The 1969 Ford Mustang 4 Speed Shifter Linkage Explained

The Ford 1969 Mustang 4 speed shifter linkage was only made for one year. The control box was completely different from the earlier 4 speed shifters Ford made. One big reason was the reverse lock out feature was in the shifter body and not the handle. Which was the reason for it’s short life span, the reverse detent was a spring steel piece that was very brittle as was the main spring inside the housing. The life span of these parts was probably about 65,000 miles before failure depending on how many times the car was put in reverse. When this happened shifting from 3rd to 2nd gear without resistance became an adventure, sometime resulting in engaging in reverse while going forward.

Cars being restored today using replacements parts rarely will reach 65,000 miles or be put in reverse very much. The overall shifting of the linkage has never been a big problem, some drag racers may argue this point but for everyday driving the linkage performed well. The rods and levers are similar to the earlier Mustang and Torino style cars but with different bends. Mustang levers are longer and Torino levers are the same as the earlier models.

The 1969 4 speed shifter control box for the Ford Galaxie is basically the same but the rods and levers are different. The forward gear rods are tubular and the levers are in a tear drop shape but both have the same reverse feature and had the same problem.

All replacement parts for these shifters are available and are of equal or better in quality than the originals. Finding them can be tough, they are not available at dealers or auto part stores but are available online by at least two sources that I know of.

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