Before I tackled the shifter yesterday afternoon, I plugged in a new flasher and fuse for the turn signals. All four indicators–shocking!–all started working. After a brief delay, the fender indicators sprang to life as well.
With that success, I found a nylon pinch nut, worked my hands past the brace with a couple of wrenches and connected the shifter to the transmission linkage. Slow process, since the shifter is in there deep and there’s little room to swing a wrench.
That nut had probably been working its way off for some time. With it nice and tight, the shifter was firmer and the swing away mechanism released more precisely.
Plugged in the brake lights, too, of course. With the car off, we couldn’t get the lights to illuminate. Running, there was enough pressure in the system for them to come on, at least after a short delay.
Drove down to the auto parts store, but at the chains, that switch is special order. I’ll hit up Bob’s Auto Supply later this week–I bet they have it in stock!