High mount brake light screw

Discussion in 'Gen 3 Prius Care, Maintenance & Troubleshooting' started by OptimusPriustus, Sep 26, 2021.

  1. OptimusPriustus

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    So i messed up the screw head. Brake light was flickering at times and i decided to have a look and opened left side screw, which was super tight, but got opened. Right side felt like it’s opening until i realized that it’s not:-( i did not apply any WD40. I should have applied because the screw appears to be stuck to washer underneath so there’s whole lot of friction to fight. Anybody opening these screws: do apply wd40 or something and let it soak few days. Time&money you save may be your own:)

    D7433CB8-E97F-4789-8AFE-AF8CFA61A44D.jpeg


    Now, i wonder whether there are any new ”innovation” (i.e.) tools for this kind of problem? First thing that came to my mind was narrow tip locking pliers (not sure what is correct english name). If i was sure the brake light is toast i could of course cut plastic away to get grip with regular locking pliers

     
  2. ChapmanF

    ChapmanF Senior Member

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    It looks pretty well rounded out, but might still be worth a try with one of the "seized fastener removal kits" such as from Lisle or Thexton. Works with a source of shop air and an air hammer.

    The trick is that it just taps vertically on the screw, not necessarily hard, just rapidly, to shake the rust loose. Meanwhile, you apply turning pressure, not forcefully, just steadily, and usually get the screw out with no damage to the head.

    If this head still has enough shape left for that gentle turning force, it could work. (Otherwise, you can cut a straight slot in it, and do the same thing, with a straight screwdriver bit.)
     
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  3. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Toyota's corrosion control stinks.

    You might be able to "grab" the head with needle-nose pliers, get it turning.

    here’s a pic:

    AEEE829A-BBED-469B-818A-D7E9006DE88F.jpeg
    I admit I benefit from others calamities; every time I hear a story like this, I go out and check ours, usually end up applying a drop or two of oil.
     
    #4 Mendel Leisk, Sep 27, 2021
    Last edited: Sep 27, 2021
  4. mr_guy_mann

    mr_guy_mann Senior Member

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    There ain't much left of that screw head. It's in a recessed bit of plastic. Experience would suggest that you ; leave it alone until you have to deal with it, use a dremel with a small stone to grind the head down- or drill it, or "hurt" the lens to cut a slot in the screw (or break it so you can grab the screw with vise-grip pliers). See what a replacement light goes for- in my daily world time is the primary concern, cost of a "minor" part is secondary.

    I haven't had much success with extractors on small screws, and any air hammer use needs a VERY light touch on the trigger or you can obliterate whatever you are trying to remove.

    Posted via the PriusChat mobile app.
     
  5. OptimusPriustus

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    thanks for the great pic! It seems to be one piece (no washer) and the head is so curved I wonder if any locking pliers can grab it. And is that blue stuff threadlock..? If it is they should have put Torx screw. Definately not Phillips.

    Those extractors are tempting. I’ll try that and if it fail then pliers (bought them already but need to take off 1mm). If that fail too then i probably try to grind a groove there. Key thing is to show my teenage boys that there is always a way and always a tool. If not then do the tool by yourself. And that anger is better than despair:D
     
  6. OptimusPriustus

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  7. OptimusPriustus

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  8. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    The screw is one piece. The shape and dimensions of the “shoulder” makes it so it bottoms out against metal (nut embedded in the plastic spoiler), and the flange incorporated in the head only presses gently on the plastic lens.

    For your info: when I removed the screws on ours, I found it very hard to pull the lens far enough away from the spoiler to get fingers on the electrical connector for disconnection. Since I don't need to, I didn't persist with that effort.

    I have had the spoiler off once, and maybe I pinched the wiring during reinstall, so it doesn't pull out enough to grip, not sure. Also, the bulbs look to be LED, not easily replaceable, so would likely require replacement of the full unit. For your intermitent light it might just be a case of a poor electrical connection, maybe due to more corrosion?
     
  9. jzchen

    jzchen Senior Member

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    It is turned CCW. I have experience with the cheaper ones. It was not a fun experience. This one is a name brand quality product. (Should be easier work.) It's made of harder metal than the screw so you drill into it and at some point it bites and backs the screw out. (At least that is what it's designed for. Be sure you try one of the smallest sizes and center it carefully).
     
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  10. OptimusPriustus

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    Got the screw out. It was real PITA. Cant believe they are so tight. Lefthand hole is guiding hole (not round) which explain why it was easier and came out ”normally”.

    Tried the extractor first but could not grind deep enough pilot hole so tool did not bite strong enough. Too cheap tool.. Then tried long needle nose pliers which just got twisted and eventually slipped. Then tried locking pliers which had to be grinded thinner so that they fit the recess. No luck (because at this point screw head was rather shot already). The drilled hole with fresh new drill bit and tried extractor again and there you have it:
    46BE8DDF-5D73-4E25-8AD1-68BD1B4AD177.jpeg

    Tried contact cleaner but leds did not lit. Then tried 12v from battery charger and no light. I recall leds do not get damaged with reverse polarity or do they? Maybe it was broken, maybe it got broken during the ”screw fight” or maybe when i accidentally dropped to ground once.. I did notice so interesting traces though. Not sure if its sigh of anything

    8A268533-728B-4AD0-8178-C50EC8329DE4.jpeg
     
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  11. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    When the screws were out, how much slack was there on the wires; were you able to pull the light assembly far enough away to get a good grip on the electrical connector?

    when I took a look at mine it would barely pull away far enough. I have taken the spoiler off in past, and wondering know if I misrouted or pinched the wires during reassembly.

    The light is not cheap, but available, one source:

    Center stop lamp for Toyota Prius 3 generation 01.2009 - 11.2011 - Toyota Car & Auto Spare Parts - Genuine Online Car Parts Catalogue - Amayama

    Buy Genuine Toyota 8157047051 (81570-47051) Lamp Assy, Center Stop. Prices, fast shipping, photos, weight - Amayama

    For me in West Coast Canada, it's $59.39 plus $12.13 (CDN funds, shipping from UAE)
     
    #12 Mendel Leisk, Oct 2, 2021
    Last edited: Oct 2, 2021
  12. OptimusPriustus

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    Yes, i had same. Not much slack in the wire. But after gentle pulling (maybe 1”) connector was easy to disconnect.

    Those links you provided were good. I wish i had seen them before buying. I ordered from magengines which is also from UAE. 60usd for that 81006-47011 which i believe comes with that wire set. But on top of that 60usd +freight i need to pay taxes (24%) and duties (few percentage). Still cheaper than from local Toyota where it’s 120Eur. I bought the screws from them though.

    Funny to see that led brakelights for olders cars are keeping the high price. High mount led brake light for my Volvo is cheaper even though it’s much bigger and more led’s. But then again, it’s broken already. One by one the led’s are going offline since car was 3years old. 50% lighting up anymore.
     
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  13. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    Not sure if it would apply in your country, but the 3~4 times I've used Amayama the only extra charge was shipping, no sales tax or duty.
     
  14. Grit

    Grit Senior Member

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    Nicely done. Now replace the third brake light with the one that strobes 3 to 5 times before its stays on.
     
  15. Mendel Leisk

    Mendel Leisk Sand Pounder

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    What about epileptic tailgaters?
     
  16. OptimusPriustus

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    i mean taxes and duties upon import. I paid the stuff already and seller did not charge any surprises
     
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  17. OptimusPriustus

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    Got the new brake light today. All good and light is working. Really no complaints about the supplier: ordered saturday and arrived today and it’s a genuine part (did rather comprehensive inspection).

    Remember the little (car repair) moments. That were good:)
     
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