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Did the '63 Nova's with manual trans have a clutch switch that keeps the car from starting until the clutch is pushed in? I don't see one in my assembly manual or the service manual.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Thanks for the responses!
I had one from some other vehicle and put it in the square hole where it looks like a bump stop belongs. We have a '47 Willys and I never thought it needed one, but I agree, it's a must on a muscle car.
 

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We have a '47 Willys and I never thought it needed one, but I agree, it's a must on a muscle car.
Just one more 'nanny' device that no one with a brain needs. I know that neither of my '66 SS 4-speeds had one, but my '70 Nova SS did. Those were very easy to by-pass with a small piece of heavy gauge wire. I don't think any of my friends' cars had a functioning clutch-to-start switch once we found out how easy they were to defeat.
 

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Even the safety switch doesn't always fix stupid. Video in the blue oval community has a kid showing friends his Dad's new Shelby 350R. Kid gets in, puts his foot on the clutch, starts car, takes foot off clutch and the car jumps forward smashing into the garage wall. Dad left the car in gear.

Bob
 

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True enough. Not all the stupid can be thwarted by regulations or safety devices, that's for sure. But, hard as they might be to get used to, many of them make us safer. Have to strongly agree with Alf. In this particular case, for about $5 in mfg. costs, the manufacturer can maybe save a nickel as well from people flogging their engines and drivetrains while trying to start them in gear. Fewer returns of stripped out starter drives, flywheel teeth and other damage. Doubtless the manufacturer might get blamed for not having a clutch depress to start switch in their car when technology exists, cost only $5 per car, and it jumped when being started and someone got hurt. The way of the world today.
 

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I've had Tremic's in three different cars. Tremic has a nice NSS built-in to the side of the trans. I always wire it in. Nice feature easy to wire and no fab.
 

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C'mon - these cars were designed when the standard transmission was the standard transmission. Everyone knew how to drive a car with a standard transmission. We were just a few years removed from the starter switch being a separate pushbutton on the dash. Automatic transmissions were extra money and inefficient.
Those of us raised on stick shift trannys will not easily forget the first time we drove a car with an automatic transmission. Coming to your first stop, your left foot impulsively raises up to push the non-existent clutch pedal to the floor. If you were lucky, you missed the end of the elongated brake pedal and mashed the hi-lo beam switch as you realized there wasn't a pedal there. If you did happen to catch the end of the brake pedal, you were treated to a full braking test 100' short of the stop sign.
 

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Mike, you're right, automatics were relatively new, and many people already had made the mistake of hitting the starter with the car in gear. Self-teaching experience, and hope the price isn't injury or a busted bumper and grille.

But your mention of going from a stick to an auto rings true. I always had manual trans cars, and in college, drove a '31 Ford and a '55 Hudson Metropolitan, the latter having 3 on the tree. I had been driving the Met toward the end of my second year, when a friend asked me to keep his car for the summer at my house because School wouldn't let him park it there. It was a big, white '60 Cadillac SDV, stock with a Hydramatic trans.

So I picked it up at school. I'd been mostly driving the Met, but I had to get this Cadillac home, and I was rolling up to a red light, slowing down. But the light turned green, with me slowing from about 35-25. Momentum being at a premium in both the cars I owned, second nature told me to pull the shifter down and into 3rd:

404932


Well, the old girl didn't like that at all, but obediently tried to start to slow herself down to go backward, as I had requested. It shuddered and shook, and took me down to about 5 mph before stalling out. I threw her in neutral, started it up, and purred the rest of the way home.
 

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I am glad my 65 Mustang didn't have a neutral safety switch. I drove it to school a couple of times without a clutch. Strong battery, strong starter and a sloppy 3 speed kept me off the bus. Yeah 40+ years later I realize that was dumb/dangerous but at the time I didn't even question it.
 

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Lots of improvising in those days. I remember a night driving home from the ice rink in my Dad's '53 Ford. Accelerator linkage broke, so I limped it home in 1st gear on the manual choke.

Bob
 

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Just one more 'nanny' device that no one with a brain needs. I know that neither of my '66 SS 4-speeds had one, but my '70 Nova SS did. Those were very easy to by-pass with a small piece of heavy gauge wire. I don't think any of my friends' cars had a functioning clutch-to-start switch once we found out how easy they were to defeat.
Thanks Dave I asked the question about a neutral safety switch on my 66 SS but 4 speed didn't get an answer.
 

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C'mon - these cars were designed when the standard transmission was the standard transmission. Everyone knew how to drive a car with a standard transmission. We were just a few years removed from the starter switch being a separate pushbutton on the dash. Automatic transmissions were extra money and inefficient.
Those of us raised on stick shift trannys will not easily forget the first time we drove a car with an automatic transmission. Coming to your first stop, your left foot impulsively raises up to push the non-existent clutch pedal to the floor. If you were lucky, you missed the end of the elongated brake pedal and mashed the hi-lo beam switch as you realized there wasn't a pedal there. If you did happen to catch the end of the brake pedal, you were treated to a full braking test 100' short of the stop sign.
I used to do that at work. Our front-line trucks were all automatics (International Loadstars) but the "spares" were 5-speeds. When you drove a "spare" two or three days then got your automatic back, the left-foot syndrome you mentioned happened for most of that first day!
 
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