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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I found a few things on the search function, but no real step-by-steps. So, to beat a dead horse:

I have a B&M Pro Ratchet shifter. It's been installed for about 2+ years. I finally decided that it would be nice to have my neutral safety (NSS) and backup light (BUL) microswitches installed.

I have an old article in "Chevy High Performance" that shows the switches mounted in the shifter. The wires run out to where, tho?

Are both of the factory NSS and BUL switches mounted under the column on my 70? This originally was a column-shifted auto car, btw, as my father bought it brand new.

Anyway, do I connect the wires coming from the shifter in series with the ones on the column?

Anyway, I'm pretty much a novice to this electrical stuff, but I do have a multimeter, wire crimper/stripper, selection of electrical ends, my Haynes Chevelle manual, etc......so I THINK I can do this. Just need to know a step-by-step thing. Thanks so much!
 

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Justin,

I have the same setup as you. E-mail me if you want some more info. We have moved, but phone number is the same.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Ok, here is what I've got.

The new microswitches are mounted on the B&M shifter. The original wires are unplugged from the column NSS/BUL setup.

I took the new wires from the new B&M shifter and plugged them into the original wires. Effectively bypassing the column switch. The car still tries to start in ALL gears. I'm about to check and see if the BUL are working or not.

Which wire is ground and which is hot on the originals? Is the purple/white ground or hot? Which is which on the light-green and pink wires for the BUL?

I have a very slight adjustment that I can try on the B&M shifter switches. Maybe that will work. If not, I'm stumped, as I've tried swapping wires around to get the right configurations. Still no luck.

Any help would be appreciated. I know it's something simple. :rolleyes:
 

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Unplug the wires on the NSS connector. The car should not start.

There is no ground or hot on the NSS wires. Either wire can be in either position on the new switch.

If the doesn't start with the wires disconnected, but starts in all gears with them connected, the new switch is not opening.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Ok. With a slight switch adjustment, I was able to get the backup lights to work....sometimes. I say that, because the passenger side BUL would only work about half the time. It was quite a bit dimmer than the driver side, so maybe I have a bad bulb? When I had it set up the way I thought it would work, the driver side always worked and was nice and bright.

It's frustrating, cuz it turns out that I have a bad battery in the car.
I had to do some swapping around and put a good battery in from my daily driver truck.

I'm not really ready to start the car, so I decided to pull the coil wire so it would only crank over. Well, with the new battery, it did crank it at first. Then after fiddling with the NSS, now I get a no-start condition all the time. Even after hooking the coil wire back up it doesn't do anything. As in, I have dome lights, but nothing when I go to crank it. Sometimes the idiot lights pop on, sometimes they don't.

In hindsight, I wish I hadn't pulled the coil wire. I have a MSD Digital 6 box and now I'm worried I may have damaged it. :mad:

OR, I may have a stuck NSS switch. I'm not sure if I can get the switches adjusted to where they work at the same time. I think I'm going to take the BUL switch off and try to adjust the NSS by itself. If I can get it to work and verify that I don't have a switch problem, then I'll put the BUL switch back in and try to be a bit more fine with my adjustments.

I don't think there is a way to adjust these independently. That sux. :mad:

John and all, thanks for the help so far. It's good to hear that the NSS wires can go either way, I'm tired of swapping them around.
 

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Justin,

Wish I was there to lend a hand, but if I were having the same problem (as I understand it) I would take the two purple wires off the NSS and hook them together and see if the car starts. That would eliminate the possibility of a problem in the wiring.

If the car starts OK with the above, then use an ohm meter on the NSS switch as you shift through the various gear positions. There should be continuity in park and neutral only.

I wonder if you may be hooking the NSS wires to the BU switch on the shifter by mistake. That way, the car would only start in reverse.
 

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I recently added backup light switch to my "Z-Gate" shifter, and finally connected the NSS. I can feel your pain, and'll try to help.

I didn't use the B&M switch for the backup circuit, but found an exact replacement at the local electronic surplus house. "Exact", except for one minor difference - my switch has the extra terminal the B&M doesn't - the N.O. or "normally Open" contact.

1) Connect the original NSS wires together at the column - (with your foot on the brake) the car should crank in any gear position (be careful!)
2) Undo step #1, and extend these original wires down to your shifter, making sure they don't get cut or scraped on the sharp shifter stampings.
3) Look carefully on the shifter switch. For the NSS you are looking for:
"COM", "N.C.", and possibly "N.O." (these will be microscopic moldings in the switch near the terminals).
4) Look at the NSS switch, and watch and listen to it while you move the shifter through the gear positions. The bumps or valleys on the selector should trip the switch, and you can hear it "click" leaving Park, "un-click" leaving Reverse, re-click entering Neutral, and unclick entering Drive. At no time during the travel should the switch lever bottom out on the switch housing or bend. Adjust the switch so it "clicks", and has a bit of travel left. You can also verify this with a multi-meter with a "beeper" function on the switch contacts - it should only beep in P or N.

5) Connect your extended wires to the above described terminals.
6) Test the circuit - the car should crank only in Park and Neutral.

(N.C. or Normally Closed means that when the switch is "at rest", the N.C. terminal is connected to the Com terminal. The switch ((on a Z-Gate)) is at rest or "un-clicked" in the Park and Neutral positions, so the circuit is completed.)

Doing the BUL's is the same procedure.
It may vary with your model shifter, whether the switch is thrown or at rest in P or N.
Thrown in P or N = connect to N.O. & Com terminals
At Rest in P or N = connect to N.C. & Com terminals

Hope this helps!
 

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You will have to adjust the B&M switches by bendng the tab a little at a time to fine tune them. There is a little play in the screw slots, but not much. Worst case, get a 30 amp toggle switch to mount under the dash for the starter. I may do this anyway as anti theft device. I had a similiar setup in a car years ago. We had 3 switches in series that had to be set at a certain combination to start. Worked great.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
OK! After a nice vacation, death in the family, computer going down, multiple instances of bad luck....I dug back into the Chevelle today.

I installed a brand new battery and decided it might be worth a try to bend the switches a little to see if I could get them to work at the same time. Guess what....VOILA!!!
It still took a little fine tuning, but the BU lights and the NSS work fine.

So, in celebration, I took the car around the block for the first time in a few months.
I had just finished a complete front end rebuild (before all this switch nonsense) using PST components and now I guess I need to get an alignment.

Interesting story about the short drive around the block. I passed a house of a local gearhead (whom I had never met) and, low and behold, there was a 72 Chevelle SS on a trailer. A couple of guys were standing around, so I turned around and pulled in. An older gentleman had trailered the car over to have the local gearhead bring it back up to driver condition. He had special ordered the car and had held onto it ever since.

Not sure how many miles were on it, but it supposedly had been babied, yet had been sitting for the last 8-10 years. The man said that the factory AC and front disc brakes were good when he parked it. The gearhead and I just looked at each other when he said that, knowing the compressor would be locked up (it was) and the brakes would be rusted up. Upon visual inspection it was a bit rusty underneath and pretty much every body panel had some dings in it. All in all tho, it was a solid factory dark green/black vinyl top car.

Come to think of it, we popped the hood and I didn't check as to whether it was a 350 or 307 car. He ordered the SS option, but opted for the bench seat, column shift, sweep gauge package. According to the gearhead the gentleman wanted a cheap, no frills SS. I just hope the guy knows how much it's going to take to bring his car back up to driver status.

Anyway, my father bought my 70 brand new and it was interesting to see another 1-owner car. BTW, the local gearhead guy is one super cool guy. He had an Altered rear engine dragster (I think that's what you call it) that runs 5.50's in the 1/8th with a lil 353cid mouse. He's already invited me to go on a weekend race trip with him. I'm going to see if I can get him to log on here since he says that he's an Ebay/swap meet freak.

ANYWAY, thanks so much for all the help. It took a combo of you guys and a little bit of patience.
 
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