3rd Gen 99' SE gear shift is not illuminated | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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3rd Gen 99' SE gear shift is not illuminated

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by taylorstaubach, Sep 4, 2020.

  1. taylorstaubach

    taylorstaubach New Member

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    Hello, I'm thinking it's just a fuse that may be out. When I bought this car it has never lit up, whenever I'm driving at night I have to turn on my interior light because the gear light won't work to know what gear i'm shifting to. Is this a hard fix? How would I go about fixing this issue? Thanks!
  2. austin86

    austin86 That nut who spends way to much on a escort.

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    If its a fuse is should be simple. Pop the old on out and put in a new one. The hardiest part is finding the fuse box and witch fuse it is. So not hard at all.
    However the light could be bad. No clue on fixing that. I'm a 80s escort guy so I don't really know much about an 99 SE .
  3. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    My Escorts are 2nd generation ones; so a 3rd gen might be different. Mine have an illuminated patch next to the shift lever, if its an automatic transmission. Its pretty common for that light to be burnt out. Its fused by the 'room' fuse, which usually is not bad. Unfortunately its not the easiest bulb to get to. You have to unscrew the console, remove the shifter knob, and lift the console up. The light is inside the console once you can lift it up and turn it sideways.

    I also have an Escort with a manual transmission, but there is not a light for that.
    The shifter for the automatics uses a common pattern, where you have to push the shift knob in to be able to shift out of part, and once you are in neutral, to be able to pull the lever back into OverDrive or Drive or Low. Its the same arrangement on any car with an automatic transmission, and is required to be the same on any car, due to a federal law about it.
    For a manual transmission, you need to pull the lever slighty to the left (against a spring) to get into 1st and 2nd. 3rd and 4th you get by just letting the lever move for and aft without the need to shove it to the side. 5th and reverse involve shoving the lever to the right against a spring.
  4. Gamer92

    Gamer92 FEOA Donator

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    May have a burnt out bulb. Should be a 194 but can't say for sure
    zzyzzx likes this.
  5. pextor

    pextor Moderator Staff Member

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    The bulb is a common failure point in the automatic shifter. The manual shifter doesn't have a light :)
    zzyzzx likes this.
  6. taylorstaubach

    taylorstaubach New Member

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    Thank you everyone, I'm headed to auto store soon to get the bulb, let you know if that's the issue.
    zzyzzx and denisond3 like this.
  7. taylorstaubach

    taylorstaubach New Member

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    Yay! All fixed! You guys rock! :) may have another issue i will have to take a pic of to explain situation with some type of heat/exhaust cover that is coming apart underneath the car.
  8. Joey_Twowagons

    Joey_Twowagons FEOA Member

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    I will guess that the cover is a heat shield over the catalytic convertor.
    Mine got loose and started rattling badly so I just removed it. I did save it so I could reattach it some time, but haven't seen any need.

    It would probably also be a simple, quick job for a muffler shop to tack weld it back in place. However they might give you the old sales pitch trying to get you to get a whole bunch of exhaust work done.
  9. denisond3

    denisond3 Moderator Staff Member

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    The OEM cat converters had a heat shield wrapped around the body of the converter, which helps to keep the radiator from getting hotter, and from adding heat to the front of the block on the other side of it. There was also a heat shield wrapped around the outlet pipe where it passes below the oil pan. This would help keep the motor oil a little cooler, and lower the risk of setting a pile of autumn leaves on fire if you parked over them. Most of my escort lost the heat shields years ago - and it doesnt seem to matter at all. So I dont have those rattles anymore either.

    In a couple of cases I brazed a chunk of the original heat shield back in place, if I happened to have the right shaped piece. But I have also bought a coupe of new escort cat converters - which didnt come with any heat shields. And I was too lazy to slice out pieces of scrap steel and to bend it over the cat converter.

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