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onetrick56's 1964 Grand Prix

2020 September
of the Month

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Put an L83 and 6L80 trans in my '63 Catalina convertible. Could not be happier with the results but found another gremlin I never thought about, the neutral safety switch. The original trans was the Roto- Hydro which had the old shift pattern, PNDLR. The 6L83 has the standard PRNDM. Problem is that with the existing switch it will start in reverse which under the right (or wrong) circumstances could be ugly. Has anyone addressed this problem and if so how? What year did Pontiac change the shift pattern from old to new, possibly a newer switch would fit.

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The shift pattern changed to PRNDSL in 1965 (Hydramatic)...Cars equipped with the 2 speed Powerflow..(Pontiac nomenclature for the Powerglide)..PRNDL..

I don't know if changing to a later model neutral safety switch...Would be beneficial for you or not....

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12 hours ago, Old guy44 said:

Put an L83 and 6L80 trans in my '63 Catalina convertible. Could not be happier with the results but found another gremlin I never thought about, the neutral safety switch. The original trans was the Roto- Hydro which had the old shift pattern, PNDLR. The 6L83 has the standard PRNDM. Problem is that with the existing switch it will start in reverse which under the right (or wrong) circumstances could be ugly. Has anyone addressed this problem and if so how? What year did Pontiac change the shift pattern from old to new, possibly a newer switch would fit.

old guy44, doesn't the 6l80 have a inbuilt  neutral switch ?? 

 and if so, buy pass your column switch .

 

12 hours ago, Old guy44 said:

Put an L83 and 6L80 trans in my '63 Catalina convertible. Could not be happier with the results but found another gremlin I never thought about, the neutral safety switch. The original trans was the Roto- Hydro which had the old shift pattern, PNDLR. The 6L83 has the standard PRNDM. Problem is that with the existing switch it will start in reverse which under the right (or wrong) circumstances could be ugly. Has anyone addressed this problem and if so how? What year did Pontiac change the shift pattern from old to new, possibly a newer switch would fit.

OR, pull your slide switch which is mounted on your steering column out  and make a new matrix board with contacts to suit your trans pattern :cheers:

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I am not aware of the 6L80 having an internal neutral switch. I used A Howell wiring loom for the installation and there was no neutral switch wiring just a starter wire sticking out. 

As for a matrix board, the original shift pattern having park and neutral right next to each other the switch has an elongated contact to allow start in either park or neutral. Now it has changed so park and reverse are next to each other so it will start in either. There is no way to correct that externally and modifying the switch would be out of the question. But thanks for the thoughts.

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
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Lokar makes a neutral safety switch that mounts on the transmission. I bought one for my 200R4 trans, but haven't installed yet. However I'm using an aftermarket steering column with No provision for a factory switch. Good luck Ill let you know how I make out with mine. Hope to install tomorrow night !

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
On 5/28/2020 at 1:55 PM, Old guy44 said:

Put an L83 and 6L80 trans in my '63 Catalina convertible. Could not be happier with the results but found another gremlin I never thought about, the neutral safety switch. The original trans was the Roto- Hydro which had the old shift pattern, PNDLR. The 6L83 has the standard PRNDM. Problem is that with the existing switch it will start in reverse which under the right (or wrong) circumstances could be ugly. Has anyone addressed this problem and if so how? What year did Pontiac change the shift pattern from old to new, possibly a newer switch would fit.

The first overdrive transmission in any Pontiac came with the 200 4R transmission. That would have been in the 1981 and up B & C body cars, the Firebirds, and Grand Prixs. The 200 4R was phased out in 1990 in favor of the 4L60/4L60E

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I have the Lokar neutral safety switch installed and it does work as stated. You will need to have a couple of extra thin washers to help with adjustment and may need to "tweak" the bracket for optimum fit!!

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Thanks for the replies guys. 

Frosty, The information on the OD trans is nice but my question is when did Pontiac change the quadrant from the PNDLR to the now standard PRNDL. I know Cad did it between 64 and 65. I remember the 64 Caddy's had the turbo 400 with the PNDLR. to the best of my knowledge the only make and year that had the early quadrant pattern in a turbo 400. My suspicion would be that Pontiac did it around the same time but back then all the GM divisions were pretty independent of one another so don't know for sure. I  would be surprised if the Hydramatic division made different patterns for different divisions but don't remember when they started using the 400 in Pontiacs.

wdl. Does the locar switch have a backup light contact? I still want to keep it on the column if possible but that failing it would be nice to have a backup plan.

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The lokar switch can be used for either neutral safety or back-up light  not both! I wired my back-up lights to a toggle under the dash!

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