Back up lights stay on??? - Team Camaro Tech
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 08:09 AM Thread Starter
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Anthony
 
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Location: Plano
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Back up lights stay on???

Hello,

I just purchased an original 69 Z28. For whatever reason the reverse lights stay on while car is running and driving. I am not sure what to check.


Thanks for the help,


Anthony
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 08:16 AM
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Jim
 
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Re: Back up lights stay on???

On a 69 4 speed car, the backup lights and shift linkage lock are managed by a "backdrive" linkage from the reverse arm on the transwhich goes up to the column and rotates a mechanism inside it.

My best guess is someone removed the linkage, either for header clearance or when switching to an aftermarket Hurst shifter.

Try this: below the steering wheel and turn signal switch, there is a "ring" about 4" wide on the steering column. It turns. If you turn it, the backup lights will go out.

NOTE: If the ring is not in the reverse position, the key won't come out of the ignition!!!!!


EDIT:

SCRATCH THE NOTE ABOVE, THE KEY WILL COME OUT FINE...

IF THE RING IS NOT IN REVERSE, THE CAR WON'T START!!!!!





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Last edited by JimM; Sep 2nd, 06 at 03:47 PM.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 03:01 PM Thread Starter
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Anthony
 
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Re: Back up lights stay on???

Jim,

What the he**! I turned that ring and it worked. What in the world is that for. Is that the way all of these cars are or is mine messed up ?
I have been around old cars for a long time and never knew about this.

BTW, its the factory Hurst shifter. When I say its original. I mean it has 77k original miles and still has the original water pump and starter. Pretty wild!

I sure do appreciate the help!


Anthony
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 03:44 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Back up lights stay on???

Glad it worked!
Every once ina while I get it right!! hehe

Starting in 1969, the government demanded that all car contain an anti theft device which, when the key was removed, locked the steering column and the gearshift.

GM designed this cool steering column that did that, and it worked just great on column shifted automatic cars. They moved the ignition switch to the base of the column, and put a locking mechanism in the column which locked the steering and the column shifter, worked great.

But what about floor shift cars, both automatic and manual? Do we design a whole new mousetrap for the 10 or so percent of GM cars with a floor mounted shifter? Heck no, that would cost too much!

What we'll do, is make up a light duty version of the column shift linkage, and put it on cars with a floor shift, bringing the shift mechanism up to the fancy new steering column we made! And guess what, as long as it's there, we can use the neutral safety switch and backup light switch from the column shift cars, and SAVE EVEN MORE MONEY!!!

So that's what they did...

I learned about this in 1970. I was thirteen and my 17 year old uncle bought an SS 386 - 4 speed Malibu. After a few months he put a set of headers on it. The "Backdrive linkage" which is what we call this gizmo, wouldn't thread thru the headers, so he left it off.

From that day on, he had to rotate the sleeve on the steering column to reverse to start the car or back out of the driveway!

Those of you who still have the backdrive linkage, watch it rotate the sleeve on the steering column when you shift your automatic or put your 4 speed in reverse. Note on a column shift car, that sleeve has a boos that the shifter bolts too!





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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 04:05 PM Thread Starter
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Anthony
 
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Re: Back up lights stay on???

That is some great information Jim. I am blown away at all of the details you know about this. So with everything you said is there a way to fix my car so that the reverse lights work properly with the steering lock. The way it is not its all manual....

Thanks,

Anthony
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 06:12 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Back up lights stay on???

The interesting thing about this is I haven't seen this stuff since I was thirteen, tho the memory stuck pretty good, and questions about the system pop up on here often enough to get and keep the facts straight.

If you look at your steering column inside the engine compartment, there is a lever sticking out. It moves up and down when you rotate that collar. There should be a rod stocking down from there, and I think somthing that kinda looks like a smaller version of the clutch z-bar, than another rod going from there to a hole in the reverse arm on the trans.

Best bet would be to look in your, or if you don't have one, get a Factory Assembly manual. It will have a page showing how this linkage goes together and what parts are involved.

The parts can be bought, that's not a problem. Problem will be fitting them around your headers (I'm assuming the car has header...) Some brands accept it, some don't. It's also possible the linkage was disgarded as "extra parts" somewhere along the last 38 years, like the smog stuff that's worth a kings ranson these days.

Another (not factory correct) option would be to extend the wires and rig a switch on the trans linkage. If your factory Hurst shifter has stop bolts (why am I remembering they don't?) Hurst makes a switch that attaches to the stop bolt. If not, a 67-68 factory switch attaches to the tailshaft bolts and is worked by a link off the reverse arm.





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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old Sep 2nd, 06, 06:14 PM
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Jim
 
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Re: Back up lights stay on???

almost forgot...

The best option would be to hear from some people with more to go on than 35 year old memories. Weekend days are slow around here, but people will be on in the evening, and someone who actually has a 69 and has dealt with this personally will chime in.





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