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Join Date: Feb 2011
Location: Lincoln, NE
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TTR: How to Repair/Rewire the 3rd Brakelight
So I bought a Jeep and the 3rd brakelight didn't work. I wanted to pass inspection the next day and wasn't near a dealership, so I bought a $10 kit of flexible LED's from the local auto parts store. It had 2 5" strips of 5 LED's in it. I took one and stripped the wires back and stuffed them into the connector and stuck the LED strip to the outside of my light housing to pass inspection. It was red and worked great. But it looked like garbage.
So... I called Jeep to discover the 3rd brakelight is an assembly and is ~$100, with it being ~$65 online (cheapest I could find it.)
Knowing I already had the 2 5" strips for $10... I pulled the brakelight out and saw how simple the circuit is. It's just a + & - bus bar that has the LED's attached to it. None of them worked in mine, so there was part on that little circuit board that was bad. No worries. I don't need it anyways.
So you just take a dremel and dremel out the bottom portion of the light housing. I chose the bottom just in case water made it past the foam seal, it wouldn't flow into the housing.
Then you take a pair of wire cutters or pliers and break the LED's off the circuit board to make room for you to stick the new LED strips in there.
The only technically savvy part of this is knowing that if the housing is up, and the lense is down on the workbench, and the connector end of the light housing is on the right... the far pin in the connector is NEG & the closest one to you is POS. (They're labeled on the circuit board as well.)
So figure out which way the little LED strips need to be in order to get them to illuminate... and solder them onto the back side of the connector. Put it this way, if it doesn't work one way, no biggy... just take them off and swap them. But mine came with a little battery pack that showed + & -, so I just hooked the + wires up to the + pin and the - wire up to the -pin. Feel free to stuff more LED's in here the same way. There's room for more, but I just made the best use of my already spent $10 and 20min worth of dremel/solder time.
I just wanted a cheap LED tail light that connected utilizing the factory housing and connector. Easy fix.
Hope you guys get some use out of this.
Brian Auten -Typically easier found on BookFace or YouTube these days.
"BasicB1" on FB.
Twin Turbo 392. Ported Intake, 94mm N20 TB. Custom Thitek heads. Demon Mid-Length Headers & Cam, Borla S, Cutouts, SHR War Viking, 3400RPM Stall, S6 2-Step
Full Fore Fuel System 3-450lph pumps, 1650cc FIC injectors.
Eibachs, QA1's, End links, JBA UCA's. AlamoHydroGraphix Dipped 22"s & Demon Perf Drag wheel/tire setup. Tuned by Joel.
Last edited by autenb; 09-18-2013 at 12:44 PM.