1970 - 1974 Reverse Lockout Procedure

unrestored72Z

Veteran Member
Feb 17, 2000
469
Sacramento, CA
Guys, for the 70 – 74 cars with manual trans, but motor not relevant I assume;

Do all the cars have the exact same components and or require the same exact procedure to;
Turn key on, rotate key to the start position?

And for shutting down, do they all require the same procedure for;
Turning off motor, removing key?

Can you shut off motor while in Neutral, say by reaching thru window from outside the car?
Can you shut off motor in a gear other than Reverse with clutch engaged?
Must you put in Reverse to pull out key?

I read some guys remove the parts but then reverse lights don’t work?

Thank you.
 

rotinrob

Veteran Member
Oct 2, 2018
298
Without my car here in my office to check this is the way I remember it
Answers in order of questions

As far as I know they were all the same through the end of the 2nd generation Parts and Operation (I have a 70 and had a 79)
The start procedure is the same for all years The only requirement is for the clutch to be depressed and turn the key to the start position
The shut down procedure is the same Turn the key to the Off position
Removing the key requires the car to be in reverse and the column in the Lock position
You can shut the car off with the car in neutral by reaching through the window You can not restart the car without depressing the clutch (as long as all of that is functioning)
Yes but why would you. Fortunately the column won't lock unless it is in reverse making it unlikely that someone will lock the column up going 70 down the highway (as long as the back drive linkage is there)
Yes the car must be in reverse to remove the key. Without the back drive linkage in place the reverse lights will still work. The problem is that unless you manually rotate the collar on the steering column the reverse lights will stay on and you will get a ticket for white lights to the rear.

If I didn't remember this correctly someone will set me straight.

rotin
 

Knucklehead

Veteran Member
Nov 6, 2008
175
Washington, DC
Excellent summary by rotin. However, I have noticed that the lock on my 70 has apparently become worn enough to allow the key to be removed with the ignition on. This was actually a feature of many early 60s GM cars, to allow parking garage attendants to move cars without the key. My 62 Impala is like that.
 

budro6968

Veteran Member
Apr 2, 2016
4,178
Jax Florida
My Dad had a 60 Olds 98. The key was a locking type. You could remove the key and still start unless you locked it. I have one of the ignition locks from a 64 F85 Cutlass. Got it about 50 yrs ago from a junker we got rid of. Packiss Ratiss rediculous.
 

john Gialanella

Veteran Member
Oct 15, 2008
554
Bloomfield N.J.
I remember when I owned my numbers matching 1970 Camaro SS 396 L-78 with Muncie 4 speed M21 you need to press the clutch pedal exactly halfway down or it would not start. One time when I took it to a station for work the guy said what is way to start it. I guess he pressed the clutch all the way down.
John.
 

Gary S

Administrator
Lifetime Gold Member
Apr 14, 1999
24,570
Bismarck, North Dakota
I remember when I owned my numbers matching 1970 Camaro SS 396 L-78 with Muncie 4 speed M21 you need to press the clutch pedal exactly halfway down or it would not start. One time when I took it to a station for work the guy said what is way to start it. I guess he pressed the clutch all the way down.
John.
The neutral safety switch needed adjustment. When they are adjusted right, the clutch needs to be fully on the floor to start the engine.
 

Phil!

Member
Nov 18, 2004
6
Eastern (ish) Canada
I remember when I owned my numbers matching 1970 Camaro SS 396 L-78 with Muncie 4 speed M21 you need to press the clutch pedal exactly halfway down or it would not start. One time when I took it to a station for work the guy said what is way to start it. I guess he pressed the clutch all the way down.
John.
Well, that's one way to prevent theft...
My first car developed a similar issue where I had to tap the steering column under the dash just right at the right spot with hard objects (plyers were kept close!) for starter to engage. Discrete enough and quite effective! 😆
 

Oldman74

New Member
Jul 10, 2022
22
What components are needed to do this on one that was converted to a MT but still retains the AT column shift collar?

For reverse lights, I tapped into switch circuit and used the “FASTEN SEAT BELTS” light on the dash. This is just temporary until I pull the trans for a clutch job.

I assume I could put in the proper neutral switch and it would replace the column switch. Correct?

In the sense of how this safety feature functions on a MT, wouldn’t the term “clutch safety switch” be more appropriate?
 




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