1987 Chevrolet El Camino Neutral Safety Switch Adjustments

The neutral safety switch on a 1987 El Camino is located on the top of the steering column and under the dash for a column shift, or on the side of the shifter in the console if it is a floor shift. The primary purpose of the neutral safety switch is to prevent the engine from starting in anything but neutral and park. It has a secondary purpose of activating the reverse lights when the gearshift is in reverse.

Tools Used: Phillips screwdriver, ¼-inch drive ratchet and sockets, Wrench set

Adjust Neutral Safety Switch

Remove the negative terminal on the battery, using a wrench. Remove the center console if the truck has a floor shift, using the Phillips screwdriver to remove the screws. If the truck has a column shift, remove the three steering-column support bolts under the steering column, using a 15 mm socket. Lower the column.

Remove the two Phillips screws securing the neutral safety switch. Disconnect the electrical connector from the switch. Remove the switch.

Install the new switch by placing the actuator hole on the bottom of the switch or on the side on a floor shift, on top of the actuator pin. This is the pin that moves as the gear shift is moved. Push the switch down while putting the gear shift in the neutral position.

Install the two screws loosely. Connect the electrical connector to the switch. Connect the battery negative terminal and tighten with a wrench.

Move the gear shift to park. Rotate the neutral safety switch clockwise until it stops and then just let off on the tension and tighten the two screws.

Place your foot on the brake and attempt to start the vehicle. It should start in park or neutral only. Adjust the neutral safety switch, if needed. If the truck will start in drive, rotate the switch clockwise a small amount and try again. If the truck will start in reverse, rotate the switch counterclockwise.

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