DIY - Switchback Turn Signal / Reverse Light Combo - Toyota Nation Forum : Toyota Car and Truck Forums
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post #1 of 4 Old 04-11-2018, 05:01 PM Thread Starter
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Gen6 DIY - Switchback Turn Signal / Reverse Light Combo

Hey all! I reverse a LOT, and even with LED reverse lights, I wanted more. The benefits of this are two-fold: More visibility in your mirrors or reverse camera, and your car will be more visible from the side when reversing in crowded parking lots and such.

It also irked me that my LED rear signals turned on a split-second before my switchback front signals. Nothing wrong with that functionally, but now they turn on at the same time since they both use a switchback circuit.

Finished product first, then I'll run through the DIY:



And with the signal on, if you're someone who signals the direction you're turning when reversing in parking lots:



Here's the list of parts I used (or could have used - I'll explain):
• ~15 feet of wire. I used 18awg paired bell wire because it was cheap, and I got both red and white wires. 20 or 22awg will probably work, too.
• 2 wire taps. I used the kind that keep the wires parallel due to space, but T-taps should work, too. You'll just have a loop hanging off.
• Flasher relay designed for LEDs (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B008C9YS0Y)
• OR a resistor kit will work, too, but it's not as clean.
• (OPTIONAL) 2 7440 bases with wiretaps IF you want to keep the factory sockets and harness, and just ADD to it. I'm not sure if there's enough space behind the trunk liner to do this, but it should work. The factory sockets will just hang in a loop. Pictured is a 7443 base—7440 bases will have 2 pins and 2 wires coming out of the base. (http://www.autolumination.com/wiring...-with-wire.htm)
• 2 090-II wire terminals - You'll need 6 if you want to keep factory sockets using bases with wiretaps. (https://www.driftmotion.com/ProductD...uctCode=DM3284)
• ~3 feet of flex tubing if you want to run the wires in the factory loom for a factory look, and you want to replace the tubing. I just used the factory tubing and re-wrapped it with electrical tape.
• 1 pack of 16-22awg electrical quick disconnects.
• 2 "SOCKET, TAIL & STOP LAMP" (P/N 90075-60079 at your dealer's parts department) - This is the 7443 base socket you'll be using in place of the factory 7440 base socket. It's the same as your brake/tail light socket.
• 2 "HOUSING, CONNECTOR FEMALE" (P/N 90980-10908 at your dealer's parts department) - This is the plug you'll use to connect your wiring to your socket. MAKE SURE you specify the part number at your dealer, there are a lot of parts in their system called "housing, connector female."
• 1 Pack of 2 7443 base amber/white switchback bulbs. I used these: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B078LYN5L8







Tools:
• A small file - I used the file on my leatherman wingman, which worked great.
• A small flat-blade screwdriver. Like, 1mm small.
• Crimping tool or pliers.
• Needle-nose pliers will also be helpful.
• Patience

Alright, let's get to the dirty work.
First, you'll need to take your trunklid liner out by removing the 13 push pins. You can do this by sliding your fingers under the edge of the liner and pulling. If you don't have the push-pin style fasteners, you'll need two screwdrivers or similar prying tools to pull the clips.




Once you have access to the inside of your trunklid, find where the wiring harness goes to your reverse lights. We're going to tap the red wire at each of these plugs. You can probably get away with tapping one and daisy-chaining your switchbacks since they draw such little power.

Left:



Right:



Then run your wires through the harness. It's much easier to do if you pull the entire harness out to the trunklid hinge so you can straighten it. You can also ziptie the wires to the harness if you don't care about a factory look.
When you get to running the wires along the hinge, if you're going for a factory look, use a small screwdriver or narrow knife to push back the tab in each strap so you can pull the harness out of them and straighten it.



Make sure you leave as much slack in your wires as the factory harness so your wires don't stretch or break when you open and close your trunk.

Next, you need to pull the fastener from the trunk liner so you can pull it back and tuck your wires. I followed the factory harness through here, too.






The wire for your left light is done, but now you have to cross the car. To do that, you have to remove the panel at the back of the trunk. First, pull your carpets and emergency kit from your trunk, because they overlap the panel. Then, remove the screw in both cargo net hooks, then give them a tug. They might require some persuasion, but they will pop out. Next, you'll need to push the panel like you're folding it down into the trunk to pull its clips. The easiest way for me was to start at the cargo net hooks, and work my way behind the panel to pull the horizontal clips first. This will be a pain in the ass, and some of the clips will not survive. There are 4 clips pretty evenly spaced on the horizontal part of the panel, and 3 on the vertical part (one at each corner, one in the center). Replacement clips are available here (http://www.clipsandfasteners.com/Doo...pas9081-25.htm), but you really only need the three on the vertical part of the panel, as the shape of the panel holds it in place. I didn't replace the four that I broke trying to reinstall the panel.





Once that panel is out, run the wire for your right light along the factory harness, then reverse the process for putting everything back together.

Next, you need to modify the sockets so they fit in the mounting bracket. The tabs on the 7443 socket are different from the 7440 socket, so you need to file off some plastic to make the profile closer to the factory 7440 socket. REMEMBER: you can always file more material off, but it's very hard to add it back. Go slowly with this, so you don't have super loose sockets. Also be careful when test-fitting. Don't force the sockets into the bracket, as the outer tabs are quite brittle. I found that out the hard way on one of mine



This picture has all the material marked that needs to be removed. Top is the modified socket, bottom is the stock socket. The entire big tab on the left needs to be removed, the top half of the right tab needs to be removed, and the top tab needs to be shaved ~1/16" or less from the left side. The vertical tab on the left also needs to be filed completely through so the socket can be rotated in the bracket.



Finally, you need to finish the wiring. You've got a few options here, but the end product should function the same. I'll cover MODIFYING the factory harness first - with pictures - then I'll cover ADDING to the factory harness without removing or modifying it. Both options CAN be returned to stock.

MODIFYING:
First, you need to remove the factory terminal pins from the connector. To do this, pull up the plastic retainer on the connector housing with your small screwdriver in the marked locations. It shouldn't come all the way out.



Then you need to pull up on a retaining tab inside the connector while also pulling the wire. The terminal should slide right out.



ADDING:
Add your new terminals to the ends of your 7440 bases with wiretaps. They should already be stripped, so just crimp them on. Pin orders are listed below. Wiretap Black goes with Factory Blackwhite, and Wiretap Yellow goes with Factory Green/Yellow. The reverse wire still goes in the same place.

BOTH:
Now you need to add your new terminal to the end of your new wire. Strip ~1/4" of jacket from the wire and crimp the terminal on to it. I also added a quick disconnect so I can disable the reverse light function easily for a stock functioning light (even though I'll probably never do that ).

Then, slide the terminals into your new connector housing (with the socket retaining tab up and pushing the wires away from you, the wire order is [Factory Blackwhite | New reverse wire | Factory yellow] on the left light, and [Factory Blackwhite | New reverse wire | Factory green] on the right light). They might require a bit of persuasion, but you should hear and feel them click into place. Finally, push the plastic retainer down, plug your light in, and test it out.




To easily test the reverse function, turn your car to ON (but don't start it), engage your parking brake, then shift to reverse. So long as your parking brake works, your car shouldn't go anywhere. Congratulations! You're now the proud new owner of an extremely bright car when it's in reverse
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Last edited by Robosphinx; 04-11-2018 at 11:41 PM.
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post #2 of 4 Old 04-14-2018, 03:34 PM
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I assume the flasher replacement removed the light flash when remote unlocking the doors?
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post #3 of 4 Old 04-14-2018, 03:42 PM
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So you replaced a single mode turn signal into a dual mode turn/backup, correct? Seeing the amber overrides the white that means you will always have turn signal even when in reverse.

Nice mod.

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post #4 of 4 Old 04-15-2018, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 1996ClaretCamry View Post
I assume the flasher replacement removed the light flash when remote unlocking the doors?
I saw that this was a known issue when I replaced the flasher a few months ago for my front switchbacks, but my lights still flash when locking/unlocking from my keyfob. I guess it's a unit by unit basis?

Quote:
Originally Posted by 71Corolla View Post
So you replaced a single mode turn signal into a dual mode turn/backup, correct?
Exactly
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