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Old 10-25-2012, 01:49 PM   Thread Starter #1
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Default How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

I was tired of the incandescent bulbs in the 3rd brake light on my 2005. I decided that it needed to be LED like my tails and everything else in my car.

Parts used:

2x Red Tri-Chip design led strips 12" each (Or substitute your favorite in here)
1x 194 pigtail adapter - I ordered this off V-Leds - it has two wires coming from it that you can use to solder to your LEd strips and utilize 1 194 socket.
9V battery

Tools:
Wire Stripper/Cutters
Hot-Glue Gun
Soldering iron / Solder
Heatshrink tubing

1. Pull the light assembly off the package deck in the rear of your car.

(I pushed it towards the window and the whole assembly should tilt upwards towards the window. Up and out it will come.)

Be careful their is a short wire harness/plug attached - remove that by applying pressure on the plugs indentation and release it from the housing.

2. Once you have the assembly in your hands there is a silver housing that needs to be detached from the frame of the assembly - it has two big tabs you can manipulate and the silver housing will swing out towards you because their are hooked tabs on the other side of the silver assembly. Just be careful not to break the tabs as they are somewhat fragile.

3. Housing out - that was the hard part - remove the red cover from the silver reflector housing - again these are brittle tabs so don't man handle them too much.. I used a small screwdriver very gently to nudge a corner out and took the rest of it out by hand. There are 2 tabs on either side that were the hardest to free.

4. Now you should be able to see all the bulbs inside the reflector housing. Five of them to be exact. You can remove these bulbs and hold on to them as we won't need them but they are useful if you need to switch anything out in your car in emergency etc..

Now to the actual modding portion (only part I really took pictures of )

5. I glued the LED strips into my housing with the hot glue gun.. the LED strips are only glued on the sides to hold the strips in place. If you mess up you can always do it again.

Click the image to open in full size.

6. I wired up both the led wires to the pigtail adapter. I also trimmed the wire a bit as it doesn't need to travel far into the socket.

7. You can choose however you want to connect your wires - I chose soldering my connections after first testing with the 9V battery that I had the correct polarity. If it doesn't work one way.. flip it over and try the other until it lights up. The 9V won't hurt the led strips at all since they are 12V.

Click the image to open in full size.

8. I heatshrinked my wires for neatness - here's a picture of them all wired up and lit up on my desk. (Don't mind the shorter LED strip, I manhandled one of my LED strips while glueing it in and it broke the connection so it became 3/5 look which I actually like!)

Click the image to open in full size.

9. Plug the 194 bulb adapter pigtail into any one of the 5 sockets on the housing. I picked the closest one because I made my wire short.

10. Bring the housing out to your car, plug the harness back in, turn your key and test.. I tested with the housing off so I could see the LED strips from the driver seat. If you don't see anything lighting up, flip your 194 connector the opposite way in the socket.

11. If everything checks out just re-install in reverse order from steps 3-1

**Night Time Pics as requested** (sorry it's a camera phone - I don't have anything crisper)

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Click the image to open in full size.

Enjoy!
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Last edited by djliquidice; 10-26-2012 at 09:51 AM. Reason: Added night time pics
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Old 10-25-2012, 01:56 PM   #2
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Default re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Hey that looks awesome! I prefer this over that big strip across the windshield, I wonder if this is possible on my Z
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:14 PM   #3
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Default re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

I don't personally like it but you get an A for effort and originality! Good job!

STUCK too.
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Old 10-25-2012, 02:41 PM   #4
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

That is awesome.
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Old 10-25-2012, 04:53 PM   Thread Starter #5
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Thanks for the feedback guys - I'll update with some night pics.. I like the strip look at least with the tri-chip style - matches my EZkoncept tails LED's
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Old 10-25-2012, 06:50 PM   #6
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

I have been debating on doing this myself. I would use the high density LED's like i used in my mirrors. Two strips staggered and setup to alternate/flash for a few seconds before going steady.
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Old 10-25-2012, 09:40 PM   #7
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

@djliquidice

Very nice job. I like it.

A+ for the detailed instructions.

I am always impressed with the ingenuity of our members.

Looking forward to the night time photos.
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Old 10-26-2012, 09:52 AM   Thread Starter #8
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Added some shots today at dusk.. I am happy with how it turned out and actually like the 3x5 LED look - gives it some character
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Old 10-26-2012, 10:00 AM   #9
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Initially I thought it will look odd as though the leds are burned out with the pattern you chose. I have to admit that after seeing action shots I like it. Great job and very different :thumbup:
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Old 10-26-2012, 05:52 PM   #10
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Originally Posted by DAlastDON View Post
I have been debating on doing this myself. I would use the high density LED's like i used in my mirrors. Two strips staggered and setup to alternate/flash for a few seconds before going steady.
I believe the have a controller that flashes for either 1 or 2 second for your brake lights then they come on steady. I belIEVEe its at SuperBrightLEds.COM.

iLL SEE IF I CAN FIND THE LINK.


Here is the link

http://www.superbrightleds.com/cat/car-strobe-modules/
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Old 10-26-2012, 06:27 PM   #11
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Dude I really need to do this on my Z!!! It looks so awesome, btw love the illest decal
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Old 10-27-2012, 01:54 AM   #12
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Originally Posted by dee.signs View Post
I believe the have a controller that flashes for either 1 or 2 second for your brake lights then they come on steady. I belIEVEe its at SuperBrightLEds.COM.

iLL SEE IF I CAN FIND THE LINK.


Here is the link

Strobe Modules & Bulbs | Car Bulb Installation Supplies | LED Car Bulbs | Super Bright LEDs
Cheaper than the PCB needed to make one with a 555ic. This one would fit my wants the closest.

Brake Light Strobe Module | Strobe Modules & Bulbs | Car Bulb Installation Supplies | LED Car Bulbs | Super Bright LEDs
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Old 10-27-2012, 05:49 PM   #13
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Originally Posted by DAlastDON View Post
Cheaper than the PCB needed to make one with a 555ic. This one would fit my wants the closest.

Brake Light Strobe Module | Strobe Modules & Bulbs | Car Bulb Installation Supplies | LED Car Bulbs | Super Bright LEDs
I want to install one on mine, but you gotta have all LEDS.....
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Old 10-27-2012, 07:42 PM   #14
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Great job!!! You guys are truly ingenous with these ideas.
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Old 10-27-2012, 11:15 PM   #15
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Default Re: How To Replace 3rd Window-Brake Light w/LED Strips

Looks great!
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