A shortcoming of A-body station wagons is that you cannot disable the rear cargo area dome lamp with an easy flick of a switch. This modified storage box solves the problem. The upper switch is an SPDT switch that allows me to select three modes of operation for the dome light—always on, always off, and on when the gate is open.

Another shortcoming is that passengers in the rear-facing third seat (the "wayback") do not have any way to open the hatch to get out. The lower switch in the modified box is an SPST momentary switch that triggers the gate release relay, which in turn activates the gate release solenoid. This switch has exactly the same functionality as the one in the glovebox. Wiring was easy in this car because the relevant circuits were already present behind the cargo area left side panel for the remote keyless entry receiver. Cars without RKE will have to have two wires run from the dashboard (one for power, the other for the release signal).

One last feature of this box is that I connected the rear dome light circuit with a diode to the front dome light circuit. When a front door is opened, both lights illuminate. When the tailgate is opened, only the rear light illumiates (provided the new switch is set in that manner).

Entire unit

Close-up of switches