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Thread: High level LED brake lights and indicators

  1. #1 High level LED brake lights and indicators 
    club member Club Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Installed a 3rd level brake light 9 years back as a ‘temporary’ solution to make it clearer when I was using the brakes. I’ve been meaning to install something cleaner that’s not partly covered by the spare wheel cover. I’ve also noticed that my indictors could be clearer, people don’t seem to see them. This is either because they are quite low or the angle makes it more difficult to see them.
    I found some LED tail lights from the motor bike aftermarket made by Kellermann model Atto DF. There are versions that are brakes only but the ones I bought are tail, indictor and brake combined.





    The LED lights are very small, but very bright.





    Here’s one unit next to the regular rear lights.





    Bench testing the lights – they leave bright spot in your eyes!





    In order to mount these I dug into more of the motorbike aftermarket, ordering this bracket from https://www.hogparts.co.uk/

    – this is a P clamp made by Kuryakyn, and a Kellerman Atto rigid mounting M8 x 20mm which fits nicely into the P clamp. The clamp mounts to my seatbelt bar which is 1.25″ cold drawn steel. The aluminium spacer is removed to fit on the 1.25″ pipe.





    I also tried a Kellermann Bullet Atto extension 15mm to see what the lights were like a bit higher up – wasn’t needed to clear the spare wheel cover and didn’t look as good.





    The M8 bolts that came with the Kellerman M8 x 20mm where silver, so I dug out some more compact nuts and powder coated them gloss black.





    One came out perfect and one with a bit of chip, but you can’t see that when mounted.





    Test fit with all the parts









    The wires that come out the bottom are quite thin. To make these look nicer and protect them I covered them in shrink tube and zip tied them to the seatbelt bar and roll bar.





    To get the wires inside the tub I added a hole and rubber grommet big enough to put spade terminals through.





    The second stage of the projected required the entire boot area to be taken out so I could get to the rear wiring loom.





    This is the exposed loom, I spliced into to the tail lights, indictor left and indicator right. There was already a cable for the brake lights, plus an extra 12v+ and a ground.





    Put a PVC cover over the new wires, used shrink tubing and insulating tape to tidy up the loom. I added some weather sealed connectors at the other end.





    From the rear car loom into the tub I created a small loom just for the lighting cables. I left the ground separate so at a later date I can use it for also grounding an interior boot light. The 4 pin is all the rear light connections.





    I went a bit overboard and ran wires for the left and the right indictor to both sides – oops. Maybe some day I’ll need them.





    So one of the wires on each side is covered up. I used coloured shrink tube to make it easy to connect the spade terminals together correctly.




    I added a large hold in the side panel big enough to fit the 4 pin connectors through.





    The last part of the process was to tie up the cables along the top of the tub so they are not hanging down. Then mount all the rest of he boot interior panels and boot hatch back onto the car.

    The final result – nice and clear high level brake lights and as a bonus supplementary indictors.

    View here: https://youtu.be/Fof8zMXHaUI
    Last edited by Patrick; 20-06-2021 at 03:16 PM.
    BMW E30 Sportster 2005 - M20B28 - Build Log and Updates http://www.msportster.co.uk/
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  2. #2 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
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    I suspect the issue with your original indicators not being clearly seen may be due to the angle of the rear wing that they are installed on. Certainly they are not that easily seen in your video.
    2000 Marlin Cabrio LWB; 2.0 L Burton Pinto in Ford Nightfire Red with Magnolia leather interior.

    http://www.marlinownersclub.com/wppg...&image_id=2349
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  3. #3 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
    club member Club Member Patrick's Avatar
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    I'm still suprised they were SVG legal at that angle.
    BMW E30 Sportster 2005 - M20B28 - Build Log and Updates http://www.msportster.co.uk/
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  4. #4 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
    club member Club Member chris_cussen's Avatar
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    With a Cabrio not having a bar to mount the high level brake light onto I brought a standard aftermarket lamp. I used some hollow rectangular section aluminium extrusion and a couple of right angle stainless steel brackets. I made some plates and bonded them to the underside of the tub before fixing the brackets to the tub and adding the extrusion with the lamp mounted on top. The wires run through the extrusion and are not visible.
    The lamp does look a bit high but I wanted to make sure it was easily visible.
    IMG_20210621_134731_825.jpg
    Cabrio, Omex 2.0l 170bhp Zetec blacktop, Omex ECU and wiring loom.
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  5. #5 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
    club member Club Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Nice, works well

    Safety is the main reason I added the 3rd light, plus with the Sportster being so low it's at easier to see lights higher up.

    I had thought about trying to integrate into the tub but I'd rather avoid paint touchup if I can. I didn't want to change the angle of the main lights in the wings which also have involved paint plus changing the lines of the car.
    BMW E30 Sportster 2005 - M20B28 - Build Log and Updates http://www.msportster.co.uk/
    http://www.modelog.co.uk/
    http://www.mustang67.co.uk/
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  6. #6 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
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    Looks good Patrick, I've just done a high level brake light on mine, less concerned about the period styling!
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  7. #7 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
    club member Club Member Patrick's Avatar
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    Nice install, I like the brackets
    BMW E30 Sportster 2005 - M20B28 - Build Log and Updates http://www.msportster.co.uk/
    http://www.modelog.co.uk/
    http://www.mustang67.co.uk/
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  8. #8 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
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    Got some friends to design and 3d print them!
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  9. #9 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
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    My high level brake light
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  10. #10 Re: High level LED brake lights and indicators 
    club member Club Member Patrick's Avatar
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    nice, that clears the spare well
    BMW E30 Sportster 2005 - M20B28 - Build Log and Updates http://www.msportster.co.uk/
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