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2002 Sport Trac Column Shifter Stuck


Well-Known Member
U.S. Military - Veteran
Feb 11, 2021
Reaction score
Seattle, WA
Vehicle Year
Make / Model
Ranger XLT 2WD
Engine Type
3.0 V6
2WD / 4WD
My credo
Keep your mind like an umbrella, it only works if its open... Continually learning.
It happened twice to me today. 2002 Explorer Sport Trac 4.0L 5R55E

First time pulled up to wait in line for the ferry, vehicle running put in park. Slight incline, had foot on brake. When line started moving I thought I was in gear, took foot off brake and it rolled forward until parking pawl stopped the truck. Put foot on brake tried to shift into drive and the shifter would not move from park. Tried pulling it towards me and down thinking weight of vehicle was on parking pawl, no joy. It took about 15 seconds then the shifter just moved like it normally does with no effort and put into gear.

Second time, started truck up, put foot on brake and again the shifter would not move. Played around with it trying to shift again and after 15-20 seconds again, miraculously it shifted normally.

Is there some sort of solenoid/interlock that the brake pedal switch operates or engages to shift out of park? Am I on the right train of thought? The shifting through the other gears is fine, no difficulty or hang ups, it's only in park that this has happened. I thought of a broken trans mount (I haven't looked yet) but it would be difficult in all gears if not sticking in all gears. It honestly feels like there is a bar preventing my from shifting out of park, no play in the shifter. Then it works fine.

Once it is out of park the shifter operates normally. These 2 times were not right after the other. I had driven a couple of times in between.

Advice, help, or words of disgust. Anything would help. Thank you for reading.

Edit: watch a couple of videos that point to the brake switch itself. We will see.
Last edited:

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