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Neutral Safety Switch and Reverse Lights FAQ

Neutral Safety Switch and Reverse Lights FAQ

by Mark Chiampi

If you have an early model XJ, you can use the existing neutral safety and reverse light switches and circuitry. But, if you have a newer model with a switch mounted to the Borg-Warner transmission, some modification is required. It is my opinion that the easiest way to accomplish this is to emulate the system used on the earlier XJ’s.

These instructions assume you have a newer, Series III, fuel-injected model XJ:

You will need 2 micro-switches and a new reverse light cam mounted on the shifter. Due to the parts needed-- I believe the easiest way to procure all the parts needed-- is to purchase an older model XJ shift assembly from a salvage yard. If you can’t find one inexpensively, you can also find the micro-switches at a good electronics parts house or from a replacement Jaguar parts supplier; the reverse light cam can be fabricated from a piece of metal or hard plastic.

Remove the console cover around the shifter assembly, then remove the shifter bezel by removing the nuts with a nut driver to expose the shifter assembly. Cut off the 4 wire pig-tail going to the transmission very close to the switch; this will give you just enough wire. Drill a hole (like 1/2") in the transmission tunnel a few inches to the right of the shifter, and install a grommet to prevent damage to the wires. Reroute the 4 wire harness back up from the transmission tunnel to the shifter assembly.

There is an small cracker box-shaped aluminum spacer to the left of the "throttle" (fuel injection control) micro-switch on the shifter. This is where the neutral safety switch was on some older models. You will notice the cam on the shifter to operate a switch still remains on the shifter assembly. Simply, remove the aluminum spacer and replace it with a "momentary-on" micro-switch of equal design to the Jaguar unit. Place two washers (1 per each bolt) to slightly separate the two switches. Attach the Black and Black/Green wires to this switch. At the same time, discard the micro-switch on the right with the Yellow/Pink and Black wires on it as it is momentary-off. Replace it with another momentary-on switch.

Remove the smaller, old cam on the shift assembly by removing the two screws attaching it to the main cam. You will notice that the old cam operates the switch when the gear selector is in 2nd-- it must be replaced with one that activates the switch when the shifter is in Reverse. The cam from an older shifter can be modified as shown (see figure 1) by cutting off the shaded area, or one can be fabricated. Attach the Green and Green/Black wires to this switch; this switch will activate the back-up lights. Check the assembly for proper operation and adjust if necessary. Reassemble the console area.

figure 1

Disclaimer: The information on this page is for personal use only. No respsonsibility is assumed by the publisher or anyone connected with it for loss or damages suffered through reliance on, or reference to, any information presented here.

Presented by Mark Chiampi on 9/27/97.


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