1980 Z No Crank situation

80 Z28 NEB

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
4
I recently bough a 1980 Z28 automatic that was sitting since about 1993. I got it ready to try and start it and when I turn the ignition switch I get no crank. I have interior lights, head lights, buzzer but no crank. I checked the fusible links at the starter and they are good. I am not getting power to the S pin of the starter with the key in the start position. I made sure the column isn't binding up and keeping it from going into park (I have not messed with the neutral safety switch yet).

Any other ideas of what to check here?

Is the attached schematic the correct schematic for the starting circuit on the 1980? Anybody have a factory schematic?
 

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Z28PILOT

Veteran Member
Lifetime Gold Member
Oct 8, 2009
2,310
Emerald Isle , NC
If it is a four speed car , I would test check the operation neutral safety switch . They are know to get wonky and not pass current when left sitting, the contacts corrode up . It is mechanically connected to the clutch pedal under the dash area , kinda hard to reach believe it has the bright purple wire going to it. Pull the wires off the switch and make a bypass test jumper between them . It hard to hold a meter , and test leads , stand on your head and all . Don’t take it out , unless you got a new to replace it , it’s hard to get it back in.
 

80 Z28 NEB

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
4
If it is a four speed car , I would test check the operation neutral safety switch . They are know to get wonky and not pass current when left sitting, the contacts corrode up . It is mechanically connected to the clutch pedal under the dash area , kinda hard to reach believe it has the bright purple wire going to it. Pull the wires off the switch and make a bypass test jumper between them . It hard to hold a meter , and test leads , stand on your head and all . Don’t take it out , unless you got a new to replace it , it’s hard to get it back in.

This is an automatic.
 

biker

Veteran Member
Gold Member
Dec 7, 2014
4,691
Canada
Check the back drive linkage under the hood at the steering column, up against the firewall. The shifter and transmission may be in park, but if the back drive lever is loose or disconnected, no starty.

You can grab the turny part of the column inside the car behind the steering wheel (where the prndl would be in a column shift car) and turn it hard to the left to engage the neutral safety switch.
 

80 Z28 NEB

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
4
Check the back drive linkage under the hood at the steering column, up against the firewall. The shifter and transmission may be in park, but if the back drive lever is loose or disconnected, no starty.

You can grab the turny part of the column inside the car behind the steering wheel (where the prndl would be in a column shift car) and turn it hard to the left to engage the neutral safety switch.
I twisted that counter clockwise to make sure it was all the way over and no difference. My next plan is to jump the purple wires on the NSS to see if it is a NSS adjustment issue.
 

Twisted_Metal

Administrator
Staff member
Lifetime Gold Member
Feb 26, 2004
30,835
Bloomington, MN
A 79-81 Camaro doesn't have a "normal" Neutral Safety Switch at the base of the steering column like earlier years... Just a reverse light switch.

I've never figured out how the late 2nd gen columns function with that circuit. :(
(Thankfully, I've never had to take things apart to troubleshoot it on my 80.)

Let us know if you figure it out.
 

80 Z28 NEB

New Member
Oct 13, 2021
4
The ignition switch was out of adjustment. I dropped the column and repositioned the switch and now it cranks. Thanks for all your help.
 




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