Clutch Safety Switch Not Working, is this a safe bypass method? - Ford Mustang Forum
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post #1 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019 Thread Starter
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Clutch Safety Switch Not Working, is this a safe bypass method?

Today I had to take out the clutch safety switch, unmount and unplugged. I plugged it back in and remounted the car’s not starting now when i push the clutch in.

So I Opened up the switch and connected copper wire to the diodes so i dont have to press the clutch at all now and it starts perfectly fine.

Are their any negative outcomes that can happen as a result of using copper wire? Any idea why its not fully compressing to allow me to start the car?
https://i.imgur.com/BeGoBrK.jpg

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post #2 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-20-2019
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Way back in the Annals of history, before the government mandated auto companies to install safety devices to circumvent peoples stupidity, cars did not have a clutch safety interlock switch. The question is can you remember to either press in the clutch or stick the trans in neutral on your own. If you doubt yourself, repair/replace the switch.


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post #3 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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I agree with 07redstang, no need for the switch so long as you remember it's no longer working. While I think having a safety switch on manual transmission cars is a good idea IMO using a clutch switch is the wrong way to do it. Ideally the safety switch should be in the transmission and require the transmission to be in neutral when starting. Tremec actually does it this way on at least some of their aftermarket TKO models. I had a TKO in my '72 'Cuda and the car had to be in neutral to start unless you bypassed the switch. The reason a clutch activated switch is a bad idea is that the car can be in gear when started and if you foot slips off the pedal [ wet shoes due to rain or snow or for any reason ] the car is going to move. Another less serious issue is that every time you push the clutch in the crankshaft is forced forward against the rear face of the thrust bearing. Generally this isn't a big deal since the main bearings receive pressurized oil, but on cars that are used infrequently the oil drains off the thrust surface and it takes a couple of seconds for oil to reach it on a restart.
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post #4 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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Only one problem with it having to be in neutral to start 100% of the time. Apparently you never had to limp a car home with clutch/pressure plate issues.
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post #5 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 07redstang View Post
Only one problem with it having to be in neutral to start 100% of the time. Apparently you never had to limp a car home with clutch/pressure plate issues.
Yeah, really. Once upon a time I had a 2001 dodge dakota 4.7 5 spd. One day the clutch disk delaminated and the loose piece wedged between the flywheel and the remaining disk material making it impossible to disengage the transmission. I could only shift gears with the engine off. It broke in second gear with me 3/4 mile from home so I figured that'd be a good gear to use. I had to start & stop in gear three times to get it off the main drag & to my house. It bucked a bit stopping, but 2nd gear take offs were kinda fun actually. To stop I simply killed the ignition, and to go, I started it back up still in gear.

My 2005 Mustang is the first vehicle I ever owned with a clutch safety switch. I have to really bury it in the carpet to make it let me start the car. It is time to check it for a loose mounting issue.

Having said that, it is really not safe to rely on human memory.

My dad had a 1962 Dodge Polara 2 door, 383 CI dual cross ram 4 bbls, push button automatic. A prior owner had bypassed the park/neutral safety switch on it. My dad was parked in a store parking lot, rear end to the curb facing the street. He of course had left the car in reverse and upon leaving the store, started up in reverse, jumped the parking block, jumped the sidewalk and ended up perpendicular to traffic in the middle of one side of the 4 lane divided thoroughfare before he was able to move his foot from the gas to the brake. Luckily no one hit him.

PS - for those of you having never driven a carbureted engine (other than a lawn mower), one starts them with the gas pedal depressed a bit, releasing it and the key once the engine kicks over. BUT - being in reverse, and not knowing the car is going to move throws almost your full weight onto the gas pedal. Wild ride to come. A 1962 383 4 bbl is factory rated at 330 BHP. In those days the factory lied about the HP ratings so people could afford car insurance. An educated guess says the car probably had closer to 400 bhp.


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post #6 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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In reference to not having to limp home with a neutral safety switch. I have done so. It's pretty easy, neutral safety switches generally use a ground wire tied into the switch. Most of the time it's a simple matter of grounding the wire and it will start in any gear. I must respectfully disagree with Dana W regarding the horsepower ratings on older cars. In almost all cases [ there were a few exceptions when factories wanted a favorable factor rating for NHRA drag racing classes ] the engines were overrated. The ratings prior to approximately 1973 were gross ratings. In the early '70's the government mandated net ratings which resulted in the same engines having lower power ratings then they had just the year before. Some of the power loss was also the result of a lowering of static compression ratios and other changes necessary at the time to meet EPA regs. In any case the 383 cited with a gross power rating of 330 horsepower would have been doing good to make an actual 290 net. FWIW much of the hot rod industry still likes to use the older correction factor whenever they can since it makes their power numbers look better.
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post #7 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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Having driven a few manual transmissions cars (first one in 1955) and still driving one, I'd say that you need to learn how to do it. My current stick shift cars don't have "safety" switches. If you can't/won't learn to properly drive a manual shift, then you're better off sticking with an automatic. As the saying goes "you can't fix stupid". Just take a serious look at our government. We have had too many "safety" devices put onto our cars to try to keep the driver from putting the brain in gear before they start the car.
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post #8 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Travis98146 View Post
Having driven a few manual transmissions cars (first one in 1955) and still driving one, I'd say that you need to learn how to do it. My current stick shift cars don't have "safety" switches. If you can't/won't learn to properly drive a manual shift, then you're better off sticking with an automatic. As the saying goes "you can't fix stupid". Just take a serious look at our government. We have had too many "safety" devices put onto our cars to try to keep the driver from putting the brain in gear before they start the car.
I like the new Nissan Rogue, she has to turn the lane keeping crap on to pass between the trucks, I say learn to drive or stay on the couch.

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post #9 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019
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Quote:
Originally Posted by XRacer View Post
In reference to not having to limp home with a neutral safety switch. I have done so. It's pretty easy, neutral safety switches generally use a ground wire tied into the switch. Most of the time it's a simple matter of grounding the wire and it will start in any gear. I must respectfully disagree with Dana W regarding the horsepower ratings on older cars. In almost all cases [ there were a few exceptions when factories wanted a favorable factor rating for NHRA drag racing classes ] the engines were overrated. The ratings prior to approximately 1973 were gross ratings. In the early '70's the government mandated net ratings which resulted in the same engines having lower power ratings then they had just the year before. Some of the power loss was also the result of a lowering of static compression ratios and other changes necessary at the time to meet EPA regs. In any case the 383 cited with a gross power rating of 330 horsepower would have been doing good to make an actual 290 net. FWIW much of the hot rod industry still likes to use the older correction factor whenever they can since it makes their power numbers look better.
Not sure how any power changes from year to year regulations relate. I will have to commit some time into finding all those old Car & Driver, Road & Track, and Rod & Custom articles talking up the 30 or so percent bump they found when dynoing early sixties muscle cars. I was there then and read many such references, but unfortunately don't have any evidence handy right now. Probably was something to do with the democrats & another fake news hoax.

At this point, I will only say that my stated reasoning for the practice of understating OEM horsepower is probably erroneous, but the fact that it existed in numerous instances back then is a fact.

I did just now google a reference to the 1962 383 cross ram dual 4 bbl set up only generating 285 hp against the official rating of 330. You may be right about this one. However, I drove my dad's Polara a number of times and remember it feeling very stout while it strolled away from any Mustang handy, but I was only 18 in 1965.

I recently saw an episode of Leno's Garage discussing this practice and they specifically mentioned the 1970 Corvette equipped with the 427/435 engine package and Jay said they actually dyno-ed at well over 500 hp. I dug up an early Car & driver article to back it up. a lot of this went on, and I dare say even the efforts to debunk the practice at the time were fed fake data.

Car & Driver article quote
Quote:
The brainchild of Zora Arkus-Duntov, director of GM’s performance division, the 1967 L88 Corvette was powered by a highly modified version of Chevy’s 427-cubic-inch V-8. Although the factory-claimed horsepower was 435, real power output was likely somewhere between 540 and 580, enough to allow a “stock” L88 to run the quarter-mile in the mid-to-high 11-second range. The L88 could be ordered only with certain options such as a performance suspension, Positraction differential, and upgraded brakes, while other features such as a radio and A/C were not available
The L88 reigned up until the 1972 EPA regs.

A buddy of mine, in 1972 - 73 - ish owned a white 1970 L88 Corvette convertible. Hand on the bible, I could not see the road over the hood until mid tach third gear from the passenger seat - scaredest I have ever been in a car - even riding with my mom in her 74 Karmann Ghia on I 495 around D. C.
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post #10 of 11 (permalink) Old 04-21-2019 Thread Starter
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Thanks for the feedback guys. I always keep my car in neutral when I park, and it is nice just being able to turn it over.
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Few comments on the above, engines were underrated back in the 60's and 70's. Especially in the 70's as insurance companies were really penalizing muscle cars.

The early Mopar torqueflite push button transmissions were cool. This a picture of my 63 Fury. Notice the pushbuttons and to the left the park lever. The trans needed to be in neutral in order to engage park.

Older cars, the neutral safety switch for an automatic was in series with the starter solenoid power wire.

When your parked with a manual trans, it should be left in either 1st or reverse, not neutral.
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