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if there has been no abuse or no chance somethind bent shifting rods under veh. check for loose or worn out shift rod connections,If internal trans shift drum problems your world just got more complacated
Does the shifter feel loose or sloppy? Are all other gears indicating correct and in there correct location? How about manual 1st gear is it only operating 1st gear and the shifter is actually able to get down to 1st?
I believe you are going to find your shift linkage is loose at the base
of the steering column where the shift cable attached to the shifter
tube. there are 2 T30 torx screws there which often come loose and cause
this concern. You can access this by laying upside down in the floor
board. it is very tight and painful but possible. Check this and let me
Look under dash where steering column is. Find the connection for the shift cable. see if the mount that the cable end connects to is loose. wiggle it. If it is there are 2 torx screws that mount the bracket to the shift tube that you need to tighten. I think they are a T-27 size bit. This is a common problem on fords. easy fix. I usually will take the screws out and use a thread locking compound in them to stop it from happening again.
It sounds like the bushings on the steering column that hold the shifter in place are worn out ot the brackets holding the bushings in place have come loose allowing for excessive movement with the shifter shaft. These things also had a problem with a bracket coming loose at the lower part of the steering column. You can look up under the dash (laying on your back) and find the shifter cable where it attaches to the shifter shaft. There are tree bolts that hod this bracket on. If they come loose you will have this same problem To fix it you need a T-30 torx socket and a ratchet to tighten these three bolts.
Sounds like the shift lever is not coming completely out of 2nd gear. So, by shifting into 1st gear, you recenter the shift lever. You can confirm this by going under the truck and moving the 1st - 2nd lever on the side of the transmission with your hand. If the shifter goes into reverse after you manually recenter the 1-2 lever, then you need to correct the problem that prevents the "normal" recentering of the 1-2 shift lever.
Possibilities are: Bent shift rod; worn shifter; worn shift rod at connection to shift lever on transmission.
if the shifter is loose and sloppy feeling then the shift cable bracket has come loose under the dash at the steering wheel. remove the lower panel under the steering wheel so you can see under the dash then get flash light and look while jiggling the shifter. you should be able to see the cable and bracket. if the bracket is loose then tighten the bolts. note this bracket is at the steering colum.