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1966 Ignition Question

Discussion in '1955 - 1966 Classic Ford Thunderbird' started by MichRX7, May 16, 2017.

  1. Me again, my sons and I put a new ignition switch in the car the other day, and some of the accessories work (fans, interior lights, etc...) when the key is turned on, but when we click over to try and start it does just that (click). We tried tracing it down for a while last night and stopped when the darkness came thinking it may be that it is not recognizing the car is in Park or Neutral.

    So, there is a red-blue wire (32) that goes from the ignition switch to the starter neutral switch. Since I have an automatic is this switch behind the cone piece on the steering wheel or further down the steering column?

    Also, there is a black-yellow wire (37) that, according to the wiring diagram, goes from the ignition through a main disconnect and splits down to the fuse panel and seems to terminate that split there, but also goes through another main disconnect on to the junction black and splits to the starter relay and alternator.

    Are these the two places I should most likely be focusing on? The car does turn over and run if I jump the starter relay.

    I don't understand why the black-yellow wire (37) splits and goes to the fuse panel either.

    Thanks for the help!
  2. Seems like no one is jumping in here! I can try. I think the safety start switch is on the steering column probably about six inches up from the floor and at 12 o'clock. I'm not really sure but that is where I would look first. My question is what troubleshooting have you done thus far to get you to changing the ignition switch and start messing with the wires? Have you been able to jump it to get it to start (by jumping across the solenoid)? Are you sure battery is up to snuff? Have you checked the battery cable connections at each end? Good grounds?
    If memory serves correct. The start position will push 12V through the circuit to crank it over. Then when in the on (run) position it goes through either a resistor wire (orange / blue?) or through a ballast resistor (common on old Chryslers). Making the car run on something less than 12V. I think it's 5 - 6 volts. This helps make the points / coil last longer.
  3. Yes, I have been able to use the solenoid and get it started, which is what I meant to say instead of starter relay. It runs great. We just started tracing and testing wires, and now our next item to review is the safety start switch.

    Thanks for the reply!
  4. I am not really sure where the neutral safety switch is located on a '66 'Bird. I have seen them in various places on different cars. I've seen them on the column as I stated earlier. I've seen them on floor shifters mounted where the shifting arm swings. Also I've seen them on the transmission mounted where the shifting arm can contact it. I will do a little research to try to get a definitive answer to help .... maybe someone else who "knows" can give you some input.
  5. I just had another thought. Do you have the swing away steering wheel? I remember at one time I had to push up on the column shift lever to get it to fully engage the circuit so my car would start. I'm pulling from 45 year old memories but it seems there was the switch down on the column with two screws holding it on. The holes on the switch were slotted and the switch could be adjusted a little bit to make it work correctly.
  6. Thanks everyone for the input. It is the Neutral Safety Switch, which gives me what I believe is good and bad news. This is how I guess it is going to go with an old car, lol...

    I need to go get a #43 drill bit so I can adjust it, because I dropped the car into low, adjusted the switch to where I thought neutral would be, had my wife turn the key and it fired right up. The good news, it fired right up and I mean click vroooom. The bad news is, since she had moved the steering column shifter into low gear shouldn't it have tried to drive forward dragging me hanging upside down with my legs/feet out the drivers door with it? Maybe my transmission is bad (which I consider the bad news).

  7. NSS is adjusted and the car cranks over in both Park and Neutral, but not in gear so I'm considering this fixed for now! Thanks for all the input everyone on to the next thing which is replacing all the engine coolant lines, flushing the radiator and making sure there are no leaks. After that the gas lines, brake lines, and on, and on, and on...
    JOEO 51 likes this.
  8. We have a 66 and a 69 working on the 69 now. Glad to here adjusting the switch work as our 69 only starts in neutral.

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