How to Fix a Loose Shift Lever on a Ford F150by Richard Ristow
Typically, a Ford F150's gear shift lever does not come loose very easily. Still, there are ways it can happen. If you removed the lever previously, as part of transmission repairs, you may have not reinstalled it tight enough. This is likely to be the most common cause. Also, the lever could also loosen as a complication resulting from a collision. Another possibility includes just general wear and tear. No matter the reason, the problem can be fixed quickly.
Grab the bezel fitted around the shift lever's boot. Give it a shake. If it is lose, take note, but move on. It may not be the only loose component involved.
Remove the four screws holding down the shift boot's bezel. Pull the rubber boot upwards and over the shift knob. You are not removing the boot completely, so there is no need to remove the shift knob. You only need access to the components below the boot.
Grab the shift lever's internal boot. This is at the base of the lever, where the lever connects to the F150's internal transmission components. Give this boot a gentle shake. If it is loose, take a screwdriver and tighten the four screws at each corner.
Locate the lever's retaining nut and bolt. It is on the lower part of the lever, just above the internal boot. Give this nut and bolt a slight shake. If it is loose, tighten the nut with a socket wrench. However, do not pull the nut too tight and risk stripping either the nut or bolt's threads.
Pull the shift lever's external rubber boot down from the shift knob. Place it and its trim bezel in its previous location. This will be directly over the internal shift boot. Refasten the bezel's retaining screws.
Give the lever a final troubleshooting shake. If it is still loose, it may be a component within the transmission. Depending on your level of repair experience, you may want to take the Ford F150 to a mechanic.
Items you will need
- Socket wrench
- Socket set
- "Chilton's Ford Pick-Ups / Expedition / Navigator 1997 - 09 Repair Manual"; Eric Michael Milhalyi and Jay Storer; Haynes Publishing Group; 2009
- shift stick image by BaSSaBaS from Fotolia.com