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Discussion Starter #1
I have a 71 SS that has the factory floor console with the 4 gauges built into it. I was wondering if there is a cable or something that goes from the shifter to the "transmission position indicator" on the dash. It doesn't move - so something is missing......
There is no position indicator on the floor console with the shifter either. Help please!
 

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1974 Nova, 1977 Nova
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Hi Racinfan83,

The factory setup used a "backdrive linkage" that caused the lower jacket of the steering column to rotate and move the indicator ... as well as lock the shifter in park when the key was turned to the lock position.

The non-functional shift indicator is most likely due to one of two possibilities:

(1) The tiny cable that connects the indicator needle to the steering column jacket is broken.

(2) The backdrive linkage was removed (possibly for exhaust header clearance). I believe the linkage itself is the same as used on Novas with column shifted automatics.
 

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Did your Nova come that way from the factory?

As I recall, the 68-72 did not have a PRNDL in the speedometer with a floor-shift automatic. The left-side console shift plate had the PRNDL marks and a bulb on the console harness to light it up.

The 73-74 floor shift auto did have the PRNDL in the speedomer, and use the back-drive linkage that Ray described.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Did your Nova come that way from the factory?

As I recall, the 68-72 did not have a PRNDL in the speedometer with a floor-shift automatic. The left-side console shift plate had the PRNDL marks and a bulb on the console harness to light it up.
Beats the heck out of me....For those of you that don't know - I just bought this car from a guy who knew very little about it. He bought it from the guy who restored it. So - I'm trying to learn all about this car from you guys.....Here's an interior pic that kind of shows the console:

It looks factory to me, has the guages and all. There is no place on the shifter console for a position indicator. Where would I find a linkage for the "backdrive" the one guy was talking about?
 

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I knew someone had some info on it. Here it is:

http://www.novashop.net/info/console.htm

There is a picture of a 68-72 Console and it shows the shift position indicator built into the left side plate next to the shifter slot opening. What I remember of those housings there was a steel housing under the console that a push in light socket went into. I'm thinking it also was like the push in sockets for the console gauges with the same style bulbs. I think too the shifter mechanism had a tab that stuck through a slot on the left side cover plate that could be viewed through the lettered window to let you know what gear it was in.

I'm not up to speed all the way with the 72 and older ones but there may be a backdrive linkage. Some cars did not have the gear position indicator in the dash but the backdrive linkage was for the neutral safety and reverse light switch in the column. When the cars floor shifter was in park or nuetral this linkage between the shifter and the column moved or rotated the column to allow it to start. When it was positioned in reverse the column rotated to where the reverse light switch was activated.

If a particular year Nova had a floor shifter with the indicator in the console I would think they wouldn't duplicate it again in the speedometer cluster but like I said I'm not up to speed with all of the little differences year by year. Some floor shifters had the neutral safety and reverse light switch built into the floor shifter mechanism and if that is the case then the only reason I could think of to have the backdrive linkage to the column would be for the ignition key interlock. The car had to be in park before the ignition key could be removed.

If for some reason your speedometer cluster should not have the shift position indicator in it you can take the cluster apart and respray that particular plate flat black. There's no need to find a blank one without lettering.

Jim
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
68-72 Nova floor Console

The floor console was offered for the Nova as RPO D55 (Front compartment floor console). The console supported an automatic of manual transmission. However, the console was only available if bucket seats were also ordered (RPO A51). Once the floor console was ordered an additional gauge package could be ordered. The gauge package consisted of an in-dash tach located left of the speedo, this moved the clock to the right side and the gas gauge to the console. Along with the gas gauge the console gauge package also included a Voltmeter, Oil pressure, and Engine Temperature gauges.
I took this quote from the site you linked me to. My car has the factory tach in the left side of the dash and the clock on the right. The guages in the floor console are as noted. The plate in the shifter console has no slot in it for a position indicator. I'm thinking there has to be some kind of cable or linkage from it to the dash. I'll try to start it in gear later and see also if the reverse lights work......

I looked at the column - and if the column "jacket" has to rotate to move the indicator......I know one reason why it doesn't work. The Autometer tach and shift light is clamped around it. I could relocate that if I could figure out how to get the linkage or cable that operates it.....
 
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