4 speed Neutral safety switch? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 00, 04:36 AM Thread Starter
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OK, here's the scenario. Twice in the last week, after driving for quite some time, I've stopped my car, while still in gear, shut off the engine, put on the emergency brake, and walked off for a few minutes. Upon returning, I would slide the shifter back into neutral to start it, but nothing happened. The GEN light comes on, but there is absolutely no noise coming from the starter, nothing. The first time it happenen, I moved the gear shift around for a minute or so, and finally it kicked over. The second time, I fiddled with the shifter for about 5 minutes, finally became frustrated and push started it, and then shut it off immediately, and it started right back up again? It hasn't done it again since, but I'm wondering what's going on? It's a 69' with a Muncie M22 4 speed, hurst shifter. Is there some kind of neutral safety switch installed on these cars, and if so, where is it located, and how can I check to see if its even connected. But then again, I can remember one time when I tried to start the car in gear, and it engaged and lurched forward, so if there is one, it doesn't seem to be working? Or do I just have some kind of bad connection, maybe from the starter being warm? Any suggestions? Thanks.....KZ
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 00, 06:23 AM
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The switch is located on the top of your steering column inside the car twards(sp) the firewall. It could be loose or bad. Is there a rod still connecting from the trans to the column? If it is missing, be sure to slide the column attachmnet upwards all the way. If the rod is still attached, the bushing might be worn enough that its not allowing the lever to go all the way up. Just a thought. Had similar problem with a 69 I had once.

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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Mar 31st, 00, 08:30 PM
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If your car was an auto origonally, there may be a neutral safety switch somewhere.
If not then your starter or solenoid may be going out.
Sometimes whacking the starter with the switch in start position will get the starter working. When you jiggled the shifter, that may have caused the starter to work again.

Some gm starters are having trouble with hot start. The solenoid gets too hot and quits working.
It's important to not jump to conclusions that you have a hot start heat soak problem and ignore that your starter brushes, bushings, or sloenoid may be shot.
Also, make shure your battery and cables are up to snuff.
The origonal spring clamp cables are notorious for bad connections. Usually it's the + connection, it has more corrosion problems.
Inside the solenoid is a metal disc that connects high amperage to the starter motor. Each time the starter is engaged, the disc sparks and slams into the two terminals inside. A little wear and the disc will hit the plastic of the cap instead of the terminals. You can see if that happens, it would take just a little tap to jiggle the disc enough to make contact. BUT eventualy, the disc and terminals will get burnt up from the added arcing.
If you get chattering of the solenoid, and jerky action, it's usually due to worn out brushes. The brushes wear down until the brush holding screws hit the armiture.
This is just some of the stuff that can happen to your starting system.

PS if you get a new starter or solenoid, get a high heat type solenoid, they're better.


[This message has been edited by davidpozzi (edited 03-31-2000).]
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 00, 04:37 AM Thread Starter
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Good news, I figured it out. It was on the steering column, it happened again last night after I got home from work. I just twisted the piece on the back of the steering column, I think that's the piece the rod is connected to, and it kicked right over. Must be in need of adjustment, but at least now I know what it is.....and thank God it wasn't the starter. Thanks for the help! KZ
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 1st, 00, 12:50 PM
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I'd forgotten the 69's had an interlock that prevented starting unless in reverse. Many people disconnect it.
Glad you got it going.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Apr 3rd, 00, 08:46 AM
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Just as I stated above. Glad it was nothing else.

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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Feb 24th, 15, 10:55 AM
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Re: 4 speed Neutral safety switch?

Hello I am not real mechanically inclined so this is a dumb question needing answered. I took a 1966 chevelle 4 speed to drag race only once and now inbetween shifts the dome light comes on. Like in the neutral area before the next gear. Is it the neutral safety switch? If not what else could it be? Thanks Mike
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