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  1. #1

    Default no back up lights... 90 suburban

    Hi, my 90 suburban's back up lights won't come on. Everything else works. I traced the green wire to where it conects to the firewall in the engine compartment (then it goes through the wall and somewhere onto the fuse box... I think). I nicked off some insulation on that wire and if I put 12v on that wire they light up.

    I don't know two things:
    what fuse controls the back up lights? (non of them are burnt...) I just want to keep checking for continuity
    where is the neutral switch on the steering column?

    I would love some help before I just hard wire a light on the back to a switch on my dash!

    I will post the solution in the end.
    Last edited by scotsdale; 10-23-2009 at 01:04 PM. Reason: wasn't clear...

  2. #2
    Legend unplugged's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    High Deserts of SoCal


    NS switch is on the column. Follow the shift linkage down towards the base. It looks like this:
    There is no way to happiness....happiness is the way.:yipi:  _vXMYypuKMJFw671uF2ZPhjez_j-atRmcjM2zQKpQi1JSsB75/burb1.JPG
    High Desert SoCal
    93 K1500 burb (personal) 350 AT 3" Lift 250K+
    02 Honda Civic LX
    Looking for a 1990's Miata for an engine swap

  3. #3


    Does the green wire have power at the taillight end? (don't forget to set the brake;) If not, I'd check for a bad ground; either the housing or inside the bulb socket.

    Good luck,

    1999 Chevy K2500 Suburban 350
    K&N, reworked cai, Thrush cat-backs
    Vinyl, cranks, floor shift, and rear air!

  4. #4



    I looked at that picture and went down the column to the base and there it was sitting on top. The wire's plug is rather melted. But when I connect the terminals of the plug the reverse lights come on.

    I bought this guy two weeks ago, and now I remember that one of the fuse sockets had a fuse twice the rated capacity in there. My guess is that at some point in the suburban's earlier life it was hooked to a tailer with a short and blew its fuse. Rather than fixing the problem the owner probably just put in a higher rating fuse and killed the switch.

    But how do I replace the switch? That thing is way up on top of the column down there... Not easy to get to!

  5. #5


    I know it may not be your problem, but I had the same issue with my 90 burb - If the gear indicator needle wasn't in the right position on "R", the lights wouldn't come on. Move the needle over a hair, and on came the lights!
    Current truck: 1996 Ford 250, 7.3 Powerstroke diesel. Dana 60 SAS, stage 1 160cc injectors, T500 High Pressure Oil Pump, TS 6-position chip, full 4" exhaust, intake, 285 Falken Rocky Mountain AT's, boost/EGT/trans temp pillar gauges, etc...

  6. #6
    Sr. Apprentice
    Join Date
    Sep 2008
    Lexington, KY


    mine is the same way...
    that rug really tied the room together, man.

    i am the walrus. shut up donny.

  7. #7


    I will b sure to take a look at that, but I am more of the impression that the switch is fried cause of the melted plastic. Also, when I movee the lever all through the gears the light never turns on at any point.

    Anyone ever replace one of these switches?

  8. #8


    Quote Originally Posted by bigburb View Post
    I know it may not be your problem, but I had the same issue with my 90 burb - If the gear indicator needle wasn't in the right position on "R", the lights wouldn't come on. Move the needle over a hair, and on came the lights!
    I have that issue too, but it hasn't bothered me enough to get up there and fix it.

    As for replacement, you should be able to get it up and off with the column still in place. However, if there isn't enough clearance, you will have to drop the steering column and then replace it. Dropping the column is actually pretty darn easy. remove the trim panels below the column and you'll see a big u-shaped hanger on the edge of the dash that holds the column up. Yank the 4 bolts and the column will come to rest on the drivers seat. Then you should have easy access to the NSS switch.

    PS: I didn't realize the reverse switch was on the column, I thought it was on the transmission itself...

    1991 Chevy Suburban 1/2 ton 2WD w/ chevy SBC 350-3/4 ton drivetrain upgrade w/4.10 gears 200K miles
    2005 Saturn ION-2 Stock 277K miles
    1982 Bronco, 1993 Bronco (sold), 1971 M35A2 Deuce and a Half

    There are 10 kinds of people, those who understand binary, and those who dont...

    Remember kids, the only difference between screwing around and science is writing it down- Adam Savage

  9. #9


    I removed the screws, but it still doesn't want to go down. Also, the pulling it down motion puts tension on the gear selected cable in the dash.

    I am wondering if I can pull the switch up from the colomn or if there are some screws holding it on...

  10. #10

    Default problem solved

    Ok, so I got a new switch and looked at how it clips into the column. Without dropping the column, I used a flat head screwdriver to pry up the old switch. The clips that hold the switch to the column are removable from the switch which is great cause the new one's didn't match the old one. I switched them and clicked in the new switch and it all works good!

    I took apart the old switch and can see where the plastic is melted.

    So $15 part (NAPA #NS6497) fixed the problem!

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