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Discussion Starter #1
Hi, I have a 69 Camaro with a colomn shift automatic. It has been fine for years. Now it would not start. I put in in low gear and it started. I took it off, and lined up the plastic indicator. It will start. So with the neutral safety switch in the correct park posistion it will start, even though it is not mounted in place. Is it o.k. to drive it like that ?? What is the neutral switch for ?? I think the switch is bad because the plastic is not shifting with the colomn. Any facts, help or ideas would be greatly appreciated. My other 69 Camaro with a console and floor shift auto does not even look to have a neutral safety switch on the lower colomn. Is that correct. Thanks, Jim
 

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Functionally, there is no problem. But there is a safety risk. The neutral safty switch is there to prevent you from running over someone or putting a hole in your garage should the car be in gear and you foot off the brake when you start it.
 

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Console shift setups had an assembly that provided the same functionality. There were a couple of moving parts, a linkage rod from the transmission to a pivot assembly mounted on the inner driver-side frame rail, and another rod from that assembly to a tab on the end of the steering column. Both setups shared a reverse light switch on the top side of the column near the firewall.

*Edit to correct verbiage.

[ 04-13-2004, 04:36 PM: Message edited by: Randy S ]
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks Randy. The plastic tab on the neutral saftey switch goes down into the colomn ?? It looks like it moves from side to side when you shift gears. For what ever reason it is not moving to the correct position. The plastic tab is moving around, but not as it should. Do I need to replace the neutral safety because the tab is broke ?? Thanks for anymore help, Jim
 

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Adjustment is shown in the assembly manual. I believe on the column shift this is also the back- up light switch ( my 4-speed car has the switch, but only contacts for the backup lights, start switch is handled by the neutral switch on the clutch pedal) You should be able to carefully disassemble the switch, inspect the components,( including the referencing tab wich must be intact to locate the contacts in the right position) clean and lubricate, and re-install. If it is broken, I think there is a generic reproduction. Good luck-

Rob
 

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Sounds like that might be the case. I'm not familiar with the column shift setup but can imagine the switch is basically the same as the console shift switch. I know mine (console) was sticky. The grease had dried up in it. I took it apart, cleaned it and packed it with dialectric grease. It works much smoother now but was on the verge of breaking before the repair. Should be a cheap part I imagine.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Thanks Dave and Rob. It looks like the plastic prong just wants to move around and move out of place when I shift it into gear. Rob, I have a 69 X33. I saw a NOS reverse light switch and bracket for a 69 Z-28 on E-bay. I bought it thinging mine was gone. The reverse light switch and bracket mount onto the side case of the trans. The car does have a neutral safety switch on the colomn. Like you said, that most likely does the reverse lights. Did this guy sell me a reverse light switch and bracket that is not correct for a 69 Z-28 ?? Or is there a reverse light switch and bracket mounted on the trans cover. Mine is a Sept. 69 Z Thanks, Jim
 

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Rob's right, standard shift transmissions had a separate neutral safety switch that was connected via a tiny rod to the cluth pedal. Assembly manual should provide verification on how the automatics handled this, but I believe that funcationality resides in the switch on top of the column. I don't recall a reverse light switch that mounts to the tranmsission, but....

How much is the tab moving around? Doesn't it fit into a groove in the steering column? Seems like there the switch is held on by two 1/4" screws. Pull it off and check the movement; the tab may have broken.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Thanks Randy. Yes it is held on by two small screws. The plastic tab is not broken, but it moves around inside the neutral safety housing. I cannot see it, but it seems like maybe a holding tab or something broke and therefore it does not move back and forth correctly. The repo switches are for floor shift models. Mine is a colomn shift. I need to find someone who might sell these. Thanks for anymore ideas, Jim
 

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Start with a forum sponsor, Ground Up Restorations, part # GDR-06. If that's not the right one, try Classic Industries, part #E237. Any of the resto houses (Year One, NPD, etc) should have something similar. Several have good tech support to guide the proper purchase and can confirm any difference between column and console shift.
 

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The '69 Z/28 didn't have a transmission-mounted backup light switch - it used the curved switch on top of the column, which was activated by the rod/bellcrank system from the trans reverse lever to the lever that sticks out of the bottom of the column. If the eBay switch and bracket looks like this, it's the same one that's used on '63-'67 Corvettes (and maybe on '67-'68 Camaros - I'm only familiar with the '69 Camaro).


 

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This season I have to shoot some good digital photos of the Z; this is a scan of a regular photo my wife shot a couple of years ago (I have lots of digitals of underhood and underbody, but none of the car outdoors
):


 
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