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Technical Third Brake Light

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BoilermakerDave, May 12, 2018.

  1. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 2,710

    from IRELAND

    I agree ,but I prefer led bulbs in stock tail lights
  2. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,456


    You make a very valid point.
    Last week I followed my friends ‘34 coupe with flush mounted ‘48 ford tail lights, and in daylight, I could not see them come on when he braked.
  3. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,213


    upload_2018-5-16_5-23-59.png stock

    When I got my first 1940 Ford Sedan Delivery, it was my new surf vehicle. It started up on the first crank, the headlights worked, the brakes stopped, and our stuff easily fit in the back. So, just about everything was overlooked as far as safety brake lights were concerned. As long as it worked and threw a red light to the rear, it was fine. Teenage lifestyle back then was drive and go… “Cut the cord…Drive your Ford…”
    Many years later, when we bought our 2nd 40 Ford Sedan Delivery, things started to pop out at us while enjoying the cruising lifestyle. I noticed them, but my wife started to complain about various 40 Ford Sedan Delivery drawbacks...
    upload_2018-5-16_5-25-18.png Long Beach front yard
    We were now, somewhat responsible, 20 somethings with the whole world ahead of us…So, the ever present blind spot in the sedan deliveries of all types started to get to us. Also, at night, walking around the car in a dark street, we noticed that one rear brake light was not much in the way of “noticing” us at an upcoming stop. A second brake light (a pair of Blue dots) was in the works on the both sides of the rear door.

    Then life caught up and we sold the sedan delivery to get a single family house with a yard. So, no more worries about being noticed from the following cars and trucks.

    Now, the USA-German-made cars had brighter and larger brake lights and that provided enough “noticing” power. Later on, our first “family new car” actually had a 3rd brake light and that changed the whole way of noticing the car in front of you when stopping.


    Thinking back to the 40 Ford Sedan Deliveries, definitely, the second taillight/brake light (blue dots) would help. But up in that small, rear window, something could be installed there to ward off the tailgaters. That small window was almost useless as it was too high and the view was certainly limited. The very small round outside mirrors allowed rear sight, but not much when necessary.
    upload_2018-5-16_5-26-28.png 12 inch version
    So, a thin, bright bar light across the bottom (and inside the window) would be perfect for a third brake light without ruining the style of the sedan delivery. It would not be noticeable until the brake pedal was pushed and the bright light came on for the warning. The second standard round brake light on the right side could still be used for symmetry, but that is personal choice. These lights could be mounted inside of the rear window, so as to keep the 40 fanatics at bay.
    upload_2018-5-16_5-27-33.png 15-17 inch version
    A triangle of lights is what most people are used to seeing at night. Unless of course you are following a new Volvo SUV with their crazy taillight/brake light set up.

    The perfect set up, LED top light bar, the second right hand blue dot brake light to round out the triangle safety awareness. When the row of lights are not on, it should disappear behind the rear door glass, for the traditionalists. But, whether locally legal or not, those blue dot lenses also give the drivers behind, an extra notice of awareness.
    Today, (if we had another 40 Ford Sedan Delivery), the look would be two rear brake lights(blue dots or not) plus a bright light bar inside of the rear door window. Triangle power…
    Ron Funkhouser likes this.
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 2,422


    When I built my convertible I installed one on it. I didn't want it to stand out like a sore thumb and used one from a late model suburban. It mounted above the rear doors, and was plastic. It fit the curve of the trunk lid, painted it to match the color of the car. It is a bright light but blends in so it really isn't very noticeable.
  5. patmanta
    Joined: May 10, 2011
    Posts: 3,746

    from Woburn, MA

    I do not, I still haven't bought them, but I have some of the amber singles in my pile somewhere.
  6. iafraser39
    Joined: Aug 2, 2009
    Posts: 166

    from Warmland

    for those folks that want a third brake light that gets your attention by flashing a few times before it lights up steady, the street rod shop in Camas, WA has a brake attention module that you wire in to
    your brake pressure switch. Price around $15.00 and is well worth it in my opinion.
    patmanta likes this.
  7. I don't like 3rd brake lights but your Shure SM55 is good.
  8. pragmatist
    Joined: Jul 5, 2010
    Posts: 49


    The greatest benefit of a third light is so the person in the car two cars back can see you brake before having to see the car in front brake.
    tb33anda3rd, Texas57 and seb fontana like this.
  9. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,213


    upload_2018-5-21_3-58-25.png upload_2018-5-21_4-21-58.png 1958

    What classic car has a built in design, just ready made for some custom lights? Why, my old friend, the 1958 Impala, of course. It is one of the only designs that comes with a piece that could incorporate small LED lights in the provided spaces.
    upload_2018-5-21_4-20-31.png upload_2018-5-21_4-20-19.png
    We all know that a very popular thing to do was to replace the white center light lens with all red lenses. Then it was re-wired to have all 6 red lights stay on during night driving with the standard headlights. Finally, all 6, brighter, red lights came on when the brakes were applied. So, the rear was fairly covered in the dark or while running.

    The roof accessory could have clear lenses with red inserts, so as to make it fairly invisible to the passerby. Most people are amazed that a cool looking, 58 Chevy Impala is still on the road. Unless the Impala is in a car show strictly for stock classic cars, the clear frosted lenses would show the car as stock.


    upload_2018-5-21_4-17-44.png Lions Dragstrip 1959
    The triangle that most current drivers are accustomed to seeing daily is still intact, but now, the classic car stands out a little more during the day and night. Six red running lights plus the third brake light…that is a lot of red showing towards the back.

    What about the white back up light that disappeared when the 5 and 6th red light lens was put on the set? A small white back up light above the license plate satisfies all DMV regulations.

    upload_2018-5-21_4-28-16.png HS weekly newspaper, 1962
    tb33anda3rd and catdad49 like this.
  10. dirty old man
    Joined: Feb 2, 2008
    Posts: 8,912

    dirty old man

    My '31 Hiboy roadster has a louvered deck lid and I have seven red led lights set in the top row of louvers back inside the louvers. Almost invisible until brakes are applied.
    My '40 Ford deluxe coupe has led reproduction Chevrons on both sides with a flasher that blinks twice before it comes on steady when you apply brakes. Car has stock tag bracket and I've purchased 2 ea. 5/8"X 4" led bars that I plan to mount on the bracket so as to let them peek up over the tag, one on each side of the little black 1/2" lens for the back up camera that is under the dash.
    Yeah, I know the 3rd brake light ain't traditional nor is the back up camera, but I'm more worried about getting hit or backing into something, since at age of 80 my neck ain't as limber as it once was and a '40 coupe has very poor rear visibility.
    47ragtop, Finn Jensen and TagMan like this.
  11. nunattax
    Joined: Jan 10, 2011
    Posts: 2,710

    from IRELAND

    you gotta move with the times or you will be driving a short wheel base motor
  12. 3rd brake 4.JPG
    My 34 with 6V & using a converter for the 12V led brake lights. I also have the same setup on my 32 roadster.
    Followed a gas driven golf cart to fetch the mail this AM in my 32 roadster. When we got to the mail boxes I told the golfer fellow that I thought his brake lights did not work. He sez "Yeah I disconnected them." go figure that one out. We are not on a golf course. On my way to lunch to meet the wife I'm still driving the 32 & this blonde bimbo passes me in a school zone no less. I followed her to the doggie bathing parlor & tell her what she did was way wrong & she sez "Don't talk to me" & struts in to retrieve her poodle I would guess.
  13. gsnort
    Joined: Feb 5, 2008
    Posts: 250


    The original third brake lights in this thread are proof that some HAMB'rs are creative geniuses that deserve recognition.
    NashRodMan and robracer1 like this.
  14. Sheep Dip
    Joined: Dec 29, 2010
    Posts: 1,572

    Sheep Dip
    from Central Ca

  15. jnaki
    Joined: Jan 1, 2015
    Posts: 6,213


    El Camino
    upload_2018-5-30_6-32-48.png stock 1965 El Camino

    In thinking about our old 1965 red El Camino , the most obvious place for the red third light lens would be a small strip on the back of the cab, near the top. (A) That would make a perfect triangle with the stock brake lenses. But, we all know “things” go in the back of any El Camino, so those things would possibly make the third red light strip null or at lease block the brightness.
    A. upload_2018-5-30_6-35-45.png B. upload_2018-5-30_6-36-2.png
    C. upload_2018-5-30_6-36-18.png D. upload_2018-5-30_6-36-37.png
    When we had two 250cc Greeves Motorcycles in the back with tool boxes, coolers, chairs, etc. there were lots of blocked rear views while driving. So, in reverse, the people following may not be able to see the third light on the top rear of the cab.
    upload_2018-5-30_6-38-7.png 12 inch version
    upload_2018-5-30_6-38-24.png 15-17 inch
    The placement, without hindering the following cars’ vision of the 65 El Camino, and making a triangle is choice B. Most enthusiasts do not want to put any attachment on the paint (B), so the thin chrome tailgate strip is the logical place. As the accessories market has developed lights for any make or model of car, and not wanting anything attached to the chrome bar of the tailgate, choice (C) comes next. (D shows the lit up LED light strips with the standard brake light of the El Camino. Forming a reverse triangle if that is your taste.)


    2 out of 7 days would be for the active motorcycle in the pickup, bed user. (vision hindrance) So, the neatest installation would be at the top of the cab facing the rear bed. That would make a definite triangle for all to see, in the day and especially at night, during the daily drives.

    Most El Camino drivers do not drive around with a bunch of stuff in the rear bed to hinder the top light strip…so, “to each, his own…”
    upload_2018-5-30_6-39-54.png upload_2018-5-30_6-40-7.png
    It is also too bad someone does not make a RED, LED, Chevy El Camino tailgate emblem that is the third brake light. (Perfect for wiring and placement in the triangle.) Spare time in retirement for those creative custom hot rod guys and girls?
    For you blue “bowtie” fanatics, the red LED LIGHTS could be behind the thin, transparent blue lens to keep the BOWs happy.
    upload_2018-5-30_6-41-21.png as well as the red surrounding lenses.
  16. Can you tell me more about this? Like how it works or where to purchase?
    My F-1 pu (6v) could sure use some brighter brake lights.
  17. Just buy a drake or any brand stepup 6v to 12v converter on amazon & follow directions to hook it up. I use the 3rd brake light from a suburban from the junk yard
    RMR&C likes this.
  18. engine138
    Joined: Oct 5, 2007
    Posts: 2,051

    from Commack NY

    I turned my back ups to brake and turn cant be to careful to let those other guys know what your doing
    unnamed (15).jpg
    jnaki and tb33anda3rd like this.
  19. Nemosgarage
    Joined: Sep 21, 2009
    Posts: 134


    You can not have enough brake lights make the third brake light stand out your life may be depending on it. I am going to use an old fire truck stop light on the back of my 36 pick up.
  20. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,459


    Actually they weren't a third brake light, they were the only brake light!
  21. George
    Joined: Jan 1, 2005
    Posts: 7,459


    I'm sure that's the case. People noticed the extra light because they weren't used to seeing it there. A coworker back in the late 70s added little one inch round brake lights on the spring shackles on the raised ass end of his Chevy II, very noticeable despite their size because of the unique location.

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