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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, So I recently swapped my Third Brake light bulbs for even brighter LEDs, with good results.

I figured this time around I'd snap some pics, thanks to the unique way Pontiac set up the third brake light bulbs.

Although I used LEDs the steps are the same for regular bulbs.

This is the replacement bulb you would normally use:

The actual bulbs are a bit larger than this, Same socket size but larger bulb.

So first off, once you remove the third brake light and the rear cover to it, this is what you'll see. Three plastic sockets that hold the bulbs:


Simply twist each socket and remove it. Once out you'll have something like this:


You just need to cut the little wires at the base to remove it from the socket.
I've placed red lines where you should cut:


Here's what you get.


(Please excuse all the excess solder. I tried soldering my new bulbs in, but it doesn't take to the metal in the socket)

So now that the old bulb is removed, it's time to prep the new bulb to be installed. Here's an LED that looks similar to regular bulbs on the socket side:


You simply just need to pull both wires so they're sticking straight out:


NOTE: The regular bulbs have a kind of looped wire, I recommend cutting one end and pulling it straight to make it longer, make sure not to cut the end going to the filament in the bulb.

After you've got the bulb ready you can just pop it into the socket.


And just bend each wire over each tab on the sides of the socket:



Now at this point I'll take some needle nose pliers to try and pull the wire tighter to lock it into the socket piece. I believe there is a small split in the center of that tab that the wire can be pulled into to ensure a tight secure connection. You can try soldering but the socket doesn't take it too well. With enough persistence I'm sure you can make it work.

Hope this helps someone out there!
Any questions, comments or concerns please feel free to post or PM me.
 

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Moderator Member Thingy
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Very nice write up. Mind sharing a link of where you got the bulbs? Any pictures of the final result?
 

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Discussion Starter #3
I originally put these LEDs in:

http://www.amazon.com/INSTRUMENT-CLUSTER-MARKER-BUMPER-BRIGHT/dp/B007OZH1TC/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1355193101&sr=8-1&keywords=red+194+leds



But because I have a Dark Smoke vinyl on the third brake light I needed something brighter. So I went to V-Leds.com (Lot's of good High power LEDs)

http://www.v-leds.com/RED-4-LED-2W-HIGH-POWER-p7982925-1-2.html
These are forward firing 2w bulbs, I was worried the beam would be too narrow. But no issues, illuminates the entire housing evenly.

The first bulbs I showed will fit right in with the above directions I posted.
The brighter ones I just got from V-Leds required some modding. If you look in the picture there are no wire leads coming from it, So I soldered some small bits of wire to each of them, but that made the base wider and therefore wouldn't fit into the sockets very well, so I had to cut away some plastic inside the socket and force the bulbs in. They sat pretty nice and firm in there but I was worried about them getting loose so I locked em in with some super glue.


As for pics I already re-installed it in my car, but I suppose I could pull it out again for some pics. Did you want to see how the bulbs sat in the housing for the end result? Or did you just want to see how it illuminates?
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #4
Here's a shot of the third brake light with the sun shining into it, This is the worst case scenario where it wouldn't be visible.


 

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Moderator Member Thingy
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Thanks for the info. Ill keep this in mind if mine ever go out.
 

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Premium Member
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Discussion Starter #7
Oh yea v-leds changed all that up a short while back... I'll have to update that link.
Its a 194 bulb
 
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