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Ignition starting

I recently bought a 1957 Mercury Turnpike cruiser with push button transmission. The engine runs great, but in order to start the engine, I need to turn the key to the on position and jump the solenoid. It will not start or turnover by pushing the N/S (neutral-start switch). I replaced the solenoid in hopes that was the issue, but it still will not start by pushing the N/S button. Actually, nothing happens when you push the N/S switch. I’m not sure if there is an electrical problem or if it’s a manual problem. If anyone has run into a situation like this, please let me know what you did to troubleshoot or correct the issue. By the way, once the engine is running, all the buttons work correctly. (i.e.: Drive, Reverse, Neutral and Park).

I can’t say for sure if this applies to your Merc, but the early Edsels also had push-button transmissions, and they tended to suffer from the same problem. The solution was apparently to clean some un-shielded electrical contacts on the exterior of the transmission case.

I would be very surprised if the Edsel used a totally different system, even though their push buttons were in a different location than on your Merc.

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If you can get the engine start by jumping the solenoid, you’re bypassing the switch.

Disconnect the neutral/start switch wiring, and connect the wires together.

If the starter operates, the switch requires replacement.


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I think the Edsel does have the same system. They didn’t change much back then. I’ll give the tranny wires a look. Thanks

I’ll give that a try, I kind of thought it might be the N/S start switch, but not sure where that is. I think I may have found it and will give your advise a try.