1983 GMC 3500 Cube Van-{back-up/reverse lights not working}

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  #1  
Old 01-04-02, 10:37 AM
Bones
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Question 1983 GMC 3500 Cube Van-{back-up/reverse lights not working}

Can someone be so kind to tell me how this model "cube van's" reverse light switch operates when you put transmission into "reverse"? I presently have no reverse lights and I just changed the (2) # 1156 "back-up bulbs". Is there a wire that some how connects to the transmission also in order to activate the "reverse lights" when you put the truck in gear? I just recently purchased this "cube van". The motor and the 400 Turbo Hydra-matic Transmission were probably taken out at one time for sure. I thought they may have neglected to hook a "back-up switch" up or something like it. I'd like to have the "reverse lights" working as soon as possible as I use this truck alot at night.
Thanks,
Bones
 
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  #2  
Old 01-04-02, 11:20 AM
knuckles
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The reverse light switch should be mounted on the base of the steering column near the firewall. I'll try to find an image & post it for you.
 
  #3  
Old 01-04-02, 11:49 AM
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saftey switch + backup lites on top of steering colum bout 6-7 inches off of floor do u have to move the gearshift lever any to get it to start ? also i would change out the #1156 bulbs to a set of bulbs for a set from cheap driving lites those usualy bout 35 watts + u want to paint over the chrome w/ white paint at the backup lites makes them reflect more ( old motorcycle trick)
 
  #4  
Old 01-04-02, 05:21 PM
Joe_F
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Yea, probably a bad backup light switch.

Turn the key forward and put it in reverse. Wiggle the shifter. If they come on, linkage adjustment. Some of those trucks are sloppy.

Barring that, the switch is probably a 25 dollar item (if that) at any parts store. Common as dirt part. It is a combination neutral safety and backup light switch.
 
  #5  
Old 01-04-02, 05:23 PM
knuckles
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I agree w/ Joe_F and kenlee. I searched Alldata.com & couldn't come up w/ a useful image. Sorry.
 
  #6  
Old 01-04-02, 05:55 PM
Joe_F
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You're looking for a half moon shaped part at the base of the column in most cases.

Go to www.acdelco.com and then "Parts catalog". Find your part (these are likely located in the "Electrical" subsection.

Put in your year, make, model (a cube van is likely a G or P Series van) and then it will show you the part listing and restrictions, as well as offer a picture in most cases.

Now you'll know what to be looking for. Likely damaged or out of adjustment since you said the THM400 trans was rebuilt? (If I remember correctly).
 
  #7  
Old 01-06-02, 11:49 AM
Bones
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Smile 1983 GMC 3500 Cube Van (no reverse lights)

I just want to thank everyone for all their help and guidance. How difficult is it for me to change this "neutral safety switch/back-up light switch? I'm going to look on that suggested site you told me about right now. I'd appreciate it if you could walk me through changing that switch in terms I can grasp.
Deepest Appreciation,
Bones
 
  #8  
Old 01-06-02, 12:27 PM
Joe_F
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A couple of screws and a plug. That's really it.

Suggest you visit your local library or parts store and pick up a repair manual to learn more about the van.

A Chilton or Haynes manual is a good beginner's reference and will show you how to do most things.
 
  #9  
Old 01-07-02, 02:01 PM
Bones
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Question

Dear Joe,
I looked at that website you suggested to find a picture of the "neutral safety switch assembly" but the site has no information regarding my 1983 GMC 3500 Cube Van. Do you know of any other really good "General Motors" websites that offer good part photos? Please keep me posted?
Thanks,
Bones
 
  #10  
Old 01-07-02, 03:25 PM
Joe_F
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Delco IS part of GM .They are the aftermarket side of GM. They don't have a full array of all pictures, I have found that too.

Go to any parts store and ask the counterman for a neutral safety and backup light switch for your van. They will likely have it in stock.

While you're there, pick up a Chilton or Haynes manual for your truck. It will help you through the repair.

That being said, you can also get a hold of a manual in most public libraries for free.

Imagine my shock when the cute librarian told me my card was "expired" from non use. I had to reapply for a library card, something I probably had since 1975 when I was four and could learn to read. Lol. I happily filled out the application, got a new card and have been using it ever since.

Not to mention to see the cute librarian. Lol. Keep it clean Joe
 
  #11  
Old 01-10-02, 04:37 PM
Bones
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Question

Dear Joe,
I changed the "neutral safety/ back-up switch. However, the relacement after market part is a little different than the "original". The replacement has a couple of extra "male type" recepticals and the original didn't. The back-up lights came on after changing the part but the "reverse lights" came on in "drive" not "reverse". What do I do now? I think I know why this may be so. The "parts man" moved this "yellow selector arrow type thing" when he was showing me th part. He said "oh well its probably not going to be in the correct spot now".When you are looking at the "part" where should that little yellow arrow selector be exactly? Should it be towards the "left" like when the "cube van" is in the "park" position" or some where else? Please respond as soon as possible so I can fix the "reverse lights" once and for all.
Thanks,
Bones
 
  #12  
Old 01-11-02, 01:35 AM
Joe_F
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Block the wheels.

Put the shifter in reverse and adjust the switch so the lights come on at the right shift point.

You may have to remove the switch, adjust the pointer back and reinstall it. Try it a few different ways. If not, bring the switch back to the guy and tell him to give you another one .

We know it is your problem, now it's just a matter of getting it adjusted right .

I have heard of generic replacement parts, but not in the realm of these switches. What brand is the replacement?
 
  #13  
Old 01-12-02, 03:17 AM
Bones
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Smile

"Joe", thanks for all the advice re: neutral safety/backup light switch. I was able to get (1) "reverse light" to come on after changing that pointer "thing". I moved it all the way to the left where "PARK" is in the selector switch on the steering column. However, it still really feels "sloppy" and to get the reverse light to come on I have to wiggle the "Gear Selector Arm" a little and then I can see (1) "reverse light come "on". **I just can't understand why only (1) "reverse light" is coming on now.. I changed both the "back-up bulbs" the other day. I also saw (2) reverse lights come "on" after I first installed the "neutral switch". Do you hav any "simple solutions" to get the other "reverse light " to start working?
Thanks,
Bones
 
  #14  
Old 01-13-02, 05:09 AM
Joe_F
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Have your tranny guy friend you mentioned above look at the linkage. It might have a worn bushing or be out of adjustment. That's the likely cause of the "wiggle to get it on" problem.

Set the parking brake and go back to that offending light. Take off the lens and play with the bulb. Might have blown out or worked itself loose. They do that .

Sometimes the socket is rusty and you have to get some dielectric grease from the parts store to lube it up. Rust is the enemy of electricity
 
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