Chevrolet Full Size Cars 1979-1989

Neutral Safety/Back-Up Switch

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REPLACEMENT





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Fig. Fig. 1 Examples of common neutral safety switch installation floor and column mounted shifters

For automatic transmissions both the neutral safety/back-up switches are combined into a single unit. The switch prevents the engine from being started in any transmission position except NEUTRAL or PARK. The switch is located on the upper side of the steering column under the instrument panel on column shift cars and inside the shift console on floor shift models.

Models Through 1981
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Remove the console for access on floor shift models.
  4.  
  5. Disengage the electrical connectors.
  6.  
  7. Remove the neutral switch.
  8.  

To install:

  1. For column shift models, place the shift lever in NEUTRAL. Locate the lever tang against the transmission selector plate.
  2.  
  3. For floor shift models, place the lever in PARK.
  4.  
  5. Align the slot in the contact support with the hole in the switch. If reinstalling a used component or if the shear-pin on a new component has already been broken, insert a 3 / 32 in. pin in place. The switch is now aligned in the proper position (NEUTRAL or PARK, as applicable).
  6.  

The replacement neutral safety switches have a shear-pin installed to aid in proper switch alignment so that insertion of a pin is unnecessary. After installation, moving the shift lever from NEUTRAL or PARK shears the pin.

  1. Place the contact support drive slot over the drive tang. Install the switch mounting screws.
  2.  
  3. If used, be sure to remove the aligning pin before attempting to shift the transmission. The shear pin used on new switches does not have to be removed, it is designed to break away upon shifting without damaging the components.
  4.  
  5. Engage the electrical wiring and, if applicable, install the console.
  6.  
  7. Connect the negative battery cable.
  8.  
  9. Set the parking brake and hold your foot on the brake pedal. Check to see that the engine will start only in PARK or NEUTRAL.
  10.  

1982 and Later
  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Disengage the wiring harness from the switch.
  4.  
  5. Remove the retaining screws and switch assembly.
  6.  

To install:

  1. Position the gear selector in NEUTRAL.
  2.  
  3. Align the actuator on the switch with a hole in the switch tube.
  4.  
  5. Position the rearward portion of the switch (connector side) to fit into the cutout in the lower jacket.
  6.  
  7. Push down on the front of the switch. The two tangs on the housing back will snap into place in rectangular holes in the jacket.
  8.  
  9. Adjust the switch by moving the gear selector to PARK. The main housing and the housing back should ratchet, providing proper switch adjustment.
  10.  
  11. Make sure the switch is properly secured, then engage the wiring harness.
  12.  
  13. Connect the negative battery cable, then verify that the engine will only start in NEUTRAL or PARK. Be sure to firmly apply the brake when checking switch operation.
  14.  

SWITCH ADJUSTMENT



Models Through 1981
  1. Place shift lever in NEUTRAL or PARK, as applicable. Most column shifts should be placed in NEUTRAL while floor shifts should usually be placed in PARK.
  2.  
  3. If necessary, remove the center console for access to the switch.
  4.  
  5. Loosen the switch retaining screws, then move the switch until you can insert a 0.0938 in. (2.381mm) gauge pin through the hole in the switch alignment hole.
  6.  
  7. Tighten the screws and remove the pin.
  8.  
  9. Step on the brake pedal and check to see that the engine will only start in NEUTRAL or PARK.
  10.  
  11. If removed for access, install the center console assembly.
  12.  

1982 and Later
  1. With the switch installed, move the housing all the way toward LOW.
  2.  
  3. Adjust the switch by moving the gear selector to PARK. The main housing and the housing back should ratchet, providing proper switch adjustment.
  4.  

 
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