Question about 1981 Chevrolet Corvette

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1981 Corvette will not start unless ECM is un plugged from distributer.

My 1981 corvette occasionally will not start. If you unplug the computer, it will start and run. Replaced several ECM's, distributer terminal board, HEI module. Problem has been on going for over 1 year.

Posted by pfonehome on

  • Anonymous Aug 03, 2008

    my 81 sits in the garage practical all the time, when summer hits i take it out a few times, well the battery usually is dead so i replaced it with a new one and then i noticed my battery dash light is staying on after i turn the car off.Now the car just cranks over and will not start, first time this ever happened. Its a 350 engine with a 4 barrel quad jet carb. I put new plugs and wires on about 4 years ago but probably only put 600 miles on the car.I have no clue way now it wont start?

  • Anonymous May 11, 2010

    Hello pfonehome

    I need a bit more Info.

    When the Vette will not start, Have you noticed if it has spark when it won't start ? What Kind Of Fuel system Carb, Throttle body, fuel inJection, ? I Think its got that big Quad jet with all the electronics on it that run off signals from the ECM. Fifht Vin too. would help. 305 350 engine, The only reason I ask about the fuel system is that some folks change factory made cars so thats why I ask, Because that would bring us down another road all together. LOL. Get Back to me ASAP and I will Get back to you when I get in from the shop. Thanks



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Theres not enough information, sorry cant help you..

Posted on Jun 25, 2008


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My 1981 corvette tach quite working how do I get working again?

1981 Corvette has an electical tachometer that is driven by impulses from the distributor. First, check for blown fuses, next make sure the tach wire is plugged into the distributor. Next bypass silver tach filter or capacitor located by manifold to see if the tach moves at all. If these steps do not reveal a change in tach operation, then the most obvious next step is to remove the tachometer and get a new board for the tachometer. Unscrew and remove cluster lens and then unscrew tach bezel, and gently pull out the tach noting position of insulators. I believe these boards are available still at local autoparts locations. Replace board, note position of insulators and reinstall tach, bezel and lens. Old corvette are cool and are pretty easy to work on! Should be fixed, enjoy!

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Ehgin running rough

You got a check engine light viewing. If so get the shop manual make youself a jumper wire and jump the terminals it tells you to jump and count the flashes for the codes. The ECU/ Brain terminal is under the ash tray. If there are no codes or a check engine light welcome to the wondeful world of being a Corvette owner I 've owned the same car since 1981.
Basically, check the idle,you may want to replace wires, Distributor cap and rotor. Thats worked for me in the past. Once the PCV valve was stuck. Pull it out and shake it if it rattles its fine. You can blow thre it to has to accept air one way but not the other. The shop manual will tell you to do the same.I believe they may go a step further and recommend an oil change and minor cleaning of the carb. I use mine for shows and because I don't run it regularily I get the same problem. I usually let it run for a few hours (ideling of course) lol... and it works itself out . Keep me posted

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2 Answers

1981 Corvette will not start

The neutral safety switch is located in the shifter housing.

Here is a link to a good article on this topic, that would beat an explanation from me.


Yes, it sounds like the NSS is the culprit.

Aug 04, 2008 | 1981 Chevrolet Corvette

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