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Hey everyone just wanted to post this here incase anyone else has this issue. I didn't see anything come up in my searches and figured it would be good if the process was documented....OEM part numbers and all.

I'll keep it quick.

Got my 88 GL Dual Range about 2 years ago now. Reverse lights have never worked and besides being dangerous it just bothered me. I finally figured it out!



On the rear case of the transmission, about 7" in from the shifter rod, on the drivers side you'll find the Back Lamp Assembly.

Looks like a bolt with 2 wires coming out of the side.

This can be removed with a 19mm wrench. It's a bit tricky to get to the plug, you have to un-do two metal "clamps" that hold the wires for this assembly and others. The "clamps" are located between the top of the transmission and underbody of the car. Find someone with small hands to help you haha.

Anyway, this switch has a little plastic piece that gets depressed when you shift into reverse, the circuit then closes and the reverse lights come on.

I think there are two reasons for my reverse light failure. 1) plastic nub on switch worn and cannot produce a closed circuit. 2) wires were falling apart. (as you'll see below)

This part can still be purchased new from the dealer (I just got on from my local Subaru Dealer) although some sites list that it is no longer in production. I paid $36 (can be got for cheeper, i've seen it for $25)

Link to the schematic of the transmission is here, this one is for a turbo, which I do not have, but it's just about in the same position. Back Lamp Assembly is #5 on the diagram.

Diagram > https://parts.subaru.com/a/Subaru_1990_Loyale-WAGON-TURBO/_80160_6027483/MT--REAR-CASE/A11-120-01.html

Can Purchase Here > https://parts.subaru.com/p/Subaru__/SWITCH-ASSEMBLY-BACK-LAMP/49242840/32005AA030.html


It's interesting that this switch functions similarly to the Neutral Safety Switch. Actually they are just about identical (besides the plug ends)....makes me wonder if they can be interchanged....I did a bit of cross referencing and it looks like newer manual Subarus also have both of these switches, so if these part numbers go bad we might be able to pull from newer models.

Images are from my old Back Lamp Assembly....as you can see it's toast.....




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