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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #1
Your 3rd brake light on your 451 is lit up with a single bulb.




I decided to upgrade mine to LED's so that ALL my bulbs in Max would be LED's. I went to e-bay and bought a pack of ten LED's for $2.99 with free shipping. They can be had in colors, but I opted for white for this application.




I also opted to cover my 3rd brake light lense in a custom carbon fiber decal that can be bought on e-bay for under $7.




To gain access to the interior of the light assembly I used a Dremel tool with an abrasive sandpaper cutting wheel to carefully cut the top off the assembly. I then removed the metal heat shield from the original bulb. The heat shield protected the surrounding plastic from heat damage from the bulb.




The LED's I had chosen to use were intended to be plugged into a socket such as the old style dashboard lights, but for this application I soldered wires to the terminals noting correct polarity.




After soldering the wires I used black electrical tape to protect the connections.




I then calculated how much area of the red lense would actually have to be lit up according the the carbon fiber decal that I was going to overlay. So I decided I would use 7 LED's total. One would be on the original bulb socket and I would then evenly group 3 LEDs on each side of that to make the 7 LEDs total. So I made up the first group of 3 with only enough wire on the leads to allow them to be evenly spaced out.




I then tested the group of 3 to be sure I had ther polarity right and they would actually work.




After making 2 sets of triple bulbs I laid a group of three on each side of the original bulb housing.




I then used a hot glue gun to glue all 6 bulbs in place, seeing that each one was properly spaced from side to side and that they were all even relative to the red lense they would be shining through.

 

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King of Smart Gadgetry
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Discussion Starter #2
This is what it looks like with all the side LED's on place.




I then replaced the metal heat shield even though it isn't needed anymore, but it does give structural support.




I then joined the leads of both sets of three LED's and pressed the wires into the socket from the original bulb holder and then I inserted the 7th LED into the socket to hold the wire tight, paying attention to the proper polarity.




A quick battery test confirms that all 7 LED's are in fact working.


I cleaned up the edges so that I could now glue the original top back on the light assembly.




This is what the LED's looked like before the carbon fiber decal was applied. The LED's are actually much brighter than show up in this picture.




This is what the assembly looked like after I applied the carbon fiber decal. I used a hair dryer on LOW heat setting sparingly to stretch or shrink somewhat the decal. The decal is a little bit fragile so one must always use care and patients when applying, especially with small amounts of heat.




Here's what the finished product looked like.






So with just a few hours work, $3 worth of LEDS and a $7 decal you can transform your 3rd brake light too. My apologies for the somewhat shakey pictures. DCO
 

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Wow. My dremel and soldering skills are such that I'd need a replacement light, and just end up putting it back stock!

Awesome!!!! And thanks for sharing!
 
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