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How do I remove the shift linkage from the neutral safety switch?

(1998 Chevrolet Cavalier)
in Centreville, VA on March 27, 2013
There is a bar going to the neutral safety switch, but I don't see any bolt. Does it just "pop-off" by lifting upwards?
Displaying 1 answers & 5 comments
Popular Answer
on March 28, 2013
Yep it just pops off! Just dont damage anything and it will pop back on. May have to use like a curved pry bar or a 'lady slipper' to remove it. If replacing netural switch then dont worry about it but if just replacing the cable carefull not to damage the switch! You didn't say.
on March 28, 2013
I hope you can help further. I am replacing the switch because it's my wife's car and it often will not start without playing with the gears.

Here's my new problem. I've removed the 2 terminal clips. I've taken off the 2 bolts. However, I just spent 2 hours trying to get the old switch off. It is stuck on the one corner where the plastic knob (i.e., the dial for the switch) sticks through the hole. I've put WD40 on it and tried prying it off with a screwdriver. It is like it is welded at that corner. I don't see anything else holding it on and the new switch certainly doesn't suggest anything else. When I wiggle the other side, it looks like there is some movement up and down on the plastic knob - like it's stuck on the underside. Any idea on how to get that thing off?
on March 28, 2013
Take a hair drier and warm it up as much as possible, be careful as WD-40 is flammable! Heat gun if you have one is better. Then get after it while it is still heated. Don't worry about the shaft you should not damage it.
on March 28, 2013
I apologize in advance if this is a stupid question, but would pouring hot water on it be just as good (and it would avoid the flammability issue with the WD40)?
on March 28, 2013
Cant hurt but get it boiling hot and be careful of splash! Heat should expand that plastic bushing and aid in it's removal. Also take a deep socket with an extension and drive that plastic part down with a hammer, sounds crazy but the object is to MOVE it in any way. Then pour the HOT water on it and pry it off. Let me know how you make out. Hey it has got to come off some way, clean the shaft up before install. and add a little lube.
Good luck and just keep after it you will get it done! If it were easy everyone would be doing their own work.
on March 29, 2013
After a lot more time, I still couldn't get the old switch off! However, in the daylight, I better see the problem, but couldn't figure out how to solve it.

Here is the situation - there are 2 bolt holes on the switch. There is a solid steel bracket that the shift linkage goes directly through that is "on top" of the safety switch bolt hole nearest the firewall. The screw for the bolt hole sticks up with the transmission case right behind it so I couldn't knock the screw through the hole. Because the bracket is steel, I could get it to lift over the screw. In short, the switch wasn't stuck like I first thought, it is in really held in place by the bracket. I bent and cracked the old switch trying to get it off. How do I get this thing off?

As a temporary fix so we could at least use the car, I put the shift linkage back on the transmission dial. I also plugged in the terminals for the new switch with the indicator for neutral. In short, the new switch thinks the car is always in neutral. I tried starting it in neutral and park with no problem. I drove it forward and back with no problem. However, I know it's not safe, because it would lurch forward if we tried to start it in Drive.

Hope you can help!


However, for the benefit of anyone that may read this. It turns out that my problem was not the safety switch after all. 6 days later I had the same problem. I checked the wires on the starter and it turns out the ground wire on the starter was cracked. I barely touched it and it snapped. I reconnected the wire and problem solved.
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