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  1. #1
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    stuck in Park?

    A 1997 850 I am taking care of is stuck in Park! The obvious thing, namely a brake switch holding out the interlock, *seems* not to be the trouble, because pressing the brake pedal does indeed turn on the brake lights. The lever presses in, but the gearshift won't move back from P to R.
    So I could (a) rip up the shifter boot and look for something disconnected from the release lever, or (b) pull trim under the dash to look for some kind of "secondary brake switch". I don't even want to think about (c) mis-read of engine RPM too high to put into gear or (d) failure of EGS computer (wherever-the-heck it's located). But before I go prowling with a flashlight, does anybody have experience with this one?
    It's an extremely-low-mileage car, and has just been sitting for months. Drove into storage OK, battery was tended OK; started right up. Towing to the dealership is highly undesirable, because they'll just yank it onto a flatbed, which won't be great for the tires -- nor, presumably, the transmission! So I really want to figure this one out in the driveway myself.
    (Searchnazis: Yes I can read Wuffer's ETMDRM.pdf, but it doesn't help me in the guessing game. Experience helps... TIA.)


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    the interlock is mechanical. between ignition

    cylinder and shifter. You may also have a faulty EGS module (Transmission module, right side rear above battery). I had one go out at a rest stop in Mississippi, and could not get the gear selector out of park. A replacement EGS (Thanks Greg for having a "spare" with you) solved the problem. See if there is an 8er close by you that will let you swap out the EGS module real quick to trouble shoot. If it is the module, it will need to be reflashed.

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    Re: stuck in Park?

    Seems like everything electrical nowdays needs to be "re-booted"
    when its behavior is abnormal.

    I have an older '91 850 and have had to reset it several times.

    Rather than tearing up the gearshift, there is a proceedure to
    reboot the entire system, without damage to the car...

    Disconnect both batteries in the trunk by taking the battery
    leads off both the + and - terminals. Short the leads together
    with a wire jumper. Then turn on the ignition switch, then turn
    it off. Reconnect the battery leads to the batteries.

    This will reset all the computers in the car including the
    radio code and OBC and DME's. If you problem is fixed, then
    you don't have to take other things apart.


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    Re: the interlock is mechanical. between ignition

    Thanks for your swift response. It's dark so I can't go poking at the moment, but your suggestion brought up 3 questions:
    1) Could you say where to find the "shift lock solenoid" that appears to come off pin 2 of the EGS? (Y19, or Y8522 it's labeled) Maybe I'll get lucky and find it broken, or can give it power regardless of EGS pin 2 output zero... (I suppose I also ought to ask if that is in fact a solenoid that pins the shift lever, or some other mystery function?!?)
    2) You said EGS "reflashed". Really? That would certainly be preferable to "replaced", which realoem says costs $1500!
    3 You said the ignition interlock is mechanical, but presumably you meant only mechanical by virtue of the (electromechanical) solenoid referred to? (Since it starts, the key cylinder should no longer be relevant, because that interlock goes the other way, i.e. don't start if not in P or N. Or did I misunderstand what you meant?)

    Alas, realoem says two different part numbers for EGS even in the 850 -- low likelihood of finding someone with a post-5/96 one. (The only car at my disposal is an 840(M60), definitely not the same module...) The wiring diagram draws the brake switch twice, which looks two linked halves of a DPDT, so maybe I'll get lucky and brake lights aren't an absolute guarantor of anything. I'll dig there first anyway -- the light isn't any better there, but it's certainly cheaper!

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    I was thinking of the steering interlock, sorry, b


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    The 1991 and 1992 cars do not require stepping

    on the brake to shift, the 1993 does. The 1994-1997 cars have the same box (since it regulates the 5-speed). You should be able to disengage the pin at the shifter, and shift that way.

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    Re: stuck in Park?

    Thanks for the suggestion, I'll try -- and it doesn't cost anything. Did you have your gearshift fail to move out of park before, and this actually fixed it?!? Sheesh. (I read somewhere that the early models didn't even *have* an interlock, but maybe it was the other direction (to starter/EKM) that was missing. Honestly, it seems rather unlikely to work, but... our models' electrical gremlins are legendary!)

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    had same trouble once in my 1995 840ci

    the trouble is a cable from the shifter to ignition lock cylinder.

    move the cable by hand at the shifter. Mine just needed adjustment or cleaning.


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    Re: The 1991 and 1992 cars do not require stepping


  10. #10
    Brian in MCO
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    no, "re-booting" doesn't change it (FYI)

    I hate people who ask questions and then don't report the fixes. So I'll report, dusty, that disconnecting the batteries, shorting under-hood terminals, and ignition->2, didn't help.

    But it does bring up an interesting question, which answer might help me: I've only had 840 automatic's, and this 850 manumatic does something I consider odd: When the car is unlocked, even before the key is in the ignition, the indicator light beside the P on the gearshift console is already lit! Is that normal, you late-model 850 owners?

    As for the other diagnostics, alas, let's just say "I have preserved my amateur standing!"

    To check the brake switch, once I got the 4 flex-plastic screws out of the panel in the driver's tunnel, I *still* couldn't drop it down without breaking something. The ODB2 connector comes free with the panel, but there's still something on the outer edge and near the inner edge holding it *hard*. (I saw where someone had tried before, and broke one of the vanes in front of the ventilation tube, pulling on it.) What's the secret?

    Next, figured I'd drop the plastic from the bottom of the steering wheel to see if the mechanical interlock cable was coming loose. But after the single screw, I couldn't get the halves to separate without seemingly cracking what look like little plastic ringlets running lengthwise down the edges. I tried pushing in on the bottom half, or pulling out, but neither way did it want to let loose...

    So I went on to the shift lever, pulled inward on the boot and pried on the plastic surround, but couldn't get it loose either, without applying what seemed like an *awful lot* of force. This one at least I think there's a DIY somewhere on the web, but boy I had enough for the day, and was gonna break something just by swearing if I kept at it...

  11. #11
    Brian in MCO
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    and the answer was...

    As I said, I hate when people don't report after asking questions... So for you web-searchers, here it is:

    The 1997 850 has both a mechanical interlock and a solenoid holding the shift lever in park.

    If you pull up the shifter boot and twist it aside, you can see a solenoid (2" metal cylinder) oriented horizontally on the left side, and you'll see the pin (1/4" metal cylinder) retract (hopefully) away from one of the levers on the right side, every time you press the brake pedal. But also you'll see a 1/4" thick by 4" long plastic lever running front-to-rear on the right side, almost under the plastic edge, which *should* pop up by 1/4" or so, when the key is turned in the ignition.

    In my case, the black lever had to be lifted manually, because the cable didn't push it, and it's pretty stiff, which I don't think it should be. Then, when you go to turn the engine off, you can't remove the key until you push the lever back down, forcing the cable back home at the ignition. (I think maybe I won't do this too many times before opening up the steering column to look at the ignition end of the cable, and find out what's really wrong... :-) Maybe there's a missing or dead spring. Oddly, there were sparse metal shavings in the grease on the various parts under the boot; don't know if that's normal from manufacturing or not.

    (Oh yeah, and a hint for newbies: To remove the shifter boot, don't start disassembly at the edge of the plastic panel surrounding the leather boot; start at the edge of the boot itself -- it's clipped and not glued to the plastic, no matter what it seems like. Pull inward (toward the shift lever) on the left and right sides of the leather itself, 2 clips front/rear each side, on a hoop *right under the edge* of the leather where it joins the plastic surround. The plastic panel apparently has a screw in it at the top, thus *cannot be detached* before the leather is unhooked from it!)

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    Thanks for the follow up




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    asking a favor

    If somebody has time, could you measure the resistance of this solenoid? I have firebird's remapping of all boxes including the EGS. My euro doesn't have the shift lock but the software expects to see one. When I start my car I get a TRANS FAIL-SAFE on the MID which I only have to hit the check button to make go away. Doesn't cause a problem but I'm tired of hitting the button on startup so my options are to install the solenoid (no big deal) or, possibly just put a resistor between the two solenoid leads to fake one in place.

    Thanks in advance

    Tony







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