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How To Replace Neutral Safety Switch 97-03 Ford F150

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How To Replace Neutral Safety Switch 97-03 Ford F150

Created on: 2017-08-14

Watch this video to learn how to fix your shifter if it won’t shift into drive, or your car won’t start. The experts at 1A Auto show how to replace the neutral safety switch on your 97-03 Ford F150.

  1. step 1 :Removing the Neutral Safety Switch
    • Park the vehicle on level ground
    • Chock the wheels
    • Put the transmission in neutral
    • Clean the neutral safety switch with brake parts cleaner
    • Wipe off the switch with paper towels
    • Disconnect the electrical connector from the switch
    • Counterhold the shifter control arm arm with groove jaw pliers
    • Remove the 15mm nut from the neutral shifter control arm
    • Pry off the arm with a flat blade screwdriver
    • Turn the switch shaft with a 12mm wrench to line up the marks
    • Remove the two 8mm bolts from the switch
    • Pry the switch off the transmission selector shaft with a flat blade screwdriver or pry bar
    • Clean the switch mounting area with a wire brush
    • Clean the switch mounting rea with brake parts cleaner
  2. step 2 :Installing the Neutral Safety Switch
    • Line up the switch keyways with the transmission selector shaft keyways
    • Turn the switch by hand to line up the marks
    • Install the two 8mm bolts into the switch
    • Slide the shifter control arm onto the transmission selector shaft
    • Fasten the 15mm nut onto the shaft
    • Connect the neutral safety switch electrical connector

Tools needed for replacement

  • General Tools

    Wire Brush

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

    Paper Towels

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

    Slip-Joint Pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

    Socket Extensions

    Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

    Pry Bar

    Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

    12mm Socket

    15mm Socket

    8mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

    15mm Wrench

    8mm Wrench

    12mm Wrench

Installation Video
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With the vehicle on level ground, chock the wheels, and put the transmission in neutral. Before I replace this park neutral safety switch, also known as transmission range switch, I'm going to spray it with some brake parts cleaner because ours is very dirty and greasy and it'll help me see what's going on.

Disconnect the electrical connector from the switch by pressing in the lock tab and pulling the connector off. It's a little tricky with the 4-wheel drive, the front drive shaft here. I've got this unlocked. It's a little tight in there. I'm going to take a flat-bladed screwdriver and just help pry it off, just very gently until I get it free. There it goes. Okay. Place that aside.

I'm going to use a 15mm wrench and some groove jaw pliers to counterhold the arm. Okay. With that loosened, I’ll switch to a ratcheting wrench. Remove the nut. Then remove the arm. It's a little bit stuck. I'm going to use a flat-bladed screwdriver to pry it off. Okay. This arm is keyed, so it's only going to go on one way. We can place that aside for now.

There is a small mark on the neutral safety switch showing where neutral is. This is why we put the transmission in neutral before taking the lever off. If the lever moves while you're trying to remove it – I'm going to take a little brake parts cleaner and try to clean it off so you can see it better. It's real greasy, but we'll clean it off. If this shaft moves, you can take a 12mm wrench and move it back so the line lines up there. Just like that. That means the transmission is in neutral. I want to remove this switch with the transmission in neutral. Make sure that that line on the black part lines up with the line on the white part.

Now that we have this lined up, remove the 8mm bolts on either side. I want to make sure that these are going to come free using an 8mm wrench. They're free, so I'm going to switch to an 8mm socket and ratchet. With these loose, I'm just going to use my fingers to bring them out the rest of the way. I'm going to reach up, pull the switch off of the transmission selector shaft. If it's difficult to remove, use a large flat-bladed screwdriver or a small pry bar and gently pry it off working all the sides. You need to pry the park neutral safety switch until it becomes free from the transmission selector shaft.

I'm going to use a wire brush to knock off some of the corrosion. This will make installation of the new part easier. You can use brake parts cleaner to clean up any more of the grime.

When installing the new part, line up the keyways in the white plastic with the keyways in the transmission selector shaft. Make sure that this black line on the park neutral safety switch is lined up with the white line on the ring here. That means it's in neutral. This one we actually have to adjust a bit. Adjust it this way, and that's lined up right there, and now I can install the bolts.

Reinstall the 8mm bolts, getting them started by hand. I'll use my 8mm socket and ratchet. Get the other side down. Be careful while you're installing these to not rotate the switch. As I feel these get tight, I'm just going to stop.

We're going to install the shifter control arm. It is keyed to slide over this. You may need to move it a little bit to get it started. Then reinstall the nut using a 15mm ratcheting wrench. Tighten it down. I’ll counterhold the arm with my hand. Hold onto the lever with my hand and then give this a nice tug to tighten it. Reconnect the connector, and the job is complete.

Thanks for watching. Visit us at 1AAuto.com for quality auto parts, fast and free shipping, and the best customer service in the industry.

Tools needed for replacement:

    General Tools

  • Wire Brush

  • Materials, Fluids, and Supplies

  • Paper Towels

  • Pliers, Cutters & misc Wrenches

  • Slip-Joint Pliers

  • Ratchets & Related

  • Socket Extensions
  • Ratchet

  • Screwdrivers & Related

  • Pry Bar
  • Flat Blade Screwdriver

  • Sockets - Metric

  • 12mm Socket
  • 15mm Socket
  • 8mm Socket

  • Wrenches - Metric

  • 15mm Wrench
  • 8mm Wrench
  • 12mm Wrench

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