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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 01-30-2019, 05:41 AM
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Default Third brake light?

One of my fears when I drive my Cobra is getting rear ended because the car is so low that visibility of the brake lights isn't that good and most people are barely paying attention. I was thinking about installing a very discreet third brake light in the roll-bar. I found a 3/4" LED with a smoked finish so it basically looks black when its off. I think having that little extra alert to other drivers up higher will make me feel a bit better but I'm worried it's going to look hokey. I'm sure someone out there has done something like this, any input or opinions would be appreciated.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:18 AM
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I have seen a few of these. Some guys have drilled holes into their roll bars and inserted red LED’s and they are bright. The nicest third light I have seen was out of Australia if I recall. Low profile and installed just behind the seats before the trunk between the stripes of you have them.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:39 AM
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I share your concern. I've also considered a third brake light, but struggle with the aesthetics. I won't have a roll bar on my new street 427, so the light bar would need to mount on the cowl behind the seats. I picked up something from Northern Tool, but it leaves a lot to be desired in appearance. If you have a link for the Australian light mfgr it would be appreciated.

I think the biggest thing that will help visibility from the rear is LED tail and brake lights. I have them on my SPF and they really help.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:40 AM
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Depending on your roll bar they can look good and work great. We have had several here that have roll bars that go all the way across the car to the passenger side and they installed them in the center of the roll bars and they are very good. One person that had the old original type of roll bar installed a steel plate that bolted to the roll bar and the light was extended out over the center of the car. I never really liked that set up but it worked and others thought it was good.

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Old 01-30-2019, 07:53 AM
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Default Yes, it's been done...

Quote:
Originally Posted by rads42 View Post
One of my fears when I drive my Cobra is getting rear ended because the car is so low that visibility of the brake lights isn't that good and most people are barely paying attention. I was thinking about installing a very discreet third brake light in the roll-bar. I found a 3/4" LED with a smoked finish so it basically looks black when its off. I think having that little extra alert to other drivers up higher will make me feel a bit better but I'm worried it's going to look hokey. I'm sure someone out there has done something like this, any input or opinions would be appreciated.
I did this about ten years ago. Somewhere on this forum there is a detailed thread on how I did it, the parts, etc. What's interesting is the history behind the TBL. When it first came out, and was tested in New York City, it reduced rear enders significantly. BUT, that trend slowly disappeared and the statistics returned to normal after the widespread adoption of the TBL. Not having one though is clearly a downside especially if you have a turn signal on as well. In that case you're only going to have that one dim brake light on the side that you're not flashing. That light is a high-intensity red LED bar designed for motorcycles, if I remember correctly. It works quite well and also has a "dim function" that comes on with the normal running lights. Yessirreee, that's a beautiful installation. If you didn't know, you'd swear it was OEM.

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Last edited by patrickt; 01-30-2019 at 07:58 AM..
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:07 AM
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And here's the detailed "how to do it" thread: 3rd Brake Light/Running Light - Detailed Instructions & Part Numbers ("Chas. Runner")
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:45 AM
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Here is the one I referenced in my reply that is from Australia. Itís Hella part 5242 and Iíll post a couple pics of it installed and painted.

https://www.autoelecwarehouse.com.au...12V-p/5242.htm




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Old 01-30-2019, 08:50 AM
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With my West Coast Cobra I was able to mount an LED strip on the bottom surface of the full-width roll bar. It's effective and relatively hard to see unless you're looking for it.

For those willing to drill holes, take a look at the 3rd brake lights used by Mazda for the MX-5 / Miata. In particular look at 2008 and 2016 generations. The latter appears lower and wider then the former - pick your poison.
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Old 01-30-2019, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I did this about ten years ago. Somewhere on this forum there is a detailed thread on how I did it, the parts, etc. What's interesting is the history behind the TBL. When it first came out, and was tested in New York City, it reduced rear enders significantly. BUT, that trend slowly disappeared and the statistics returned to normal after the widespread adoption of the TBL. Not having one though is clearly a downside especially if you have a turn signal on as well. In that case you're only going to have that one dim brake light on the side that you're not flashing. That light is a high-intensity red LED bar designed for motorcycles, if I remember correctly. It works quite well and also has a "dim function" that comes on with the normal running lights. Yessirreee, that's a beautiful installation. If you didn't know, you'd swear it was OEM.

I like that a lot and would certainly go with that, but my 'centre-mounted stop lamp' is required due to the fact my car was built in 1991 and therefore required to have the same as required for new vehicles at that time. Among other things, the minimum installation height is 860-864mm (depending upon which legislation / regulations one reads) or 34". License plate lights on our cars are significantly lower, so that's a no-go for the vehicle safety inspectors around here. B**tards!
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Old 01-30-2019, 10:12 AM
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I am thinking of putting a brake light and turn signals on my full width roll bar. Turn signals from the front and a daytime running light too perhaps. Maybe I can put them on magnets and just unplug them if I want to look really nice.

The last thing I want is a lifted F250 running over my back end.
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:37 PM
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I wonder if something like this on the rear downtube of the roll bar would look okay? It's a pretty low risk move because it can be easily removed and there's no drilling. I can just run the wires right in to the trunk. It's only 4.5" long, I just wish it came in a smoked lens version.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...ustomerReviews
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Old 01-30-2019, 12:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rads42 View Post
I wonder if something like this on the rear downtube of the roll bar would look okay?
I don't think that would look good. Plus, I think most regs require the lights to be symmetrical, with the same lights on each side of the car, unless it's the the TBL in the middle. Having one light strip on only one side of the car would confuse stupid people behind you.
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Old 01-30-2019, 01:16 PM
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I agree with Patrick. Some more ideas.





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Old 01-30-2019, 03:02 PM
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Patrick's "Close Encounters of the Third Brake Light"
He really wows 'em at the local cruise-in on Friday nights.
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:43 PM
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I think you stole that line from me.
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:49 PM
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I've stolen everything.
Except for that pic. That's mine.
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Old 01-30-2019, 03:59 PM
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Wouldn't you two feel better about yourselves if you simply said "Patrick's fabricating skills are clearly top-notch. Alas, if only we were half as good as he."
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Old 01-30-2019, 04:13 PM
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Fabricating threads? Sure.

Third brake-lights? Check.
Cake sprinkles bottle/catch can? Check.
Car cocoon? Check.
Turkey pans with metal spring garter belts? Check.

Who knows how many I'm missing.
I miss Chas.
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Old 01-30-2019, 06:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by patrickt View Post
I don't think that would look good. Plus, I think most regs require the lights to be symmetrical, with the same lights on each side of the car, unless it's the the TBL in the middle. Having one light strip on only one side of the car would confuse stupid people behind you.
Regulations here (Canada) require the "centre-mounted stop lamp" to be centred laterally on the vehicle.
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Old 01-30-2019, 08:00 PM
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This is what a friend did on his TC....




It's just leather-strapped onto his spare tyre. Not suggesting that you strap a spare onto the rear of your Cobra, but just saying that the period-correct solution can take a little contemplation and 'chewing the fat' sometimes before it becomes apparent.

More info: it's a '70s motorcycle tail/stop light, and it looks OK

Cheers!
Glen
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