1965-1966 Mustang Backup Light Install GuideLast Updated October 9, 2023 | Bill Tumas
Backup lights for classic Mustangs are prone to wear out over time due to their location. Replacing your 1965-1966 Mustang backup light housings with new chrome replacements is not only a great way to give your classic Mustang a restored look, but also an important safety upgrade if your stock bulbs don't shine like they used to.
Check out this guide for step-by-step instructions on how to replace your factory backup lights, including the housing, lenses, and bulbs. We also include instructions for installing LED bulbs if you're upgrading from incandescents.The install should only take around an hour, so you'll be back on the road in no time.
1965-1966 Mustang Backup Light Install Instructions
For this installation, we'll be using a 1965-1966 Mustang backup light kit as a direct fit replacement for the factory backup light. In addition to replacing factory lights, this kit can be used to add backup lights with the proper balance and wiring. It also includes all necessary hardware for installation.
Parts and Tools Needed:
- Phillips Head Screwdriver
- ¼” Ratchet
- 11/32” Socket
- ⅜” Socket
- 6” Extension
Step 1: Install Bulb in Housing
Using the hardware provided with your install kit, line the bulb up with the studs in the housing. Push the bulb down and turn to lock it in place.
Step 2 (Optional): Install LED Bulb
If you're using LED backup lights instead of the stock incandescent bulbs, place the connector in the housing. Press in slightly and turn the adapter to the right to lock it into place.
Place the wires into the housing and install the LED plate in the front of the assembly.
Pro Tip: If you'd like a more detailed explanation of this step, check out our install video for LED backup lights.
Step 3: Install Lens
Grab the gasket provided with the light kit and install it in the inner section of the housing. Once the gasket is in position, place the lens on top and tighten the screws to secure the lens.
Step 4: Remove Taillight Harness Nut
The wiring for the backup light connects to the taillight harness. Unplug the taillight wire from the harness and unscrew the small bolt holding it in place.
Step 5: Remove Filler Board
Undo the screws holding the filler board in place and remove the board. The wiring harness extends down to the side of the trunk filler board. There'll be a grommet at the base. Push the grommet through the hole and feed the taillight wire behind it through the hole.
Step 6: Remove Factory Backup Light
Head underneath the car. There'll be two nuts connected to screws at the base of the factory backup light. Unscrew these nuts with a wrench to remove the factory backup light.
Step 7: Install Gasket on New Backup Light
Take the gasket included with the new backup light and install it by hand around the base of the housing attachment point. Make sure the gasket is snug around the assembly.
Step 8: Install New Backup Light
Feed the wiring through the outer frame of your Mustang and pull the screws through the holes in the frame. Screw in the nuts supplied with your backup light and tighten them down.
Step 9: Reattach Backup Light Wiring
Feed the wiring back through the side of the filler board and into the trunk. Ground the backup light to the taillight body and connect the wiring to the harness.
Repeat steps 1-8 for the other side.
Congratulations, you're all done!
Finish the Lighting Upgrades on Your Classic Mustang
Check out more installs to finish upgrading your classic Mustang's lighting: