Activation of the High-level Brake Light

Official decisions are often a bit questionable. But the thought processes of the German TÜV chappies (the organisation responsible for vehicle testing in Germany) are absolutely incomprehensible:

Whereas it was absolutely forbidden in 1994 to have a high-level brake light, only a few years later they are very welcome.

The Cappo was a victim of the earlier decision. High-level lights were not just disabled - the lamp unit was never fitted.

According to reports from SCORE members, putting this right could cost in the region of 400 DM. But don't fret. Sven Koch has a much cheaper solution (I believe from Conrad electronics).

Step 1: Buy a LED brake light strip of the right length to fit the space. This should cost about 30-70 DM depending upon number of LEDs (it should be possible quite easily to shorten the strip to fit). Note: LED`s light up 100 times as fast, as the conventional lamps.

Step 2: Remove the plastic lining behind the seat e.g. on the passenger side. This is somewhat difficult, as you have to work the lining free from the seat belt mounting - trust me, it does come free.

Step 3: Underneath the rear window, you will see about 5 screws which secure the black coaming which houses the brake light. Remove these screws. (The back window must be in the raised position)

Step 4: To lift the coaming away, yet another screw must be removed. This screw is near the hinge point of the roof pillar and is covered with a leathery strip. Pull this away, and you will see the recessed screw (crosshead). At this point on the exterior of the coaming, is a sort of rivet.

Step 5: Now you can lift one side of the coaming and unscrew the brake light dummy. Careful when lifting up, because plastic of the coaming is very brittle!!!!!!! (You might consider releasing both sides of the coaming to avoid stressing the plastic.)

Step 6: Cut the dummy open using a Minniflex e.g. Drehmel, (Paintbrush cleaner can be used as a glue solvent instead, but test on a small area first to ensure no damage to the plastic) and thus separate the red lens from the black housing. Caution: These parts are reused.

Step 7: Remove the supporting frame from the LED strip and stick with "silicone" to the back of the dummy. With great care, feed the leads out and through an available hole into the vehicle interior.

Step 8: After the glue has dried, stick the red lens back to the black housing with "silicone" and leave to dry.

Step 9: Now assemble everything again in reverse order. Feed the lead over toward the driver's side and thence through an available hole into the boot. The hole through which you feed the cable from the passenger space to the boot space is covered by a small piece of sticky-tape.

Step 10: The brake light cable is then connected to vehicle wiring at the originally intended point. It is situated below the radio antenna and terminated with a connector.

Have fun - Yours Sven Koch

Key: (Translator's notes)