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Discussion Starter #1
So I'm driving home from a Magic game last night behind a nice silver 'X and for the first time I notice that ooly the top two tail lights double as brake lights. My idea is to replace the lower tail lights with the same dual filament bulbs used in the upper two tail/brake lights and somehow hook them up so they also function as tail/brake lights. I'm guessing this would result in approximately a 66% boost in brake light candlepower (5 brake lights instead of 3). I remember some folks at the CR-V forum doing the same type of mod. But their mod involved getting rid of the yellow turn signals (they wanted the all-red look) and tying everthing into the built in trailer wiring harness, resulting in all the lights functioning as tail/brake/turn signals. I don't want to mess with the turn signals, just make the bottom tails function as tail/brake lights. Do I just change the bulbs and splice them into the upper tail/brake light wiring? Are there any electrical experts out ther who can tell me the best way of going about this? Assuming I do a quality job, is there any down side to doiing this? I wonder why Acura wouldn't have made the bottom lights function as brakes. Did they think that at night the contrast between the bottom and top would serve as a better alert to following drivers that you have hit the brakes? I'm thinking it would be better to have them all light up bright. After reading about several folks on this forum getting rear ended (including by a dump truck) I'd like to maximize my braking visibility without resorting to those (IMO) tacky looking trailer hitch lights. On my old 1st gen CR-V, the optional spoiler I got came with a nice LED high mount brake light. If the optional rear wind deflector came with one, I would get it.
 

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Maybe you can do it. First, the socket for the lower bulb would have to be changed to accept a dual-filament bulb. Second, the green wire (which goes to the brake lights) comes from a module called the brake light failure sensor, which is located behind the right-hand headrest-storage panel in the rear storage compartment. I don't know how this sensor's circuitry would react to double the normal current draw every time the brakes are applied. Third, the brake lights share a 20A fuse (fuse 47)with the horn; double the brake-light current along with blowing the horn while braking MIGHT blow the fuse.
 

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Interesting idea if I get time at work tomorrow I'll take a look in the service manual and our demo and see if it is workable .Jens
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Jens that would be great if you could take a look at your demo before I whip out the electrical tape :p If it's workable, it sounds like the only parts I'll need to buy are the upper tail/brake dual filament bulbs and upper sockets. Do either of you guys know how the sockets connect to the wires, are they easily disconnected and reconnected? My only experience with Honda wiring was when I installed the tweeter kit, fog lights and spoiler/LED brake light to my old CR-V. As I recall, everyting worked with plastic connectors. Hopefully I'll just be able to pop the new sockets in, connect the existing lower tail light wires using the same connectors to the new sockets, and splice a new wire from the existing green brake wires into the new socket. I suppose I'll also need to buy the proper connectors to hook the spliced brake light wires nto the new sockets. Thanks for the info Frostya on the brake light failure sensor. I may want to find out how much a replacement unit from Tim would cost before I undertake this project :D
 

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Give me another day or two here on this idea we are incredibly busy and whenever I do get a minute it seems the demo is out on another road test .Jens
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Jens said:
Give me another day or two here on this idea we are incredibly busy and whenever I do get a minute it seems the demo is out on another road test .Jens
Hey no problem Jens, I look forward to hearing what you think.
 

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Ok I had a few minutes alone with our MDX today before it shot off on another road test and I think this is a workable idea.All MDX vehicles are equpped with a trailer wiring harness hidden below the trim panel that is on the floor at the rear gate.If you remove it you will see a grey plastic connector plugged into another connector with no wires coming out of it.I would use this plug as a source for the brake light power.In order to convert the rear running light you will have to do a bit of work however.Number one you will need a socket for a two filament bulb.If you go to your local Acura dealer you can buy a tail light harnes for about twelve dollars for a TL .You will only need one as the TL has two running/brake light bulbs on each side.Once you have this you can use the sockets for the MDX.Now here is the trick ,you will have to modify this socket a bit to fit the MDX taillight .But using this socket allows you to use the same type of bulb that the MDX uses on the stock running/brake lights.Next you will have to also obtain from your dealer what is called a pig tail.These pigtails are just a six inch length of wire with a small connector on one end.The nice part here is that you can install this pigtail into the empty socket the trailer connector sits in.This will allow you to get easy access to the brake light circuit.The only thing you have to do is cut off the original tail light socket, wire in the new one run a wire from the trailer connector to each tail lamp and you done.I would advise that you not add another circuit of lightbulbs to the stock brake light circuit as this may cause some problems.
As soon as I get a chance I will try this out to see if it works as planned.I will also try to get the part numbers together for those of you who want to do this.
Please remeber I have not tried this out yet so I cannot say for certain it will work but I think it should be alright.As far as the legality of this mod ......well you guys are on your own though I doubt it will cause trouble.Jens
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Jens said:
Ok I had a few minutes alone with our MDX today before it shot off on another road test and I think this is a workable idea....As soon as I get a chance I will try this out to see if it works as planned.I will also try to get the part numbers together for those of you who want to do this.
That's great news Jenz. I'm wondering though if by hooking it up through the trailer wiring harness if this means that the lower lights will blink when you hit the turn signals, or can that function be stopped? I followed behind another MDX at night over the weekend and the brake lights could definitely use some improvement IMO. Hopefully your experiment will work :)
 

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Hopefully before the end of the week I will have an opportunity to try this trick out for you people interested in this mod.Unfortuanately I also have to do regular work (imagine that ! lol ) so finding the time is the trick but stay tuned.Jens
 

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Double brake and running lamps

For those of you who were interested in modifying your tail lamp assemblies to have two brake lights throw me an e-mail I have a way of doing this but it will require some careful work on your [email protected]
 
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