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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My step-son and I are bringing his 1985 Ramcharger back to life and the wiring is NIGHTMARISH!  The previous owner (for whatever reason) decided he would put the back-up lights on a toggle switch mounted on the console as opposed to it being wired 'correctly'  I have disconnected the toggle and am now having a difficult time locating the back-up light switch.  The Clymer book says it's mounted on the side of the tranny, but I just can't find it, especially since there are now no wires running to it.  Can anyone tell me where to look with a bit more precission (or even include a pic?)  It's a 5 speed, 4 wheel drive.  Any help is appreciated!
 

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Are you sure it's not a 4 speed?  There was no 5 speed available in '85.
 

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It's not a 5 speed unless you modified it.  

Regardless, the switch is on the driver's side of the transmission.  From the factory, it has two terminals on it and a rubber plug with the matching terminals are in it.  

The circuit is powered when the ignition key is on.  The original wire should come out of the bulkhead connector.
 

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Agreed.  The NP435, Getrag 5 speed and NV4500 all have the switch on the driver's side of the shift tower.  The NV2500 will have the switch in the driver's side of the tailshaft housing.  If it's an A833 overdrive 4 speed, then the switch will be screwed into the lower rear portion of the main transmission body, under the tailshaft housing.  The NP435 and A833 overdrive 4 speed are the only manual transmissions that would have been stock in an '85.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Not to sound like a complete imbecil, but that is accessible from UNDER the vehicle, right?  I can trace the wires underneath along the frame to a point where it looks like a fuse lead comes off, then nothing.  Perhaps that's why the toggle switch was installed in the first place.  It is a 4-speed (the boy just told me and then laughed at me) and it is manual.  Does the switch screw INTO the transmission housing?
 

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Yes, you have to get under the vehicle.  The switch is a two prong switch and depending on which model transmission it is, it either screws into the back of the transmission or into the shift tower at the top.  If it's a granny gear 4 speed, the switch will be very close to the floorpan and hard to get to and see.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
That might explain why I couldn't find it...that and all the rust and spiderwebs falling in my eyes.  Thaks a lot...I'll give it a look.
 

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This is a fun project for something seemingly so simple.
Recently done on my 85 W-250.
If you pull up the rubber boot inside the cab around the shifter, you can see it on the driver's side.
But the hole isn't big enough to do anything with it through the hole.
Once found from underneath, clean the area real well, a lot of gunk holds on the transmission.
You'll need a deep socket to clear the wiring terminals on the switch, but a deep socket and ratchet won't fit - hits the floorboard.  A deep socket with a hex end you can turn with a wrench works though.
Threading the switch back in takes patience, as does getting the wiring plug lined back up.

My replacement switch went out too.  I found that the rubber molded plug was getting real hot.  But the wires weren't.  I cut the plug off and added basic female terminals and tested that and it wasn't heating up.  Hopefully they'll continue to work.

Not that they put off a heck of a lot of light, but I like things to work.  Plus, they're nice for others to hopefully see when backing out of a parking space.  Will add some better lights in the future, but even then I'd like to use the factory switch to trigger a relay for bigger lights.
 

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My '85 W150 was originally an auto tranny truck but the previous owner changed it over to a NP435 4 speed. Im the kind of person that likes all my lights etc. to work on my vehicles so after i bought the truck i proceeded to fix any and all lights on it that wasnt already workin (which was most of them lol). Anyway, i have all of the lights working now except the backup lights. I crawled under the truck and located the backup light switch on the shifter tower in a hard spot to get to as was previously stated in another post.  My problem is i have no  wiring connector to connect to the switch since the truck was originally an automatic. I been trying to find the wiring connector online with no luck but i havent been to any junk yards to look for one. The previous poster says he cut his connector off due to it gettin hot and just used regular female terminals so i guess now i know i can go that route. The only problem now is how to wire it since the wires are not there to connect I will have to run my own wires. Question is does the backup switch just ground the bulbs to the backuplight to make the bulbs illuminate. If this is the case if my backup lights have voltage going to them  can i just hook the ground wires with this switch inline ( meaning for example say i take a ground wire to the lights and cut it into and put one end of the wire i cut to one terminal of the switch and the other wire to the other terminal of the switch) and make the lights work. It seems to me that this would work if all the switch does is just ground the bulbs when u shift into reverse. Any help greatly appreciated here.
 

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The automatic plug has three wires in a row. The middle one is the ground for the starter relay for park and neutral safety. The other two just have to be connected to the spade terminals on the switch and will light up the backup lamps when they are connected. There are two plugs for the wiring on the driver's side frame rail. One is the typical two pole Mopar wiring plug that has one female and one male terminal that joins an identical plug on the harness. The other is a similar plug that is a single pole that is in the same location on the frame rail and is a female terminal on the main harness. Here is a pic from my '84 FSM:


http://i580.photobucket.com/albums/ss247/Elwenil/Misc%20Mopar/0916102332.jpg

Note that it does not show the look of the automatic switch, just the manual style switch and the third wire just goes to the label "TO NEUTRAL START SW (AUTO TRANS ONLY)". That single wire is the one leading to the center pole of the automatic neutral safety/backup lamp switch. It is not used with a manual transmission, though sometimes with a manual swap people will ground that wire to allow the engine to crank if they don't do it up at the starter relay. The two pole plug is the one you need to concern yourself with as far as hooking up the manual transmission backup lamp switch or even to a simple toggle switch in the cab. Note that the pic is from my '84 FSM and the wire colors shown may differ for an '85 model truck.
 

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The backup switch connects current to the bulbs.  The ground is at the bulb.  The circuit goes - battery - ignition switch - down to tranny switch - then reverse bulbs.
 

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Thanks guys yall are very helpful. I think now I can get them working with what you've told and shown me. This site is awsome, especially for a new, first time Dodge owner like me. I have been spending alot of time here lately reading the how to's and have learned a few things already because of people like you. Thanks again, I may come up with more dumb questions later and maybe some that are not so dumb lol.
 

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No questions are dumb, though our answers may be, lol  ;D
 

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Yea i have always heard that theres no such thing as a dumb question but sometimes i wonder about some of the questions i can come up with lol  ;D
 
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