EL CAMINO Shift Lever / Key Removal Issues

Vanzant

n00b
Oct 28, 2022
3
1
87 El Camino
305 Automatic Column Shift

I'm having an issue where I have to pull the shift lever up (when already in Park) in order to get the ignition lock cylinder to turn all the way back where I can remove the key from the ignition. Is there something that's out of adjustment or broken? I've searched but I'm not seeing a similar issue.
 

69hurstolds

Geezer
Supporting Member
Jan 2, 2006
7,028
113
Shift rod/linkage sounds like it's misadjusted down by the cross lever. There's a 1/2" head bolt on there, could be 13mm, don't recall specifically, that you can loosen to adjust the rod. Check the bushings at the transmission link lever. If missing or worn out, those could be the issue as well. My bet is that it's just generally worn down over the years allowing the adjustments to get sloppy. You can probably tighten it up a bit by that adjustment bolt by having it in park, then loosen the bolt. Then ensure you take all the slack out of the movement of the rod by trying to raise the rod up gently, just enough to take all the slack out, then tighten the adjustment bolt. This effectively will rotate the column more toward Park when you're actually in Park, thus you should be able to remove the keys. If it's that issue.

Another issue may be your shift lever detent inside the column is worn and allowing the shift linkage to droop while in Park, just enough to keep the key lock from working properly. Don't know much about column shift columns, but I can think it wouldn't be a fun job if it's this issue.
 
Last edited:
  • Like
  • Agree
Reactions: 4 users

Vanzant

n00b
Thread starter
Oct 28, 2022
3
1
Shift rod/linkage sounds like it's misadjusted down by the cross lever. There's a 1/2" head bolt on there, could be 13mm, don't recall specifically, that you can loosen to adjust the rod. Check the bushings at the transmission link lever. If missing or worn out, those could be the issue as well. My bet is that it's just generally worn down over the years allowing the adjustments to get sloppy. You can probably tighten it up a bit by that adjustment bolt by having it in park, then loosen the bolt. Then ensure you take all the slack out of the movement of the rod by trying to raise the rod up gently, just enough to take all the slack out, then tighten the adjustment bolt. This effectively will rotate the column more toward Park when you're actually in Park, thus you should be able to remove the keys. If it's that issue.

Another issue may be your shift lever detent inside the column is worn and allowing the shift linkage to droop while in Park, just enough to keep the key lock from working properly. Don't know much about column shift columns, but I can think it would be a fun job if it's this issue.
I'll have to look at that when I get home. I feel like it's something in the column itself though. It shifts through and indicates that it's in all the right gears. It just won't line up just right for me to turn it back to remove the key without pulling on the lever.
 

ELCAM

G-Body Guru
Jun 19, 2021
804
93
The only adjustment is in the linkage. The rod that operates the ignition switch from the lock cylinder has a square casting on it it goes into a square slot on the shifter bowl when the key is off. When the key is on it pulls the square part back so the round rod is inside where that slot is and everything is free to move.

As the motor and transmission and body to frame mounts age things move around, if the mounts are completely shot you may not be able to keep the adjustment stable.

There is a long rod coming from the steering column, it goes through a hole in a lever on the cross bar that operates the trans mission shift shaft. That's where the bolt is, loosen the bolt and push the long rod toward the steering column. While holding that rod up tighten the bolt.
 
  • Like
Reactions: 1 users

Vanzant

n00b
Thread starter
Oct 28, 2022
3
1
The only adjustment is in the linkage. The rod that operates the ignition switch from the lock cylinder has a square casting on it it goes into a square slot on the shifter bowl when the key is off. When the key is on it pulls the square part back so the round rod is inside where that slot is and everything is free to move.

As the motor and transmission and body to frame mounts age things move around, if the mounts are completely shot you may not be able to keep the adjustment stable.

There is a long rod coming from the steering column, it goes through a hole in the cross bar that operates the trans mission shift shaft. That's where the bolt is, loosen the bolt and push the long rod toward the steering column. While holding that rod up tighten the bolt.
Thank you to both replies. I will try to adjust that when I get home tonight.
 

GBodyForum is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. Amazon, the Amazon logo, AmazonSupply, and the AmazonSupply logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates.

Please support GBodyForum Sponsors

Classic Truck Consoles Dixie Restoration Depot UMI Performance

Contact Admin@GBodyForum.com for info on becoming a sponsor