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replacing third brake light

Discussion in 'Stock 1995 - 2001 Explorers' started by Stazz75, April 23, 2012.

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    1. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Ok so the third brake light doesn't work on ly 97 xlt. How do i go about changing it? I looked and can't seem to figure out how the darn thing comes out. Can anyone help me with this?
       
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    3. MountainSplorer

      MountainSplorer Member

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      There's a thread with a how to in lighting. If not google will lead you to one on e how.com
       
    4. jremington59

      jremington59 Elite Explorer

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      Make sure it's the light before you change it. Check and see if there's power to the light with someone stepping on the brake peddle.
       
    5. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Ive already checked. Thats how i know it dont work. And i cant find crap this site thats why i posted a new thread and asked. So someone that can answer my question without telling me to go somewhere else please help..
       
    6. gonenuke

      gonenuke Active Member

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    7. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Ive already checked. Thats how i know it dont work. And i cant find crap this site thats why i posted a new thread and asked. So someone that can answer my question without telling me to go somewhere else please help..
       
    8. jremington59

      jremington59 Elite Explorer

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      So am I to assume there is power there? When you ask for help it's best to answer people questions as we don't know what has or hasn't been done.
       
    9. DaExplorer

      DaExplorer Elite Explorer

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      1st Try and listen to what people are asking you before you shoot back short answers. There are a LOT of great people on here with TONS of experiance and info. When someone asked if it was your light or if you had power They were asking great questions just needed a little more info.

      Your vehicle has the neon light $$$ which has a ballast $$ that makes it work. It is not as simple as replacing a tail light bulb.

      You have to remove the rear hatch pannel to access the cover over the ballast and you have to drill the pop rivits and temove the trim molding.


      There is a fuse in the fuse pannel, an inline fuse link before the Ballast. So if you look at this link
      http://www.explorerforum.com/forums/showthread.php?t=221741

      and look at #10 you can see how it is tested before the ballast. If you have power there then it is either the ballast or the neon bulb. Can't test the bulb without a good ballast. if you have no power there then you need to trouble shoot before that point.
       
    10. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      I havent figured this site out quite yet. I searched beforehand i posted and couldnt figure it out. And when you said to test it, i didnt realize what you were saying. Thanks for the info. I will check fuses and try to test and make sure there is power going to my ballast. I will let you know my results.. thanks!
       
    11. jremington59

      jremington59 Elite Explorer

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      It seems from my reading that more people have a problem with the power than they do a bad light. Another way to test is to take a battery lead and go directly to the light. If I remember you have to pop off the interior moulding in the back to access the wires and the light is on with rivets.
       
    12. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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    13. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Ok so i looked at the link DaExplorer posted. Thanks for that by the way, i cleaned the trailer connector as the thread you sent me to said. But still have no third brake light. The fuse in the dash is good. I dont have a tester to test and see if there is power. Im going to ask around and hopefully somebody i know has one i can use cuz im flat broke lol.. anybody know about how much the LED strip costs and where i can get one? Thinking it might be cheaper in the long run to do the conversion..lol
       
    14. jremington59

      jremington59 Elite Explorer

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      Even if you only buy a 2 dollar light up tester you can check for voltage. I wouldn't go buying a light yet. If you have a spare battery take it back there, take a couple strips of wire and wire directly to the light. That will tell you if the light works or not.

      If it is bad I knew a guy a while back that had one for a hundred dollars. I know they can be expensive so I don't know if thats a good price or not.
       
    15. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      I found one for $50 at a boneyard. But if it has to be replaced id rather just do the conversion...
       
    16. budwich

      budwich Well-Known Member

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      You got "no money" but you are willing to spend it before you following the suggestions about checking out the existing lamp by basically spending nothing. Take your battery out, carry to the back of your truck, get some lamp cord / cut an old extension cord / use jumper cables and see if your light will work directly BEFORE you spend your "no money".
       
    17. 2TimingTom

      2TimingTom Elite Explorer

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      I think I converted my 3rd brake light to LED for $20ish. And now the light should never go out again.
       
    18. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Budwich. Im sure if you had a baby on the way you would say you have no money also. We are trying to spend the least amount possible cuz we need it for baby stuff. Im trying to find a cord i can use to test and see if the light works or if it might be the ballast.. i finally figured out how to get the light out but one of the nuts is rusted and wont come out lol.. this has become a huge headache. It has to go to inspections soon therefore hopefully i can figure it out before then or im screwed lol..
       
    19. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Ok so i was ajle to borrow a tester. Theres power going into the ballast but i have no power comong out of it. Havent tested the bulb yet. Ill get to that soon.
       
    20. drbenz

      drbenz Active Member

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      Keep in mind that is a florecent bulb (as in high voltage) thats why it has a ballast, it can't be tested with 12v. The problem is more likely to be the ballast than the bulb but....
       
    21. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      Tested the light and nothing. Either its the light or drbenz is right about the battery not being aboe to push it. Looks like im doing a conversion..lol
       
    22. jremington59

      jremington59 Elite Explorer

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      If there's power going in but nothing coming out then you have a bad ballast. I wonder if they can be purchased seperately?

      Edit. I found the ballasts for 50 and here's an LED setup for 50.

      http://www.realbrightleds.com/
       
    23. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      I found the led strip on eBay for less than $10. Best product? Maybe not but it should work enough to pass inspection..
       
    24. drdoom

      drdoom Well-Known Member

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      Same here...got the part from superbrightleds.com, about fifteen dollars shipped.
      Let me know if you need the part number.
       
    25. Stazz75

      Stazz75 Member

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      So i finally got the led strip in that i purchased on ebay for $4.50. Bought some gorilla glue for about $3. Got the light removed which was a pain since i don't have a drill. Anyway, i got the strip installed and everything put back together. The light works, and looks great. Thanks for the link on the conversion. I wouldnt have been able to get it done without it. Ill try to get a pic uploaded so yall can see the results.. and if you were adding up my purchases, i did this with less than $10!

      Edit: can't figure out how to get a pic on here..lol
       
      Last edited: May 30, 2012

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