First posted this about twenty years ago, the 1st time of a gazzilion,,,,,, Transmission has a detent system in it so that it CANNOT SHIFT into another gear. SO, when your shifter gets stuck in a gear AND THE SHIFT PIN in the steering column shift tube CANNOT MOVE INTO THE OTHER SHIFTERS NEUTRAL GATE,,,,,,,,,,, it will not shift and be stuck in gear. This subject easily more discussed over the last twenty years than the smell of gasoline and fuel perc..... There is a 1/4" hole in ALL OF OUR SHIFTERS. THIS includes the three shifters of a four speed, the two shifters of a 3 spd manual AND also an automatic. Ford even putting a dot on the shift plate to indicate EXACTLY of where to adjust neutral on a automatic. I am late for work and doctors and so make this as quick as I can and get back to it late tonight? The holes are 1/4" and ALSO the hole in the passengers side of the lower aluminum steering column mount,,,,ALL OF THIS IN ORDER TO clock the shifting pin in neutral relationship so that it can enter either of the two shifters neutral gates. SO,, you put LOOSEN BUT DO NOT REMOVE the two lock nuts on the shifting rods. YOU WANT THE SHIFT RODS TO MOVE EASILY!! THEN using a 1/4" round stock of any type ( I use a Phillips head screwdriver,, VERY OLD PICTURE) AND insert it down and through the hole in the mount and then down THROUGH the matching 1/4" holes in each of the shifters. THIS ALIGNS THE SHIFTING PIN TO EACH OF THE TWO NEUTRAL GATES in each shifter. THEN set each of the shifters in the transmission to neutral also. THE DETENTS in the trans will NOT ALLOW YOU TO SHIFT THE OTHER SHIFTER,,,,,,,,,,,IF YOU DONT HAVE IT IN NEUTRAL, SO,,,,,,,,,,,,if you can shift both shifters back and forth then this means they ARE BOTH IN NEUTRAL. THEN re tighten the nuts so that they also match the steering column shifter to also be in neutral.
IF THIS DOES NOT WORK,, it usually means that THE HOLE IN THE SHIFT TUBE IS WALLOWED OUT as the factory CHAMFERRED the hole and the hardened pin has now worn it out and it CAN NO LONGER FIND THE OPPOSING SHIFTERS NEUTRAL GATE AND WILL NO LONGER SHIFT consistently.
I tig weld a new end in place using cold rolled steel when I rebuild them,,,,