Reverse Lights Switch Location

Where is the switch that makes the back-up lights come on?
My car doesn't power the Parking Brake light on the dash -- it comes on for the Self Test cycle when the key is turned on -- and the back up lights do
not work. I was thinking there was someting in common, so I have set about ripping the center console open. I found the parking light switch, but the reverse switch is nowhere to be seen from inside the car. Crap! I was hoping to find a connector that was not plugged in, but that seems to not be the case.
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I found that I have 12v at the tail light housing, but when a lamp is connected, the volts go away. I think this means that the reverse switch is very dirty. It will pass voltage, but no current.
I'm using my Bentley to follow the wires out, and the diagram shows the voltage going into the left lamp housing, then coming back out on another pin and going to the right housing. This appears to be accurate, if I measure the voltage on the left side connector, I can make the voltage come and go by removing and inserting the reverse lamp on the right side. The lamps are good.

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If you have a manual transmission the backup light switch is in a small threaded plug in the right side of the transmission. For the automatic it is in the console under the shift lever.

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Manual trans.
Can I see the switch just by lifting the car, or is the muffler and heat shield in the way?

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I'm pretty sure that you can get to it without removing anything because it's at about the same location as the transmission lubricant filler plug except on the opposite side of the transmission. The heat shield starts aft of this location.

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Cool. Thanks. I'll look for it tomorrow.
Did you see my other post about why I am looking for the reverse switch? I think it is very dirty because I have static voltage at the back up lamps, but as soon as I insert the lamp, the voltage goes to 0. I suspect there is voltage but no current, I think this is a result of a very dirty switch.

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or a bad ground. Any source of high resistance can yield this symptom.

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Let's discuss the bad ground for a moment. The ground for all of the tail lights is the same, but only the reverse lights are giving me trouble. If the ground was the source of my issue, wouldn't the other lamps exhibit some kind of strange behavior?

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Jack wrote:

No, a bad ground would cause the 12V to be there any time the shifter was in reverse (with or without the bulb in) but the light would still not light.
--
-Fred W

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Jeff Strickland wrote:

There is a switch that screws into the side of the transmission (you have a manual gearbox as I recall).
Here:
http://www.realoem.com/bmw/showparts.do?model 33&mospidG498&btnr#_0234&hg#&fg
Item #15
--
-Fred W

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