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Thread: need to pick the big brains on my 88 dodge sport 2.6

  1. #1

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    Question need to pick the big brains on my 88 dodge sport 2.6

    here lately whenever i go to start my
    {1988 dodge ram 50 sport 2.6l automatic }
    i put the key in turn the key nothing lights on the dash come on but no starter turn.
    i take on of the shiftier and bring it down to reverse and back up to park and i can ten start the truck.
    sometimes if i just bump the shiftier it will start so my question is?
    is this what is called the safety neutral switch ?
    and if so
    how do i either replace it or disconnect it.
    is it in
    the steering column?
    or
    down on the transmission?
    is there a fuse?
    i can pull to by pass this and make it run?
    any help will.
    be appreciated.

  2. #2

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    Don't know where it is but you don't want to bypass it. One forgetful moment and it will end in tears, rage (and possibly a death or 2) Most switching assemblies are in the console under the shifter handle. Take out the centre console and take a peek - my money's on it being in there from previous experience. You may be able to fix it yourself but if not, replace it.

  3. #3

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    thxs geezer101 i,ll give it a look and see what i can find ----- by the way just what would i be looking for? lol i mean is it a switch/plug/fuse?

  4. #4

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    There would be a long slide switch running parallel with the bezel in the T-bar handle assembly. If it's like most Mitsubishis there will be a 2 or 3 pin plug attached to it with the wiring loom running up the transmission tunnel to the firewall somewhere. It's a fairly simple set up - if the switch is in the open circuit position (in gear) it won't complete the circuit to the starter solenoid. But whatever you do - do not bypass it.

  5. #5

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    thxs geezer101
    and no lol i,m not going to bypass

  6. #6

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    well i have a new twist on this little problem after months of dealing with my little truck not wanting to start after sitting over night unless i move the shifter .
    i finally got it up on ramps and slid underneath the little girl to take a look @ the safety neutral switch.
    i was in for a surprise i traced the wires along the tranny to the what i thought was the safety switch
    *seeings as it was the only plug on the tranny with wires*
    i finally got the plug undone and low and behold there was only one wire going to the plug.
    i figured there would be @ least 3 from all that i had read.
    anyhow i went ahead and unplugged it
    got in the truck turned the key not expecting it to start but you guessed it
    it fired right up.
    so now i,m sitting there wondering what the hell?
    i put the truck in reverse it wouldn't start
    ok all fine and good
    i put it in drive it wouldn't start
    ok now keep in mind that the safety switch is still unplugged
    i put the truck in neutral starts right up.
    so now what guys?
    i went ahead and plugged the (what i think is the safety switch) back up.
    so if this isn't the safety switch what is it?
    and
    if it is why did the truck start with it unplugged?
    what am i missing?

  7. #7



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    you are looking in the wrong place for the neutral safety switch - you unplugged the reverse light switch. It sounds like the neutral safety switch is either out of adjustment, or bad when the shifter is in park. The plug for the neutral safety switch is at the back of the shifter bezel - find it, then follow the wires to the switch. From there you should be able to adjust it so it works properly.
    Pennyman1
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  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    you are looking in the wrong place for the neutral safety switch - you unplugged the reverse light switch. It sounds like the neutral safety switch is either out of adjustment, or bad when the shifter is in park. The plug for the neutral safety switch is at the back of the shifter bezel - find it, then follow the wires to the switch. From there you should be able to adjust it so it works properly.
    ok thanks pennyman1 just to make sure i know where i,m looking the shifter bezel is on the column correct?

  9. #9



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    yes it is - forgot the 2nd gen is on the column, but the switch will work the same.
    Pennyman1
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  10. #10

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    yes it is - forgot the 2nd gen is on the column, but the switch will work the same.
    thank you sir i will be checking it out tomorrow

  11. #11

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    i give up for the life of me i can not find that neutral safety switch on this 88 dodge ram 50 sport i looked every where i followed the linkage from the column down to the tranny took the shield off the steering column traced every wire i can find nothing . if any one has pics or a diagram showing exactly where this Easter egg is then please post it's driving me crazy *no pun intended *

  12. #12

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    if its a mini a500 transmission the switch will be on the driver side of the transmission right behind the kick down/gear selector. i found a picture that is extremely similar to the mini a500 transmission and highlighted the safety switch. the bell housing on ours is different and the this is a 4x4 so the tail shaft is different. ignore the bell housing and tail shaft. the body of the tranny that i am showing is essentially the same as ours and should be a good reference.

    Click image for larger version. 

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  13. #13

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    thanks for the pic i,ll take another look but i swear i didn't see it the first time i was under there i hope your right because this is starting to drive me crazy lol

  14. #14



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    if you have the aw372 it may be somewhere else - there were at least 2 different auto trannies used in these trucks...
    Pennyman1
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  15. #15

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    Quote Originally Posted by pennyman1 View Post
    if you have the aw372 it may be somewhere else - there were at least 2 different auto trannies used in these trucks...
    lol that will be my luck lol

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