How to Remove the Shift Cable From an Automatic Transmission

by Gracie Sprouse
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Floor shifters mounted on the floor column are operated by the handle on the shifter. A cable connected from the shifter to the transmission changes the gears in automatic transmissions. Aftermarket floor shifters are available from any auto parts store in your area. A rod link was used in some Pontiac vehicles before 1991.The cable shifter has been used since then. A 1991 Pontiac Firebird with an automatic transmission and center console-mounted floor shifter is used in these instructions to demonstrate the removal process.

Step 1

Position the vehicle on level ground and put the car ramps in place in front of the front wheels. The parking brake should be set before beginning.

Step 2

Raise the hood and prop it open. Use the 1/2-inch wrench to loosen the nut on both battery cable ends. Disconnect both cables from the battery.

Step 3

Remove the screws from the sides of the floor shifter using the 1/2-inch wrench. Use the small flat-head screw driver to pry the locking clip loose from the shifter handle. Raise the handle to remove it.

Step 4

Raise the console and remove the four screws at the bottom of the console. Raise the console up to reach the floor shifter. Unhook all wires from the console and pull out on the clips to separate the wires. Use the small flat-head screw driver to separate the wire connectors.

Step 5

Remove the clips from the shifter cable brace by pulling them out. Remove the clip from the cable end and pull the cable from the shifter.

Step 6

Use a 9/16-inch wrench to loosen the nut on the shifter cable under the vehicle, turning the nut counter clock wise. Slide the cable out and off the shift lever on the side of the transmission.

Step 7

Pull the shift cable through the floor from inside the vehicle and remove it.

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