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Neutral Safety Switch
#1
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Gar
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I have a 57 that will not start in neutral. I checked my wired connection and they appear to be OK. Is there anything that I should look at before I keep trying to find a new switch?

I have been looking for the switch 534390 for about a month now...
(57 with auto, ps, pb)

Thanks

Posted on: 2020/11/9 21:17
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#2
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HH56
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Does the car start in Park but not Neutral? If so the switch is probably OK but out of adjustment. If it does not start in either P or N you could temporarily use a jumper wire to connect the start interlock terminals on the switch together and see if it starts that way. If it does the switch is probably bad.

Since the 57 was built off the 56 Stude President model using that engine and trans I am not sure if it follows the illustrations for starter circuits on 56 models mentioned in the Stude service manual. That manual (fig 32, page 20, electrical section) http://www.packardinfo.com/xoops/html ... nual1956/Electrical_7.pdf shows a totally different interlock circuit than what I am used to seeing on Packards. Not a hundred percent sure the drawing is correct though based on the description of the circuit a paragraph or so before the illustration.

If the drawing is correct it would seem they interrupt battery power going to the ign switch rather than Packards interruption of only the signal from the starter switch to the solenoid. Not quite sure how the circuit works to have the ign switch powered when in gear unless it gets power from other wires connected to the A terminal of the switch but if the safety switch does carry a significant amount of current then possibly the switch was not making completely at the Neutral position and the current going thru a relatively small contact area burned the switch. If that is the case then replacement would be the best option.

I believe the steering column may be similar on the 57 but can't say if the switch is in the same position or the same as used on 55-56 Packard models. On the Packard models the switch is also used for the reverse light and there is a delicate point where you can get all three positions to activate the switch properly. In either situation wear in the connection to the shift tube or if the screws holding the switch to the column loosened slightly and allowed the switch to move could be an issue. If the drawing is wrong and the switch is actually in the wire between the start command and solenoid as Packard did it then I would first try adjustment or see if there is excessive play in the actuator to shift tube connection.

Posted on: 2020/11/9 22:50
Howard
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#3
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JWL
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Try bypassing the switch with a jumper wire. BE SURE THE CAR IS IN PARK OR NEUTRAL WHEN STARTING IT THIS WAY.

Posted on: 2020/11/10 12:23
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#4
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Gar
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Car starts in Park.

I tried starting it in Neutral and played with the shifter while trying to start the car. No success...

I am supposed to get the car on a lift this week and will check out the switch and re-check the wire contacts.

Posted on: 2020/11/11 10:19
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#5
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JWL
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Reading your first post I now see where you wrote it did not start in neutral, but started in park. Good luck on an easy fix.

Posted on: 2020/11/11 12:21
We move toward
And make happen
What occupies our mind... (W. Scherer)
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#6
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Gar
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Howard:

It appears that there is quite a bit of play in the automatic transmission shifter arm and shaft. It looks like the bushings and washers are worn quite a bit.

Do you know of a kit that would have all the necessary bushings, etc?

Posted on: 2020/11/21 20:33
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#7
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HH56
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For Packard made cars there is not but your 57 is in all respects except name and a few 55-6 trim items chosen from the leftover parts stocks a facelifted Studebaker President with Stude mechanical parts. For a better answer than I could provide you might post your question on the Stude Forum https://forum.studebakerdriversclub.co ... tudebaker-forum/tech-talk

You might also inquire at some of the Stude vendors and see what they say. http://www.studebakervendors.com

Posted on: 2020/11/21 21:04
Howard
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Re: Neutral Safety Switch
#8
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Gar
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I ended up ordering about 6 bushings/washers and a couple of sleeves. I also found a NS switch from a guy in Oregon through a guy in AZ, through a guy in IN. Early Christmas present for the car!

Posted on: 12/3 21:28
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