Add a 3rd brake light to your Van for about $5.

IdahoDoug
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Vehicle: 1988 Mitsubishi Van Wagon
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Add a 3rd brake light to your Van for about $5.

Postby IdahoDoug » Wed May 13, 2015 5:43 pm

I have another Van that I'm adding a 3rd brake light to. In preparation, I pulled a few likely candidates from the U Pull yard last summer. Got some Trooper ones to fit in the back window but worried about snowy glass making the whole thing light up, or rainy, or foggy. Settled on the one on the roof of mid 90s Suburbans and Blazers. Its a row of about 30 red LEDs in a tidy aerodynamic module that unscrews from the donor car with two screws in about 10 seconds if you are slow. I have about 5 of them as each time I went out for something else in the U Pull I found a nicer one. They charged me $4 for these. Now that I have the Van Wagon, I thought "hmmm"

Yep, they also fit the Van Wagon perfectly. I mounted mine on the hatch's top edge. It requires 3 holes to mount. One for each screw that holds it down, and one slightly larger to let the wires go into the hatch. I then drilled a matching hole to this one so the wires can go into the channel around the hatch where the power wire goes on down to the right tail light. I put a simple ground screw in the hatch with a wire and ring for the ground wire (only two wires). Use something to verify the correct wire to tie into in the tail light. Mine was the solid green one with no tracer color. This took about an hour - very simple. It looks absolutely correct and factory, and improves your rear safety by quite a bit as the LEDs light a half second faster than the incandescent bulbs in the stock brake lights. At 60mph, that gives the bozo behind you texting about 44 feet farther warning, and of course the center high mount stop lights are there for another reason. People many cars back can see you are braking. A worthy modification, and for $5 and an hour of your time, highly recommended.

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Mazdax605
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Re: Add a 3rd brake light to your Van for about $5.

Postby Mazdax605 » Tue May 19, 2015 10:58 am

FYI my model year 90 van wagon had a third brake light from the factory. I also found out that hidden behind the light surround was the gate lock knob. Not a great place for it, but with a screwdriver you could access it.
Chris

89 P25W L300 Aero GLX
74 Mazda REPU
78 Mazda RX-7 GS

IdahoDoug
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:21 pm
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Vehicle: 1988 Mitsubishi Van Wagon
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID

Re: Add a 3rd brake light to your Van for about $5.

Postby IdahoDoug » Tue May 26, 2015 10:22 pm

Where was the factory 3rd brake light? Sounds like it was inside the window at center base covering the lock knob?? Yeesh. We live in snow country and I don't like lights that light up snow covered windows. Or wet windows. I am really happy with this install. Drove behind the Van for a few hours this weekend and it's a very bright and vivid light up on the roof. Perfect.

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Growlerbearnz
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Re: Add a 3rd brake light to your Van for about $5.

Postby Growlerbearnz » Wed May 27, 2015 2:52 am

The factory LED 3rd brake light is, indeed, at the centre base of the rear window, and it's wide enough that it covers the lock knob. The rear wiper arm should have an extra kink in it to avoid obscuring the LED brake light.

Incandescent 3rd brake light units are narrower and don't cover the lock knob, and use the standard wiper arm.

Just my 2c.
Nothing says "poor workmanship" more than wrinkles in the duct tape.

IdahoDoug
Posts: 112
Joined: Fri Jan 30, 2015 9:21 pm
Member's Photo Album: http://www.delica.ca/Photos/
Vehicle: 1988 Mitsubishi Van Wagon
Location: Coeur d'Alene, ID

Re: Add a 3rd brake light to your Van for about $5.

Postby IdahoDoug » Wed May 27, 2015 8:59 am

In my search for the "perfect" third brake light, I also pulled LED lights from a couple Isuzu Trooper. These are designed for a vertical rear hatch glass, and attach to the inside of the glass. I never used them over concern about lighting up a snowy window, but for those wishing to do the inside mount, the last generation Trooper is your target. I believe they sit at the top of the glass, so no interference with the wiper or hatch lock knob.


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