Is there something in the steering column that aligns the gear selector with the gear chosen?
I have a 1994 Grand Marquis LS and when I go to put it in gear it seems as if its not shifting directly into the gear you selected. It seems kind of off for some reason. The only time it doesn't do that is when you use reverse then put it in drive. Doing that it seems to be aligned. That's the best I can describe the problem.
It's not related to the steering. It has to do with your transmission shift linkage.
Ford products of the era are noted for having shift collar and shift tube problems. the collar is the part that the shift lever attaches to and the tube runs down the inside of the steering column. Set the park brake on the car and put the trans in neutral, engine off grab the collar with your hands and see if it wobbles or is rubbing the column shaft anywhere, next slowly move the shift lever to the reverse selection and notice if there is a sponginess to the movement, do the same into drive. If everything seem good that way then you need you need to check the shift linkage bushings. If you do find a problem in the column then take it to the pros for repair as the column will need to be disassembled to replace the worn out parts.
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