Classic Thunderbird Club International
Gil's Garage
Gil Baumgartner
CTCI Authenticity Chairman
Removal and Replacement of the Neutral Safety Switch

The neutral safety switch P/N 7A247 is no big deal to replace. Removal and replacement can be accomplished without removing the shifter mechanism.

The switch can be located by going under the left (driverís) side of the car, look up between the frame X member and the left muffler.

Remove the two hex head screws and the pin that secures the switch control rod to the lower shifter rod.

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The wiring connectors are located under the carpet. Lift up the carpet on the driverís side and unplug the wiring from the body harness.

The red with blue wires (strip or ends) control the starting circuit, the black with red wires (strip or ends) control the backup lamps if equipped, Once these wires are unplugged the switch and wire grommet can be removed from under the car. Reverse the instructions to install the replacement switch.

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This photo shows a restored shifter with the neutral safety switch installed. The mounting bracket for the switch is part of the shifter mechanism. The holes on the switch bracket are slotted to accommodate the switch adjustment to shifter detents.

Proper adjustment of the switch can be accomplished by placing the shifter in the neutral detent position, slide the switch forward or aft to locate the start in neutral position.

CAUTION: As a safety precaution it is advisable to have the rear wheels off the ground and the vehicle properly supported when checking the various shifter positions.

Once the start in neutral position is located, tighten the screws to lock the switch in position.

Check all of the shifter positions to insure it will not start in other gear selections.

CAUTION: when checking selected positions apply the brakes as a safety precaution.

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Originally the Thunderbirds would not start in other than the neutral position. Some Thunderbird parts dealers now offer a modified neutral safety switch that allows the engine to be started in the Park position. The Restoration Manual page 377 has instructions on how to modify an original neutral safety switch to start in park.

Gil Baumgartner

Last modified: July 25 2016