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  #1  
Old 01-01-2001, 07:15 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
Hello Everyone and Happy New Year...
I just noticed that the reverse lights on my 86 560sl do not seem to be working. Do these burn out pretty regularly..do you think that the problem is in the bulb or is it in the wiring? The other exterior lights on the car work fine.
Thanks
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Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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  #2  
Old 01-01-2001, 07:19 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
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Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Does your shifter have any slop?

I'm guessing that your reverse lights still work, it's just the slop in the shifter not allowing contact with the switch. Your SL has 200K on it and I bet it needs a set of shifter bushings.

Try moving the shifter a little, while braking in reverse, somewhere where you can see (or an assistant can tell you) if the reverse lights come on.
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Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
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  #3  
Old 01-01-2001, 07:26 PM
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Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
Thanks Mike,
I will check it out.btw, What is Slop?

So I need to go to my car...put it in reverse and then "jiggle" the shifter in different areas while in reverse? If this works, i should consider a shifter bushing..if it doesn't should I replace the bulbs before buying a shifter bushing? Is this bushing easy to install..

I appreciate the help from the moderators and members of this forum..you guys save me from having to bug the dealer or the mb shops around Charlotte.

Thanks
__________________
Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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  #4  
Old 01-01-2001, 08:02 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Slop, as in loose/sloppy.

Is the shifter firm or does it move around easily when in gear?

Yes, put in reverse and wiggle the shifter. Maybe try pushing it slightly toward the dash, see if that activates the lights. If it is bushings, they are inexpensive, something in the order of 80 cents or so, you'll need two.

I can't say what the difficulty level is yet. Everything I read said it was fairly simply, a matter of disconnecting the shift linkage from the tranny and shift lever, replacing bushing and reinstalling. I just ordered a set of bushings for the 280SEL, and will install them soon. A floor mounted shifter should be somewhat easier than a column shift.
__________________
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 01-01-2001, 08:15 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
thanks again,
question..could there be a fuseor something..the lights inside the shifter box aren't working either..i thought it would be a bulb in there..but now think that there could be a fuse out...which, in addition to causing the shift box light to fail, will also cause the reverse lights to fail.

will try your suggestions when the car arrives a bit later this evening..
thanks,
__________________
Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
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  #6  
Old 01-01-2001, 09:47 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
hey mike,
i tried your suggestion but to no avail. i didn't have any luck getting the reverse lights to light by jiggling. i didn't notice it even flicker so maybe that's not the problem..could it be a fuse..the same fuse that will illuminate the light in the shift box(that isn't working).
rob
__________________
Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 01-01-2001, 11:53 PM
MikeTangas's Avatar
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2000
Location: So. Cal
Posts: 4,430
Well, since that didn't work, the fuse block is next. I don't know the layout of your fuseblock, but on mine the back-up lights are shared (#5) with the blinkers, fuel gauge, brake light, handbrake warning light and the speed increasing solenoid. Do you have any other electrical components that aren't working, besides the backlight for the gear selector?

Another possibility is the back-up light switch, on the transmission itself, has gone south.
__________________
Mike Tangas
'73 280SEL 4.5 (9/72)- RIP
Only 8,173 units built from 5/71 thru 11/72

'02 CLK320 Cabriolet - wifey's mid-life crisis

2012 VW Jetta Sportwagon TDI...at least its a diesel

Non illegitemae carborundum.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 01-02-2001, 11:10 PM
Registered User
 
Join Date: Dec 2000
Location: Mountain Island Lake, Charlotte NC
Posts: 376
Mike,
From reading all the other posts about this problem..it seems that the switch on the transmission might need to be adjusted..have you experienced this ever? I bet I should just take this to a shop and have them try to adjust it or replace the bulbs..but heck..i would like to fix it myself.

The car needs to be expected..do most states check reverse lights? For some reason I don't think that they do in NC but am not sure..

Thanks for your help!
__________________
Rob Armstrong, Charlotte, NC
Mountain Island Lake
RobAinCLTNC@hotmail.com

2004 VW Passat GLS TDI-50k
2006 Honda Odyssey EX-L 7k
FOR SALE 1991 300TE 228k

2003 Subaru Outback 57k Silver/Black-SOLD
2005 C230K 18k Pewter/Grey-SOLD
1997 E420 108k Black/Grey-SOLD
1986 560sl 200k Black/Palimino-SOLD
1985 300sd 340k-SOLD
1979 240d 170k-SOLD
2000 Volvo V70XC-POS couldn't sell fast enough
Reply With Quote
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