Garage Vary Nostalgic Tail Lamp kit - installed.
Your Shopping List
- The Garage Vary tails kit! - Many places online sell this kit.
Rev9, etc. This kit was discontinued at one time,
but as of late 2010, it seems they're being made again.
- A drill and bits. - Because you'll have to drill holes for US-spec license plates.
- 4-6 small washers - To make the trunk lock flush with the panel.
- ~4 feet of 20-22 gauge wire in two colors. I used red and black since I had that around.
- Two female disconnect terminals, a ring or fork terminal, and a single vampire tap.
- A nice crimping tool, a wire stripper, and wire cutters.
- Electrical tape
Frequently Asked Questions
- How do I wire the brake and signal lights?
You just plug them in! Except for the reverse light (missing from your new round lights), the lights used by
Garage Vary are completely plug-and-play for the NA Miata.
- How do I wire the reverse light?
You'll tap into the driver's side light harness. The red/green wire in the top-middle position on the stock rear light harness
is the one you want. This will connect to the red wire on your small Daihatsu reverse light. The black wire will be grounded somewhere
inside your trunk. Use a ring terminal for this. There are lots of bolts to choose from.
- I have to drill my new Japanese fiberglass? Really?
Yeah. A bit of a bummer. But it's not very difficult. And you don't have to worry a ton about how the holes look since you are putting
your plate in front of the drill work. Just go slow, measure many times, and use sharp drill bits.
- My panel sticks out on the driver's side. What gives?
You may have mounted your reverse light backwards. The bulb sticks out at an angle. One way results in a nice, flat GV panel.
The other way makes the panel stick out a bit on the seam under the tail light on the driver's side. I'll repeat this again later,
but the reverse light guts should point toward your license plate.
- How do I know if I have a real Garage Vary panel?
Real GV panels have a stamp on the inside center. If yours doesn't have it, you have a knock off.
OEM Tail Removal
Before you start, you should know one thing: the OEM rear finish panel (the thing behind your plate) is
extremely fragile. Some will self destruct the moment you begin removing it. Others are a little more resilient.
Either way, you should treat it like a bomb if you have any interest in saving it for possible
The tail lights are held in by four nuts. Grab your 10mm socket and go to town. They should pull out with a slight
pop when you get all the bolts removed.
Also remove the rear carpet panel covering the back wall of your trunk if so equipped on your car.
Mine was held in by six plastic retainers. Set this aside for later.
These two bolts and one plastic retainer hold on the rear finish panel at both sides. The plastic piece can be
removed by squeezing it with pliers as you shove it out. The bolts are the same 10mm heads that held in the tail
Most owners will have no problem finding this. Those with stripes might. I, for example, had vinyl covering
this retainer. Took me many minutes to find this.
Arrows point to all of the places this panel was originally attached. You'll notice I've removed my license plate lights.
You do not need to do that. I was just removing everything I could find.
While you're in there. Give everything a good cleaning. There's probably a bit of dust after 15+ years.
Test fit your GV panel. No mounting necessary, just hold it up by hand. And then check out your lock
cylinder and see if you need to space it out a bit to make it flush against the fiberglass. Mine needed two
washers on either side to push it out enough.
If you don't read Japanese, this is probably the reason you're looking at this page right now. These
small panels are impossible to figure out. I have Tim of CR.net
to thank. If he'd not figured this out,
I'd still be staring at the parts with a stupid look on my face.
You're looking at the back of this small fiberglass panel. It will be mounted on the passenger side. The
black insulation goes between the body and the fiberglass. The small bolts were included with the kit.
That is how it should look. The small hole on the bottom will give you some idea of which way to point this small
panel. The driver's side is the mirror image of the passenger side.
This is how it looks from inside the trunk. You don't need to go crazy tightening the small bolts. Finger tight
is good enough. I used a 1/4" drive ratchet to snug them up just a bit more. You just want to keep some moisture
out of your trunk.
And here are both small panels installed. They're really not very complicated. But when looking at all-Japanese
instructions with no illustrations? Ouch. They become pretty difficult to install.
Drill time. Measuring where to drill is difficult. I stuck some blobs of tape to the stock plate mounting
holes on the Miata body and then pressed the GV panel against them. This got me in the ballpark. Then I drilled
from the back. The front doesn't look extremely beautiful, but it is hidden by the plate. And a layer of vinyl
Just go slow. Make a pilot hole and test fit again. Once you're sure of where to drill, make the big hole.
No wiring nor any instructions that I could piece together came with the kit. So, here's my take. The
red wire is the power wire. Crimp a female disconnect to that. The tab on the body is how you ground this
little light. A black wire and another female disconnect complete the wiring. A couple of feet each is plenty.
As stated above, the red wire connects to the red/green wire
on the top-center of your stock
tail light harness. Use a vampire tap for this. The black wire should ground to the body
somewhere on the inside
of your trunk.
This is the final mounting position of the reverse light. Notice how I bent the tab on the ground wire.
This helps prevent interference when mounting the GV panel. If you mount the reverse light so that the bulb points
the other direction (toward the outside of the car), you will have panel alignment problems under the driver's side
Bolt the reverse light to the Garage Vary panel and then install the panel! Mine came with double sided tape
already attached to the rounded side seams. You may have to add tape to yours. I'd recommend 3M's 5 pound mounting
The panel mounts with the two bolts in the bottom center. And that's it. Make sure you get the panel aligned
well before bolting it down. The bolts can cause it to move. But once aligned correctly, you should have
almost zero panel gap anywhere.
Finally, you'll mount the tail lights. They just screw into the fiberglass with the included sheet metal screws.
And they plug right into the stock Miata tail light harness. It doesn't get much easier than that.
You may wish to add a Mazda badge that somewhat matches the vintage look of your lights. I'm using
one from an RX-2.
...and that's it.
Latest Blog Posts
Posted on Fri, 16 Jun 2017 20:18:08 +0000
The revlimiter Garage is down to two working Miatas.
Posted on Wed, 07 Jun 2017 19:05:11 +0000
This time, the spotlight shines on something a bit smaller than a Miata. I finally meet a long time automotive muse, the Suzuki Cappuccino. I want one.
Sharka goes to KINOD
Posted on Tue, 06 Jun 2017 18:27:00 +0000
A long time Bucket List item is crossed off - Sharka gets to attend a KINOD meet.
Spotlight – Benny
Posted on Thu, 01 Jun 2017 21:01:51 +0000
While in California, Sharka didn't have to stay at some lonely hotel. Nope. Sharka got to sleep next to Benny! Check out Pete Royea's gorgeous 1989 NA in this Spotlight.
5 Minute Mod – Fix Your KGW Cluster Alignment
Posted on Wed, 31 May 2017 03:12:09 +0000
Got a row of hidden text on your Miata's KGW cluster? This will fix it.