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How do you wire a 3rd brake light?

Discussion in '3rd Gen. Tacomas (2016+)' started by remgu2000, Dec 4, 2017.

  1. Dec 4, 2017 at 5:34 PM
    #1
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 [OP] Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Used to have a 2017 Barcelona Red TRD Off-Road DCSB 4x4
    So I recently installed a bed rack and it covers my 3rd brake light. I'd like to attach one to the back of the bed rack. Any ideas how to tap from one of the tail lights?

    I'm thinking of getting this one. Does anyone know how the OEM brake lights' wiring work? If anyone knows of a better light, let me know.

    https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0172YG9BA/ref=abs_brd_tag_dp
    41xnXTgl+iL._SY400_.jpg
    41FNfA75ATL._SY400_.jpg
    I would like to place it under the Smittybilt plate below.
    20171202_134922.jpg
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2017
  2. Dec 4, 2017 at 5:41 PM
    #2
    1bad2k

    1bad2k Well-Known Member

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    Personally, I wouldn't hook up the low power for a 3rd brake light. Just tap into what is powering your third brake light stock.
     
  3. Dec 4, 2017 at 5:50 PM
    #3
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 [OP] Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Hmm. You mean just have it remain off unless the brake light comes on?
     
  4. Dec 4, 2017 at 6:06 PM
    #4
    1bad2k

    1bad2k Well-Known Member

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    Yeah that's just personal preference though. You could use it as a running light if you prefer that. If so you could just hit the tail light harness for it.
     
  5. Dec 4, 2017 at 6:25 PM
    #5
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 [OP] Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Hmm. I think I will go your first route. Have it off until I apply the brakes. It will make the tapping easier and should look nice since it's smoked. I wish I could find a "better" quality one though.
     
  6. Dec 4, 2017 at 8:31 PM
    #6
    1bad2k

    1bad2k Well-Known Member

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    Have you already purchased that one? If not, Rigid makes one called a chase light that can light up white also so you could still use it as bed light like your stock one had. Not sure how much you wanna spend though, that one is a couple hundred bucks.
     
  7. Dec 5, 2017 at 4:23 AM
    #7
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 [OP] Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Yikes. Too rich for my blood. But I'll check it out maybe I'll give me some ideas.
     
  8. Dec 5, 2017 at 5:38 AM
    #8
    TC_Mic

    TC_Mic Well-Known Member

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    AMP Powerstep, UC Flex, bed lights, Opt7 Tailgate bar, black tailgate lettering Pending: re-configure tail light,s custom storage pocket bags, pinch weld painting, blackout badges, ......
    You might look at a 48" tailgate bar. There are a lot to choose from on Amazon. I have the Opt7 found here https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01HUJY0AO/ref=twister_B01HUJUF76?_encoding=UTF8&th=1 on my truck under the tailgate.

    An advantage is greater visibility as it would go the fill width of the rack and it has running, brake, blinker, and reverse function. You could easily just cut the running light wire so it only lights to signal an active function.

    There are cheaper options, but I have had good experiences with that particular brand. You can hard wire it or use a 4pin trailer plug. Instead if using the reverse light function as reverse you can wire it to your cargo light switch and use it for a nice added bed light.

    Just my .02. Good Luck!!
     
  9. Dec 5, 2017 at 6:55 AM
    #9
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 [OP] Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Thanks. Looks pretty neat. I don't know if I want to go that big though. I'll be hauling bicycles and kayaks and would probably end up hitting and busting it. It's something to think about though.
     
  10. Dec 5, 2017 at 7:17 AM
    #10
    bradshawnh

    bradshawnh ...to the rescue!

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    Keep in mind it's technically not legal to drive with your 3rd brake light (CHMSL) covered. The manufacturer put it there for a reason. Will you get stopped, probably not. But definitely should put a replacement up there.

    That style of light is commonly used on utility trailers and such, they are pretty rugged. If you want to spend a few more dollars and get the "name brand" and best quality version, use any one of these:
    https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lights/Optronics/STL79RB.html
    https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lights/Optronics/STL69RCB.html
    https://www.etrailer.com/Trailer-Lights/Optronics/STL69RB.html

    Now, for wiring. DO NOT wire in the tail light (reduced brightness) function of the new LED light. The 3rd brake light provides additional safety when you stop because of the contrast between it being either full off or full brightness. Mimic the operation of the factory 3rd brake light.

    Run 2 wires across and down to either rear tail light assembly. Tap the ground (black) wire from the new light into the white/black wire on your truck. Tap the red (stop/full brightness) wire from the new light into the LT BLUE (driver side) or BLUE (passenger side) wire behind your tail light.

    Done.
     
  11. Dec 5, 2017 at 8:27 AM
    #11
    remgu2000

    remgu2000 [OP] Keepin' on keepin' on.

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    Yup, that's why I definitely want to add it. Was just looking for something that would not break upon first contact with anything I'll be carrying. Thanks for the links and directions!
     
  12. Dec 5, 2017 at 8:40 AM
    #12
    Captqc

    Captqc Well-Known Member

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  13. Dec 5, 2017 at 9:02 AM
    #13
    TC_Mic

    TC_Mic Well-Known Member

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    I think you reinforced what @bradshawnh was saying about the 3rd brake light.;)

    I understand your warning that one should be sure they do not mod themselves into a violation of local,state, and federal laws.:thumbsup:

    Keep in mind, OP is trying to make sure he HAS a visible 3rd brake light. It does not appear that he has any intention or removing the 2 that are on the bed at all. :)
     
    remgu2000 [OP] likes this.
  14. Dec 5, 2017 at 9:05 AM
    #14
    TC_Mic

    TC_Mic Well-Known Member

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    AMP Powerstep, UC Flex, bed lights, Opt7 Tailgate bar, black tailgate lettering Pending: re-configure tail light,s custom storage pocket bags, pinch weld painting, blackout badges, ......
    :hattip:good that you are trying to maintain both legal status and visibility.

    We all see WAY too many :censored::censored: on the road that clearly do not care about safety and visibility. :crazy:
     
    remgu2000 [OP] likes this.

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