Chevy Nova Forum banner

1 - 8 of 8 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
Hey all, the 1974 nova i bought has a ratchet shifter. It was an original column car until the shifter was installed.
Every time i want to start the car i have to play with the section of the column where the original column shifter was in order to (i assume) send power to the starter. turning the key by itself will not start the car unless i get that column piece just right

Is there any connection i can make or jump in order not to have to do this stupid ritual every time i want to drive? That piece is also very sloppy and easy to move.

Also, if i turn on the headlights and try to turn the lights on with the instrumental cluster, nothing happens, the flashers stay lit and the fuel gauge goes empty. Sounds like a ground problem but where is the ground for the cluster located?
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
Hey all, the 1974 nova i bought has a ratchet shifter. It was an original column car until the shifter was installed.
Every time i want to start the car i have to play with the section of the column where the original column shifter was in order to (i assume) send power to the starter. turning the key by itself will not start the car unless i get that column piece just right

Is there any connection i can make or jump in order not to have to do this stupid ritual every time i want to drive? That piece is also very sloppy and easy to move.

Also, if i turn on the headlights and try to turn the lights on with the instrumental cluster, nothing happens, the flashers stay lit and the fuel gauge goes empty. Sounds like a ground problem but where is the ground for the cluster located?
You need to see if your floor shifter has the safety switch mounted to it and if not get the proper parts for it. You basically have to extend the wires off of the column safety switch to the floor shifter switch to where now when the car is in park or neutral, the car cranks over.

You may also need a second switch for the floor shifter to activate the reverse lights.

As far as the instrument panel ground, there is a male 1/4" tab off of the speedometer cluster and a wire then connects to it and the other end of the wire goes to a ground by the emergency brake mechanism. If this ground is missing and then connected you may still have other issues such as a flexible circuit board issues and/or backfeeding issues from missing grounds on the front end lighting system.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
You need to see if your floor shifter has the safety switch mounted to it and if not get the proper parts for it. You basically have to extend the wires off of the column safety switch to the floor shifter switch to where now when the car is in park or neutral, the car cranks over.

You may also need a second switch for the floor shifter to activate the reverse lights.

As far as the instrument panel ground, there is a male 1/4" tab off of the speedometer cluster and a wire then connects to it and the other end of the wire goes to a ground by the emergency brake mechanism. If this ground is missing and then connected you may still have other issues such as a flexible circuit board issues and/or backfeeding issues from missing grounds on the front end lighting system.

Jim
As always your advice is appreciated, ill look into the grounding tomorrow.

For the safety switch: ive been reading that in 74 the colors of the wires changed due to the seat belt light wiring? I'd like to just completely bypass the switch. What colors should i cross together?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
So i tried to jump the two wires but the car still doesnt start if i dont play with the column. Tried zip tying the column to the dash with no dice. Cant even take the steering wheel off because some dip**** welded it on....
If i knew what exactly i was dealing with i could probably rig something up. Old cars are still foregien to a young guy li

Was this the ground you mentioned for the dash?
 

Attachments

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
You may have to get out a test light to see where you are loosing power at. You could have an issue with the bare wires shoved into the connectors or you may have other issues like a bad ignition switch, a connection to and though the firewall bulkhead connector and eventually down to the starter solenoid. The starter and/or solenoid may also have issues. You just need to trace things down using things like a test light or volt meter.


This is the backside of a 74 speedometer cluster and on the right side is the L shaped tab that the ground wire connects to:



I think what you showed with the small wire with the ring terminal screwed down to the bracing by the emergency brake is the other end of the ground wire that attaches to the speedometer cluster.

Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
432 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
You may have to get out a test light to see where you are loosing power at. You could have an issue with the bare wires shoved into the connectors or you may have other issues like a bad ignition switch, a connection to and though the firewall bulkhead connector and eventually down to the starter solenoid. The starter and/or solenoid may also have issues. You just need to trace things down using things like a test light or volt meter.


This is the backside of a 74 speedometer cluster and on the right side is the L shaped tab that the ground wire connects to:



I think what you showed with the small wire with the ring terminal screwed down to the bracing by the emergency brake is the other end of the ground wire that attaches to the speedometer cluster.

Jim
That picture was very helpful. I attached a ground wire to where you show the ground is suppose to be and my gas no longer goes empty and i appear to have good dash lights now.

I appreciate it thank you.

For the switch i checked my power at the wires and i do get power. If i disconnect it the car doesnt start and if i jump it with a wire it will start as long as i get the column right
 

·
Moderator
Joined
·
6,558 Posts
That picture was very helpful. I attached a ground wire to where you show the ground is suppose to be and my gas no longer goes empty and i appear to have good dash lights now.

I appreciate it thank you.

For the switch i checked my power at the wires and i do get power. If i disconnect it the car doesnt start and if i jump it with a wire it will start as long as i get the column right
When you checked and had power at the wires, was it on those wires that were jumpering the plug ?.

In 74 they had a relay under the hood that was on an orange plastic stand-off mount and it was bolted to the face of the firewall close to the brake master cylinder. This relay was tied into a seat belt interlock system and maybe if your relay is still in place, this is where your issue is at (either a bad relay or an issue with the interlock system).

Here is a post with some info that might help:

https://www.stevesnovasite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=566169



Jim
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
Re: Problems with aftermarket shifter

Check in the lower steering column area for 2 - 14 ga. purple wires in a square black plastic connector; connect these 2 wires together and the start circuit from the ignition switch to the starter solenoid should be completed.
 
1 - 8 of 8 Posts
Top