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Old 06-27-2020, 06:15 PM   #1
Old Redneck
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Default All lights work except the backup lights?

Does the Backup lights wire come off the headlights switch? Is there a fuze, where is it at? I have the print out of the wiring but does not show the backup lights wiring? Is it in the shop Manual? Where
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Old 06-27-2020, 06:29 PM   #2
dmsfrr
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

A specific wiring diagram for the optional backup lights apparently(?) came in the box with the parts.
Yes power for them originally came from the headlight switch. Possibly the same terminal as the taillights, so those lights have to be On for the backup lights to work.
Use of the tail-light terminal and its existing internal thermal circuit breaker for the backup lights probably made an additional fuse unnecessary. But one could have been added at any time.

The (automatic trans) shifter mounted switch for the backup lights is a 'shared' function of the neutral safety switch. It has two sets of contacts and four wires, two for the NSS and two for the backup lights.

The power source for the backup lights was changed to the Accessory terminal of the ignition switch in about '59(?)

General layout of the wiring is shown in the Elect Equip Installation Manual.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg neutral & backup light switch.jpg (57.8 KB, 20 views)
File Type: jpg shifter & NSS.jpg (55.9 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg shifter, switch side.jpg (34.6 KB, 18 views)
File Type: jpg elect book.jpg (49.5 KB, 15 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 06-27-2020 at 08:40 PM. Reason: add photos
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:11 PM   #3
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

OK I went to the car First I turn on the key switch then pulled the headlight on, then put the car in reverse and no back up lights? Now where do I start testing. Is the backup wire a special color? Start testing at the NEUTRAL SAFTEY SWITCH?
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Old 06-27-2020, 07:44 PM   #4
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

This is the part of the story where I drop the ball...

The '55 I have has backup light fixtures but no wiring at all for them or switch on the shifter. If I knew the BU light wire colors I'd tell you.
The "R" tail-light terminal on the headlight switch originally had only a Black wire connected to it, if there's also another wire on it that could be the backup light power wire.

If you want to start testing with the connections at the shifter they are under the carpet on the left side of the shifter. The wires for the NSS half of the switch are Red w/ a blue stripe, so it will be the other two.
The wires in the trunk on the front side of the backup light fixtures are easier to get to but may not be much help, unless it's just the bulbs being burned out. The wire color for the BU lights at the rear of the car may (or may not) carry thru to the front of the car under the dash.
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File Type: jpg shifter, side.jpg (55.3 KB, 9 views)

Last edited by dmsfrr; 06-27-2020 at 08:28 PM.
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Old 06-27-2020, 08:15 PM   #5
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

Tomorrow I will be testing to see if I can find the open circuit. Thank you, you have given me a good place to start.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:11 PM   #6
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

You wouldn't be the first person to find the backup light housings with no wiring. Given the background of your car probably not, but it's been know to happen. Check the trunk first and see that the wires are there, not just the pigtails out of the sockets.
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Old 06-27-2020, 09:17 PM   #7
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

At the neutral safety switch the back up lights are black with a red tracer> Based on the schematic I have, the same color was used for the entire circuit.
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Old 06-28-2020, 01:17 AM   #8
Daves55Sedan
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Default Re: All lights work except the backup lights?

I hate to throw this in here, but if the car was molested by previous owners, they may have added back-up light housings, lenses and lamp sockets in the back, but the lamp sockets may be cheap aftermarket types which are not deep enough to house the bulbs (in which case the bulb is actually depressed against the backside of the plastic lens). If this is the case, it is possible that the lamp body is not making contact with the socket (which would cause the ground to be disconnected).
Don't shoot me! It happens. Can't trust any of this cheap Chinese made crap.
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