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Aftermarket 3rd brake lights

 
Old 04-17-2019, 11:02 AM
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Default Aftermarket 3rd brake lights

My jeep passed inspection the last 3 years without the 3rd light, but I got flagged this year. While I was browsing aftermarket options, I came across a review saying the kind that go inside the rim (either the single light or the big rings of LED's), were not considered legal here in Texas, and that their particular inspection location refused to accept it. That person had to raise the stock light on a bracket above the tire to pass.

Has anyone run into this complication?

I bought and installed the Rugged Ridge led ring simply because that was what the local 4wp had in stock and I wanted to get it done that day. It did pass inspection with no questions or concerns, but I am curious if I should go ahead and get an extension for the stock light as well.
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:24 PM
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I agree. They are really cracking the whip this year. The law changed in 2017, but my impression is inspection locations were very lax on it. In Parker County where I am, we have to go to actual inspection places vs. when I lived in the city and could go to about any oil change place. I went to the most lax guy I know in my area, and he even said the "auditors" were really pressuring the shops, and he wouldn't do it without some sort of 3rd light. He said it just had to be red and light up. I could see how some might argue if the light is semi-obscured. This is what I did last month -

https://www.jk-forum.com/forums/jk-e...stamps-349734/
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Old 04-17-2019, 12:56 PM
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What the hell. I searched for Texas oriented 3rd brake light threads before posting, and that didn't come up. But yeah, the 37" spare obstructs enough of my rearward visibility, so I'd rather not add even the few inches of a raised bracket/light housing if it isn't lawfully required somehow. Guess I'll just deal with it next year if they fail me for this one.
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Old 04-17-2019, 02:08 PM
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The law may be different in Texas but VA says "red, DOT/ SAE approved light, visible from 50' to the rear" so you can get away with some 3/4" LED marker lights in the lug nut holes. I had that for a while before I got tired of disconnecting the harness each time I wanted to rotate my tires. Then I moved to a piece of aluminum that was glued basically (with Permatex Right Stuff) to the tire carrier. It had two small holes in it for the lights to sit and they'd shine through the tire. That worked out fine but I noticed that it was a little low on the visibility side so I went back to a factory brake light that is heavily cut down and then mounted to my aftermarket tire carrier, but again- behind the wheel. Visibility is better, it's still legal, and I don't have to move the lights when I want to rotate tires. First pic is the 3/4" LED, second is factory light, my current setup.


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Last edited by karls10jk; 04-17-2019 at 02:13 PM.
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Old 04-17-2019, 03:20 PM
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I think if it were me, and I had to deal with a spare, I'd go the route of using the 2 empty lug holes. I'd just use some small connectors with the wires so could easily disconnect them (behind the tire) should you need your spare. I think it would be the least intrusive way to go. Those lights I used were just from Walmart in the trailer section, I wonder if they'd fit down in the recessed lug area well enough, more than a flush mount option.

Not sure what wheels you have, but maybe popping out the center cap and using that area with something could work?
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:26 PM
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Originally Posted by karls10jk View Post
The law may be different in Texas but VA says "red, DOT/ SAE approved light, visible from 50' to the rear"
​​​​
Yeah, I looked for the code before purchasing, but didn't find the actual written law for Texas. I have seen plenty of people with this Rugged Ridge style light, as well as the smaller style that you guys posted.



The rugged ridge is already installed and has passed inspection - this time around, at least.

I was just looking for info on whether other people here in Texas (besides the following person in his review of the product) had run into inspection issues due to not having a stock-style light that was positioned at the top of the spare tire.

July 8, 2018
WARNING. GREAT LIGHT BUT DOES NOT SATISFY THE STATE OF TEXAS FOR THE THIRD BRAKE LIGHT LAW THEY ARE NOW ENFORCING AT INSPECTION!!!!!!!! the light itself if really nice, easy to wire and install, and looks really sharp on our 99 jeep wrangler with 15" rims...however our local inspection office is still not happy so we are also getting the opportunity to buy one that has a light over the top of the tire. no amount of logic or reading the actual state code helped the issue.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:31 PM
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Ahh, well technically it is called a CHMSL- center high mount stop lamp,so maybe Texas is looking to have it higher than the taillights as it was designed. It'll be interesting to see what others are experiencing across Texas.
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Old 04-17-2019, 04:38 PM
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So, I see a lot of those RR lights around DFW, but as noted, the axe is really hitting the grindstone this year, so they might start disappearing. So is the issue really that it is behind the wheel? If the light sat in front of the wheel it would be fine? I would think that there is enough of that light that is not obstructed by the wheel. I have seen some that actually just kinda backlight up the area, and I can see how that is a big no no. It's very interesting how this stuff varies, not just state to state, but county to county. I always want to think that you are in El Paso, but pretty sure recently saw you say Austin right?
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Old 04-17-2019, 06:07 PM
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Originally Posted by resharp001 View Post
I always want to think that you are in El Paso, but pretty sure recently saw you say Austin right?
Yep, the suburbs northwest of Austin.

It's definitely big and bright, so I doubt it was a visibility issue. From what was said in the review, I was guessing the problem that particular inspection shop had was height related. But for now at least, I'm legal, so I'll worry about adding a raised bracket if it fails next year.



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Old 04-17-2019, 06:10 PM
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The entire point SHOULD be that people behind you can see when you're braking. That should be the #1 factor that matters. I think that looks pretty damn obvious! Redonk.
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