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Old 04-17-2013, 02:19 PM
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Got a Lokar shifter? Check the nuetral safety...

I had my Diamond T pickup, not quite finished, start in gear this morning when I turned the key to ensure my gas gauge repair had worked. I leaned in from the passenger door, thinking the key was in the "Off" position, and turned it. I'd left it "On", the truck started, and because I'd taken it out of park earlier to move the Lokar shift lever back out of the way to get to a screw holding the gauge panel on, and it drove itself into a pull-post set in the floor. Big damage.

The truck hasn't been licenced yet, this shifter was installed 2 years ago, and I adjusted it PAINSTAKINGLY when it was installed. It seemed to work as it should untill today, when it needed to.

I will be adding a redundant switch, and maybe even a brake interlock.

This sucks, and I am NOT happy with Lokar right now...
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:08 PM
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Wow, good thing no one got hurt!

Russ
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Old 04-17-2013, 07:43 PM
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I never trust a nuetral safety switch even when it's working like it should...They can fail.... Sorry to see this happen,, But good thing no one got hurt...
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:22 AM
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Why complain about Lokar at this point? They have painstakingly stood behind any installation, instruction comment or part failure when I have DISCUSSED with them. And again, and until you bench check that part, made by an outside supplier of theirs or again adjust the switch with the supplied tool, there is no complaint. There is another general issue with their shifters, but not the neutral start switch.
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Old 04-18-2013, 04:53 AM
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Really? I'm complaining because the Lokar nuetrals safety switch is awkard to adjust and doesn't work when it's needed. I'm the first to admit that I was the guy leaning inside the truck turning the key (to what I thought was simply to the "Run" position, when in reality I'd left it in "Run" while working on the gas gauge issue), but I certainly place equal blame for the truck ending up wrapped around a 4" pole set in concrete on the nss, part of the shifter, allowing it start in "Drive". The switch was adjusted per Lokar instructions when I installed it. It's finicky to adjust, the detents are small, and the whole thing flexes a little as it moves through it's travel. Is it normal to check, re-check, and re-adjust this? They may "...painstakingly stand behind any installation..." when you "...discuss with them...", but my truck has thousands of dollars damage from that switch not working as it should.

As a capper, last night, after I could go out and look at the truck, when
CAREFULLY positioning the shift lever in gear, it will only start in "Park" and "Nuetral". Discuss that.

It's an ACCIDENT man, and it was caused by two things, me, doing something I shouldn't have, and a Lokar shifter switch not working as it should. The switch is supposed to be a fail-safe for human error. I, and anybody else who uses one, depends on it to prevent damage and injury when the user makes a bone-headed move, like forgetting we've moved the shift lever to work on the dash, and then forgot the key was left "On".

I'm saying DON'T TRUST A LOKAR NUETRAL SAFETY SWITCH. You can defend them all you want, but it's poor design, I won't depend on it, and I'm urging others who have one not to either. It's one thing to have it function as it should at an NSRA inspection, or when CAREFULLY positioning the lever in it's detents, but in daily use, it's dangerous.

Brian

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Originally Posted by Irelands child View Post
Why complain about Lokar at this point? They have painstakingly stood behind any installation, instruction comment or part failure when I have DISCUSSED with them. And again, and until you bench check that part, made by an outside supplier of theirs or again adjust the switch with the supplied tool, there is no complaint. There is another general issue with their shifters, but not the neutral start switch.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:36 AM
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Amazingly, there are many thousands of Lokar shifters with absolutely no problem. What I am saying is before you complain about a company you at least have done: one, (re)check YOUR adjustment after saying that you have been working on this vehicle and I'm assuming that the shifter was installed, check for damagetwo, bench test the switch, three (re)check your wiring, four call Lokar. As far as adjustment being difficult - be serious - there's a threaded plug you screw in in place of the NSS to set it. It takes ten/fifteen minutes.
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:57 AM
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Yes, amazingly. You have your opinion, and I have a wrecked truck due to that part. Hmmm, I wonder which one of us more objective right now? But, taking your good advice,from now on, I will remove and bench test every aftermarket part I buy each and every time I plan on using it...

Brian
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:15 AM
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Im just glad youre okay. The worst would have been if you had someone under the hood and for whatever reason, did the same.

Have you contacted Lokar? If you do, they'll want to inspect the switch at some point, and probably will want any serials or batch-number from the part.

I actually went through this with a gearbox customer about 6 months ago. Someone built a box of junk in one of our new cases, assembled it incorrectly and installed the (used) shifter improperly and sold it to this guy to put in his willys gasser show-car. He plowed it into a garage door.

He was (all things considered) really nice about the whole thing, but was very disappointed when we told him we didn't build it, even though the casting has our name on it. Gearbox came in for disassembly and inspection. We did a full write up and offered testimony if he needed it.

My point is if you try to be polite, vendors will usually work with you instead of against you.

Take lots of pictures before you send it out too; of the truck, the shifter, the adjustment...even video.

Good Luck and keep us posted
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Old 04-18-2013, 08:53 AM
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I'd definitely get in touch with Lokar. I have a number of their parts on my sedan, and all have been first rate. I sent them a couple of suggestions on their throttle pedal and e-brake. They implemented the ones on the pedal assembly, and their engineer contacted me to discuss the e-brake mods I suggested. Point is, they were concerned and listened. Maybe they can make it better and keep someone else from having the problem you had.
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Old 04-18-2013, 10:18 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by flynbrian48 View Post
Really? As a capper, last night, after I could go out and look at the truck, when
CAREFULLY positioning the shift lever in gear, it will only start in "Park" and "Nuetral". Discuss that.

Brian
This^^^^^ does not really sound like an issue NOT related to that switch.

If it worked correctly before
and
It worked correctly after
Why
Would it not work in between???


This little part is no less imprtant than functioning brakes.
I watched a "tech" at Sears reach in my pickup and turn the key.
Manual trans truck left in gear actually started and nearly backed off the rack.
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Old 04-18-2013, 02:45 PM
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I realize that some of you believe that this is totally my fault, and that's fine. It's easy to armchair quarter back. I just stopped a buddies shop who happens to be one of the NSRA Safety Reps for SW lower MI. They look at LOTS of cars during inspections, and it's his teams position to recommend to EVERY car owner who has a Lokar or Gennie shifter to bypass the stock switch, and replace it with a GM or Ron Francis switch on the trans at the shift arm. He runs a Lokar in his '34 Cabriolet with the switch bypassed and a Ron Frances on the trans for this very reason.

According to him, a large number of cars FAIL at inspection for this, much to the surprise of the owners, who think their car is protected. He further told me that NSRA has been pressuring Lokar to address this without success. Nobody has evidently been killed, so it's not a big enough problem to address. He said he wasn't aware of anyone's car being damaged as mine has, but there are surely others.

So, you can bust my chops all you want, say I didn't adjust it properly or tighten the mounting bolts, but if you've got one in YOUR car, don't use the switch on it. That's NSRA's stance, not just mine. I'm trying to save YOU the experience I'm having right now, not just trying to lay blame.

Brian
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Old 04-18-2013, 03:09 PM
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I wasn't coming down on you for it,,, No matter where you put the switch they can move OR fail,, That's what I was getting at.. The switch is man made,, ANYTHING that man makes CAN and WILL fail at one point or another.. You may have done everything right but something happen.....

That's why I said I don't trust them even working right...

Kind of like leaving a ford running in park.... I had a friend that had a gran torino,, He stopped at a store to run in and get a beer... I was coming down the street at the same time he was in the store,,, I seen his car back right across the street from the store into the other building,,, I didn't know why he did that... WELL !!!! While he was in the store waiting in line, The guy behind him said... HEY !!!! Is that your car leaving without you...******* !!!!! When I seen it hit the building,, I also seen my friend RUNNING after it.... NOW I really didn't under stand what was going on.. I stopped to see... My friend said he was inside with the car running in park,, Then the car decided to leave me there...LOL

After that... I didn't trust any car running or starting without me behind the wheel... EVERYTHING FAIL'S... Sorry you had this happen... But be thankful it was worst..
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Old 04-18-2013, 05:58 PM
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Brian----hope you did not mean me---I was not trying to imply that it was your fault.

Randy-----had the exact same thing happen to me.
79 Econoline
left it running to run into Alberstson's for a minute.
When I returned the van was already on it's way across
the parking lot and headed for the hiway.

It lost all of it's steam on a rather steep incline before it got to the hiway.

I would imagine the look on my face was priceless "Where the hell is that van going??"
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Old 04-18-2013, 07:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bryan59EC View Post
Brian----hope you did not mean me---I was not trying to imply that it was your fault.

Randy-----had the exact same thing happen to me.
79 Econoline
left it running to run into Alberstson's for a minute.
When I returned the van was already on it's way across
the parking lot and headed for the hiway.

It lost all of it's steam on a rather steep incline before it got to the hiway.

I would imagine the look on my face was priceless "Where the hell is that van going??"
I seen the same look on my friends face...LOL It wasn't funny when it happen but now we laugh about it.... I seen a few fords do that..
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Old 04-19-2013, 10:32 PM
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It sucks that it happened but do you have a working parking brake,I make sure they work on all of my vehicles and is used when parked.
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