Brera - Spoiler removal & High level brake light fix - Guide - Alfa Romeo Forum
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Brera - Spoiler removal & High level brake light fix - Guide

As promised in another tread, I've put together a guide which covers the removal of the Brera spoiler, in order to fix the high level brake light. (AKA Centre brake light / 3rd brake light)

Those of us that have already suffered a failure of this brake light unit and opted to fix it ourselves, will know the struggles involved with what sounds like a simple task, due to a quick and dirty fix on the production line. Hopefully this guide will help anyone wanting to remove their spoiler or fix their high level brake light to do it in a fraction of the time it took me.


Let's get started:

Step 1.
Unhook the parcel shelf hangers and remove plastic trim surrounding the boot lock. To remove this trim, open the boot and pull the trim towards you from the window edge. There are two push fit clips that should pop away allowing you to remove the trim.


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Step 2.
Remove the window surround trim. For this, firstly remove 4 screws (two are the parcel shelf hangers, and two were revealed from removing the trim in step 1) next remove the two external push fit plugs which can be prised out with a flat screwdriver.

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Finally there are 3 push fit clips of the same type in step 1, pull the trim away from the window and these should snap away.

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You should now be able to put the two trim pieces somewhere safe.
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Step 3.
We now have access to the high level brake light wires, and a connector.

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Before going any further, I would recommend testing the wires are ok up to the point of the connector using a multimeter. There is a clip in the connector which can be opened to allow access to the base of the pins.

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use this easy access touch your multimeter probes while someone presses the brake pedal.

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This should allow you to confirm that the electric circuit it fine up to this point. Assuming so, then itís likely the break in the circuit is within the spoiler. Otherwise, you will need to investigate why there is no current reaching the connector you have just tested (could be a fuse, break in the wire etc).


Step 4.
Now to begin removing the spoiler. Locate and remove 4, 10mm nuts, be careful not to drop them into the window frame.

4-1.jpg
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Step 5.
Disconnect the high level brake light cable if itís not already disconnected, then disconnect the window washer fluid hose Ė there is a joint in the hose you can pull apart.

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Step 6.
Attempt removal of spoiler. If youíre lucky the spoiler may have been off the car before, in which case you may be able to just lift it off. If you canít remove it, itís likely been held in place by a blob of mastic. Try gently teasing the spoiler up. You should be able to see it moves up more on one side than the other. If you look across the spoiler while pulling, you might just be able to make out a point where the spoiler is bending (look for a distortion in the reflection). This will reveal that the spoiler is still attached in the area where the high level brake light wires and rear screen washer fluid hose pass through the window frame into the spoiler.

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The reason for this is that, despite there being a rubber grommet that seals the hole which the wires and hose pass through, there is a blob of mastic around the hole too, which glues the spoiler to the window frame. This mastic sets like plastic and is very tough.

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This should give an idea of the sticking point externally

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NOTE:
I noticed that the rubber grommet wasnít seated correctly in the hole when I tried to remove the spoiler. (you can see where the grommet is misshapen in the picture) My guess is this is a common issue during manufacture, which was probably picked up in a pre-production model as it would let water into the boot. As access is difficult and fitting this grommet correctly would likely be too time consuming for a production line, Iím guessing the quick fix was the blob mastic around the hole to seal it instead of fitting the grommet correctly.
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Step 7.
Breaking the seal. This is the most difficult and scary part. In order to break the bond the mastic creates between the spoiler and the window frame, you will need to cut through the mastic. Visibility is none existent, and through the centre of the mastic, are the wires and window washer hose. In all likeliness, no matter how much care is taken, you should expect to have to re-join the wires. You should get away with sacrificing a portion of the washer hose, but this could be reconnected using the same type of connector you undid earlier.
To cut the mastic, youíre best off with a long knife. You will need to slide the knife between the spoiler and the glass (keeping the knife blade as flat as possible to the glass) while prising the spoiler up to create a little gap. Take care not to damage the rubber seal this sits on the glass.
You should aim to insert the knife where the wires and hose pass through into the spoiler. Note the distance from the start of the spoiler, to the deflection you saw when trying to pull the spoiler off. Insert the knife a little further than this distance and gently reciprocate the knife back and forth while pushing it through the mastic. You could potentially watch the wires and hose for movement which may indicate the knife is in contact with them then re-position the knife accordingly. However you may well be better off just cutting through them, it will save time in the long run!

Step 8.
Once the mastic has been sliced through, you should be able to remove the spoiler.

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If you have surgeon-like skills and managed not to cut the wires and hose, youíll need to feed these through the hole in the frame to remove the spoiler.
Place the spoiler somewhere safe and on something soft that wonít scratch it.

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Step 9.
Removing the high level brake light unit. There are two small screws that attach the brake light to the spoiler. Remove these screws, and the light should slide out of the spoiler without any trouble.

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Step 10.
Unclip the wires and carefully pull off the washer hose from the nozzle(the nozzle can be removed to do this easier Ė just press the two clips at either end of the nozzle)
If you cut the wire, re-join it at this point, I would recommend a properly soldered joint with a heat shrink covering to ensure a good connection and waterproofing.

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Take the light unit and cable and hook the unit up to the car and test the light again.

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You may well find it now works! Chances are the connector attaching the cable to the light unit didnít have a good connection and was not passing enough current to the LEDís. If itís still not working, pay more attention to this connector.

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Clean up and corrosion, and if necessary bend the pins slightly to ensure a good connection. Retest it when you think youíve done it.


Step 11.
Once the light is working, if you cut the washer hose, connect the longest length of hose to the washer nozzle on the spoiler and feed it through the gap in the spoiler. You will need to gauge if there is enough hose remaining to feed through the window frame and reconnect it with the hose attached to the car. Test fit the spoiler if you have to.
If you donít have enough hose remaining, you will need to join the section that was cut off, or buy a larger section of hose of the same type.


Step 12.
Assuming the wire is connected to the light, feed the brake light wires through the spoiler and slot the light into the spoiler. Replace the two screws that hold it.

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Step 13.
Refitting the spoiler. Clean up the area under the spoiler, and touch up and scratches made when removing the spoiler to prevent rust.

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If possible, cover the roof of the car with an old blanket/towels etc. Offer up the spoiler to the car, resting it on the blanket while feeding through the wires and hose into the boot. Now refit the grommet to fill the hole, ensuring that itís seated correctly. Even if itís misshapen due to not being correctly fitted for many years, you should be able to seat it correctly and get a good seal.

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It might be an idea at this stage to poor a little water over the grommet and check it didnít make it through. If water came through, adjust the grommet, or use a little sealant to seal any gaps (making sure the sealant wonít stick the spoiler to the boot in case you need to remove it again)
Once your happy with the grommet, line up the bolts on the spoiler with the holes in the boot. And replace the nuts from inside the boot. Only secure the nuts finger tight for now.

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Step 14.
Reconnect the brake light wires, and the washer fluid hose.

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Now give the brake light another test before continuing (Youíd be peeved if you put it all back together and it wasnít working)
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Step 15.
Spoiler alignment. The bolts on the spoiler, and the holes in the boot, allow for alignment of the spoiler. The most important part of the alignment is to ensure the spoiler doesnít foul the roof when the boot is being opened.
Slowly raise/lower the boot keeping an eye on the panel gap between the spoiler and the roof. If it touches at any point youíll need to slide the spoiler away from the roof.

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When happy with the alignment, tighten the 4 nuts holding the spoiler on, the bolts are only in plastic mounts, so they donít need to be super tight, just nip them up nicely.
Step 16.
Tidy wires, stop any wires or connectors that might vibrate against the metal.

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Step 17.
Refit trim. Reverse of step 2, then 1. Re-hang the parcel shelf. (Donít forget the washer between the trim and the boot frame when refitting the bolts.)

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Step 18.
Final test of the brake lights, and hopefully sit back and relax in the knowledge that this took you far less time to complete than it took me!
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Possible quick removal of high level brake light unitÖ

Possible quick removal of high level brake light unitÖ
The screws which hold the brake light unit into the spoiler are exposed with the spoiler still fitted to the car. However there is only a small gap between the window and the screws, there isnít the space to get a ratchet with a screwdriver bit in.
But with the spoiler bolts removed, spoiler prised up as much as possible and with a ratchet spanner that fits the hex of a screwdriver bit(6.5mm?), it might just be possible to unscrew these and release the light unit without fully removing the spoiler.


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Does anyone fancy giving this a go?
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Thank you very much for taking the time to post this. Just noticed yesterday that my third brake light has stopped working so will be following your guide in the coming days. I'll obviously give your possible quick fix a go first - that mastic sounds horrendous!
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sammyblackbaron View Post
Thank you very much for taking the time to post this. Just noticed yesterday that my third brake light has stopped working so will be following your guide in the coming days. I'll obviously give your possible quick fix a go first - that mastic sounds horrendous!
Let me know how you get on with the quick fix!
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