I’ve got a 93 Dakota rear wheel drive with the 318 and automatic transmission, yesterday it stopped wanting to go into park, after playing with the column shifter I was finally able to get it into park but it won’t start from park, it’ll only start from neutral, I talked to a buddy of mine and he stated it’s a problem with the mechanism that locks the drive shaft in park, apart from getting a new transmission is there anything I can do??
To give us a little help, do you know the designation of the transmission? It could be an A500/42RH, 42RE, A518/46RH, or 46RE. It looks like parking pawl, cog ring, and linkage of the A500/42RH can be accessed via dropping the transmission pan and removing the tail shaft. IIRC the same is the case for A518/46RH but you will have to disassemble the overdrive unit to get at the pawl and cog ring.
You might run this by an independent transmission shop to get their opinion and cost estimate.
Hope this helps. If I am wrong in my assessment feel free to correct me.
Where can I find the transmission designation? And Thanks appreciate the response, if I can I’m hoping to do the repair myself as I don’t drive it much and have plenty of garage space to move things around.
The A500/42RH is a three speed automatic. The A518/46RH is a four speed overdrive automatic. If you have the Chilton or Haynes manual, you usually can determine which you have by the shape and bolt pattern of the pan. If you have the capability take a picture of the pan and run it by a truck parts store; a transmission parts store; or a transmission mechanic.
Again keep us appraised of your progress on this.
Something else I just thought of. Apply the emergency brake and chock the wheels. Disconnect the shift linkage from the manual arm on the transmission. Now, try to move the arm into the park detent. Do you have Park now and can you start the engine.
Wouldn’t be nice if the whole problem is just a misadjusted manual linkage? If the linkage is adjusted correctly but the column shifter still will not go into the park position, there may be a problem in the steering column or one of the links of the linkage.
Start with the simple things, then divide and conquer.
Took to get adjusted and there was a bend in the linkage, unfortunately the transmission itself won’t go into park. From what I was able to find the lower section of the transmission contains the parking pawl and overdrive assembly, I’m looking at pricing a rebuilt transmission and may see if I can rebuild just the lower end.