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  • Brakes: Third brake lights


    So a friend just got rear-ended by a distracted driver. Modern car with built in 3rd brake light, but sometimes you can't fix stupid.


    Still, who has installed a good, bright third brake light without it being obvious or out of character? Mine is a P2 bed Champ, but that's not that important.

    Blinking would be great, but leaving the stock lights functional.

    What works?
    Ron Dame
    '63 Champ

  • #2
    I saw one the other day on a Subaru, it blinked when he hit the brakes three or four times and then solid. It was very noticeable even though it was below the bumper.Like a Formula one car. My friend that owns a shop fixing Austin Healeys put a third brake light on his between the trunk opening and back of the cockpit. The housing was painted the same color of his car and pretty flat, only noticeable when he hit the brakes and when the car was being judged. Points off for it and the rock chips on the front. He told them he actually "drives the car!"

    I installed one on my previous motorcycle. It mounted to the license frame, easy to reverse. Unfortunately, it's probably still attached to my totaled bike in the Yukon Territory.

    https://maxbilt.com/collections/trai...waAmwaEALw_wcB
    Last edited by Topper2011; 04-10-2021, 04:56 PM.

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    • #3
      Where would you like to put it?
      You will have to decide if you want one that is designed to go Inside the Rear Window or on the Outside of the Roof Overhang.

      The Higher, the better, because it MAY be visible Over or through the vehicle behind you, so you don't get hit by a Chain of Tailgaters.

      I hate to see the Road getting clogged with tall SUV's, Pickups and now SUPER tall Sprinter Type Vans, we were much safer a few years ago when everyone drove a Sedan you could see through.
      Last edited by StudeRich; 04-10-2021, 05:44 PM.
      StudeRich
      Second Generation Stude Driver,
      Proud '54 Starliner Owner

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      • #4
        Ron, I have a Brakelighter third brake light on my '54 Sedan, and have been very happy with it. In fact, I'm just finishing up a video on it, maybe tomorrow it will be posted.
        Paul
        Winston-Salem, NC
        Visit The Studebaker Skytop Registry website at: www.studebakerskytop.com

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        • #5
          I just ordered one of these as an experiment.

          https://www.ebay.com/itm/GS-100A-Fla...r=652306125815
          RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

          17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
          10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
          10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
          4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
          5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
          56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
          60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

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          • #6
            Originally posted by Ron Dame View Post
            but sometimes you can't fix stupid.
            Never, in my experience.
            RadioRoy, specializing in AM/FM conversions with auxiliary inputs for iPod/satellite/CD player. In the old car radio business since 1985.

            17A-S2 - 50 Commander convertible
            10G-C1 - 51 Champion starlight coupe
            10G-Q4 - 51 Champion business coupe
            4H-K5 - 53 Commander starliner hardtop
            5H-D5 - 54 Commander Conestoga wagon
            56B-D4 - 56 Commander station wagon
            60V-L6 - 60 Lark convertible

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by RadioRoy View Post
              I just ordered one of these as an experiment.

              https://www.ebay.com/itm/GS-100A-Fla...r=652306125815
              It works good Roy. I've got one on the third brake light I added to my GT and on the third brake light on my dads '53 Coupe too. I also put one on the brake light of my Harley. Keep in mind it is for LED lights, as all of ours are. They've been working fine for around four years now. Ours blink four times fast , four times slow, then go solid. For our third brake lights we also had to add a logic circuit to separate the turn and brake functions.

              On my dads '53, he mounted his third brake light inside the rear window at the roof. Its pretty small , around 5/8" x 4" long but very bright. Mine is mounted inside the rear window at its bottom edge just above the deck lid, it's a bout 3/4" x 10" long.
              Click image for larger version  Name:	IMG_3567mod.jpg Views:	0 Size:	53.9 KB ID:	1889475
              Last edited by bensherb; 04-11-2021, 03:22 AM.

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              • #8
                So it does not have any impact on the standard brake lights, like needing them to be LED? (might do that anyway)
                Ron Dame
                '63 Champ

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                • #9
                  Nothing will help!!! Third brake lights were originally intended for someone mildly zoned out/distracted/lost in their thoughts.

                  You can add a light-up billboard to the back of your vehicle but even a person with the best vision possible will not see it while looking down at their CELL PHONE!
                  John Clary
                  Greer, SC

                  SDC member since 1975

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                  • #10
                    A ton of truth in what John said. While a third brake light might help so there's no harm in installing one the statistics show that about 1/3rd of all accidents are rear end collisions. I would suspect that number would be much lower if those bright lights on the back of all modern cars were effective.

                    Bob

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                    • #11
                      True John and Bob, but I have to try!
                      Ron Dame
                      '63 Champ

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                      • #12
                        I think that adding a CHMSL is a good idea, especially if your stop lights are small.
                        I have been in two accidents in the past 20 years. In both cases, I was hit in the rear while I was stopped in a line of cars and in both cases I was driving a modern car with good lights, including a CHMSL. In the most recent one, the car that hit me was a quite new car that was probably totaled (smashed the front end all up around the engine) and the young female driver had her phone on the seat next to her.
                        Gary L.
                        Wappinger, NY

                        SDC member since 1968
                        Studebaker enthusiast much longer

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by jclary View Post
                          Nothing will help!!! Third brake lights were originally intended for someone mildly zoned out/distracted/lost in their thoughts.

                          You can add a light-up billboard to the back of your vehicle but even a person with the best vision possible will not see it while looking down at their CELL PHONE!
                          I agree (in many cases). My wife was rear ended in our Oldsmobile while stopped for a car waiting in front of her to turn left. A 19yo male (Are you starting to smell trouble here?) rear ended her while reaching down to find the cigar lighter he had dropped on the floor. He couldn't have seen her car at all. There were no skid marks.

                          I would certainly agree, however, that Studebakers with weak taillights/stoplights should at least improve their visibility with LED lights and better reflective coatings. The Avanti fits in this category.
                          -Dwight

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                          • #14
                            My buddy and I were rear ended in his 61 Pontiac Ventura. We were stopped at a red light, the 65 Caddy did not. The grandmother behind the wheel was distracted by her grand kids in the backseat. She never hit the brakes. While in my work utility truck, our exit lane was getting cut off by the folks in the left lane making last minute lane switches to get into our exit lane, so we slowed quickly. The Suburban behind me did not. Again, the driver was bringing the kids to school and was distracted by them. Again, she never hit the brakes. One of our guys was rear ended in his utility truck by a bobtail beer truck. He was on disability for a year and suffers from vertigo from hitting his head on the back window, shattering the glass. I always make sure the head rest was set to my height. I am adding a 3rd eye brake lamp and seats with headrests. As soon as I figure out how to mount the upper anchor for 3 point seat belts, they are going in as well.

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                            • #15
                              When I built my '63 Cruiser a couple decades ago I installed a cheap third light from J.C. Whitney in the back window and thought it looked correct and functioned well. And the lens could be adjusted to match the angle of the window.
                              The wire was pretty small and was able to thread it under the package shelf without making any holes.
                              "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

                              Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
                              Pine Grove Mills, Pa.
                              '33 Rockne 10,
                              '51 Commander Starlight,
                              '53 Commander Starlight "Désirée",
                              '56 Sky Hawk

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