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Thread: Reverse light switch location?

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    Cooperstown NY

    Default Reverse light switch location?

    Trying to get some clarification on the location of the reverse light switch on my 98 Discovery with automatic transmission.

    Is it on the left side of the transmission facing forward, just anterior to the transmission pan?

    How do I test if the switch is bad, just apply 12v to the plug to see if the lights come on?

    61 Series II 109 SW
    95 RR County LWB
    06 Range Rover
    98 Discovery LE

  2. #2


    off another forum

    Thought I'd share this nugget of information which I discovered recently whilst trying to fix the reversing lights on my disco.

    In the first instance I was able to narrow down the fault to the switch because if I pushed hard against the gear lever when in reverse the lights would come on but wouldnt stay on when I released my hand. This saved me wasting time on searching for bulb/wiring faults.

    It appears with the R380 gearbox, landrover have pretty much built the car around it so you have to do some serious dissassembely to get to it. It is actually located on the left (front passenger) side of the gearbox, pretty much inline with the gear lever. According to the haynes manual it is accessible from underneath but I personally found this to be near impossible; I could just about see it, but couldnt get anything in to remove it.

    So instead I removed the centre console, gear levers, sound proofing and rubber plate above the gear box which gave me access to the connector for the switch but not the switch as well. I then removed the front passenger seat (to improve access) along with the carpet and soundproofing. On my landy the two rear nuts for the seat were captive but the two closest to the door were not so you will have to get a spanner underneath to stop the nuts rotating - a bit fiddily but not impossible.

    With the bare metal showing I was then able to make a hole to give direct access to the reverse light switch. On mine there were 6 spot welds and cutting just to the left of them was pretty much spot on. To check I drilled a very small hole and shone a torch though it and then stuck my head under the car to check the light was close enough to the switch. Once happy I took a big holesaw to it and then tidyed it up with a grinder.

    Wondering if all this was really necessary I actually snapped my 19mm spanner trying to unscrew the switch from the gearbox and it took my mate's snapon socket set with 1m extension bar to get the thing free - no way that could have been done from undeneath the chassis!.

    So with the switch removed I was able to source a new replacement (about a tenner from ebay) screwed it and thought my troubles were over, as once done up really tight the reverse lights did stay on when put into reverse gear, however once I started the engine and drove in reverse, the juddering of the engine made the lights flicker and go out. At this point I realised that the most probable cause was a worn flange inside the gearbox which was no longer sticking out enough to fulley engage the switch. Not wanting to strip down the gearbox, I opted to take the switch to a friendly local engineer and asked him to put it on a lathe and remove about 2.5mm of metal from the hex, thus allowing me to screw the switch in 2.5mm further. The job took less than 5 mins and he wouldnt even accept any money for it, and the result ? A perfect working reverse switch, just like new.

    To tidy things up I cut a 2mm aluminium plate big enough to cover the hole and put a small fold in the bottom quarter to match the shape of the car. Resting the plate over the hole I drilled 5 pilot holes and then opened them up and fitted a rivnut into each. I then made a silicone gasket which I allowed to dry before screwing down the ali plate on top.

    From there it was just a case of putting everything else back in and you're done.

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