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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Well I don't know if anybodies done this yet or would even go through the amount of work to do it, but anyway if you wanted to I think this will help some people out if you've thought about doing this.

A while back I decided to run without the spare tire hanging off the tailgate and so took it off as well as the mount and the third brake light. Lots more to see now through the back window and easier to back up. Then removed the rear seat headrests and found that even better. While I know that the law in FL only requires the two standard brake lights, and after a couple months with no problem or tickets, somthing was just bothering me about not having one. Don't know what it is or was but just thinking about all the sue happy people anymore I'm sure some lawyer could figure out a way to turn around a rear end accident and nail you for removing it...Sad but true...

Anyway I started the relocation job of the old third brake light to its new home.

Cutting the bracket of the factory led light assembly.









After doing this I turned my attention to the tailgate harness. I took apart the harness to salvage as much as I could and then reinstalled the part that I guess is used to tell the computer if the tailgate is open or not.





In this picture I cut the factory connector along with about 16" on harness off to use again later.



Reinstalling the other part of the harness back in.

 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
So after I got the harness cut and some extra room to work with by removing the clips that held the harness in the corner it is time to route the new harness over to the other side of the vehicle.



I found that following the cage was the easiest and cleanest route over to the other side.



Halfway across the cage the original factory harness ran out of harness and I had to splice in extensions to it. I used 20 guage because I'm pretty sure that is what the original harness used for the third brake light circuit and the fact that it is a low draw led assembly.

I have found that these type of wire connections are about bomb proof when connecting two wires together. They solder the wires together and then heat shrink the ends with some sort of glue making the connection completely waterproof.





I routed the new section of harness all the way to the drivers side rear corner for an obvious reason. On the hard top they put the quick disconnects over here for when you take it off. Figured since there where two connections there a third one would look factory. This is also where I put the connector for the old harness end back into the new longer harness.



Now on the point of no return, at least with the skills I have (a competant boat repair guy can fix this if you mess up this part, just dont know for how much), drawing out the area of hard top that needs to be cut out so that the third brake light will fit inside.



I was very careful not to cut the fiberglass to deep becuase they run the defroster harness through this area and did not want to mess it up. For some strange reason in this exact area of the hardtop the factory tapes the defroster harness at the top of the big channel in the hard top almost like they know someone is going to do this. Oh, I don't know if this is an option on the more expensive versions or not...





Once the fitting was done and the light fit into the new hole nicely it was time to chop up the other part of the third brake light harness. I dont have a picture of it but I did cut off the big rubber grommet that they put on the harness to get a smaller profile harness to fish through the hard top.



For some reason I forgot to get enough of those fancy solder connections so I had to go back to the old way of just soldering and then heatshrinking. Still its much better than regular crimp connections. I had to do this because this section of harness needs to be lengthened as well. Once I got the harness long enough I soldered on the connection that plugs into the light.

 

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Is it law to have a 3rd brake light? or just something they started doing in the 90's that caught on...
 

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Is it law to have a 3rd brake light? or just something they started doing in the 90's that caught on...
Federal law mandates that all new vehicles have the third brake light from the factory that is comparable to the other brake lights on the vehicle so that it is not distracting to the drivers behind the vehicle. It must be center mounted and above the height of the "normal" brake lights to act as a "line of sight" brake light.

The third brake light law went into effect in 1986 for cars and 1994 for light trucks. The decision was based on effective tests done with taxi cabs and company fleet vehicles, illustrating a reduction in rear end crashes with the use of the extra light.

 

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Yes it's federal law since 1986. Whether you would ever get stopped due to not having one would be a matter of luck. Probably could go forever but.... if somebody ever rear ended you and the fact that you had removed that required by light came into play, well... LAWYERS :hide:

I didn't like the stocker on a stick so I did this....

DOT approved LED motorcycle light
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Well that sucks, I got timed out on the third post so I lost it.

Moderator please move this post to post three to keep all information together.

Well now some might call this cheating after all this work but I RTV'd the third brake light into the hardtop. For this application it seals it up and waterproofs it plus it has more than enough strength to hold the light into the hardtop.









And finally done looking like it came from the factory this way minus a tire carrier.

 

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That looks great. Nice mod.
 

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Thanks for doing this write up. I have been thinking about doing this same thing only putting the light in the spare tire cover area.
 

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Nice write up and looks good.

Been thinking about this as I hate the look of the stock third brake light. Been thinking of going with an led strip.
 

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Very nice work. Carrying a heavy spare seems like a waste, I'd prefer to just throw it in the back when off-roading. Since I live in civilization then my insurance company/wife/quick-inflate product can get me going in the city.

I'll consider it. So thanks.
 
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