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Third brake light finally installed
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 7:59 pm    Post subject: Third brake light finally installed Reply with quote

So I finally got a third brake light installed. It took about 40 minutes to install and run the wiring to the brake circuit. I drilled a small hole to run the wires through the back shelf so they would be concealed. I tapped into the wires behind the drivers side tail light and I was done. Total cost about $20. Here's the light I found at JC Whitney. It's slim and fit right where I wanted it.

http://www.jcwhitney.com/autoparts/ItemBrowse/c-10...0000358340


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Raynor Shine
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Nice work> It's good to know you'll be seen,
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AlanD
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I put one on my 1989 Westy but mounted it on the back of the fiberglass roof. I was concerned about having it inside the back window and having it light up the inside and possibly interfere with vision out the back (I guess it is hard to see out the back window on a Westy anyway, isn't it?).

I routed the wires up the AC hoses, through a hole in the upper bed and then under the strip that holds the tent fabric. The wires are exposed to the sleeping area, but I put slack there so if a foot did hit them, they would not break. It is an LED type light, but I don't have the ordering information handy right now. But it cost about twice the JC Whitney one and was only half the length.

My main reason for the center brake light is that, especially on long trips, we have the bicycles on the back of the Westy and they obscure the brake lights some. I also was concerned about the visibility of the turn signals, so I did a fix on that too. I used two relays (with Normally-Closed (NC) contacts), one on each side, to turn off the side clearance light when the turn signal on that side is illuminated. So, the turn signal and clearance alternate blinking with each other. When I am not using the turn signal, the clearance light stays on as normal (I drive with headlights on all the time).

I can provide more details on that if anyone is interested. Photos show the center brake light.

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1989 GoWesty Camper-2.3 L engine-9% higher ratio AT
1999 Subaru Forester
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PDXWesty
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey AlanD - I like that location a lot. I also use a rear bike rack at times and I didn't think about it blocking the light. It really isn't a problem at night with the light inside the window and any reflection. I do like the idea of it on the roof though. I hadn't thought of that. I might end up changing mine out! Thanks!

I also came across lights that were segmented to act like turn signals just like you describe. I can't remember the link right now either though.


Last edited by PDXWesty on Mon Mar 17, 2008 10:36 pm; edited 1 time in total
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markz2004
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 8:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am in the process of installing a 3rd break light also. The horizontal stick shape allows for the left / right halves to blink with the turn signals. I'll post when done.
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izzydog
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Alan,

Can you tell us where you got the light?


Thanks,
Jeff
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msinabottle
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PostPosted: Tue Mar 18, 2008 2:54 pm    Post subject: Have a look here... Reply with quote

Have a look here:

http://www.thesamba.com/vw/forum/viewtopic.php?p=1056824

And a look at this:

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Cheap, effective, and very functional.

Best!
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campism
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

“(I guess it is hard to see out the back window on a Westy anyway, isn't it?).”

Okay, this post is not taking, so I am trying again.

The PO of my ’87 Westy (who also installed a third brake light) installed a second interior rearview mirror, mounted down low on the windshield. This gives a greatly improved view out past the upper cabinet and lets me see much farther behind than the mere two car lengths’ view the stocker provides. It is actually much more useful on the highway than in town.

[img]https://www.thesamba.com/vw/gallery/pix/424377.jpg[/img]
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riceye
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here you go:
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There's gonna be some changes made.

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campism
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

How did you do that? I thought I was posting correctly (finally!), but noooo.
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riceye
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 2:22 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I always use the "preview" button before submitting, to be sure I get it right! Sometimes it takes a few tries.
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'87 Westy Weekender - daily driver on salt-free roads

There's gonna be some changes made.

“I find that things usually go well right up until the moment they don't.” - Ahwahnee

"Quality isn't method. It's the goal toward which the method is aimed." - Socrates, later quoted by R.M. Pirsig
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campism
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 3:00 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I tried that and figured it just did not show the pic in the preview. Must be doing something wrong still. Thanks!
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MootPoint
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 7:32 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Alan D: I put one on my 1989 Westy

I like it! Is that the same JCWhitney light as PDX used? It looks shorter than the interior mounting. Just wonderin'...
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mikls63rag
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:01 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I have a regular GL. Where is the best place to put on this van? On the glass in side or over the rear door on the out side or just above the rear window on the out side?

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AlefgardHero
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 19, 2008 9:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikls63rag wrote:
I have a regular GL. Where is the best place to put on this van? On the glass in side or over the rear door on the out side or just above the rear window on the out side?

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On the door just above the rear glass. I've also seen the third brake light on a spoiler. that looked sharp.


**edit** I guess I should mention the only place that I've seen the roof spoiler for sale is on the UK eBay every once and a while.
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AlanD
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

MootPoint and izzydog,

The light I used is the American Technology Components AT-LED-28SMT Surface Mount 28 LED Lamp which is shorter than the JC Whitney one. The website is http://www.atcomp.com/php/protype.php?type_id=4. That page shows several different styles. The one I used is a surface mount type. More details are at http://www.atcomp.com/php/product.php?type_id=4&prod_cat=19&prod_id=47 .

I used stainless steel screws and self-locking nuts. You need three holes, with two for the mounting screws and one for the wires. I can't find my original literature on it, so I don't know if I got it directly from American Technology or a distributor. I notice the AT page doesn't show prices. I think I paid about $25 or so.
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AlanD
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PostPosted: Thu Mar 20, 2008 9:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hey campism ,

That lower rear view mirror makes sense. I know I can see better with the stock mirror if I adjust it so I am just looking at the bottom half of it, so it makes sense to have a separate lower mirror. I will have to try that.

Thanks!!
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1989 GoWesty Camper-2.3 L engine-9% higher ratio AT
1999 Subaru Forester
1989 Toyota 4WD Truck
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bd
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 8:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

here's what we really need...not just for our vans but all our cars.
file under 'duh:'
http://www.physorg.com/news125773212.html
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AlanD
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PostPosted: Wed Mar 26, 2008 9:41 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

That does sound like progress as long as it isn't too "busy" or annoying.

I saw a vehicle where the middle light bar would flash several times each time the brakes were applied, and then was steady on. I was behind him in stop-and-go traffic when it was dark, and it drove me crazy! All that blinking each time he hit the brakes every few seconds was hard to stand. Shocked
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1989 GoWesty Camper-2.3 L engine-9% higher ratio AT
1999 Subaru Forester
1989 Toyota 4WD Truck
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rockfish
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PostPosted: Sat Mar 29, 2008 8:11 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

There are modules out there that are able to limit the flashing to the initial brake stop - then will go solid again if the brakes are pressed within a short amount of time after the first time. Personally, I'll stick w/ my "natural" third brake light.
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