REMOVAL, INSTALLATION & ADJUSTMENT
See Figures 1, 2 and 3
The neutral safety and reverse light switch is mounted on and actuated by the transmission select shaft which protrudes from the side of the transmission housing. It is located directly underneath the select lever and select cable assembly which is used to control the select shaft from the linkage in the passenger compartment.
The shifter select cable is attached at one end to the shift linkage by an e-ring and a cable end clip (though the center console must be removed and the manual shift linkage assembly must be unbolted and repositioned for access). But, the other end of the cable is attached to the transmission manual select lever with a threaded end that may require adjustment if any of the mechanical components in the linkage are replaced or if the lock and adjusting nuts are ever disturbed. Be careful not to touch the nuts on the select cable or it will require adjustment after the switch is replaced. If the cable is ever replaced, or the nuts are turned, then simply adjust the cable so that there is little or no play when both the manual select lever (on the transmission) and the gear select lever (on the floor the passenger compartment) are both in neutral.
- On 4WD vehicles, make sure the transfer case is in the 2WD position.
- Place the transmission in Neutral (N) using the gear select lever in the passenger compartment.
- Raise support the rear of the vehicle safely using jackstands. Block the wheels to prevent the vehicle from moving.
Although you will be able to access the switch fine whether the front of the rear of the vehicle is raised, we recommend raising the rear in case you need to spin the rear driveshaft to check if the transmission is in gear or not.
- Disconnect the wiring from the neutral safety switch (4-speed models) or from the harness connector(s) located under the intake manifold (3-speed models), as applicable.
- Remove the nut, washer and manual shift lever from the manual shift shaft on the side of the transmission housing.
- For the 4-speed transmission, unstake the lock plate behind the manual shaft nut, then loosen the nut and remove the lock plate from the switch.
- Remove the 1 retaining bolt and slide the neutral switch from the shift shaft.
- If the transmission shaft was rotated, set it back into neutral. To do this, turn the select lever as far clockwise (downward) as possible. Then rotate the selector counterclockwise 3 notches and verify that the rear driveshaft will spin freely.
- Position the switch onto the manual shaft, then install and finger-tighten the retaining bolt.
- Install the manual shift lever on the shaft, then loosely install the washer and nut.
For the 3-speed models, adjust the switch as follows:
- Connect a ohmmeter or continuity checker between the 2 terminals of the switch C1 connector.
- Pivot the switch as far clockwise (downward) as possible, then slowly turn the switch counterclockwise (upward) until a click is heard and there is continuity across the 2 terminals.In this method of locating neutral you are actually placing the transmission in L, then moving it through two different detents 2 and D to reach N .
- While holding the switch in this position, tighten the retaining bolt to 186 inch lbs. (21 Nm) and then tighten the select lever nut to 169 inch lbs. (19 Nm).
For the 4-speed models, adjust the switch as follows:
- Verify that the transmission is in neutral by turning the driveshaft.
- Tighten the shift selector lever nut to 44 inch lbs. (5 Nm), then bend the claws of the lock washer over the nut.
- Make sure the neutral reference line and the cut-out in the neutral safety switch are both aligned, then while holding the switch in this position, tighten the retaining bolt to 115 inch lbs. (13 Nm)
- Engage the wiring harness connector to the switch (4-speed) or to the harness located under the intake manifold (3-speed), as applicable.
- Remove the jackstands and carefully lower the vehicle.
- Make sure that the transmission operates properly in all positions.
See Figures 4, 5, 6 and 7
The neutral safety switch is designed to keep the engine from starting in any gear, only allowing the starter to operate in Park (P) or Neutral (N) . The switch also functions as the reverse light switch, but should ONLY turn these lights on in Reverse (R) . To verify proper switch operation:
- Firmly apply the parking brake and block the drive wheels.
- Place the gear selector lever in P , then turn the ignition switch to START and verify that the starter motor operates. Quickly turn the ignition switch to OFF .
- Return the ignition switch to ON (with the engine NOT RUNNING) and place the gear selector lever in R , then check to make sure the reverse lights are on.
- Place the gear selector lever in N , then turn the ignition switch to START and verify that the starter motor operates. Quickly turn the ignition switch to OFF .
- FIRMLY apply pressure to the brake pedal and hold, then check each of the remaining gear selector positions and verify that the starter does NOT try to operate in any other position than P or N .
- If any of the previous conditions are not met the switch should be adjusted.
- On 4-speed models, if faulty operation cannot be corrected by adjustment, a test may be conducted to determine switch condition. To do so, disengage the wiring connector from the shift switch coupler and check continuity across the various terminals as shown in the accompanying chart. For instance, continuity should exist between terminals 5 and 6, as-well-as between 8 and 9 when the selector lever is in P .
The 4-speed shift switch coupler is usually found above the transmission housing in the transmission tunnel. Although access to it may be possible from the passenger compartment on most early 4-door models (if you remove the selector lever), it is probably easier in most cases to get at it from under the truck. To do this, trace the wires back from the switch at the side of the transmission until you can disengage the connector from the vehicle harness. For late-model Sidekicks and Trackers, along with the Sidekick Sport, the wiring connector is mounted directly on top of the switch.
- If the switch does not pass these tests and cannot be adjusted, it must be replaced for safety reasons.