How to wire into brakelight - BMW Luxury Touring Community
 
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post #1 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 12:45 pm Thread Starter
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How to wire into brakelight

I ordered a Whelen TIR3 to supplement my factory brakelight. I have a '99 LT. I have three questions:

1) I have heard there is a simple wiring fix to make all three rear tail lights light up under braking, instead of just the outside two. Anyone have a link to this fix?

2) What is the best wire to tap into for the brakes, and at what location? The TIR3 has just enough room to mount below the brakelight, above the removable plate for the rear tire access. Opinions?

3) I was going to replace the incandescent bulbs with LED's, because they illuminate about 1/4 second faster (60 feet at freeway speeds). Anyone have a model they recommend? I have seen several on the superbrightled.com website.

Thanks in advance,

Robert
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post #2 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 4:04 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

1) I have heard there is a simple wiring fix to make all three rear tail lights light up under braking, instead of just the outside two. Anyone have a link to this fix?

No link, just pull you lamp assembly out and look on the back side. It comes out after removing the two funny looking bolts inside the top of your side cases.

2) What is the best wire to tap into for the brakes, and at what location? The TIR3 has just enough room to mount below the brakelight, above the removable plate for the rear tire access. Opinions?

Same answer as #1.

3) I was going to replace the incandescent bulbs with LED's, because they illuminate about 1/4 second faster (60 feet at freeway speeds). Anyone have a model they recommend? I have seen several on the superbrightled.com website.

Avoid replacing the center lamp. The filament for the park lamp function is tied into the computer and LEDs do not generally draw enough power to keep you from getting a warning lamp set on the dash.


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post #3 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 4:15 pm Thread Starter
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

What bolt inside the case? I looked all around both side cases and can't find any bolts inside. There is a long bolt towards the back of the bike in the side of the case; I guess I always thought that was the lynch pin for the side cases (which doesn't make sense now that I think about it).
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post #4 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 5:55 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

Yes those two "lynch" pins are the 10 mm bolts holding the tail light assy on. There are two washers (one on each side that go between the lamp and the body) that will fall out when you remove it. The green wire is the brake light. The ceneter socket can hold a dual element bulb and you just need to tie the that socket over to the green wire on one of the other brake lights.

Since you have a 99 the center lamp is not critical and can be replaced by an 1157 equivalent LED lamp unit. The turn signals shouldbe left alone unless you add a balast resistoras the electronic flasher will go nuts with LED lamps.

John
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post #5 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 8:25 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

Quote:
Originally Posted by jzeiler
There are two washers (one on each side that go between the lamp and the body) that will fall out when you remove it.
So thats were those washers on the garage floor came from.

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post #6 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 9:31 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
1) I have heard there is a simple wiring fix to make all three rear tail lights light up under braking, instead of just the outside two. Anyone have a link to this fix?

No link, just pull you lamp assembly out and look on the back side. It comes out after removing the two funny looking bolts inside the top of your side cases.

2) What is the best wire to tap into for the brakes, and at what location? The TIR3 has just enough room to mount below the brakelight, above the removable plate for the rear tire access. Opinions?

Same answer as #1.

3) I was going to replace the incandescent bulbs with LED's, because they illuminate about 1/4 second faster (60 feet at freeway speeds). Anyone have a model they recommend? I have seen several on the superbrightled.com website.

Avoid replacing the center lamp. The filament for the park lamp function is tied into the computer and LEDs do not generally draw enough power to keep you from getting a warning lamp set on the dash.
Wow! What freeway do you drive on? They don't allow us to drive 164 MPH here in PA!!

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post #7 of 10 Old Nov 3rd, 2012, 10:57 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

So John, the 1999 does not have a tail-lamp out warning on the dash? I don't have an owners manual and thought one of the two outermost lamps on the bottom row would perform that function. What are those for?


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Last edited by deanwoolsey; Nov 3rd, 2012 at 11:25 pm.
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post #8 of 10 Old Nov 4th, 2012, 10:40 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

Quote:
Originally Posted by deanwoolsey
So John, the 1999 does not have a tail-lamp out warning on the dash? I don't have an owners manual and thought one of the two outermost lamps on the bottom row would perform that function. What are those for?
I don't know the lights but I do know the ABS does not "look" at that center bulb on the ABS II bikes (99-2001). None of the lights on the LT are monitored with the exception of the center rear bulb on the I-ABS bikes and that is just a hold over from the K1200RS model which only had a single tail/stop lamp. We share the ABS brain with that model.

John
2009 K1300GT Red Rocket
2009 R1200GS (Gone)
2005 K1200LT Ocean Blue Blue Wizard 110 K and counting...
2006 Bushtec Turbo+2 Spell
2004 330 Ci Convertable
K4AN

Have ridden a Motorcycle in all 48
But lack DE, MA, RI and CT with the 2005 LT

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post #9 of 10 Old Nov 4th, 2012, 11:04 pm
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

Thanks for the clarification John. I thought I read that somewhere, just forgot it was only on the newer bikes. You sir, are an amazing fountain of BMW knowledge.


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post #10 of 10 Old Nov 5th, 2012, 12:45 am
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Re: How to wire into brakelight

Robert, I don't know if your question was actually answered or not. If you open both side cases and look to the rear of the case there is a long hex headed stainless shoulder bolt sticking out on each side. It is part of the locking mechanism on the case cover and also the bolt that holds the rear tail light assembly to the body. One on each side. Remove them and you can remove the entire tail light assembly to replace bulbs or other things. I use a couple of small bungee cords to hold the light up by hooking them over the top case lip and the light so as to not put a strain on the wiring.

I'm all for more lighting on all my bikes, but a word of caution. I had a taillight lens get so hot it melted where the brake lights were plugged in. the metal bulb holders heated up so much they melted the round sockets in the lens and just fell in the lens piece. The PO had installed super bright halogen brake lights and that finally caused an overload on the relay and it stuck in the on position. The heat melted all around the light fixture so I had to replace the entire tail light lens assembly.

When I did that I installed the Run N Lights to make the turn signals, front and back, into running lights and blinkers. I also installed a pair of Hyper Lights at that time and when I installed the luggage rack with the brake light bar, I tapped into the brake light circuit in that tail light assembly and also likewise when installing the trailer hitch for all the light functions in there. So it ends up there are quite a bit of extra connectors in there and I have to be careful when re-installing it all back into the bike.

Good luck on your lighting upgrades.

Tommy
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