Subaru Coupes/Sedans/Wagons 1985-1996 Repair Guide

Neutral Safety Switch (Inhibitor Switch)

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REMOVAL & INSTALLATION



Transaxle Mounted Switch

See Figure 1

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 1: Removal and installation of the neutral safety switch

This switch is mounted on the transaxle lever shaft and is bolted to the transaxle. It functions to prevent the car from starting in any gear position but Park or Neutral, and to activate the back-up lights when in reverse.

  1. Disconnect the linkage rod from the transaxle manual lever.
  2.  

Refer to the diagram of the shift linkage system earlier in this Section.

  1. Make sure that the manual lever on the transaxle is in the neutral detent position.
  2.  
  3. Remove the manual lever by taking off the mounting nut.
  4.  
  5. Disengage the wire harness connector from the switch.
  6.  
  7. Remove the two safety switch mounting bolts and the setscrew from the lower face of the switch and remove the switch.
  8.  

To install:
  1. Position the switch over the manual shaft and bolt the switch in place. If a new switch is being installed it will have set pins already in place.
  2.  
  3. If not follow the switch adjustment procedure below.
  4.  
  5. Connect the linkage rod and adjust, if necessary.
  6.  

Shifter Mounted Switch

See Figure 2

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 2: Removal and installation of the neutral safety switch-shifter mounted

This switch is mounted on the shifter assembly. It functions to prevent the car from starting in any gear position but Park or Neutral, and to activate the back-up lights when in reverse. Adjustment is as follows.

  1. Disconnect the negative battery cable.
  2.  
  3. Place the selector lever in the N position.
  4.  
  5. Remove the hand brake cover and the console.
  6.  
  7. Remove the selector handle by removing the 2 retaining screws on each side of it. Hold the release button in an remove the pull the handle straight up.
  8.  
  9. Disengage the harness connector from the inhibitor switch.
  10.  
  11. Remove the 2 bolts holding the inhibitor switch to the shifter assembly.
  12.  

To install:
  1. If a new switch is being installed, a locating pin will already be in the switch for correct adjustment position.
  2.  
  3. If there is no knock pin in the switch, see adjustment procedure.
  4.  
  5. Install the switch and retaining screws. Engage the harness connector.
  6.  
  7. Install the shift indicator assembly and retaining screws.
  8.  
  9. Assembly the selector handle, spring, 4WD switch and button as follows:
    1. Apply grease on the sliding part of the selector handle button and spring. install the selector handle on to the shifter.
    2.  
    3. Insert the spring into the button and insert it into the grip handle from the spring side.
    4.  
    5. Insert the grip handle on the selector lever while pushing the button in the grip.
    6.  
    7. The shifter release button should be on the driver's side. Install the retaining screws securing the handle to the shifter lever.
    8.  

  10.  
  11. Perform the following steps for 4WD vehicles only:
    1. Connect the 4WD harness to the switch so that the lag terminal turns downward.
    2.  
    3. Put the harness into the grip handle to prevent it from getting considerably distorted and subject to any excessive force.
    4.  
    5. Place the 4WD switch into the grip handle and install the retaining screw.
    6.  

  12.  

ADJUSTMENT



Transaxle Mounted Switch

See Figure 3

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 3: Adjusting the neutral safety switch

  1. Loosen the 3 inhibitor switch mounting bolts
  2.  
  3. Shift the select lever to the N position.
  4.  
  5. Insert a 1.5mm drill bit through the set screw hole. Turn the switch slightly so that the drill bit passes through into the back part of the switch.
  6.  
  7. In this position, tighten the switch mounting bolts.
  8.  

Shifter Mounted Switch

See Figure 4

Click image to see an enlarged view

Fig. Fig. 4: Neutral safety switch adjustment position

If a new neutral safety switch is being installed, a locating pin (knock pin) is pre-installed for correct switch installation position. Simply install the switch according to replacement procedure and remove the knock pin. If the switch does not have a knock pin installed, perform the following procedure.

  1. Loosen the switch retaining screws.
  2.  
  3. Using a 0.08 in. (2mm) drill bit align the switch knock pin hole, the moving plate and knock pin hole at the case.
  4.  
  5. At the position where the selector lever is shifted in the N and pushed to P side lightly, align the locator to the bracket hole, the moving plate pin-to-arm hole. Secure with the retaining bolts.
  6.  
  7. Turn the ignition switch ON and check the back-up light operation. Check that the engine starts only in park and neutral positions.
  8.  

 
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