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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
'96 XJ here and although I've got a 3rd tail light it only lights up when the brake is applied.

Is there a way to bring that center light up to modern standards and rig it to stay on all the time (when the lights are on) and get bright when the pedal is pushed?
 

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It's a CHMSL. Center High Mounted Stop Lamp

It would require running another wire to it, converting it to a 2 filament bulb and it's effectiveness would be reduced as a stop lamp.
I would suggest just installing a brighter bulb to improve it's effectiveness. Think red LED.
 

· Mopar Nut
2004 Grand Cherokee Laredo, 4.7-N
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Speculative curiosity here - I have to wonder if this is an NHTSA/DOT item that shouldn't be tampered with. Point being, if you live in a state with inspections, they may fail you for using it as a running lamp as that is not it's intended purpose. The Center High Mounted Stop Lamp is only intended for braking. It could also give police a reason to pull you over. Again, speculating - but I personally would leave it alone.

I got a cool set of non-DOT approved tail lights for Xmas to put in my 'Cuda. They are the cool old-school ones that have the blue "crystal" in the center, and when illuminated they give the lights a subtle pinky-purple hue. They really stand out, and I have always loved them. First night cruise, I was pulled over and written a warning and had to show up in 10 days to prove compliance. 6mo later - eff 'em - what are they odds - I am putting them back in. Well, the odds were good. Same street, same cop. And, he remembered my car and this time wrote a $179 equipment violation ticket. I went to court and took them back out prior to, so they dropped the charge, but it was an unnecessary hassle none the less...
 

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I run the led bulb that flashes 3x quickly then stays lit when you apply the brakes. Never seen a 3rd brake light that illuminated with running lights.
What you ask isnt impossible, its impractical, and depending on inspections requirements in your state may be illegal.
 

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With regards to the legality of the 3 flash led bulbs, from what i could find its legal "as long as it flashes no more than 4 x in 4 sec, then remains steady" or something to this effect.
If LE follows anyone long enough they will find probable cause to make contact.
Ive never asked a LEO, when you look like me you dont approach LEOs, it makes them nervous.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Thanks for the replies. The back end just looks so dimly lit compared to modern cars. The two incandescent tail lights don't put out much and neither does the lic plate lamp. Sad when your plate lamp actually competes for being the most noticeable light on your back side. Just recently wire brushed and greased the inside of each tail light bulb recepticle so I know there's no contact problem there. They almost look like they're running on less than full current, although there's no flickering so I bet the currents ok. I've got a multimeter. How would I go about testing the socket to make sure it's getting enough juice?
 
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