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Old 05-07-2010, 06:33 AM   #1
carpart67
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Default Loose shift lever (T-K 5 speed)

Hello,

I've recently purchased a `1986 Ford Ranger. It is a 2WD, 2.9L with a 5 speed manual. From what I've been reading I assume it is a T-K trans. The shift lever is loose and pivots around and I plan on repairing that soon. I was just wondering if anyone can tell me how to do this, before I start tearing things apart.

I've read the article on installing new shifter bushings in the tech
library section. Is the shifter from an 86 attached similarly (IE remove the boot and there is a slip bolt)? Any help would be appreciated.

Last edited by carpart67; 05-07-2010 at 06:49 AM.
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Old 05-07-2010, 11:50 AM   #2
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when i had my tk5 in still, i had problems like that. i had to take the shifter boot off, then there is about 8-12 small bolts (10mm?) then the shifter and top plate comes off. i noticed that there was a plastic ball shaped thing that caps the end of the shifter. mine had a tendency to fall off. the plastic ball keeps the shifter from wiggling around inside the cavity on the tranny. i ended up shimming it with a dime from my ashtray until i got home, then drilled the bottom of the shifter and ran a very small bolt to hold the plastic piece in.

hopefully its as easy as that for ya, only tough part is stabbing the shifter back in the cavity when your done!
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Old 05-08-2010, 11:02 PM   #3
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What are you talking about? My TK5 and TK4 have a shifter that's only held on with four bolts.


The TK transmissions are crappy because of the shifter. There are the little 'cups' that clip onto the ball on the very bottom of the shifter rod, but there's also the 'molded' ball that's permanently affixed to the rod at the pivot point.

That plastic ball isn't the best quality and for me and my dad, it just disintegrated on us. We ended up making our own shifters. I'm not going to go into detail on that because it's been a long damn time ago and I don't have the time right now to talk about it.


Take the shifter off and see where the problem starts. It should be pretty obvious once you do that.
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:33 AM   #4
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What are you talking about? My TK5 and TK4 have a shifter that's only held on with four bolts.
4 bolts, 400 bolts, same pivot ball same transmission...

let us know what the problem ended up being, and how you fixed it!
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Old 05-09-2010, 12:30 PM   #5
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4 bolts, 400 bolts, same pivot ball same transmission...

let us know what the problem ended up being, and how you fixed it!
I still don't know what you were completely talking about. It seemed to me that you were being too vague in your answer to help out someone who's inexperienced.


Carpart67, can you grab your shifter and twist it like a door knob? Or is it just loose while in each gear?
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Old 05-09-2010, 01:33 PM   #6
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The shifter can be twisted, it has play up and down and was loose in each gear. I removed it this afternoon. The little orange "cup" was still on the bottom of the shifter. I wraped some of that rubber tape that only sticks to istelf around the cup as a sort of shim so it fit into the cavity tighter. This stiffened things up quite a bit but it won't last. I seen a brass spring pictured in another thread, didnt see this in my lever assembly.

I have a feeling that most of my problem is the permanent molded ball being quite worn hence the reason I can move the shifter up and down in it's plastic housing/base. I'm going to price the assembly from my local dealership and possibly replace it, unless anyone has a fix. Insanejughead I seen in the other thread you suggested a TK4 shifter, would it be advisable for me to price this assembly as well?

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Old 05-09-2010, 07:26 PM   #7
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I did recommend the TK4 shifter. I found it in a junkyard one day (and didn't even realize that it was a 4 speed) but I pulled it because my dad needed it in his ranger ('87 2.9L 5 spd). I didn't understand why the TK4 has a metal shifter and the TK5 has a plastic one, but that's what I found that day.

I yanked it, bought it, gave it to him and all he had to do was change the holes for the bolts to go into. I was still in the military when he did that, but I'll ask him what else he had to do (if anything).
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Old 05-10-2010, 05:53 AM   #8
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I was still in the military when he did that, but I'll ask him what else he had to do (if anything).
That would be great, thanks. Meanwhile I'm going to price the original part at the dealership and also see if I can find a diagram that shows the little brass spring.
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Old 05-12-2010, 06:06 AM   #9
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Picked up the replacement shifter assembly and installed it last night. Much better! I'm still going to keep my eyes open for something a little tougher to retrofit though.
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