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Old 03-20-2009, 03:13 AM   #1
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Third Brake Light Problems

Tonight I started a small mod on the 3rd brake light above the tire carrier. I took it apart to get some measurements, and noticed that the bulb was a bit black, but the filament looked to be in tact. I checked the bulb with a fuse tester (I'm not sure if this is the correct way to check it, but it seems like the same principle to me) and the tester lit up, indicating that the loop was not broken. Yet, when stepping on the brake pedal, the bulb would not come on.

I checked all the fuses behind the glove, and they're all good.
I put the tester on the wires behind the bulb, and it lit up, indicating a closed circuit, so that's good right? When I popped the bulb out and tested those wires, the tester didn't light up because the circuit was open. I then tried to trace those wires to the source, and ended up at a dead stop at the inside of the tailgate. They end at 2 pins/bolts underneath a plastic cover. It looks like they are connected to a couple other pieces inbetween the wires and the pins/bolt. I don't understand what these are.
If everything ends at the tailgate, how can this light be turned on by the brake pedal?
Either way, I put the tester on the furthest point of those pins, and it lit up.

So to me, it seems like everything is in order, but still no 3rd brake light. And being that I don't understand why the wires end there, I just don't know. Any other ideas on why it's not working?
Is there a separate fuse under the hood for this 3rd brake light?
Could the bulb be bad anyways?
I'm stumped.

A couple other notes:
I put ORO LED tail lights in a while ago, but never touched anything for that 3rd brake light. At least not to my knowledge. I just cut the harness (in front of all the misc. connections, so I WOULDN'T DISRUPT THEM) and spliced/soldered the wires together.

I also had some KC back-up lights installed. I didn't personally do them, so I don't know how they are all hooked up, because I had them hooked up to turn on both by switch and when in reverse.
But once again, when I did my tail lights, I cut in front of the harness and misc connections, and my new LED and KC back up lights still come on as they should. So it appears that I did that correctly.

What do you guys think?

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Old 03-20-2009, 06:45 AM   #2
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Thumbs up Fixed It!

I finally figured out that those 2 pins on the inside of the tailgate are contact points that meet up with 2 others in the cargo area of the Jeep. Once I realized that, everything made more sense to me.

I tested the 2 contact pins in the cargo area and didn't get a light, so I figured that the problem was either right there, or SOMEWHERE behind those contacts. First I tried cleaning all 4 of them, and nothing. Then I got to looking at the 2 good ones a bit more closely trying to see how everything was hooked up. I found you can only pull the pin about a 1/4" forward before the connection behind it starts to grab and stops it. So I tried that on the ones inside the Cargo area, and SURE ENOUGH, one of them pulled completely out.
That was the whole problem, one of the contacts wasn't connected.

So I got underneath, and was shocked at what I saw.
The wonderful shop that that installed my KC Back-Up Lights had done a really bang up job.
All the wires were hanging loose all over the place.
Loom was stripped halfway off and hanging.
Cut wires weren't removed, you name it.
And in their Mickey Mouse process, apparently they disconnected one of those wires, God only knows why. Of course, they never hooked it up again.
And these guys are supposed to be professionals?
Of course, I fixed it all and tied everything up when I was done.

I'd love to name them outright, but don't want any kind of BS ramification attempts.
So I'll just say this. They're supposed to be the best Jeep Offroad Shop in Phoenix, Tucson, and Albuquerque. Anyone in the area should know EXACTLY what company I'm referring to.
It doesn't mean that everyone that is associated with them does this kind of work, but it does say that they must not have very good Quality Control.
And this is not the first issue that I've had with this place either.
Needless to say, I was pretty steamed.
They won't EVER get my business or recommendation for anything again.
In fact, quite the opposite.

I'm no mechanic or electrician by ANY means.
But I'm learning as I go.
And I'm finding out very quickly, that if you want something done right, well...you know.
I've had better luck coming here, talking with you all, and learning how to do things myself, than the BAD LUCK that I'm having with these "so called pros".

Thank you all, and thank God for this forum.
Maybe now I can get on with my mod.
I'll post it if it works.

P.S.
Some of you are probably wondering why I'm writing a book about this.
The answer is simply that maybe it will help someone else.

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Old 06-18-2010, 05:25 PM   #3
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Contact Pins

You wouldnt happen to know where to get new pins from? the ones on the body are still there but im missing the ones that connect to the tailgate.
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Old 06-18-2010, 05:58 PM   #4
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Almost 1500 views and only 2 replies??
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Old 06-18-2010, 08:54 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by CustomLiftdJeeps View Post
You wouldnt happen to know where to get new pins from? the ones on the body are still there but im missing the ones that connect to the tailgate.
I think you can get those type pins at Radio Shack or an electronics supply store. Don't know where you're from so don't know if you have Fry's Electronics.
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Old 06-19-2010, 06:59 PM   #6
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Not sure if this will help at all but had a similar problem. Electricaly the 3rd brake lite circuit was fine, but the pins located on the tailgate were not pressing good up against the nodules inside the cab. Not sure if those pins had some sort of factory springs to push em out or not but they werent doin it. I simply took a nice rubber band and put on the pins by wrappin em around a few times. Whoo Hoo........no more problems.
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Old 06-22-2010, 09:31 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ElectricVolvo View Post
Not sure if this will help at all but had a similar problem. Electricaly the 3rd brake lite circuit was fine, but the pins located on the tailgate were not pressing good up against the nodules inside the cab. Not sure if those pins had some sort of factory springs to push em out or not but they werent doin it. I simply took a nice rubber band and put on the pins by wrappin em around a few times. Whoo Hoo........no more problems.
I had to fix mine too a while back. All I did was take the plastic cover off the inside of the tailgate, and put 2 washers in between the contacts and the plastic cover to push those metal contacts out a little further. Worked like a charm!
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Old 06-22-2010, 11:08 AM   #8
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Blacktoothgrin - when I bought my jeep I had the exact same problem....with the exact same solution. (wires on tub side were dangling instead of being attached to the pins.)
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Old 06-22-2010, 12:13 PM   #9
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Wow...this thread has been dead for over a year.
Now resurrected........
RISE!
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:06 PM   #10
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haha, oops. not my fault this time. whew.
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Old 06-22-2010, 03:30 PM   #11
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It may be a Zombie Thread, but it's great information for us noobs!
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Old 07-01-2010, 03:44 PM   #12
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Wow...this thread has been dead for over a year.
Now resurrected........
RISE!


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