PDA

View Full Version : Neutral Safety Switch



mjeansonne
12-22-2006, 06:43 PM
Work continues on my 1963 Champ Pick Up conversion to 700R4 Automatic Transmission. Remember, this will be the only non original part on the truck. I need to wire the neutral starter safety switch into the circuit. I am using the steering column from a Stude Automatic, so the switch is also Studebaker. Therefore, how do I need to wire up the switch into a formerly manual transmissioned truck?

Thanks

Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

gordr
12-22-2006, 07:28 PM
quote:Originally posted by mjeansonne

Work continues on my 1963 Champ Pick Up conversion to 700R4 Automatic Transmission. Remember, this will be the only non original part on the truck. I need to wire the neutral starter safety switch into the circuit. I am using the steering column from a Stude Automatic, so the switch is also Studebaker. Therefore, how do I need to wire up the switch into a formerly manual transmissioned truck?

Thanks

Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker


If my memory serves me right, the neutral safety switch for a Stude automatic column (Lark-style, right?) also incorporates the backup lamp switch. So you will have to identify which terminals are for the backup lights, and which are for the neutral safety. Careful study of a wiring diagram or the parts manual might tell you.

I'd be connecting an ohmmeter, or a self-powered test lamp to each pair of terminals with clip leads, and move the lever through its range. Backup lamp terminals should close ONLY when reverse is selected. Neutral safety terminals should close in both Park and Neutral. If you tie on to one terminal from each function, it should be open-circuit in all lever positions.

If the Champ has backup lights, chances are the switch was on the bottom of the column forward of the firewall. Just connect those wires to the appropriate terminals on the new switch.

The neutral safety switch has to be inserted into the lead from the "start" terminal on the ignition switch to the solenoid. There may be a place in the harness with paired connectors that can be unplugged, and the leads from the switch plugged in. If not, I'd just clip the "start" wire near the ignition switch, and use butt connectors to tie in the pair of wires going to the neutral safety switch. It's a simple series circuit, and you don't have any polarity issues to worry about.

A close look at the wiring diagram may disclose the point in the harness where the neutral safety switch is supposed to be connected.

Oh-oh! One BIG caveat: unless you use an Avanti neutral safety switch, which won't fit the column in any case, you have got a problem with Neutral! Studebaker automatics used P-N-D-L-R (pindler:D) shift pattern, and the GM automatics use P-R-D2-D1-L-R (prindle), or some variant. That means you could theoretically start the engine in Reverse, but not in Neutral. Park would be OK. You will also have to modify the detent plate in the column so that the lever has its positive stops synchronized with the proper detents in the tranny itself. That will be the most crucial part of the job, IMHO.

I'd say: first get the detent plate right, which is very important, as you definitely don't want to be driving the car half in one gear and half in another. Then go into the bottom of the column, and find the cam that actuates the neutral safety switch, and modify it by grinding away the part that wants to enable starting in Reverse, and welding in a bit to enable starting in Neutral (if that's all that important).

In all honesty, it might be easier to use a GM column compatible with the 700R4, and make an adaptor to install the Champ steering wheel. But Champs don't have a rag joint, do they?

I'm going to have to go down this road myself, as I plan to put a 200-4R tranny in my GT Hawk. I figure I'll modify the detent plate and the neutral safety cam.

I wonder if one of the streetrod vendors has a tranny-mounted neutral safety switch? Might be the way to go, if one is available.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

Dick Steinkamp
12-22-2006, 07:41 PM
I agree with Gord that the EASY part is the wiring...the hard part is getting the detents to line up.

Being lazy, I'd not even use the neutral safety switch in the conversion. (but then I also don't put air bags, side impact door beams, anti lock breaks, shoulder harnesses, etc. into my Studes [}:)]

On most older cars, there is no neutral safety switch for stick shifts...should we be installing them in our stick shift Studes ;)

(well, up to '54, you did have to depress the clutch pedal to activate the starter on a stick shift...but this went away with the start function integrated into the key switch in '55)

http://static.flickr.com/140/326548308_6bc94ec0f3_m.jpg
Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA

gordr
12-22-2006, 10:55 PM
quote:Originally posted by Dick Steinkamp

I agree with Gord that the EASY part is the wiring...the hard part is getting the detents to line up.

Being lazy, I'd not even use the neutral safety switch in the conversion. (but then I also don't put air bags, side impact door beams, anti lock breaks, shoulder harnesses, etc. into my Studes [}:)]

On most older cars, there is no neutral safety switch for stick shifts...should we be installing them in our stick shift Studes ;)

(well, up to '54, you did have to depress the clutch pedal to activate the starter on a stick shift...but this went away with the start function integrated into the key switch in '55)

http://static.flickr.com/140/326548308_6bc94ec0f3_m.jpg
Dick Steinkamp
Bellingham, WA


Thing is, people driving manual shift cars are conditioned to depress the clutch or select neutral when cranking, and when you forget, the starter usually labors as it tries to move the whole car. And modern manual shift cars have a clutch interlock, too.

Automatics NEED a neutral safety, because at cranking speed, the torque converter doesn't load the starter very much, and you can easily start in gear. The car won't even try to move much...until the engine does start, then, woo-hoo, you're off like a rocket!

Worst case scenario, a guy could get a couple of roller-type Micro switches, and mount them on a bracket on the tranny case, so that the shift lever hit the rollers in both Park and Neutral. But I'd bet you that the streetrod vendors have some solution.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

hank63
12-23-2006, 07:14 AM
1 possible solution - fit a stop light switch, set to activate in "Park" only. As "Park" is at one end of the lever movement, the hardest part is to make up a bracket. Then wire the key-to-starter via the switch.
/H

CHAMP
12-23-2006, 07:48 AM
The Lokar nostalia floor shift would look good in your truck and it comes with the neutral safety switch. Cost about two hundred dollars from Summit.

GARY H 2DR.SEDAN 48 STUDEBAKER CHAMPION NORTHEAST MD.

mjeansonne
12-23-2006, 08:05 AM
Thanks everybody for the information... and the additional concerns!![}:)] I learned to drive a standard transmission, but now that I'm missing my left leg, its hard to do... can't feel the clutch with the artificial leg![:I]

Gord, Bowtie Overdrives, Lokar and Ididit has neutral lockout switches, which I may have to look at, but wanted to keep the Stude switch. Lokar has a shift that would in fact look good in the Truck, but again I would like to keep the Stude column, as well as it has the Stude A/C underdash unit (A/C is an [u]</u>extremely[u]</u> important part of any car here in Louisiana... water wings would be nice too though!!:D)

Now this detent thing... hadn't even thought about it![:I] Where do I find this and what do I need to do to modify it. Figured I would just use the detents in the tranny... HELP!!!! I bought the column over the internet and the shift lever was disconnected and off the column, so I have never checked for detents. Never knew they were there!!

More assistance... PLEASE!!!


Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

studeclunker
12-23-2006, 01:04 PM
If you are using a Studebaker collumn and transmission, you are set up for the safety switch. It's not that hard to get it to work right. As far as the shifting lever, if the tube on the inside of the collumn isn't damaged, just shove a lever in it and install the keeper pin. If the eye has broken loose from it's spot welds on the shifting tube, you're in trouble. The good news is, you can use the tube from your manual Champ collumn. Or take the tube and eye to the local welder and it's an easy fix.

Your biggest problem is going to be getting the shifting lever to properly function on the transmission. The reach and angle is different on a Champ than it is on any Lark sedan. It will take some gentle tweaking on the shift bar. That modified sedan body that makes up the Champ cab is sitting on a 1/2 ton truck frame. There are differences. Those differences are small, and can be worked with. Don't stress, it's all fairly simple. In fact, the whole truck is.

My Champ had a broken shift tube. I replaced it with one from my '64 station wagon. Everything is together and working now.

It just occured to me (a flash of dangerous brain function there).

Jean, you didn't even need a new collumn. All you had to do is use only one of the shifting eyes. The block-out that is on your new collumn would have fit the Champ's. All you do is take out, I think, the lower eye and replace it with the block out. Of course, you wouldn't have had the indicator, etc, etc... So I guess you DID the right thing.:D Don't stress, it'll work out okay.

You said the transmission isn't a Stude transmission. Duh. Sorry, I have these moments. Okay, for the switch to work your shifting pattern is: P N D L R. If it is the Chevy setup, you will have to use a Chevy lockout switch. My 71 GMC has one that's almost identical to the Studebaker switch. Position's the same on the collumn too.

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/studebaby/54wagonblue-2.jpg
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith

gordr
12-23-2006, 04:32 PM
quote:Originally posted by mjeansonne

Thanks everybody for the information... and the additional concerns!![}:)] I learned to drive a standard transmission, but now that I'm missing my left leg, its hard to do... can't feel the clutch with the artificial leg![:I]

Gord, Bowtie Overdrives, Lokar and Ididit has neutral lockout switches, which I may have to look at, but wanted to keep the Stude switch. Lokar has a shift that would in fact look good in the Truck, but again I would like to keep the Stude column, as well as it has the Stude A/C underdash unit (A/C is an [u]</u>extremely[u]</u> important part of any car here in Louisiana... water wings would be nice too though!!:D)

Now this detent thing... hadn't even thought about it![:I] Where do I find this and what do I need to do to modify it. Figured I would just use the detents in the tranny... HELP!!!! I bought the column over the internet and the shift lever was disconnected and off the column, so I have never checked for detents. Never knew they were there!!

More assistance... PLEASE!!!


Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker


The detent plate is a crescent-shaped piece of heavy stamped steel that lives in the region below the turn signal switch. Its outer perimeter has steps, and a pawl attached to the shift lever rides on those steps. When you pull the shift lever toward you, it lifts the pawl away from the detent plate so it can pass the steps that would otherwise block the movement. The profile of that detent plate has to match the detents on the tranny itself, which can best be described as "click-stops". A spring loaded steel ball snaps into notches on a metal sector (the same action as snapping a socket onto a ratchet wrench).

Absolutely the first order of business is make sure that the Studebaker column shifter has JUST enough travel available between the end stops to move the tranny shifter lever through it entire range. You don't want less than enough, nor do you want much more than enough. If the range of travel is not compatible, you will have to lengthen or shorten one of the levers, or attach the linkage rod to a different hole in the lever. I'd start by getting both the shift lever on the column and the lever on the tranny in PARK, and adjust the linkage rod to good fit between the levers. Now pull the column lever down into the bottom "R" position, and have a helper hold it there. Get under the truck, detach the linkage rod from the tranny, and see if the tranny lever has any further movement beyond where the linkage rod held it. If not, you are very lucky, and the column's range is compatible with the tranny's range as-is. If the tranny lever moves another 1/4" or so beyond the end of the linkage rod, then you don't have enough available travel in the shift column to do the job, using the existing hole in the tranny lever. Maybe you can drill a new hole in the tranny lever, a little closer to its axis. To speak in geometric terms: the chord of the arc described by the hole in the tranny lever, as moves through its range, has to be equal to the available linear travel of the linkage rod, as measured at the tranny end. If you measure the available travel, which is easily done with the assistance of a helper, you could use geometry to construct a compatible shift lever for the 700R4 right on the bench, and be pretty confident it'll work.

OK, assume you've gotten there. Now, back to the upper detent plate. I'd take an old one, and build up the low spots with welding so it had a perfectly smooth outer edge. Assemble it into the column, and use a marking pen to carefully mark the gear positions (as defined by the detents in the tranny) on the face of the plate. You want to grind the plate so it has a step between Reverse and Park, and between Neutral and Reverse. You might also want a step between Second an

hank63
12-23-2006, 11:14 PM
I needed a neutral safety switch for one of my cars, and none was available. I solved the dilemma by taking one off a Mazda car at the wreckers. That switch is fitted inside the floor shift mechanism, not in the gear box. A few simple mods and I had a functioning switch well out of sight (you couldn't tell it was non-original unless you crawled under the car to check the wiring).
Simple, cheap and it worked.
/H

mjeansonne
12-24-2006, 12:11 AM
I went down to the shop today and checked out the movement of the column shift. After putting the shift lever (the one near the steering wheel) back into the column, I moved the lever around, but detected no detents (stops) throughout its range of movement. Perhaps the detent plate is missing? Talk about blind, stupid luck!![:o)] Or am I missing something. I'm thinking that now all I need is a cable shift linkage kit from Lokar and I'm all set. With this kit it replaces the shift rod from the column to the tranmission.

I also got a shift indicator from Bowtie Overdrives to put in Stude indicator frame on the Column. It needed some trimming, but I may be able to make it work, its now just too thick. Probably twice as thick as the original Stude. I'm thinking that since this new one now fits with relatively little trimming and still has all the P-R-N-D-L1-L2 marks within the Stude frame, that perhaps I have enough range of motion to operate the transmission shift lever on the 700R4. Will report on the success.

Your right though Gord, some vendor needs to make up all the necessary equipment changes for the 700R4 and market them. I foresee this becoming a very popular modification. Especially if you can retain the Stude shift column!:)



Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

studeclunker
12-24-2006, 01:48 AM
You will have to get the lockout switch that matches your transmission shifting pattern. Like I said, the usual pattern for a '60s Stude would be P N D L R. The lockout positions are 3,4,5 where yours (P-R-N-D-L1-L2) would be 2,4,5,6 (assuming park or P as 1). The lockout switch on my GMC (same shifting pattern as yours) looks very similar to the ones used in my Studebakers. It attaches in largely the same place and way.

By the by, it is certainly living the good life rolling along in one's Studebaker![8D] Well said, no matter which language!:D

http://i16.photobucket.com/albums/b18/Studeclunker/studebaby/54wagonblue-2.jpg
Lotsa Larks!
K.I.S.S. Keep It Simple Studebaker!
Ron Smith