'69 Transmission Question


I have a 1969 Cougar XR7 with a 351 W and an FMX. I just had the engine and transmission rebuilt. When I first bought the car (prior to having any work done on it) the shift selector would shift to all of the positions but when it got to “1” the push button would stay depressed and not pop back out like it did for all the other gears. It would stay in the position of where “1” was and seemed to select the gear but I never drove in “1” so I wouldn’t know if it actually selected it. Applying a little more force downard does not seem to make it “click” into position either. I was not even remotely alive when these cars were on the road and I don’t know if this is a normal thing. If it is not normal are there any thoughts as to what it may be?

Also, the transmission was just recently rebuilt. When I took it out for a test drive this morning the speedometer and the odometer were not working (this is the first I’ve driven the car since having had all this work done to it). Prior to anything being done to the car both of these items worked. The engine guy told me that this could either be the speedometer cable or the speedometer gear. I looked up the speedometer gears on WCCC’s website I saw that there were seven different ones that could potentially fit with an FMX, but they all had different tooth numbers. I also read that there are different size gears for different rear ends; I have a 3.00 non-locking Are there any thoughts as to what this might be because it worked prior to being rebuilt? And if it is a speedometer gear what size gear would I need? Thank you all in advance.

First, it sounds like the linkage was not properly set to the right position. There is a procedure in the shop manual. The good news is that it takes about 10-15 minutes and even less with a friend in the seat. Without having the shop manual procedure in front of you it’s hard to give good info across the web…so if you have the manual review the procedure and reset the linkage.

As far as the speedo cable. Pop it out of the trans and make sure the gear and retaining snap ring are in place. With a 3.00:1 it should be a 19 tooth gear. The other side of the cable may have popped out of the back of the speedo. This requires a small hand to finesse it back into place or a major teardown to re-snap the cable on to the back of the speedo. Hopefully it’s just a gear issue at the trans.

Thank you very much for your help! I do have the manuals (well they’re in the mail on there way at least). Thanks again!

The 1 or low position on the shifter has the highest step on the shifter gate. So, the button won’t pop out very much. Park, Neutral and Drive are the lowest positions, where the button will pop out fully.

If your speedometer worked before the repairs were done, perhaps they damaged it or the cable or gear was on it’s last legs before being touched. Did the transmission rebuilder perform the installation of the trans? Or, is this something your or someone else did?

The trans was installed by the shop that rebuilt it. It turns out the speedometer cable was broken by a previous repair on the speedometer side that connects to the speedometer itself (The clip was broken so it’s a wonder it worked at all).

So, if I’m understanding this correctly the 1 position should have a small button pop out? I know when I shift it now it doesn’t even come out a little bit. I was looking online (my shop manuals haven’t arrived yet in the mail) and there’s nothing on how to readjust an FMX shift linkage without just saying it needs to be readjusted, but there is information about C4s and people were adjusting those internally. Is this potentially an internal fix? I know it’s hard to say over the web or would it more than likely just be the linkage on the outside that travels in the bolt track of the linkage? Thanks again!

To clarify, the button I am talking about is the one your thumb presses on to be able to move the shifter. I don’t think I’d worry too much about how far out the button comes out in 1st. Take a youtube video of the button problem, cause I’m not sure it’s a problem.
If you’d like to adjust the linkage, it’s under the car where the bottom of the shifter comes through the floor. You’ll see a slot on the shift rod. The nut that holds the shifter to the rod can be loosened and moved within the slot to obtain the proper adjustment.

To adjust the linkage, go below the car and loosen the nut that ties the linkage rod to the lever on the transmission, get in the car and put the lever in the neutral position, go back under the car and put the lever on the side of the transmission in the neutral position then tighten the nut on the linkage.
This should take care of the issues you are having.

Thank you all for your help. It turned out that even though the button didn’t come out it still shifted and stayed in the 1 position. Thanks again!