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‘66 Charger Neutral Safety Question

MEJ1990TM

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Apr 30, 2012
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Escondido, CA
Working on reviving the ‘66 my grandparents bought new. It’s been sitting for pretty much the entirety of my life and has certainly seen better days. I’m to the point of seeing if it will turn over, and the best I can get out of it is a click. The solenoid will kick the gear out but it won’t turn over.

Doing some digging around I found that it appears some rodents got at the wire that goes to the switch on the trans. What I’m wondering is if a lack of a neutral safety would cause it to just click and not roll over? I was kind of under the impression a bad switch would just not allow anything to happen with the starter.
 
You are correct. If the starter is clicking, the NSS circuit is working.
 
You need a battery or some starter work.

If you're sure you have a good battery, since that gear is coming out you know that the starters bendix solenoid is working. What isn't happening is the contact disc isn't making contact with the main battery terminal stud (or you have a bad main battery to starter cable). Have someone give the starter a good rap while you turn the key. If that didnt' work, what we did as teens after that.. was give the main starter lug's nut a good crank to turn it slightly and give a new contact spot to get us going...
 
If it hasn't been started, I would recommend finding a thread on bringing a Mopar back to life. A witches brew of chemicals down the intake and spark plug holes to get lubrication to rings and cylinders. Turn it by hand with a breaker bar. Oil change. Pull the distributor and turn the pump with a drill and rotate the crank until you see oil at both rocker assemblies. This will ensure you have oil to the rotating parts and you can then turn it with the starter blowing your witches brew from the cylinders. Then you are ready for the initial fire with new ignition parts and rebuilt carb. You might get lucky with a dry fire, but it's risky.
 
Indeed, the neutral safety switch completes the circuit to ground for the starter relay. Other suggestions are all valid things to consider when trying to get it running.
 
You can get a service manual at this link. Service Manuals – MyMopar Have worked on cars, motorcycles ? One thing don't panic about the electroluminescence gauges guys fix them, you have a ways to get there. Check in on how it's going.
 
You need a battery or some starter work.

If you're sure you have a good battery, since that gear is coming out you know that the starters bendix solenoid is working. What isn't happening is the contact disc isn't making contact with the main battery terminal stud (or you have a bad main battery to starter cable). Have someone give the starter a good rap while you turn the key. If that didnt' work, what we did as teens after that.. was give the main starter lug's nut a good crank to turn it slightly and give a new contact spot to get us going...

Turns out it was a very sad positive battery cable. Just happened to catch sight of some small cracks in the outer casing of the wire. After some closer inspection was able to see just how bad it was. Lots of cracking and corrosion inside the wire itself. Replaced the cable and it’s cranking like nobody’s business.

Last night while I was tinkering I pretty much assumed it was the starter itself. Battery tested good, so went with what I felt the obvious answer was and picked up a starter from O’Reilly’s. Guess it’s true what they say about assuming. Likely wasted $75 on a remanned starter, but I guess there are worse things. I’m not getting back under there to change it again.

Did a few other things to it today before trying to light it off and all told I’m pleasantly surprised at how this little 383 is running. The last time the car ran was 11 or 12 years ago, and even then it was for a very short period of time.

Really looking forward to seeing this car get back on the road. I was born in 1990, and I’m pretty sure by that point it was already parked.
 
Glad you sorted it out and you listened to some suggestions around here. We have a recent poster that almost 2 weeks after the fact still hasn't used a jumper cable to rule out a bad main ground cable on his car.
 
Good to hear you got it solved. Thanks for posting the solution. You may want to check other wiring for similar issues. Especially at any of the crimped connector pins especially at the bulkhead connector. With a car that's sat as long as this one has, it's likely you will find signs of green corrosion the point where the wires are crimped on the actual connector pins. This willl head off problems in you future with this car. Replacement bulkhead pins are available on E bay from many vendors. Good luck with it and Happy New Year !!
 
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Good to hear you got it solved. Thanks for posting the solution. You may want to check other wiring for similar issues. Especially at any of the crimped connector pins especially at the bulkhead connector. With a car that's sat as long as this one has, it's likely you will find signs of green corrosion the point where the wires are crimped on the actual connector pins. This willl head off problems in you future with this car. Replacement bulkhead pins are available on E bay from many vendors. Good luck with it and Happy New Year !!
The car definitely needs a lot of attention in the electrical department. None of the gauges work in the dash, except for the amp meter. The brakes need some work, I’ve got all the stuff to tune up the ignition system, and it’ll need all new belts. Plus I’m sure we will find other stuff as we go.

The car is at my dad’s house in California, and I live in Arizona, so time is kinda limited. Was able to take some steps in the right direction at least!

She has seen better days for sure, but it’s pretty much all original except for a repaint in the ‘80e.

IMG_8818.jpeg
 
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