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Third brake light alternatives?

Discussion in '1st Gen Tundras (2000-2006)' started by Anonymitch, Aug 15, 2018.

  1. Aug 15, 2018 at 10:57 PM
    #1
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    Toytec 3" Aluminum spacers, Toytec Diff drop kit, Pro Comp Add-a-leaf
    So I've been doing some poking around, and I haven't found anyone talking about that melting third brake light assembly issue...

    For those who don't know, the standard incandescent bulbs are capable of getting hot enough to melt the plastic housing if left on long enough. If you work out of your truck like I used to do, you find yourself leaving the door open a lot while grabbing tools and whatnot. Most of you probably know that if the doors are open, the cargo lights are on. Although most of the damage done to my housing is in the cargo lights, its the center third brake light that has given up entirely. The heat has damaged the bulb socket to the point that the bulb just kinda slides in and out with no resistance. I currently have LEDs in the cargo lights to keep the heat down, but that doesn't change that fact that I need a new assembly in order for the brake light to function. You cannot buy just the wiring harness or housing direct from Toyota, you have to replace everything. I was quoted around $160. That is far more than any aftermarket I have found.

    So my question is this: Does anyone have a aftermarket third brake light that they really like? I haven't seen anything that I like with reviews that inspire confidence. I would really like a somewhat OEM look but unfortunately most of what I have found it super tacky and ricer looking (lots of god awful chrome). And the ones that look pretty close to original that I've found have pretty bad or mixed reviews. Have I hit a dead end? Is there actually something good out there?

    Thanks to everyone for reading and all input is greatly appreciated!
     
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  2. Aug 15, 2018 at 11:43 PM
    #2
    Casper421

    Casper421 Adventure in a 1st gen

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  3. Aug 15, 2018 at 11:45 PM
    #3
    Casper421

    Casper421 Adventure in a 1st gen

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    Welcome from CA btw.
     
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  4. Aug 16, 2018 at 3:16 AM
    #4
    Larmand

    Larmand SSEM #6

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    Changing the whole assembly is a PITA and you have to drop the rear headliner inside the cab to do so. I just went the same route you did and put LEDs, i have not looked for aftermarket options. Good luck with your search and journey of swapping it out. Also.

    Welcome to the party!!
     
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  5. Aug 16, 2018 at 3:21 AM
    #5
    ARES

    ARES ARES Fabrications

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  6. Aug 16, 2018 at 4:09 AM
    #6
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    I replaced with LEDs as well. Kept the original housing which looks fine. You can’t tell any damage unless you pull your cover. The LEDs work great. One thing I would recommend is your caulk up/water proof the light assembly where it dives into the cab.

    Pull it out slightly (do not force it all the way out as it will not go) and put a bead of silicone where the deteriorated rubber gasket is and then push back in. Once its in then put a bead along top and two sides making sure to not caulk the lens cover to assmbly body.

    The LEDs messed up my key fob distance of operation. I now need to be right up next to truck when operating lock/unlock.
     
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  7. Aug 16, 2018 at 6:55 AM
    #7
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    IMG_4252.jpg Is there some reason you don't just turn off the cargo lights with the dash switch if you are going to have your door open for an extended time?
     
    Last edited: Aug 16, 2018
    DalTee and trdprobped17 like this.
  8. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:40 AM
    #8
    Casper421

    Casper421 Adventure in a 1st gen

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    1st gens don’t have a switch but a button that you need to remember to hit every time you open a door.
     
  9. Aug 16, 2018 at 8:41 AM
    #9
    NewImprovedRon

    NewImprovedRon Hey! Get off my grass!

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    Ok, wasn't aware of that handy little piece of info.. That being the case, I would probably opt for LED's for my cargo lights.
     
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  10. Aug 16, 2018 at 6:56 PM
    #10
    Darkness

    Darkness Allergic to white

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    Mine is melted pretty bad. Found the fuse today and gonna unplug it to see if that works. I never once have used that cargo light anyhow, it's been nothing but an annoyance.

    LED swap is the smart move but mine is already melted to hell.
     
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  11. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:04 PM
    #11
    trdprobped17

    trdprobped17 New Member

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  12. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:07 PM
    #12
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the reply and the link. I'm currently trying to find a used one in good shape, but I might just end up buying this if I can't find something decent. Much cheaper than the quote I got.

    I agree that pretty much all of the aftermarket options are awful. I found one made by Anzo (never heard of) that looks almost OEM, but the reviews suck and they use incandescents for the cargo lights. Not that it's a huge deal since you can just swap them for LEDs, but it just proves that the manufacturer scipms on materials. https://www.jcwhitney.com/details/T...00/SR5/8_Cyl_4-dot-7L/A1R531040.html#plpslot2
     
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  13. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:16 PM
    #13
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    Yeah, the cargo light is pretty useless with the incandescent bulbs. Swapping for LEDs is a huge improvement though. About a year ago I swapped all of them for some cheap LEDs from Amazon that failed after a couple months. So I put the incandescents back in and just kinda forgot about it. Until I noticed one of the cargo lights was only working intermittently... and then noticed the third brake light also doesn't work anymore. Luckily putting good LEDs in has worked fine so far, but they are far less important than the brake light.

    This is what I get for putting it off.
     
  14. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:21 PM
    #14
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    Damn I wish they put that in the 1st Gen. I guess I could rig up a bypass. If I actually wanted to do that.
     
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  15. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:39 PM
    #15
    Flyinryank

    Flyinryank New Member

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  16. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:43 PM
    #16
    Casper421

    Casper421 Adventure in a 1st gen

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    I thought the same thing after posting that but it’s not high up on the list. Would be the cheapest on the list though.
     
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  17. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:44 PM
    #17
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it. Unfortunately the cargo lights have melted all the way through the housing so I have to pull the whole thing out anyways to get a water tight seal. Will definitely be caulking the new one in though. It is already letting water in with heavy rain or when washing it. Man, this thing light is a pain in the ass.

    As for your key fob situation... The hell?!? What kind of witchcraft is that? Have you tried pulling them out and testing the fob again? I have no idea why LEDs in the brake light assembly would affect that. I sadly don't have a keyless entry system which kinda blows my mind that a TRD didn't come with it.
     
  18. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:50 PM
    #18
    Baja Mike

    Baja Mike Baja Aficionado

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  19. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:54 PM
    #19
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    I didn't know Tacomas had this issue too... Pretty disappointing for a Toyota. Could be worse I suppose.

    Its pretty cool lookin', much better than the other aftermarkets out there. I think it would look a little out of place on my minimally modded truck though. lol
     
  20. Aug 16, 2018 at 7:59 PM
    #20
    Anonymitch

    Anonymitch [OP] New Member

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    Thanks again to everyone thats chiming in. I'm glad I finally joined the community!
     
  21. Aug 17, 2018 at 5:05 PM
    #21
    Professional Hand Model

    Professional Hand Model A.K.A ‘Golden Hands’

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    Keep us posted on your findings. Bummer on yours burning all the way through. Mine only burned into the first reflective shield. The outer assembly housing is still intact. Being a keep things standard guy I just did a restoration. These other guys are on top of the top mod stuff. I’m more into optimizing what I have originally.
     
  22. Sep 24, 2018 at 12:26 PM
    #22
    Flyinryank

    Flyinryank New Member

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