Adding a Reverse Gear “Back-up” Light

I use a Toyota 5-speed gearbox in the Bloody Beast, but I have never taken advantage of the “back-up” light switch feature that is available on the transmission. Our Healeys did not have a “back-up” light. Steve Gerow discovered a LED light made for the job designed to be mounted on the lower holes of the license plate. So, thanks to you Steve! I have borrowed another one of your ideas. I could have used a number plate lamp from a Jaguar that incorporates a reverse light, but while period correct, the light would not have been nearly as bright and therefore noticeable, and that is the whole point.

LED “Back-up” Light

I visited my local Toyota dealer to see if I could locate a pigtail and plug for the reverse switch terminal located on the LH side of the gearbox, but had no luck there. I found some very small wiring terminal connectors on the internet and made up my own wires to fit the small spade connectors at the switch.

Wire Terminals for Toyota gearbox reverse switch


Wiring attached to the Toyota gearbox reverse switch

Wiring leads from Reverse Switch

The forward wire needs a switched power source and I decided to use the fused wire from the ignition switch to the cruise control conveniently located on the RH side of the gearbox. I simply used a four way bullet connector to “splice-in” in the grey wire to the reverse switch. I will never be using the cruise control while in reverse gear so no load issues, although the load requirement of the LED light strip is miniscule anyway.

Four Way Bullet Connector for switched power source

I used an 18 gauge green wire with an orange tracer (sourced from British Wiring) for the wiring from the grey lead to the LED light at the rear of the car. A disadvantage of adding electrical items post-restoration is that is not easy to add the necessary wiring without it being visually obvious. In this case it is either under the car or in the boot hidden by the armacord lining so not too bad.

Wiring Along Frame Rail

Up and over the Fuel Pump and Through the Boot Bulkhead

Wiring Through the Boot Bulkhead and under Armacord and out the Shroud Number Plate Wiring Grommet

The LED light red wire was connected to the green/orange wire for +12 volts and its black ground wire was connected by a self-tapping screw into the rear frame.

LED Reverse Light