How to swap in a "rooster comb" and should I?

Gerald Morris

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Greetings Most learned Elder Moparians!

I've come on a gnarly little puzzle with this 1968 Newport beyond the usual easy references: the reverse light switching was set up for a MANUAL transmission! I've traced the violet and white 18 gauge wire pair meant for switching the back-up lights with the appropriate connector down where the carpet and padding begins on the firewall. I looked at the NSS selection available at Rock Auto, with 3 prong switches.

BUT THE CAR, AS I BOUGHT IT HAD THE SAME SINGLE POLE NSS THAT MY 1966 TRANSMISSION HAS, SO I HAPPILY INSTALLED IT WITH NO FURTHER THOUGHT, UNTIL NOW!

Furthermore, the starter relay was for a manual transmission. I replaced it with the proper one for an automatic transmission, hooked up the brown wire meant to protect folks from destroying their starter with the engine running, and THAT works as intended. I won't be starting the engine in gear anymore, as I did the previous one with the cracked block. Impressed the Babushka, but disturbed ME when I did it. Oh well.

ANYWAY, the reverse lights DID come on with the automatic provided, with SOME wire attached to the single pole NSS. As of now, the violet and white pair meant for the back-up lights go to the large rubber plug/grommet meant for a manual transmission.

I'll gladly accept the status quo with this odd car IFF the current lack of reverse light function arises from a dead fuse or loose wire dangling under the car, but I'm not betting on such easy luck. I only speculate that this might be so because I recall and the Babushka does too, that the reverse lights WORKED when we got the car. I wonder about that, given what I've found this evening, but we'll let this slide, for now.

If we're deluded here, then I think the BEST solution would be to replace the 1966 unipole NSS with a 1968 3 pole sort, BUT, only if this can effect restoring the reverse lights without dropping the transmission. I've searched the Forum a bit, and saw references to a piece inside the transmission called a "rooster comb" which seems to actuate the NSS. IFF I've read things aright, then can I replace whats in my 1965-66 727 with the proper 1068 one without inordinate labor and agony? In other words, can it be done without dropping the transmission?

I'll be looking for references on how this is done later tonight, but toddler-induced sleep deprivation is besotting me to an unhealthy degree. So I hope to cop some Zzzzs for the next 120 minutes or so.
 

70bigblockdodge

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68 reverse switch is on the steering column, down by the firewall flange, on top. Uses a single pole NSS. The reverse light wiring goes through the bulkhead connector with the wiper motor section. This is where it can pick up the manual trans wiring, basically a wire extension that runs down to the rear of manual trans (switch) and back up.
 

detmatt

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Did you check the switch at the base of the steering column?
 

thethee

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As already pointed out, your reverse switch shouldn't be in the trans but to answer your original question, yes, the rooster comb can be swapped without dropping the trans.
It will get messy though
 

Big_John

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As said, the rooster comb/nss isn't your problem. But since you ask, its simple to change. Drop the pan, drop the valve body. E clip holding the comb on. Change the seal on the throttle valve of the valve body and the seal on the shifter on the case while you are there.

But, instead, just find some sort of limit switch that hits the linkage in reverse and call it a day.

1641914279967.png
 

Gerald Morris

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WHAT A RELIEF! I suspect I buggered the wires to the switch loose when swapping in the manual brake pedal and bracket recently. I spent a bit of time standing on my head down there.

HEARTFELT THANKS to ALL of you!!
 

Gerald Morris

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As said, the rooster comb/nss isn't your problem. But since you ask, its simple to change. Drop the pan, drop the valve body. E clip holding the comb on. Change the seal on the throttle valve of the valve body and the seal on the shifter on the case while you are there.

But, instead, just find some sort of limit switch that hits the linkage in reverse and call it a day.

View attachment 508714

Am SOO glad to know there was nothing involved requiring any crap with the NSS/ That little switch might work. I see some old stuff on this Saginaw non-tilt column that appears to have once been connected to SOMETHING, and its wired in the same 18 gauge purple wire, with a similar connector. Looks incomplete though. There may be something lacking on this column. The artifact I found is down low, near the firewall.....
 

Gerald Morris

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68 reverse switch is on the steering column, down by the firewall flange, on top. Uses a single pole NSS. The reverse light wiring goes through the bulkhead connector with the wiper motor section. This is where it can pick up the manual trans wiring, basically a wire extension that runs down to the rear of manual trans (switch) and back up.

I see something down in the very location, near the firewall, with a little connector and the same purple 18 ga. wires. Looks partially dissassembled, and the connector goes to the air right now. Hmmmm, an interesting little problem! I enjoy solving THESE.
 

Gerald Morris

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Did you check the switch at the base of the steering column?

I have now, as described in a couple other replies. I might have another opportunity to get creative with a solution here! Will post folks as I can.
 

Gerald Morris

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As already pointed out, your reverse switch shouldn't be in the trans but to answer your original question, yes, the rooster comb can be swapped without dropping the trans.
It will get messy though

Much Obliged! Ain't gonna touch that stuff!
 

Gerald Morris

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OK, I HAVE an OLD switch down there alright. NOW I need to test it, see if it can be repaired if it fails the smoke test, and shop around if its FUBAR. Might go junkyarding for this thing if I can't resurrect it. I have higher priority stuff to worry about, alas, and might have to back burner this job for some time, if it gets time-expensive....
 
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