Join Date: Aug 2007
Location: Staunton, VA - USA
I'll work backwards:
racinggreen - if your car reliably cranks when in neutral, but not reliably when in park, it's probably a dirty, broken, or otherwise compromised microswitch. It's been too long since I last dealt with this, but I believe there is a microswitch for the park position and another for the neutral position. Check the spare parts manual for the gear selector exploded view. If there are two, I'd check the park one first. If there is only one, I'd check that whatever it is that depresses that switch when the gear selector is in park is adjusted such that it does depress it. This could even be the issue if it's a double microswitch setup but only the park "pusher" is out of adjustment.
discodan (and anyone else with non-functioning lights or other stuff) - After checking the obvious - fuses - my next suspect is always bad ground/earth. I would not be shocked if that single line you described as being loose is the ground/earth line for the gear actuator. These cars are notorious for electrical issues that come from bad ground/earth. This is another thing I tell people who are "in the area" of any random grounding strap or ground wire connection to the chassis: Take it off, clean it up, and put it back together. Ideally, if you have electrically conductive grease then by all means, apply it to all the parts composing the connection before reassembly. If all you've got is dielectric grease, at least give a decent coating to the outside of the completed connection to create an extra layer of protection from atmospheric corrosion. Half of my dashboard (lower half) on SRH33576 only intermittently illuminated then stopped working completely. It was all due to a single bad ground connection for that bank of lights on to the metal part of the chassis upon which the wood & leather for the dash end up being applied.
Back to fuses. . . if you've got the originals in there do not be fooled into thinking that physical inspection is sufficient. The end caps on these things often become slightly loose and then lack of contact or corrosion occurs. Grab your multimeter and do a continuity test. Also, the fuse boards in these cars are notoriously fragile and the clip rivets come loose. Check out all these things when you've got a "lack of power" situation. If relays happen to be involved in a given circuit then you need to check those, too.
The opposite of a correct statement is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be another profound truth. ~ Niels Bohr