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Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light
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MrGoodtunes
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 7:53 pm    Post subject: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

While on a walk, found an apparent accident leftover:

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When I gave it 12 volts, it lit up so suddenly and brightly that I instantly knew it was finally time for me to build the 3rd brake light I'd been thinking about for decades. It would need a housing, best I could come up with was a used frozen dinner tray. Not having any molding wax, I used a thin smear of petroleum jelly, laid in some medium lite fiberglass cloth (conforms to mold well), polyester resin (with hardener), follow'd by fiberglass mat and more resin. The mat is awfully lite and thin, so I did a couple more layers before letting it harden and popping it out of the "mold":

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Trim'd down edges and placed L.E.D. within housing sort of where it might end up:

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Look'd like a fit. Getting excited, I dug out some old funky plastic door edge trim. Got more excited. Made a lens template and ran to closest auto parts store. Of course, nothing was a perfect size, but found one that came pretty close, in a 2-pack:

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Chromey trim around the bright red, looking so good, it made me notice how badly the housing top was, due to the flimzy microwave tray's weak wavy bottom and especially its emboss'd recycling code. I don't like to use much bondo or spot puddy, but a very thin layer really helps:

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Made some studs. Bent them to a J shape for strength. Put a jig together to insure the studs would (1) end up parallel to each other and perpendicular to mounting surface, and (2) have the right length outside and a well lodged area for the curved end inside. Then glass'd them in using what I call fiberhash; it's lots of leftover strands that I've collected into a hashtray, and cut up until it becomes fluffy. Using a tiny paint brush, paint on a little resin, press in a pinch of fiberhash, and repeat:

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As you may be able to see, I decided to use the studs for electrical contacts as well as for attaching the CHMSL (center high mounted stop light, pronounced "CHIM-sill" according to a GM engineer friend of mine). Here's how it looks from underneath:

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All in all, I'm super happy with it. Only things I had to buy were the lens and 6 brass nuts, less than $5 total. To me, it looks and feels worth a million!

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calebmelvin Premium Member
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PostPosted: Tue Feb 26, 2019 9:16 pm    Post subject: Re: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

Turned out nice! They will see you stopping now for sure. Did you paint it?
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Letterman7
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 6:31 am    Post subject: Re: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

Nice and a creative use of found items. Good job!
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bugvert
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PostPosted: Wed Feb 27, 2019 11:09 am    Post subject: Re: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

Nice Job! Applause
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MrGoodtunes
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 12:41 pm    Post subject: Re: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

Thanks for the kind comments.

calebmelvin wrote:
... Did you paint it?

Does gray primer count?

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BTW @ Caleb, thoroghly enjoying your vintage buggy pics. Thanks for sharing your collection.
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Wetstuff
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PostPosted: Thu Feb 28, 2019 1:30 pm    Post subject: Re: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

Nice one, Tunes. ...'special thanks for the instructions.


Jim
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MrGoodtunes
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 31, 2020 11:29 am    Post subject: Re: Building a Custom High-Mounted Center Stop Light Reply with quote

Oops, please ignore (senior moment).
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