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I'm not sure that I am right about 164, but 166 in the mechanism of the lock is by clicking on it with your finger, you can display selector " N ". It is necessary to remove the side cover on the passenger side, in order to get there.
 

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Shifter handle

The shifter handle internal parts are probably broken, most of them are plastic, might have to grab a new handle, does the stick the handle sits on spin or is it just the shifter not staying in position? :scared:
 

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Twist the handle back 90 degrees anticlockwise and press fully down until it seats
 

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Discussion Starter #7
nothing is broken, and it appears PO intentionally did this (which prompted the why question). Although I like Richard2's suggestion best (put in a 5spd) I will try turning counter clockwise. My previous attempts at simply turning it were unsuccessful, however. Will attempt and report.
 

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Pull it up and off and reset it back on with button facing driver side of car and push it down hard and see if it relocks in position.

Now see if lever will lock in park and then push button to see if lever will unlock.

Report your results.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Pull it up and off and reset it back on with button facing driver side of car and push it down hard and see if it relocks in position.

Now see if lever will lock in park and then push button to see if lever will unlock.

Report your results.
NG. as far as I can tell it only goes on one way, which is determined by the rod it sits on. I'm stumped.
 

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lets try this again. Remove the handle by pulling up until it is clear of the vertical transmission shaft. Orient the handle in your hand by pointing the 'button' at the 9 o'clock position; press and hold the button all the way down, and while pressing and holding the button push it all the way down on the vertical shaft.

If you can take a photo of the shaft without the handle, that will help us as well. It might be possible to rotate the gear selector shaft but I have never seen it done---
 

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Your lever is missing little wheel in the center of groove on the top and the outer tube is rotated for some reason as deep notch should be in the back not on the side.. Without wheel and with shaft rotated 90 degreess I suspect PO had to turn handle sideways get it onto shift lever and to get push button to push down spring loaded inner lever to unlock shift lever.
 

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mucho gracias, Steve.
I don't know if I have another spare A/T lever in the attic or not to check and see how one could rotate outer tube like yours.

I sold one to somebody sometime ago who had a different problem than yours.
 
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