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Discussion Starter #1
Hi all,

I lurk here more than posting but this issues has me stumped. One of my cars is a '85 Buick Regal with a 3.8L NA Engine. Transmission is a 3 speed 200c.

The other day I pulled the car out after replacing the upper control arm and heard a loud bang and the car wouldn't move. I was able to move the shift selector into "1" and pull the car back to my garage.

-When setting Column Selector to Reverse transmission responds (car goes into that gear)
-When setting Column Selector to Neutral transmission responds (car goes into that gear)
-When setting Column Selector to "D" or "2" I just get a whirring noise.
-When setting Column Selector to "1" transmission responds (car will drive forward).

Diagnostics:
-Disconnected the Column Shift Linkage from the Transmission Linkage as described in the FSM.
-Moved lever at transmission clockwise to Park, then counterclockwise through all gears. No play in the lever and get solid clicks at each point and lever stays put.
-Put the ignition to on position and tried moving the Shifter at the column through the gear selections. Still will not stay in Park, finds Reverse but nothing but "play" between R and 2. That is no solid clicks or stops.

I reconnected everything and situation didn't improve. What's really odd is since the column shifter won't stay in park, the car is starting in Reverse which as I understand it shouldn't be possible.

At this point I'm gonna replace the entire linkage and bushings. But I am wondering if there is anything at the Column I could be missing?

If I can shift into "1" and drive the car why doesn't "D" or "2" work?

Thanks to ne1 who is willing to offer up suggestions and or help.
 

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The shift linkage and neutral safety switch need repair and adjustment first to correct the starting in gear problem.

The trans not moving forward till the shifter in manual 1st gear. Indicates a broken low roller clutch.

As you drive the car, does it have all 3 forward gears? You should feel 2 shifts, then perhaps feel the converter clutch lockup application.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for replying. I ordered a new Column Shift Linkage and some bushings. They should be here by Saturday. I'll install them and try adjusting the linkage again.

According to the FSM, these cars use a Mechanical Neutral Start System which has a metal wedge in the column that prevents the car from starting if the Selector isn't in neutral or park. I'm not sure how that would've got out of whack.

I haven't driven the car since I didn't want to make things worse. I did go out today and connected the OTC Monitor 4000e diagnostic tool to the car. Drove around the parking lot a few times TCC never engages. I didn't notice anything irregular with the shifting. I didn't "open it up" as my mechanic said not to push it when driving in manual first gear.

I also noticed that the diagnostic tool will indicate the car is in P/N if I hold the shifter in park but when I let up off the brake the car will roll backwards (parking spot is on a incline) but if I open the throttle a little the car isn't in reverse as the transmission isn't engage.
 
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