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Old 05-16-2015, 10:51 PM   #1
fordor41
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Default neutral safety switch

A friend of mine just finished restoring his parents '57 Ford fairlane convert, 312 automatic. I watched him start it and he put it in neutral. I asked him why and he said that was a "safety" feature by Ford that it could only be started in neutral. I've had 2 '57 Fords with automatics and they all started in park or neutral. He showed me the original owners manual and it said "to start the car with conventional or overdrive tranmissions to place it in neutral". I told him conventional/overdrive referred to 3 speed standard not autos. I'm trying to convince him that the neutral safety switch has gone south in the park position.
Anyone agree with me?
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Old 05-16-2015, 11:00 PM   #2
Paul H
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

57 Fords were all neutral start only.If yours started in park,someone had replaced the switch with one from a 58 or newer car(or truck)
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Old 05-17-2015, 02:58 AM   #3
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Or, just jumper around it. My stock 53 only starts in neutral ad that is what the manual says
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:16 AM   #4
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

56 was last year for neutral start only.
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Old 05-17-2015, 01:42 PM   #5
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

you lost me on that one.if your friends 57 starts in neutral only he has a 56 switch.56 and 57 switches are interchangeable which is why most people put a 57 switch on their 56 when they need one.all 57s start in park.like fordor i owned 2 57s and drove around in dozens of them.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:48 PM   #6
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

I know the 57 Birds started in neutral only. In 58 they changed to start in both neutral and park. I assume the sedans were the same

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you lost me on that one.if your friends 57 starts in neutral only he has a 56 switch.56 and 57 switches are interchangeable which is why most people put a 57 switch on their 56 when they need one.all 57s start in park.like fordor i owned 2 57s and drove around in dozens of them.
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Old 05-17-2015, 07:53 PM   #7
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

How can both be correct. One says 56, the other 57.

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Originally Posted by Motorhead6 View Post
darrell 56 was last year for neutral start only.

Paul H 57 Fords were all neutral start only. If yours started in park,someone had replaced the switch with one from a 58 or newer car(or truck)

Both of these guys are correct as is your friend.
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Old 05-17-2015, 11:05 PM   #8
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

It's hard to believe that some one changed both NSS's on my '57s to a later style and like Darrel,l I got lost on these post. Seems like we're 50/50 on park start or no park start. remember we're talking auto transmission.
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Old 05-18-2015, 07:09 AM   #9
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

I have owned two 57 Fords, one when I was 18 years old (a looong time ago) and one now. Both of these had Fordomatics and both only started with the gear selector in Neutral. I have modified my current car by adding a contact switch so that the linkage lever would contact the switch when the selector is in Park, and now the car starts in either Park or Neutral (like it better that way). I do know that the 58 Ford neutral safety switch was changed to start in either Park or Neutral, but the 57 switch started only in Neutral.

I have attached a picture of the 57 Ford Operator's Manual that shows the section on starting and it states that the safety feature prevents starting unless the selector is in Neutral.

Regards,
Dave
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File Type: jpg 57Ford_Ops0001.jpg (60.0 KB, 39 views)
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Old 05-31-2015, 10:07 AM   #10
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

olddave57 is correct. 57 Fords only started in N when equiped with an automatic. There was no switch for manuals. 58 was the first year for P and N starting. All three of my 57s have/had N only. Original and replacement switches for automatic cars had two sets of terminals, one set for the safety and one set for the backup lights. My Ranchero has no backup lights but does have the original switch with both sets of terminals.
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:39 AM   #11
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

To make things more confusing, I know it's not a Ford, but my '55 Mercury Montclair that I had back in '65, started in park and neutral (Mercomatic).

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Old 05-31-2015, 11:54 AM   #12
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

When I first got my 56 Victoria I was convinced the NSS was defective until I read the manual...
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Old 05-31-2015, 11:46 PM   #13
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Both my 1957 Skyliner and my 1957 Thunderbird with automatics only start in neutral. And that is the way they were meant to be by Ford. If you want your 1957 Ford to also start in Park, then install and 1958 Ford neutral switch into your 1957 Ford. It is a common installation. 1958 neutral switches are available on eBay.

Last edited by SSsssteamer; 03-29-2016 at 09:24 PM.
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Old 03-29-2016, 07:35 PM   #14
Crestliner2
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

would these 58 switches fit a 52? I currently have a NSS that the arm broke off. I would either like to bypass the switch safely or replace it. but I am having a hard time finding a switch for that year.
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Old 03-29-2016, 11:03 PM   #15
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Crestliner2
I have no idea what a 52 switch actuator looks like. But if it is the same or similar to 54-56, then you can use this:
C1TF-7A247-A. This is a Ford number
1960-1966 Ford truck with Auto. Starts in Neutral & Park
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Old 04-18-2016, 11:30 PM   #16
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

I just bought a Neutral Safety Switch from one of the Tbird Parts houses (Concours I think), that will allow starting in Park. It has four wires, two with male ends, and two with female connectors. Can anyone tell me what I will find when I remove the old original neutral safety switch? Will it also have four wires?
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Old 04-19-2016, 12:51 AM   #17
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by zuburg View Post
I just bought a Neutral Safety Switch from one of the Tbird Parts houses (Concours I think), that will allow starting in Park. It has four wires, two with male ends, and two with female connectors. Can anyone tell me what I will find when I remove the old original neutral safety switch? Will it also have four wires?
The car should have 4 wires, esp. if it has the back-up light option. The new switch should have 4 wires also. The wire colors & connectors on the new switch will most likely match the old ones.
Two wires are for the NSS and the other two are for the back-up lights.
No clue what else you'll find, the only similar example car I've got that switch & it's wiring was missing and I suspect the PO bypassed it under the dash somewhere. It's on my to-do list.

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Old 04-19-2016, 08:48 AM   #18
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Thanks, I'll let you know what I find, and how easy it was or wasn't to replace. I won't know if it works or not for awhile as I'm waiting for my Fordomatic to be rebuilt and new engine is not yet ready to be installed.
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Old 04-19-2016, 07:34 PM   #19
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Since the switch attaches to the shifter, it should be easy to install with no trans in the car.

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Originally Posted by zuburg View Post
Thanks, I'll let you know what I find, and how easy it was or wasn't to replace. I won't know if it works or not for awhile as I'm waiting for my Fordomatic to be rebuilt and new engine is not yet ready to be installed.
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Old 04-19-2016, 09:04 PM   #20
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Default Re: neutral safety switch

Yes, that's another reason I'm making the change, much more room to work. The car originally was equipped with a manual transmission so I think the PO did some "custom" work to install the original switch. The wires are all taped up and there is not much slack to work with. I think I will cut the wires near the old switch and splice to the wires on the new switch and hope for the best. I'm guessing the original wires do not have any connectors like the new switch has, so they won't do me any good anyway.
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