Flashing Brake Light

Discussion in 'Gen 2 Prius Audio and Electronics' started by billf, Aug 2, 2005.

  1. billf

    billf New Member

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    I saw where someone else asked this question, but never found an answer.

    I just got an 05 Prius. I would like to add a circuit to flash the third brake light a couple of times when I apply the brakes. I've found a couple online for around $20.

    I removed the lens from the brake light on the spoiler and found that:

    1. It's a line of LEDs.
    2. The module fits in the spoiler with no room to store the flasher box.

    This raises two questions-

    How do I get behind the spoiler to find room for the circuit? I'm guessing I can remove the plastic inside the hatch. Has anyone done that before?

    Are the LEDs 12 volts, or did Toyota change the voltage for the LEDs?

    Thanks
    Bill
     
  2. BMcGraw

    BMcGraw Member

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    Funny you'd ask. I just finished installing one last night in my '04 model. It only took me about an hour with very few tools. Something to cut and/or strip the green/yellow positive wire between the brake light module and the plug-in connector on the hatch. I added an 8" piece of 18 ga. wire to the blue ground wire to extend it for easier attachment to a similar ground lug on the left side of the hatch. Look at the metal plate with a black ground wire already attached.

    I didn't find any of these modules for $20 but this one definitely works for $35 - FREE shipping from www.webelectricproducts.com in Ohio. I ordered mine Saturday. It arrived on Monday.

    It is indeed ncecessary to remove two of the plastic pieces on the back side of the hatch door. Start with the Back Door Trim Board Assembly. then the Trim Board itself. They just pull off with gentle persuasion. I wasn't able to avoid braking the (3) of the pink plastic clips and (3) of the clip mounts on the back of Trim Board. At the time I didn't have these photos to aid the removal. (A new Trim Board is around $70. Mine should be available by tomorrow morning. :oops: )

    To prevent "strobe side effects" "it" only flashes about five times and then "goes steady". If you release and then reapply the brakes in less than ten seconds it "goes steady" without flashing. Over ten seconds and it repeats the "flashing sequence".
     
  3. bobc

    bobc New Member

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    I installed the same module as BMcGraw although I purchased it elsewhere.

    I only had to remove the largest of the interior trim pieces. I also found that of all the interior trim pieces that I've pulled off, this one takes the most strength to pull off.

    It is held in place by the clips visible in BMCGraw's illustration and the photo below. Pull the trim piece straight away from the hatch. Once you get the first clip to release, the rest follow.

    Some of the clips may stay attached to the metal body panel. With a screwdriver, pry these off and re-attach them to the trim piece before reinstalling the trim. I was able to remove the trim without breaking anything. :wink:

    And, there's tons of room behind the trim piece to store the module. Consider anchoring it or wrapping it in foam so that it doesn't rattle.

    The wires leading to the rear brake light are obvious, too.

    Cheers,
     
  4. BMcGraw

    BMcGraw Member

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    :oops: The trim you mention bobc was a piece-o'-cake. The other one that I didn't apparently need to take off was the tricky one. (see photo) If you don't mind me asking, where and how much was the one you purchased? It sure looks identical to the one offered @ webelectricproducts.com for $35.
     
  5. billf

    billf New Member

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    Great information!! Thanks a lot.

    Bill

    Now if I can get my iPod connected to the stereo, I'll be ridin' in style and saving gas.
     
  6. bobc

    bobc New Member

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    BMcGraw,

    Well, it looks like I did buy it from the same place you did!

    When I clicked on your link, the front page was different and I didn't recognize it... But, I bought it from the same company.
     
  7. Brian

    Brian Member

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    Why would it be a good idea to have the brake lights flash like this?
     
  8. bernzx

    bernzx New Member

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    To BMcGraw and bobc,
    I am interested in doing the brake light flasher installation that you have described. I noticed in your instructions you mentioned helpful illustrations and pictures which I could not locate. Are they still available or could you repost them ? It seems that they would be a good candidate for the knowrlege base articles forum.
    Thanks,
    bernzx
     
  9. kk6yb

    kk6yb New Member

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    :( 1.9 million rear end collisions in 2002.
    :p 68% due to driver inattention.
    :eek: Average time for driver to react is 1.5 seconds.
    :) Reducing driver reaction time by 0.5 seconds reduces rear end collisions by 60%.

    (data from NHTSA 2002)
     
  10. bernzx

    bernzx New Member

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    kk6yb,
    Good answer! I installed a brake flasher on my last car and tailgaters backed off when I hit the brakes. This brake pulser is also available from JC Whitney for $26.99 plus shipping (Stop-alert brake light pulser, #265361)
    bernzx
     
  11. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    tumbleweed ordered the one from JC Whitney and they sent him one for a motorcycle.. now hes still waiting and hes a bit frustrated with them.. he doesn't recommend them.

    As for as the other place www.webelectricproducts.com ...... I saw the demo and I wanted something just a bit faster more of a quick strobe and then slower to steady.

    I don't want it to look like I'm pumping my brakes at someone just to piss them off.
     
  12. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Remember that only the high brake light flashes, not all of them (at least that's how the ones I've seen work).

    One of the early questions was about LED voltage. There are no LEDs that operate at 12V that I'm aware of. The input from the car is 12-14V for certain, but then the voltage is dropped (well, it should be current regulated if done correctly) to what the individual (or string of) LEDs require.

    The LED "module" needs 12V input, but the LEDs themselves will be destroyed if they actually see 12V. I hope this helps?

    I've made several of my own LED brake light conversions, and even have a quick video on my site that demonstrates how much faster LEDs are to illuminate than incandecents.
     
  13. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    If you have the right # in series you could hit them with 12V and each one would only get the 1.2v or whatever it needs.
     
  14. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    Yeah. That was the "sting of LEDs" part. You can certainly make a 12V series string of LEDs. That's the cheap way. Doing it right puts the LEDs all in parallel with current regulation. Otherwise, you'll get variations in brightness from the individual LEDs since the forward Voltage will vary from piece to piece.
     
  15. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    I don't know if it will or not because I'm not to knowledgable on the resistance properties of the diodes... but normally if the resistance is the same on all parts "or diodes" in a series chain, then the same amount of voltage gets consumed at those points...and of course if one goes out.. they all do.

    But your prob right that its more stable to go in parallel, or course then you have to have each one dropped with a resistor to get the voltage down and so all in all you will have much more power wasted with all those resistors.
    A mini low voltage power supply may be more efficient, I don't know.

    I am mainly concerned about what looks like a string of diodes behind the lens of the headlights on the 06. But it would definatly be cool if we could figure out how to power those..... I wonder why Toyota put diode lights without powering them?....
    I haven't taken the lens off , but I assumed they were indentations in the glass to refect the light behind then and "look"like diodes rather than actually be diodes?
     
  16. jdjeep98

    jdjeep98 New Member

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    They're not powered? :eek: I never looked (I'm always inside playing with the driver's toys :p ) Are you sure? :huh: Wonder what they're for, then...
     
  17. windstrings

    windstrings Certified Prius Breeder

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    Well I don't think they are.. I was at a priuchat meeting and no one seemed to think they were.... when you turn on the headlights and get down to thier level, they do tend to act as tiny lens's and transmits the light behind them as if they are lit!.... kinda smart if you don't want a different color?.... why use extra energy thats already there!
     
  18. 2009Prius

    2009Prius A Wimpy DIYer

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    Does this mean the central brake LEDs are already pulsed (no need to modify)? Thanks!
     
  19. darelldd

    darelldd Prius is our Gas Guzzler

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    2009 - no, from the factory, nothing flashes.
     
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  20. KK6PD

    KK6PD _ . _ . / _ _ . _

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    Gary, brother KK6, ALL GOOD POINTS!

    I checked the website out and they also have a 1 tap turn signal assist. You tap the turn signal once, it will flash either Left or Right Signals up to 8 times, yes, it's programmable. You could also just latch the turn switch on, and it will stay on until tripped off!
    I have placed my order for BOTH units!!!
     
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