slim

Difficulty: 4 out of 10 (but this really depends on your idea of “difficult”)

Time to install: 15 minutes – 1 hour

Disclaimer: The Ranger, The Ranger Staff, nor the original poster are responsible for you doing this modification to your vehicle. By doing this modification and following this how-to you, the installer, take full responsibility if anything is damaged or messed up. If you have questions, feel free to PM the original poster or ask in the appropriate section of The Ranger forums.

Brief Explanation: This article is intended to educate you on how to diagnose, adjust and/or repair a malfunctioning gear indicator in the instrument cluster of you automatic transmission-equipped Ranger.

Tools Needed:
- various small sockets
- nut driver and/or ratchets for above sockets
- utility cutters (for zip ties, if used)

Parts Needed:
- maybe zip ties


The first step is to figure out what is wrong. If your indicator is not moving at all when you move the gear shifter then there is a problem with the cable. If the indicator moves, but is in the wrong position then the cable is either out of adjustment or somehow broken. In either case you will need to remove the panels under the steering column to access the area where you need to work on the unit.

1. Remove the 4 bolts along the bottom side of the panel under the steering column. Two are easily visible, but the other two are hidden under the hood release latch.

2. Remove the 5 bolts holding the steel plate in place.

3. Locate the cable for the indicator (thin black housing in pic) and follow it through the adjuster and finally to the inner cable.

4. Check the inner cable to make sure it’s properly secured.

5. If it is properly secured, then check the holder for the adjuster. (mine was broken, as you can see in the second pic) If yours isn’t broken then simply adjust the cable tension until the indicator reads the proper gear.

6. If the adjuster is broken the same way mine was you can use the following steps to fix it. Since the adjuster won’t keep the cable tension properly you need to fix this, which is incredibly simple (remember the zip tie fix for the throttle cable? ;) ) …..

7. Get several zip ties. The amount you will need depends on how wide they are and how much of a “gap” you need to “shrink”. Simply wrap the zip ties around the adjuster barrel (the black plastic part) to achieve the proper reading on the indicator. Be sure to trim the excess tie so it doesn’t get caught between anything and you’re done.

Now instead of Park looking like this …..

….. it should look like this …..

While you’re under there take a moment to inspect the throttle cable and see if it needs to be modded.


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