SW high level/third brake light - Alfa Romeo Forum
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(Post Link) post #1 of 19 Old 17-04-18 Thread Starter
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SW high level/third brake light

Hi,
Just noticed that the third brake light on my wagon is completely dead. Fuse F37 is fine. Doing a search on this and surpassingly I can't find any productive posts on replacing the SW lamp. Cant even find the part being sold anywhere except on German ebay for 990 euro...
Does anyone know if this can be removed from the outside or does a whole load of trim need to be removed to gain access from the inside? Thanks!
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Think it’s a tailgate trim off and spoiler removal to gain access.

Autolusso sell the part.

https://newalfaparts.co.uk/braking/2...ake-light.html
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Thanks. Almost a bargain in comparison. Spoiler removal is a bit extreme for a part that is guaranteed to fail. Oh well give it a go in the coming days and hopefully I wont break anything.
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I just did mine the other week. It’s quite straight forward once you know how. Let me know if you need help. I removed all of the bolts securing it but made the mistake of trying to lift it up. Don’t do this! You need to pull the spoiler towards you first to free it from the retaining clips which are not visible.
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(Post Link) post #5 of 19 Old 18-04-18 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by adf83 View Post
I just did mine the other week. It’s quite straight forward once you know how. Let me know if you need help. I removed all of the bolts securing it but made the mistake of trying to lift it up. Don’t do this! You need to pull the spoiler towards you first to free it from the retaining clips which are not visible.
Thanks mate. I definitely have a couple of questions. Does the black lower tailgate trim need to come off as well as the glass surround trim? Whats the best way to remove the glass surround trim? I noticed there are what look like two removable plugs at the top of the trim. Do these need removing to expose some screws?
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Both trims need to come off. You need to remove any plugs and covers you see and undo the bolts behind them. There’s a fair few. The trims need a bit of a tug to get them off. Behind the upper trim are the bolts holding the spoiler. Undo these and then the spoiler is free. Finally pull it towards you and it’ll come away. The brake light is held in with two screws. You’ll also need to undo the pipe for the washer.

I think I’ll be doing mine again as although I got it working it seems very dimly lit.

The trim is also held on with concealed clips. These will break so might be worth ordering a dozen or so up first. I don’t have a photo but they are white with a serated strip that pushes into a white plastic slot. Hope that helps.
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(Post Link) post #7 of 19 Old 18-04-18 Thread Starter
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Great. I already have the lower black trim off. I researched extensively and managed to preserve the serrated white plastic pins that stick out of the black panel , although one was missing anyway. Do you recall if any plugs need to be removed from upper trim to access screws? Did any clips break when tugging off the upper trim?
Thanks!
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Great. I already have the lower black trim off. I researched extensively and managed to preserve the serrated white plastic pins that stick out of the black panel [IMG class=inlineimg]https://www.alfaowner.com/Forum/images/smilies/clap.gif[/IMG], although one was missing anyway. Do you recall if any plugs need to be removed from upper trim to access screws? Did any clips break when tugging off the upper trim?
Thanks!
Think it was just the two caps to be removed. It was all easily visible anyway. Most of my clips broke. I just put the panel back on without and it seems secure enough. I might replace them one day
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(Post Link) post #9 of 19 Old 18-04-18 Thread Starter
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Loads more of those nightmare ratchet pins on the upper trim. Managed to get them off but again, some were already broken. I had repair work done on the roof because some idiot thought they would put vehicle height restricting bars in an open air car park without any warning signs. I had three bikes on the roof.. Anyway, the repairers clearly didn’t replace the pins. I imagine it’s near impossible not to break at least one pin on each bit of trim. Once one fastening is loose, best way for me was to peel the trim back and wedge a flat head screwdriver into the gap between the adjacent fitting and twist. A specific trim release tool would be better. The pin should progressively snap out and then peel further along and repeat. The 5 x 4mm hex screws for the spoiler were clearly visible but of course, the spoiler is firmly clipped in too! Thanks for the top tip about not lifting the spoiler, this will snap off the lipped lugs from the spoiler. Unfortunately, nobody told the repairers that as the right hand lug was snapped off already! The spoiler needs lifting just a little at the back before tugging because there are protrusions that will catch on the metal panel underneath. The spoiler can then be carefully flipped over being careful not to tug on the brake light cable and washer hose. The light plug has a finger release tab and the hose is pulled off at the rubber end. A bit of spit for lubrication can help but I was still struggling to get the tube off. Don’t drop the spoiler which is easily done during this procedure! I had a screwdriver at hand and found it easier in the end to unscrew the 2 screws that fix the light to the spoiler and put the spoiler safe on the back seat before carrying on. There is a rubber strip along the bottom of the light unit which seems to perish over time. Mine was very fragile and it’s easy for it to fall off or get broken.
The primary purpose of my excercise was to test if power is being delivered to the third brake light. The plan was to hook up a multimeter to the terminals in the power supply plug but the holes are so small there is no way regular multimeter probes will fit. I ended up carefully stripping a bit of insulation from the positive and negative wires on the light unit and connected the probes to the exposed wire. As I had hoped, ~12 V was being delivered upon depressing the brake. As I was going to bite the bullet and order a new light unit in this scenario, the repairable self inflicted damage to the wires was inconsequential. I’m now waiting on the unit from Autolusso. I hope the new unit comes with the rubber strip as mines cracked in a couple of places. Will probably try and crack open the faulty light and see if it’s repairabe. However, even if it is I am going to replace with a brand new unit. I never want to have to go through this procedure again and don’t have much faith in an amateur repair of an 8 year old unit.
Hope this helps.

Last edited by chichibabin; 18-04-18 at 21:15.
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A bit too late having noticed your write up, but these photos might be of help for any next one who'll be facing the same challenge for the first time.
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(Post Link) post #11 of 19 Old 19-04-18 Thread Starter
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Excellent contribution. This should be a valuable resource for SW owners. I see you did the job professionally and ordered replacement pins The part number you show for these is very useful. Do you know of an online seller who stocks these or did you order from a dealer?
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I actually stopped spending (lots of) time in searching for the best offers and service a long time ago. Iím not sure if they are supplying abroad from Holland, but company Tuynder has been offering me outstanding service for OEM parts against very competitive prices for more than 25 years now.

You could ask for an offer, but Iím not sure if the shipping costs and perhaps also any import duties will balance a local supplier from the UK. One more thing though that has also been a reason for me to go to them; they stock (!) literally all parts from the catalogue (well, almost). If they canít supply anymore, no one can (unless from NOS).

www.tuynder.com
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Originally Posted by Leo_NL View Post
A bit too late having noticed your write up, but these photos might be of help for any next one who'll be facing the same challenge for the first time.
Hi Leo

Great job!

Your photos make it look effortless and at the same time as you pull out the tailgate trim, it gives you the opportunity to clean it all up.

Although my SW right now has a fully working third brake light, I'm going to change it for a LED with resistor. Did you LED it? If so, which kit?

Also how many new pins shall I purchase? Two or more (hidden)?

Thanks.

Last edited by domholyfield; 23-04-18 at 20:28.
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(Post Link) post #14 of 19 Old 23-04-18 Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by domholyfield View Post
Hi Leo

Great job!

Your photos make it look effortless and at the same time as you pull out the tailgate trim, it gives you the opportunity to clean it all up.

Although my SW right now has a fully working third break light, I'm going to change it for a LED with resistor. Did you LED it? If so, which kit?

Also how many new pins shall I purchase? Two or more (hidden)?

Thanks.
IMHO you would be mad to go through this to replace a working third light. The stock light has what looks like 20 LEDs anyway.
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156081031 - Brake light (LED - unlike for the saloon of which the separate bulbs can be replaced)
60625450 - Pins
156081031 - Mating "bush" (inserted into door-frame)

I bought 16 pins and 4 bushes for approx. 35-40 EUR including 21% VAT. Those pins easily break as they are made from a quite hard plastic.

At first I tried to open up the light housing, never done that before, but thought to give it a go as the common issue is a 10ct diode inside. LED's do light up, but hardly visible in daylight. As I utterly failed to get the blank perspex neatly separated from the red, since then I really admire those who are baking their own head- and tail-light units, I gave up. In the end I bought a brand new unit.
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Thanks my friend.
This is also more helpful.
Does the LED look better or did you prefer the halogens?

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Sorry, canít tell the difference as I kept all stock. Which is LED for my SW, although Iíve been told that ePer also does list a variant of which the bulbs can be replaced.
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A bit too late having noticed your write up, but these photos might be of help for any next one who'll be facing the same challenge for the first time.
Great description! My contribution is a "tool" that I made by cutting out a bottle of mineral water. With this fixture, you will not drop the bolts (as I did with my first bolt) when unscrewing and turning. For me the problem was the lacquer coating of the spoiler. In the photos I show before and after the foil is placed.
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(Post Link) post #19 of 19 Old 4 Weeks Ago
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Nice job you did!
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