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I have an issue with my ‘89 Graduate where every time I engage reverse with the back-up lights connected I blow a fuse that knocks out not only the back up lights but the speedometer as well.

With the back up lights disconnected, I have no issues (or back up lights).

Anyone had a similar experience? I admit in advance wiring issues are not my strong suit.

Any ideas/guidance are greatly appreciated.-M5
 

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Check the bulb holder carefully to see if the tab for the bottom of the bulb is touching the side. I had a short in my left brake light and that was it. I didn't see it until I compared it to another bulb holder.
 

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I actually had the same issue with mine a few years ago. A bit tricky to find in my case. There are two (at least) kind of switches for the reverse light. One sits in the top of the gearbox right where the gear lever comes out. The other one is located in the bellhouse and you can see the wiring coming out of a hole in the side of the bellhouse.
I have the later one. What had happened in my case were the wires coming from the switch had rubbed its insulation of on the clutch and thus causing a short between the clutch and the switch.

In my case I also needed to press the clutch pedal in order to create the short. Otherwise the wires did touch the clutch. This was also how I found it. Put it in reverse without pressing the clutch was fine. As soon as I pressed the clutch, the fuse blew.

/Jens
 

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There are two (at least) kind of switches for the reverse light. One sits in the top of the gearbox right where the gear lever comes out. The other one is located in the bellhouse and you can see the wiring coming out of a hole in the side of the bellhouse.
miami592: Your '83 would have the former ("sits in the top of the gearbox right where the gear lever comes out").

But I would look at the B-U light socket first, checking for the kind of problem that brownesound describes. Heck, there might not be a bulb in the socket, allowing the pigtail that is supposed to contact the bulb base to short out against the socket wall.

How long have you owned this car and did the B-U lights ever work?
 
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