Originally Posted by skysoldier173rd
My overdrive switch is no longer functions and i cannot shut off the overdrive nor does the light come on. My truck has a history of this, it is a 99 7.3 turbo diesel. Last time the wiring in the harness in the shift tube was grounding out or was broken and i suspect that this is again the problem. I can buy a new shift tube with the harness and switch already pre installed at a fairly reasonable price but the dealer wants $140 to put it in. I am thinking i can do it myself. Has anyone out there ever done this repair and does the steering wheel need to be pulled to do this install? If anyone out there has been through this repair, i sure would like to get your input.
If you want to try it yourself, 1st & foremost disconnect your battery. You don't want to be working around the steering column with a live airbag! However, the steering wheel does not have to come off. Remove the fuse panel under the steering column. Remove the 2 nuts from the column support bracket. Your steering column will drop. You'll need a phillips head screwdriver that's long enough to reach the screws in the steering collar(2 plastic halves around your column). I think there's only 4. Turn the ignition so your steering wheel & gear selector unlock. Engage your parking brake(or if necessary;chock a wheel). Put your gear selector in "N". Now: here's where it gets tricky...You'll need a small skinny phillips head(or even smaller flat head), or a straight pick. If you were able to remove the bottom half of your collar, there's a small hole underneath the tumbler of your ignition. If your collar is still on, there's a hole underneath that accesses this hole. Stick the screwdriver/pick into this hole firmly & turn your key to 'accesory'(back). Apply pressure to the pick & turn the key to 'run'. Try pulling the tumbler out of it's cavity. If it doesn't work, try again. Sometimes it will dislodge when you turn the key to start. After your tumbler is removed, you can now remove the top half of you collar to access your gear selector. Rest the steering wheel on the seat. @ this position, you'll have better access to the selector. You'll need a torque bit socket to remove the 2 retaining brackets that hold the selector rod(connected to shift lever). Forgive me, but it's been a while since I've done one. I'd have to take my column apart just to remember. I don't remember extracting the lever to be to hard. I've replaced the bushings on the mounting brackets, replaced the rod, & replaced shift levers. I'd really suggest getting done professionally. If you DO decide to give it a try, let us know if you get stuck!