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Old 01-28-2013, 08:03 AM   #1
graphicjunki
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shift cable attached to steering column?

investigating my strange shifting, I was under the car inspecting the shift cable linkage on the TH400. I noticed something strange. There is a second cable attached to the linkage that goes up to the steering column. WHY? There is NOTHING on the column that I can see/tell that would be associated to, or affect the gears. The bracket on the column, to me, is indicative of a column shifter. The cable comes down, and has a ton of slack in it, literally creating a loop. Purpose? Can it be removed?
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:13 AM   #2
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I wonder if it's like my '83 El Camino. There is a small cable from the linkage to the steering column to actuate the automatic transmission gear indicator (PRNDL). Does the '75 have such an indicator in the gauge cluster? If not, and it's a heavy cable, it's probably the steering column lock mechanism.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:25 AM   #3
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I've had the column apart before to replace a bad part. The lock mechanism is activated by the key, not the cable. I screwed up the reinstall, and couldn't get the wheel UNLOCKED....lol...unfortunate knowledge.

Unless there is a secondary lock mechanism that I don't know about. But there is no indicator on the dash for the shift pattern. It's only on the console.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:37 AM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by graphicjunki View Post
I've had the column apart before to replace a bad part. The lock mechanism is activated by the key, not the cable. I screwed up the reinstall, and couldn't get the wheel UNLOCKED....lol...unfortunate knowledge.

Unless there is a secondary lock mechanism that I don't know about. But there is no indicator on the dash for the shift pattern. It's only on the console.
But is it possible that when the lock is activated by the key, the cable locks the shifter so you can't get it out of park? It's been 30 years since I worked on a C3 column, but it seems like this cable was involved in the lock sytem.
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Old 01-28-2013, 08:42 AM   #5
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It's probably like my 76 4 spd, I have to put it in reverse to get the key out and can't take it out of reverse without the key in the on position. So I'd guess that you can't take it out of park without the key in the on position and can't turn the key all the way off without it in park... Just a guess though.
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:08 AM   #6
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Hmmm....I will give that a shot. I don't know that it works for what ever it's purpose is though...because of all the slack. It literally loops back on it's self. lol...
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Old 01-28-2013, 09:13 AM   #7
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Yep, it has to do with starting safety. I believe it has to be in park to start. On manual transmissions it has to be in reverse and clutch disengaged (pushed down).

I built a small bracket on mine to hold it in the reverse position and did away with the cable.
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Old 01-28-2013, 10:42 AM   #8
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Quote:
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Yep, it has to do with starting safety. I believe it has to be in park to start. On manual transmissions it has to be in reverse and clutch disengaged (pushed down).

I built a small bracket on mine to hold it in the reverse position and did away with the cable.
Mine was disconnected for years and mine started when in park or neutral. I hooked it back up cause I couldn't figure out why it had been disconnected
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Old 01-28-2013, 11:19 AM   #9
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Is your TH400 original? 4 speed cars had the cable but I don't think the AT cars used it.

Have you checked the AIM? It shows the cable but I can't recall whether it was for all cars.

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Old 01-28-2013, 12:01 PM   #10
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My '74 has the T400 and has the cable interlock as a theft deterent. have to have the key in and turned to the first position (not on)to get the cat out of park
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Old 01-28-2013, 05:25 PM   #11
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That IS an interlock cable. All it does is lock the trans in park when the key is removed. THe neutral saftey switch is in the consokle on the side of the shifter. Easy to remove and toss if you want to- just make sure the lever on teh column stays as far up as it will go or you won't be able to get the key out or go to the accessory position.
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Old 01-29-2013, 09:14 PM   #12
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You can take the cable off if you want to, but, You can turn the key all the way off and lock the steering wheel. Not good if your throttle is stuck open and you want to turn the key off and it locks the wheel, can you say crash...
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