Cruiser won't Start in Neutral

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Feb 5, 2021
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Leesburg VA
Hello folks - I have a US 1997 80 series, and have a peculiar issue. The Landcruiser won't start in Neutral, and the dash light for 'N' won't light up either.
She fires up just fine in Park.
For troubleshooting in the FSM and looking at other posts I have:
- Checked the NSS (actually replaced it with a new one), wire connector is all good and clean
- I have a new engine wire harness, and checked the contacts for the wire connectors above the gearbox (2 large connectors below PHH)
- FSM troubleshooting for the gear shifter linkage
- Checked dash lights for burnt bulbs and replaced a few including the 'N' one

She fires up just fine in Park, all the other dash lights work well.
I did remove a pretty shoddily-wired remote start and RS3000 (they were both in there :confused:). I've had to do a lot of electric on the car - down to this final issue!
Is there a kill switch for neutral or some other wire I could have clipped or failed to connect back properly in the kick panel?
Not sure what else to debug - I mean I could leave it, its not really affecting my ability to drive the LC, but my fear is that some complication will arise with the ECU getting jumbled commands and cause further failure down the line.

Any help is greatly appreciated. Thank you!
 

ppc

M Go Blue
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Aug 18, 2003
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You are need to be more descriptive than just "won't start in neutral". Does the starter make any clicks or noises when the key is rotated to start. Does the starter rotate the engine? Does the CEL light up with key turned to run before starting. Got the idea because we are not clairvoyant.
 
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Joined
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@ppc lol not asking you to be clairvoyant at all, just looking for some help mate. The starter does not turn, engine does not crank, CEL lights up. It almost seems like there is some kind of immobilizer just in neutral (as I noted in my original post, the starter motor works and engine fires up just fine in Park).

Thanks for posting that @UsedLuxury , but unless I'm missing something, my starter motor is working fine and wires/nss are all new.
 
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I can't say I've ever tried to start mine in Neutral.. lol

I know this is not helpful at all. Just didn't know it was a thing.
 
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Charlotte, NC & Alexandria, VA
It should start in neutral. If your wiring is OK, the NSS switch contact is misaligned.
 
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Haha me neither @b16 till I started delving into the panacea of automatic transmission.

Thanks @Malleus I will look again at the NSS again.... could be gear shifter linkage issues maybe? I saw @jonheld post a troubleshooting process here that I'll try:
 
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I removed my NSS to clean it, but I don't remember: can the NSS on these be adjusted? On other vehicles I've worked on, you have to rotate the NSS on order to align it properly before tightening it down. The first sign of misalignment is usually reverse lights that don't work.
 
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I removed my NSS to clean it, but I don't remember: can the NSS on these be adjusted? On other vehicles I've worked on, you have to rotate the NSS on order to align it properly before tightening it down. The first sign of misalignment is usually reverse lights that don't work.


you should be able to rotate it to align it, at least on some of the nss theres an index mark that you want to line up when installing it and thats supposed to line the switch up correctly in neutral
 

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