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Old 07-04-2013, 10:52 AM   #1
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Custom 3rd brake light..

I'm sure it's just me but the light on a stick on top of the tire looks like something that got stuck on there as a afterthought. I know that with the no top option on these, they had to do something but I decided to get rid of that and try something different.

This is a LED tail light for a BMW motorcycle. I got it on Amazon for $15. It has the right dimensions to fit the opening in the stock Rubicon wheel.

I cut off the mounting piece for the stock light and simply used a bracket from ACE Hardware to position the new light.

Invisible until the brake light comes on, with 14 LEDs it is brighter than the stock tail lights.
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Old 07-04-2013, 12:35 PM   #2
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What a cool idea! But is it legal? I also hate the brake light above the spare....especially with my Trektop NX on....it stands out like a sore thumb with my top!

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Old 07-04-2013, 12:43 PM   #3
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Originally Posted by 4X4Lady View Post
What a cool idea! But is it legal? I also hate the brake light above the spare....especially with my Trektop NX on....it stands out like a sore thumb with my top!
It meets DOT requirements for being at or above the level of the tail lights and it certainly puts out more than enough light. The picture with the light on was in bright daylight and it is noticably brighter than the stock tail lights. It is a DOT approved tail light for a motorcycle so I'm saying... yes.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:08 PM   #4
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Great idea!
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:14 PM   #5
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Originally Posted by Marc W View Post
It meets DOT requirements for being at or above the level of the tail lights and it certainly puts out more than enough light. The picture with the light on was in bright daylight and it is noticably brighter than the stock tail lights. It is a DOT approved tail light for a motorcycle so I'm saying... yes.
Okay, cool. How hard was it to wire? Can you explain how you did that?
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:14 PM   #6
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Good thinking, great job.
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Old 07-04-2013, 01:34 PM   #7
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Real easy. The stock wiring only has two wires going to the light. One is ground and the other is the hot wire that goes active when the brake is applied.
The motorcycle tail light has three wires (they are identified by color) One is for the running light that is for night time running on the motorcycle (that wire is not used) The others are for the ground and brake that connect directly to the stock wires.

The stock wires are unplugged from the back of the stock tail light before it is removed and then they are cut to length and each wire will have a connector crimped on to make the connection to the matching motorcycle wires.

Of course you have to cut off the post that is used for the stock light. It is aluminum and pretty easy to cut off using a hack saw. I ground off what was left with a grinder so it is flat with the top of the carrier. With some black spray paint, you cant tell it was ever there. This is all easier to do if you remove the carrier from the tailgate. That's just 4 bolts so it's a easy off and back on again when done.

Just one caution... replacing the wheel/tire is now a two person job because you can't just muscle it up there and find the studs by moving it around. The light is a tight fit inside the wheel and it's plastic so if you bang it with the wheel it will break.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:51 PM   #8
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Got a part number or link? The one on Amazon that looks the same is $120.
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Old 07-04-2013, 02:57 PM   #9
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Red Motorcycle Bike ATV LED Tail Running Brake Light for Suzuki Yamaha Honda | eBay

i put one of these on my b-king very bright a lot of light for the dough
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Old 07-04-2013, 03:14 PM   #10
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Got a part number or link? The one on Amazon that looks the same is $120.
I looked up my order and you're right. I got it from "Astra Depot" thru Amazon for a total of $19.99 but the exact same light from them is now priced at $119.99. Maybe it was a typo and I got it anyway because it was thru Amazon.
Anyway... there are many of these LED motorcycle tail lights in the $20 price range on Amazon and also Ebay. You just need to make sure it is the right size (4.5" long) to fit inside the wheel the way I mounted it.
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Old 08-09-2013, 09:52 AM   #11
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Just finished my 3rd light mod. I found a spare tire carrier on eBay for cheap, cut the post, trimmed it and attached with an L bracket. Looked crappy til I headlined the whole thing. Very happy, easy to do, no rewiring needed!
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:03 AM   #12
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Quadratec sells a light that goes into the center of the wheel. Just pop out the center cap and pop in the light, no fab work needed.
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Old 08-09-2013, 10:39 AM   #13
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I hate the factory location of the 3rd brake light so it's not there anymore.

I relocated it to the hard top.

I have the wires run from the connection inside the tailgate (factory connection), behind the plastic cover, through the sleeve between the tailgate & fender, behind the sub enclosure, under the carpet, up the passenger side wheelwell under the carpet, to the disconnect location for the washer / wiper harness connector terminating in a new connector that can be unplugged when the hardtop comes off. From there, the wires run into the hardtop & over to a new hole where the 3rd light is mounted.

I think Silversport did something similar last year. What I have not yet done was to run a second line up the inside of the roll bar padding to a second 3rd brake light for the times when the top comes off. It will be an easy enough process to disconnect the union and reconnect to the other.

I have been working on my soldering skills recently. Kind of fun as long as I can keep from burning the fingers or dripping solder on my pants.
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Old 08-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by enjerhoo View Post
I hate the factory location of the 3rd brake light so it's not there anymore.

I relocated it to the hard top.
that is nice but if you run the soft top also your screwed
Rob ....
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Old 08-10-2013, 12:19 PM   #15
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I just cut the aluminum bracket that the light is mounted to down to about 2" and notched it to accommodate the factory break light. Then I cut the long plastic mounting tab off of the light then drilled 2 mounting holes bolted the light up and put silicone around the wires coming out of the factory plug just to make sure its water tight. Its not pretty from the back side but you only see it when the tail gate is open.

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