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Old 08-02-2010, 05:32 PM   #1
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Help with wiring third brake light

Hi everyone. I'm a noobie and I have searched the forum for any posts pertaining to my problem, but haven't found any. I have a 2002 Jeep Wrangler that I just purchased in July and I noticed that the third brake light isn't working.



After a little investigation, I found that it was not wired up.



All the wiring is there from the third light but not connected to anything.



After pulling the carpet away from the tail light compartment on the inside, I found that there is no wiring coming from the tail lights and no way to get to the tail lights. The compartment is solid, I can't even get to the tail light protectors to remove them.



Can anyone offer any suggestions on how I can wire this third light up?

Thanks in advance.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:36 PM   #2
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The light works from the two round metal contacts so when the gate is shut those are coming in contact with the two points on the gate itself. You can see exactly what I am talking about in your second picture. Clean these contacts and make sure the bulb is good.

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Old 08-02-2010, 05:39 PM   #3
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Yep, what he said....
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Old 08-02-2010, 06:02 PM   #4
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Yep try using a brass or steel wire brush on those four little connectors to remove oxidation which commonly stops the 3rd brake light from working. As mentioned above, your second photo shows two of them and the third photo shows the backside of the other two connectors that make the connection.
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Old 08-02-2010, 07:51 PM   #5
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Use a meter to see if you're getting juice to the contacts, then to the bulb socket.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:20 PM   #6
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Shouldn't there be wires on the inside housing area. I took the metal tabs out and removed the rubber grommits and there are no wires for any kind of connection? Maybe I'm just not understanding. Sorry for the confusion.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:24 PM   #7
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Your first pic shows the connections in the tub, the second shows the wires and connection on the tailgate. The wires in the tub are inside the walls of the tub. What you see is accurate. The wires from the gate go to the connectors and when the door is closed contact is made to make the light functional.
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Old 08-02-2010, 08:29 PM   #8
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To get the protectors off you will have to remove the lens of the lamp. The bolts that attach the lamp to the tub is what is holding the protectors on,from inside of the lamp.
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Old 08-03-2010, 03:55 AM   #9
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See those 2 connections in your tub? They should each have a wire connected to them from inside the tub. My guess is one (or both) wires has fallen off.
To check the wires, get underneath the back corner of the Jeep and use slim pliers to pull out two plastic retainers right at the rear of the tub then you can pull down the back part of the plastic 'inner fender'.
Reach up inside the cavity and you can feel the back of the connections. If no wires are connected, they will be loose in there somewhere, they just need to be pushed back on.
You will also be able to see (with a flashlight) what is holding the tail light protectors on . It's possible the PO used 3 bolts and nuts instead of 3 screws.
When done give the retainers a few light taps with a hammer to get them back in. Having said all that, I have managed to virtually destroy my retainers using the above method but I've taken them off and on dozens of times on both sides.
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Old 08-03-2010, 08:25 AM   #10
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What they all said ^^^
And remember, the 3rd brakelight wont work when the tailgate is opened.
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Old 08-03-2010, 06:50 PM   #11
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Third brake light suggestions

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See those 2 connections in your tub? They should each have a wire connected to them from inside the tub. My guess is one (or both) wires has fallen off.
Hi Wes, this is exactly what I feel has happened. Are you speaking of the plastic retainers that hold the plastic wheel well in? Remove these and I should be able to get into the cavity where the wires are? I figured something was wrong, I just couldn't figure out how an electrical circuit could take place with no wires on the connectors in the tub. I'm in Florida this week on business, I plan to work on this when I get home on Friday. Thanks again.
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Old 08-04-2010, 02:22 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 4X4Addict View Post
Hi Wes, this is exactly what I feel has happened.
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Are you speaking of the plastic retainers that hold the plastic wheel well in?
Remove these and I should be able to get into the cavity where the wires are? I figured something was wrong, I just couldn't figure out how an electrical circuit could take place with no wires on the connectors in the tub. I'm in Florida this week on business, I plan to work on this when I get home on Friday. Thanks again.
Yes, correct. You will only need to pull out the two at the back, then pull the flap down.
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Old 08-04-2010, 07:14 PM   #13
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If necessary you can buy replacement retainers at an auto parts store.
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Old 08-07-2010, 04:52 AM   #14
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Quote:
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Yes, correct. You will only need to pull out the two at the back, then pull the flap down.
Well, I've returned from my trip to Florida and couldn't sleep this morning, so I went to my garage at 3:00 a.m. and began to pull the clips that Wes spoke of. Sure enough, there were the two wires that should have been attached to the connectors in the tub. I cleaned them up and re-connected them, replaced the plastic connectors and Ta-Daaa. My third light now works. Thanks to everyone for your suggestions. That's what makes these forums (and especially this one) a great place to be a part of.

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