View Full Version : Turn key nothing happens

11-11-2017, 07:35 PM
Hey guys, I am a relatively new owner of a 65 ford falcon. My problem is quite literally what I wrote as the article heading. (I have not yet looked through the sight completely so if there is already an answer I would love a link to it.)

When I turn the key to start the car, nothing happens unless I bypass the Solenoid, but that is a two man job and I don't always have a second person to assist me, plus I am guessing that puts awkward ware on the car. I have changed many things in the process to fix the car. I have changed the Solenoid, I have replaced the key cylinder (also known as a switch), I have replaced all my spark plugs and spark plug wires (I needed new spark plugs anyways.), and that is it for what I have replaced already. To my best abilities, I have followed the chord from the solenoid around the car and have seen nothing detached and none of the entire length of cable messed up. Once I bypass the solenoid by using a flat head screwdriver across the S terminal to the B terminal. Also, I have taken a voltage meter and have gotten no readings on the terminals. I know this information may cut out some things as the issue. Also, the transmission has been rebuilt recently. This didn't happen until I got it from the shop. It was fine beforehand. (In case, that may point to something more obvious that I wouldn't know.)

If you have any suggestions as to what to do next I would love to hear them. Thanks in advance! This is the only car I own and so as you can imagine it is a huge hindrance, and quite a pride test when it is down.

Jeff W
11-12-2017, 12:13 AM
Since you mentioned you just had transmission work, I would suspect something may be wacky or mis-aligned with your neutral safety switch. That is assuming you have an automatic. I think your year has the C4 which probably has the switch on the transmission and not the steering column like my 63.

11-12-2017, 02:48 PM
Would purchasing a new Neutral switch fix that?

Jeff W
11-12-2017, 04:11 PM
I would do some troubleshooting first. Try starting it in Neutral instead of park. Also wiggle the shifter around a bit with your key in the crank position to see if you can hit a "live" spot on the switch. Keep your foot on the brake in care it does start.

If you find a spot where it does crank, purchasing and installing a new switch would likely get you going.

11-12-2017, 07:59 PM
Okay. So I figured I would take the neutral safety switch off and look at it. When I did I saw that the back of it had come partially off, and there was a rattling in there (I am not sure if there is supposed to be rattling but I doubt it. I couldn't take it completely apart to see due to it being still being partially on. So instead I closed it back off and put it back on hoping that might do something. But nothing changed. So I am not sure if it has been messed up badly.

But here is specifically what happens when I try to turn the key. So I plug it back up to the battery. I turn it to on and the gauge cluster lights come on. I turn the key and all the lights go off. (Both the gauge cluster and the inside car light.) other then that literally nothing happens. No sound, no lights, nothing. I have used a voltage meter and put it on the back of the key cylinder to see if any electric current was going through the black cable to the key cylinder and there was nothing. I am not sure if that affects anything, but I really just want my car running. I have been without it for about 6 months. First with the transmission issues and now that that is fixed with the electric issues. I am really up for almost anything at this point.

Jeff W
11-12-2017, 11:14 PM
Sure sounds like a new neutral safety switch is needed. I think it is normal for all accessories to go off when the engine "should " be cranking.

11-13-2017, 01:16 PM
Okay. So I am going to try and bypass the neutral safety switch for the time being. This will also let me know if that was the problem. Is it as simple as unplugging the 2x2 neutral safety switch from each other and plugging the two ends already in the car to each other? (To be more specific. Plugging the blue male/female end already in the car to the red male/female end already in the car. By already in the car I mean the to cords that connect to the neutral safety switch if it was connected.)

I hope this makes sense.

11-13-2017, 05:27 PM
When I had my C4 transmission I had the neutral safety switch on the transmission shifter at the floor. I only had one wire that ran to and from the switch so I am not much help here. But I did remember we had a post about this from before. It was called..
Where is the Neutral Safety Switch? It was queried back on 05/07/2013 in the tech talk section and had some good information in it. Not sure if it helps. Larry

Jeff W
11-13-2017, 08:56 PM
And my 63 is a completely different animal so I can't look at it for reference. From what I can tell that switch does both the neutral safety as well as back up lights so there is likely more to the wires that meets the eye. You will need to get advice from a wiring diagram or form someone with a newer car than mine.

11-14-2017, 11:46 AM
The neutral safety switch wiring enters the firewall and goes to a two wire (one male, one female) connector that plugs into the main dash harness at or near the main firewall connectors under the dash.


The neutral safety switch wires are red with blue trace wires. Because you have the combined connector you'll have to make a jumper. Earlier individual bullet-style connectors you simply unplugged the two blue/red-trace wires coming from the switch and plugged the male connector into the female connector on the main dash harness side (jumping the switch side does nothing). You can't do that with a combined connector and Ford had a pre-made jumper for manual transmission cars. Once jumped you will not have the switch keeping the car from starting, if that was the case.


Here is what you may also see.


The neutral safety switch plugged into the combined connectors (along with the backup light wires) and then they fed it into the firewall (grommet part) and then you had the individual male/female bullets. That would make life easier, but if you have the two combined connectors under the dash, you'll need to make a jumper.

Note also the neutral safety switch on the transmission has the backup light switch built into it too, so you will see two pairs of wires from the transmission mounted part.

Good luck (following my destructions) !