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  #1  
Old 01-09-2013, 04:23 PM
Yadkin Yadkin is offline
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Default Third brake light for my 64

I'd like to install one inside the rear window grill. Has anyone done this?

I think the low section in the center would be a great location. I'm trying to figure out where to buy the bulbs.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:46 PM
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Bulbs?
This is a perfect application for a few LEDs and a resistor (to lower the voltage to 3-volts). Or you could get the bulbs that are already made up for 12-volts.

LED's require .02-amps/each; twenty of them draw less than 1/2-amp (.02 X 20 =.4-amps. This is NO strain on your brake switch.

The green wire going to your turn signals (at the base of your steering column) is the brake light switch wire. Tap into that and run a small wire to your package tray. If you add a fuse, this is the place to put it. 5-amps is plenty to protect the wire and it is a common size.

You need a ground wire to complete the circuit. So, pick a convenient location where you can screw into sheet metal inside your trunk, and connect a ground wire for your light.

The rest is easy and you can be as creative as you like. Some folks buy 12" light strips but I prefer making my own mounting board inside an existing oem shell. Simply connect four LEDs in a series for each row, and parallel the rows together to your supply wires. They really do look impressive.

These very bright LEDs are on sale for $.09/each from Marlin Jones. (I get them by the hundreds.) They also sell cheaper (low-light) ones in a bag of 100 for two bucks.

I hope this helps. - Dave
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Old 01-10-2013, 12:21 AM
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I just ordered 100. Thanks Dave. Once I solder them together and set them in the lower slot I'll need to pour in a clear resin to keep them in place and make a lens. Any suggestions on what to use?
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:08 AM
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Oh, you're going to love these lights as they are REAL bright (maybe even too bright, if there is such a thing). LED's are made with epoxy because it just works. If you want to get fancy, you can drill holes in thin plexiglas. Paint the back of it black and form it to the shape you want. Then tape a side around the piece, poke the LED's into the holes, and pour clear epoxy around the tops of them (filling the void). Let the domed 'lens' stick out a little if you want them to each look 'defined'.

Play with a couple and notice the different effects; use sand paper to scuff the top of one and notice how it difuses the light. If a few were sanded (difused) and completely covered in epoxy, much of the light will go sideways causing a halo around each LED, throughout the epoxy.

If they are too bright, try five or six LEDs in a series. Then put them across your car battery with the engine running (because the battery charges at 13.5-volts).

LED's cannot take more than 5-volts if hooked up in reverse, or they will burn out. So, make a small 'test power supply' from two AA cells (3-volts) in a battery holder. Test each LED before soldering for correct polarity and function. If you get your test wires backwards, no problem.

Another 'test' device can be a cigar lighter plug with two power test wires coming out. Some of these plugs hold a fuse (to protect your dash wires). Test a row of LEDs with this.

Your Center Brake Light is only limited by your imagination. You can personalize it by showing symbols, initials, or whatever. Good luck and keep us up with your progress by taking pictures! Above all, have fun with this project. - Dave
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Old 01-10-2013, 08:35 AM
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I'm in Florida now so don't have access to the grill, but I'm thinking of making a form out of epoxy (?) in the grill by spraying it with plasti-dip then pouring the stuff in. Then I'll pop it out' grind the surface flat and drill a line of holes.
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Old 01-10-2013, 02:46 PM
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We have to run a hi-stop (3rd brake-light) here in NZ for all vehicle first registered after a certain date (mid 80's or similar).

The trouble with by '66 was not fitting the hi-stop but where to run the wire from it.

In a normal car you would drill a tiny hole in the rear tray/parcel shelf whatever you call it - but of course in our squarebirds there's a whopping vent system in the way!

So I ran the wire from the light over the outside of the speaker area in the centre and out through the arm-rest slot. UGG-LEE!


Other squarebirds here have the same set-up

So I would be real keen to know of a better/tidier system
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:18 AM
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Scummy, LEDs can use real tiny wires! I would use the top moulding screws to anchor a 'light bar' and run the wires behind the moulding, all the way down. You can even pick up your ground back there from a moulding screw hole. I think you get the idea.

Now that you only have one tiny wire, use a putty knife to tuck it in-between the package tray and the side of your headliner. Then, go into the trunk area. Put a 1/2-amp fuse on that wire in the trunk, so the wire doesn't become the fuse.

It should look very clean with no exposed wires.

Yadkin, I didn't explain something right... I meant to say, use a flat piece of plexiglas and trim the edges to fit the contour of the housing that it's going into. Before pouring epoxy, tape a 'wall' around the edge to hold the epoxy. I'm also reminded that hot-melt glue works very well to temporarily hold the LEDs in place, like from the back side. You can glue a couple mounting tabs behind it too.

Working with low voltage and low amperage is a treat because you can use any kind of wire you want and insulation can be real thin (like varnished coil wire from Radio Shack). LEDs never get hot so they can be mounted in plastic, wood, fiberglas, styrofoam, shirtboard, or anything. Now they have conductive paint, so you can mount LEDs on your clothes! I have an idea about mounting LEDs in two common plastic drinking straws using a paper punch but I haven't 'mastered' it yet. - Dave
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Old 01-11-2013, 04:53 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by simplyconnected View Post
Scummy, LEDs can use real tiny wires! I would use the top moulding screws to anchor a 'light bar' and run the wires behind the moulding, all the way down. You can even pick up your ground back there from a moulding screw hole. I think you get the idea.

Now that you only have one tiny wire, use a putty knife to tuck it in-between the package tray and the side of your headliner. Then, go into the trunk area. Put a 1/2-amp fuse on that wire in the trunk, so the wire doesn't become the fuse.

It should look very clean with no exposed wires.

Dave
I'll look into it Dave - although legally the hi-stop has to be an 'approved' item with the correct numbers etc - but I suspect my Warrant of Fitness check man will be more practical than pedantic..;-)
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Old 01-11-2013, 12:32 PM
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Dog, here in NC we have a one time inspection as part of a state transfer of a classic vehicle. I don't know if a third light is req'd, I rather doubt it. I just want one for safety, and because the rear grill has such a natural location for it.

Since my interior is currently stripped out now I'll have no problem hiding wires. I will probably power this new lamp directly from the rear brake harness.

I plan on installing a sequential tail light unit at the same time.

Dave, that's a good idea with the plexiglass. I have some smoke stock that will work well for that.
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Old 01-11-2013, 03:25 PM
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Yadkin, be careful with picking up wires from your bulb area. You don't want this light flashing with your turn signals or mixing with the other side.

Simply adding diodes won't help, either. That's why I suggest you pick up your brake wire at the steering column. It comes straight from your brake switch.

If you pull a new wire from under your dash, pull a spare with it for future use. You can use the spare later for constant power to feed relays, your sequential switch, trunk light, or a host of things. If hindsight is 20/20, foresight is 40/40. - Dave
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