After a little hunting around I realized that those two stray bulbs mentioned in my last post where actually part of the climate control panel. I removed the two screws holding the panel in and was able to slot the sockets back in so that the blower and temperature controls are properly back lit.
After everything is back together it all seems functional. However the rear defroster light doesn’t like to turn off after being turned on. This may be because of the damaged wiring in the rear gate hinges that I have yet to replace. Also the AC switch doesn’t light at all. I was told the AC doesn’t actually work so it might be related to that, or the switch itself is bad. AC functionality is way down the list of stuff to fix, so I’m not concerned right now. I’m just glad all the bulbs are functional.
Speaking of those rear wiring harnesses, I’m very eager to get those done but for two things. First, as usual, is the weather. It seems that every time I find space to work on the car the heavens open and pour rain (much like it is doing literally as I write this). The second is that to gain access to the wires I need to pull off a section of the headliner in the back and thus far my small attempts to do that have shown the thing to be very stubborn. I have read how it stays on – there is a rigid lip over which the headline is stretched and clamped – but I’m hesitant to yank as hard as is seemingly required to get over this lip. I think I’ll eventually just have to bite the bullet and pull the thing until it comes off. Once those wires are fixed the back end of the car should be pretty much done.