Centre brake light

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Centre brake light

Postby Jennifer Barnett » Sun Apr 30, 2017 11:55

I had a comment on latest MOT that the centre brake light wasn't working, although it still passed. I figured out how to dismantle it, but there was no apparent wire running to it. Removing seats and carpets has so far failed to locate this wire, which I assume must have a very small plug on it. But what is this light? is it LED? I connected a battery to it, but with no success. Any advice much appreciated--Thanks
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Re: Centre brake light

Postby Martin Williams » Sun Apr 30, 2017 21:46

Jennifer,
on UK spec cappos this was a dummy, not a light. Suzuki read the European type approval regulations in such a way that they did not believe it complied as a brake light but would be ok as a dummy.

The connections for it are in the loom in the offside rear wing and are 2mm spade connections. It is possible (with care) to dismantle the unit and fit an LED strip to it but it does take some time. In fact I would recommend it since I am sure most of the 4x4 that crowd my back bumper are too close to see the main brake lights!
That said I have been driving my second cappo for nearly 2 years without having done it yet! I could transfer it from my old one but it is awaiting restoration rather than being a source of parts!
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Re: Centre brake light

Postby Ian Linden » Tue May 02, 2017 08:30

We do have a thread in the FAQ on activating the HL Brake Light. Unfortunately, it is old, so many of the links are broken:
http://www.suzuki-cappuccino.com/phpbb3/viewtopic.php?f=29&t=26
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Re: Centre brake light

Postby Murray Betts » Thu May 04, 2017 22:18

Yes, as Ian says. The rules at the time were such that any "high level brake light" (HLBL) had to be at a minimum height, which the Capp didn't meet. Also due to the vagaries of regulations, any lamp fitted must work, so the only way round it was for Suzuki to fit something which was not a lamp, in this case it was the outer casings but with no innards, which for regs purposes was simply a piece of red plastic so not subject to compliance.

Back in the day (20+ years ago now!) the normal thing was to prise the lens away from the backing using a Stanley knife very carefully, and fitting the LED array from a commercially available aftermarket HLBL. One tricky part was lifting the black trim "combing" enough to get the light unit out without breaking the ends. I managed to crack mine but it's been like that now since 1996 so I've stopped worrying about it. Having prised the HLBL unit apart the LED array was usually fitted using a suitable silicone sealant, and I think I stuck the lens back to the backing plastic moulding using the same silicone. It's probably worth trying to do this mod if yours doesn't have it, any HLBL is a lot better than none in today's traffic.

At the time I don't think I could find the mating plug type so cut off the connector and fitted a new connector set, but now these things are much easier to find (ebay, it might be the type used on a lot of radio controlled models etc, the Tamiya connector. The wiring ends at a conecctor in the boot behind the trim panel more or less directly under where the aerial is.
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Re: Centre brake light

Postby Jennifer Barnett » Mon May 08, 2017 21:01

Thank you all for your very useful replies (this is Jennifer's husband by the way, as she delegated the work to me!!).

I removed the comb in it's entirety by drilling the rivets at either end, just behind the doors, and replacing with self tappers. I still managed to crack it a little. At least now I can take it apart relatively easily when I get round to fitting an LED as suggested.

Thanks once again for excellent advice.

Regards,

Geoff. Barnett
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