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Old 04-14-2010, 06:04 PM   #1
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Third Brake Light removal/installation

I have a 2007 Wrangler X with Tompson LT315/70/R17's and a 4 inch suspension lift....when I bought it, it came with the stock 16" spare on the back and am tired of looking at that little tire...especially when it serves no purpose. I really can't afford a 5th 17 inch rim, tire and swing away mount right now. I don't do any extreme offroading, mainly the beach and trails....so I'm fairly confident I won't blow out a tire and if something happens on the road I'll call Triple 'A', so I think I'll just remove the 16" spare. I'd like the look off no 3rd brake light and bracket on the tailgate, as opposed to the bracket and brake light cluttering the tailgate up.
I have read on this board that you just clip the wires and be done with it...but....In my state you need that third light to pass inspection. Is there a method to reattach the brake like wires after it is removed, just for inspection purposes...kind of like a quick release? I really dont have any experience with wiring.

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Old 04-14-2010, 07:12 PM   #2
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Not sure if JK's are like TJ's but I took mine off completely without cutting the wires. They are threaded through a hole in the tailgate and you just undo them from inside the door and (it's not exactly easy, but .....) pull them through the front side one at a time and they will come through the little plug in the door. Then I swapped plugs with one on the inside of the tailgate to fill the hole. I'm not really sure what kind of bracket you could use with out the spare carrier to hold the third light. Maybe someone else will come up with something. But if yours is like mine it looks like it didn't come with a third light, which may or may not get you past the inspection guys....

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Old 04-14-2010, 07:23 PM   #3
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I cut the tower off flush to tire carrier ,clipped the wires off with enough left to get to center of wheel.Just bought a trailer LED marker light($4) for center of tire carrier ,the rubber bushing that comes with light I just put a little silicone around edge to make sure it stayed put.
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Old 04-16-2010, 01:37 PM   #4
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Just a heads up- in MOST areas, you WILL fail inspection for not having a 3rd brake light on any vehicle '96 and up. You'll want to keep it in your garage, to slap back on for inspections. You may well get a ticket for this, but if you replace the light and plead not guilty, you can avoid any issues.
As for removal, pull the spare, undo the bolts on the spare carrier/brake light, and disconnect the electrical connector on the light. Push it through the grommet on the tailgate, and go have a beer Done, and easy- Mark W.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:27 PM   #5
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Thanks guys, It was so easy. I love the look without that little tire and third brake light post....but I was told by a neighbor that if I get rear ended and the insurance company finds out there was no brake light it could lead to hassles, so I ordered a mounting plate and third brake light that mounts to the center of the tailgate. I think it's from Warrior Products(?). If that works out then I'll have the best of both worlds and still keeps that clean tailgate look.
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Old 04-17-2010, 12:30 PM   #6
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Oh, also a quick question......a guy told me the other day that there are more drain plugs skattered through out the bed and front section of the Jeep. He said they are painted over and you can just pop them out from underneath. I see what he is talking about.....is that a good idea?
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Old 04-19-2010, 12:28 PM   #7
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They're not painted over. Pull up the carpet and they're right there. Leave them in day to day, or you'll get rust under the carpet (unless you pull the carpet, of course) and the carpet will rot out. Just leave them be until you get a decent bit of mud or water inside the tub- Mark W.
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Old 04-19-2010, 02:33 PM   #8
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Oh, yes I know the black ones on the driver/passenger floorboard, but the guy pointed out others that are the same color as my interior paint (I removed my carpet). It appears as if they are painted over and he said you go underneath and pop them up using a screwdriver. I don't think I will mess with them though. There appear to be enough drain plugs to drain the rain/wash water. If I leave my carpets out can I leave the drain plugs open, or just pull them as needed? As of now I just have them open and the rubber plugs in the console, then I was planning on putting the carpets/plugs back in when the top stays up during the winter. Thanks again for all of the advice
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Old 04-19-2010, 04:26 PM   #9
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You can leave them out with the carpet out, but if you drive through any puddles you may get wet feet...
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Old 04-21-2010, 01:06 PM   #10
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I bought a beehive red marker light and rebent the bracket on it so it would stick up higher and would fit so you could see it through the stock "triangle" slot on the spare wheel when mounted. Then I was going to unhook and remove the third brake light tower..."suprise"...its all one piece! I took it just unbolted like apparently the TJ's do? Shoulda looked it over first I guess. Kinda hate to start sawin on the new rig but...I hate the look of that "periscope" stickin up in my rear view. Dewayne did you just take a hack saw to yours?
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:49 AM   #11
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Dewayne did you just take a hack saw to yours?
Took a saw zaw to it ,its just cast aluminum so its pretty soft. Then I just painted the top black to match the rest.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:10 AM   #12
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Thanks Buddy! Didn't know what it was made outa for sure. Guess the Doc will have to amputate!

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