How to: Column Shifter Lock Repair

JMod45

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May 16, 2019
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Location
TX
Ram Year
2014
Engine
6.7 Diesel
For reference, I have a 2014 Ram 2500. Mine is diesel, but I'm sure the same components are on the gas versions.

Recently, I have noticed that taking my truck out of park was difficult, but only when the temperatures dropped outside. After I was able to take it out of park, I could put in back into park, and then into any gear without pushing the brake. I could even shift with the truck turned off, and foot off the brake. I decided the only part that could cause this was the shift lock solenoid on the steering column.

If anyone else has issues, with this, here are a bunch of pictures showing how to at least clean it up to make it move smoothly again. There are lots of posts about trucks getting stuck in park, and this part is often times the culprit, or lack of power going to it. Cleaning it up may possibly prevent it from happening.


I actually took all these pictures as I was putting everything back together and posting them in reverse order, so I don't have a picture of the part when it wasn't working.


To start, remove the knee panel under the steering wheel.

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It has two screws, I used a phillips screwdriver, but I believe the hex is 8mm.

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After removing the screws, pull that panel towards the seat, and it will pop off, giving full access to the bottom of the steering column.

On the bottom, there are 3 screws, all are Torx T20. Each square hole has one, as well as the very center hole. The center is a small hole, so it may take a dedicated Torx screwdriver, instead of a 1/4" bit with driver. I have a precision kit that fortunately had a T20, or I would not have been able to remove this.

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Once that is removed, you can get a good look at the part. It has an arm for the manual release, which makes it stand out. Take note of the wire clipped to the bottom of it.

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This is a picture of the side. Can't get a good shot of it, but there are two T20 torx screws holding it on, and not much room for a full screwdriver. I used a 3/8" drive torx socket that I had.

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This is the part removed, and on my workbench

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This is how normal operation should be. Normal position is with the piston up. Pushing the button will push the piston down, or it is supposed to go down when the brake pedal is pushed and truck is running

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The arm has two pins holding it, one on either side, you can use a small screwdriver and pop it out.

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Once out, the piston can pull out. There is a small spring in there, so make sure not to lose it

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I cleaned the outside of the piston with WD40, a rag, and an easy brushing with a wire brush. I also pulled the spring out and cleaned the inside with a cotton swab and WD40.

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From here, do everything in reverse to re-assemble.


Piston moved freely after putting everything back together. I have a bottle of silicone WD40 that I wiped on all of the parts before re-assembling. I'm not sure if this stuff is much better than the regular stuff, but it makes me feel like it is.

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This is the kit I had to use to get the center screw out, my regular bit holder wouldn't fit inside the hole. I did have to put a wrench on this, as I couldn't put enough torque on the little handle for that screw. This kit is from Harbor Freight, and is probably 10 years old now, but saved me on more than one occasion.

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ArcticRat

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May 3, 2017
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Location
Anchorage, Alaska
Ram Year
2014
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6.4
Good write up, and very timely, this just started on my 2014 2500 last weekend and I was going to research and figure it out this Saturday you saved me a lot of guessing I was going to start at the transmission and work my way up. Thanks for the tip...



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Sergio1981

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Jun 9, 2022
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Location
Mexico
Ram Year
2009
Engine
5.7
I have the exact same issue, my solenoid was in bad shape so i had to change it for a new one. but the problem still the same. i can move the shifter with the foot off the brake...I notice that the green piece it is also another switch which allows you to remove the key only when the shift lever is in park. that switch does work fine in the old and new solenoid.

Does anyone have any other suggestion to look where the problem could be?
 
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