AW4 Shifter Stuck in Neutral and Drive HELP! -

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post #1 of 5 Old 09-28-2013, 07:32 PM Thread Starter
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1993 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 350
AW4 Shifter Stuck in Neutral and Drive HELP!

My girlfriend and I recently purchased a 1989 XJ Wagoneer Limited with an AW4 transmission and NP242 transfer case. Today, while driving it I ran into a strange issue with the transmission shift lever. Here are the symptoms:

Transmission itself shifts fine through all gears. However, I physically cannot get the shift lever to move to Park, Reverse, 3rd, 2nd or 1st gear. All I am able to select are Drive and Neutral. I have the shift lever button depressed and have applied an extreme amount of force to the shift lever and again, it physically will not move into any other gear but Drive or Neutral. The button itself does not click when depressed as it used too and it feels like the button has no resistance when depressed. Any one have any tips as to what would cause this????? I don't think it is an issue with the trans itself because as I mentioned above, the trans shifts silky smooth through every gear while driving. Just the shift lever seems to be stuck in concrete now. This is one of our daily drivers so any help would be greatly appreciated!!!!

1999 XJ SE - Sold
1989 XJ- Sold
1989 XJ Wagoneer Limited
1993 XJ Sport
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post #2 of 5 Old 09-28-2013, 07:49 PM
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1984 CJ7 
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This may sound like a silly question but is the ignition turned off. Can you take the key out.
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post #3 of 5 Old 09-28-2013, 07:50 PM
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1995 XJ Cherokee 
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It sounds like there is something wrong with the button/linkage where the button is not engaging the release for the ratchet system. You can shift from D to N without depressing the button as a safety feature (so you can always shift into neutral in the event of unintended/runaway acceleration), the button must be depressed to shift into any other position. There is a linkage where the "T" handle meets the stick and another inside of the stick that goes to the ratchet mechanism. I'd start by pulling the "T" handle and checking there (just pull up hard it will come off). You can examine the pieces for damage/deformation and try manually pushing on the rod inside of the stick to see if it will then move. If that isn't it your best bet would likely be to get a replacement shifter from a junkyard.
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post #4 of 5 Old 09-28-2013, 08:05 PM
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1990 MJ Comanche 
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Location: Prescott
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Tap the T handle down and see if it's better. dmill89 is on the right track here.

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post #5 of 5 Old 09-28-2013, 08:43 PM Thread Starter
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1993 XJ Cherokee 
Join Date: May 2008
Location: Colorado
Posts: 350
Went outside and smacked the T-bar down a few times. Problem solved. Thanks for the help guys. Glad it wasn't something more serious.

1999 XJ SE - Sold
1989 XJ- Sold
1989 XJ Wagoneer Limited
1993 XJ Sport
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