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Project Snicket, It All Works! Reverse Light Switch Replacement

That’s right, I have finally hit maximum working-ness!

Obviously if you have been following this project, having everything finally working is quite a large achievement, considering that almost nothing worked when I got the car.

The last thing I needed to get working was the reverse lights. Obviously they didn’t have bulbs originally, so that situation was easily fixed, but even with bulbs they were a no go.

I found the two wires on the firewall a while back, but they went nowhere.

I then found the disconnected wires that should lead down under the car sitting on the floor under the carpet.

I connected them to the wires on the firewall, plugged a new reverse light switch into them to test, and BAM, reverse lights. Ok, so why was there no switch on the remote housing under the car?

I fed the wires and grommet through the floor and then went under the car to investigate

Well that hole doesn’t look like it should

I undid the two nuts on the inside of the car so I could drop the housing down

Well I guess that might be why someone tried to bodge a weird setup with microswitches and random wires run front to back and twisted around the reverse light wires in the back… the old switch was broken off in the housing

This is the sort of situation that a screw extractor is perfect for. I grabbed my smallest one, wound it into the switch remains by hand

And then wound it out with a small spanner. Easy. The extractor has a reverse thread, so as you turn it to screw it in more, it bites hard and actually starts to undo the item its being screwed into. Simple but useful.

I wound the new switch into place, and refit the housing to the car. I plugged the switch in, and with the ignition on and the car in reverse gear, I used a spanner from inside the car to slowly wind the switch in until the lights turned on. I adjusted the switch so that the lights would reliably come on and off as the shifter was moved, and then wound in the lock nut to keep it in place.

Lights!

I found the remains of the old switch in the tub of rubbish/old bits that came with the car

It literally took less time to extract the broken off part of the switch and fit the replacement, than it would have done to do the bodge that was in the car when I got it (that didn’t work anyway, it wasn’t connected to anything!). C’mon people, just do things properly.

This was a huge milestone. Now everything electric works. All lights, switches, wipers, washer jets, uhhh… what else is electric in a Mini? Not much, but it all works!

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