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I have two problems on my 1998 Ford Explorer XLT 5.0 V8, and I don’t know if they’re related in any way. Can anyone help me straighten out what’s going on.

First is the shifter that’s at issue. Starting off, the tranny was rebuilt 2 to 3 years ago. Also, I just went into the dash, and replaced the shifter bushings, and it doesn’t appear to have been that.

What my shifter is doing, is it doesn’t want to go into first gear at all, and has trouble going into second fully, and also has trouble sometimes going fully into park. So I have to use my parking brake, because sometimes it will slip in park. But it does seem to go OK into reverse, neutral, and drive. Is this a linkage issue of some sort, or is this something wrong with the transmission?

Of note, trying to go into first gear, it’s like it’s physically hitting hey stop in the shifter linkage up in the column. I am hoping to avoid taking it to a shop, but is this something a casual DIY mechanic can do?

The second problem I have is that a battery drain has showed up. It’s linked to fuse 25, and 26. When everything is off, it is draining at 0.2 Amps. But when I pull fuse 26, it drops to 0.06 Amps. On the other hand, if I pull fuse 25, it drops down to 0.01 Amps. With both fuses is pulled, it draws the same at 0.01 Amps. The alternator is fairly new, and I tried trading trading out my car battery with one from my other car that works great, and that does not seem to have been the issue. Any idea what this is? Do you think this relates to the shifter somehow?
 

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If you manually shift it from gear to gear from under the car (not running), is it hard to do (disconnect the linkage)? If so that would point to a transmission issue. If it's easy to do then I'd say you have a linkage issue.

What systems are fuses 25 and 26 powering?
 
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