Blocked 3rd brake light solved...- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
    K_W
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    Blocked 3rd brake light solved...

    After nearly being rear-ended by a driver who wasn't paying attention, while carrying both of our bikes, I realized I needed to make it more obvious that my brakes are engaged or I am stopped... and I know I'm not the only one who wishes there was an easy solution...

    From a tailing drivers view, my Saris Bones 3 completely blocks the 3rd light, and the bikes partially obscure the main lights, so I walked around work (auto parts store) and found everything I needed for a trunk rack mounted center brakelight.

    I used a Blazer box trailer LED Brake/tail/turn strip (waterproof) a male and female trailer wire strip, waterproof heat shrink connectors and some regular taps for inside the trunk. I wired it up, tapped into one side's brake light circuit, and strapped it in... done.

    With one bike, the bike goes in the middle position, as usual, and the light bar goes in the rear most straps. When done and back in the garage, loosen the brake light straps, remove brakelight, remove bike, stow arms back and re-strap the the light.

    With two or three bikes, the light bar can be Velcroed to a top tube.

    When time to remove the rack, unplug the light, remove rack as usual, tuck wire in trunk.

    If you try this... MAKE SURE the strip is LED or taping in to one circuit will overload the circuit if you use a strip with regular bulbs and don't wire it seperatly.

    Light...


    With bike...


    No bikes and arms down to clear garage door..


    Mods: There are two thumbnails attached, could you please delete them. Thanks. :-)
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Blocked 3rd brake light solved...-20150816_140502-1_zpsg09cftsh.jpg  

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    Last edited by K_W; 08-16-2015 at 06:20 PM.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Chad_M's Avatar
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    Nice solution!

  3. #3
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    Side note to overloading the circuit. Lots of cars have a trailer wiring kit available, usually under $30. If you go that route, and if it's a newer car, super easy. Just a simple plug that goes between an existing plug near your lights. It goes off a sensor relay system, where the power for the trailer lights doesn't come from the car's tail lights, but from a separate power supply. The cars lights just tell the trailer light harness when to turn on and off. I went through the hassle to routing the power cable through the trunk, under the frame, up through the engine bay, and to the battery. easier method is buying a cigarette lighter power adapter. Just hook up the power supply to it, and when you need to use the trailer light, just plug it in. After all, how often do you tow a trailer. It also beats the whole "crawling around under the car" thing.

  4. #4
    K_W
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    Quote Originally Posted by watts888 View Post
    Side note to overloading the circuit. Lots of cars have a trailer wiring kit available, usually under $30. If you go that route, and if it's a newer car, super easy. Just a simple plug that goes between an existing plug near your lights. It goes off a sensor relay system, where the power for the trailer lights doesn't come from the car's tail lights, but from a separate power supply. The cars lights just tell the trailer light harness when to turn on and off. I went through the hassle to routing the power cable through the trunk, under the frame, up through the engine bay, and to the battery. easier method is buying a cigarette lighter power adapter. Just hook up the power supply to it, and when you need to use the trailer light, just plug it in. After all, how often do you tow a trailer. It also beats the whole "crawling around under the car" thing.
    So true... but If you only needed the center light, trailer kits don't normally have a connection for them as trailers don't have them in most cases.

    The cigarette lighter part won't work for brake lights unless you have a way to trigger the light only when the brakes are on, this would require adding a relay triggered by the brake circuit... not so simple.

  5. #5
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    since you're doing the wiring harness for the LED bar light, you wire it to one of the turn signal lights, or if the LED bar is split left/right, wire them up to the left and right turn signal/brake lights. When you press the brake, the LED bar would be on. When you have on a turn signal, the solid-on brake light is over ridden by a flashing light.

    For your second point, the cigarette light is just the power source. The relay is an integral part of the wiring harness. Part of the reason they cost $30 instead of the $10 a simple wire and plug adapter costs.

  6. #6
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    Ya know, that makes a lot of sense! I could add a 3rd light to my rack and plug it into my Wrangler or Pathfinder's trailer hitch wiring.
    I like 'em long, low, slack and playful

  7. #7
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    I have a 1UpUSA hitch rack and I thought the bikes just made it that much harder to see the signals and brake lights. I bought a trailer LED tail light kit and wired it up then strapped the lights to the rack with Bungee cords. Works great. The visibility is awesome and I'm glad I did it.

    J.

  8. #8
    K_W
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    QUOTE=06HokieMTB;12143353]Ya know, that makes a lot of sense! I could add a 3rd light to my rack and plug it into my Wrangler or Pathfinder's trailer hitch wiring.[/QUOTE]

    Just make sure you find the brake circuit...

    Do not try to wire it exactly like I did and plug it into a standard 4 flat vehicle side plug... it will not work properly. I only used a trailer wiring harnesses because they were cheap and available. If you plug it into a four flat connector already on a vehicle it will come on with the head and tail lights and stay on... that is very wrong... I tapped directly into the wires in the back of a brake light bulb so that it comes on only with the brakes.

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