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third brake light seems too hot

Posted by Art Munson 
September 30, 2011 01:08AM
I removed the third brake light from my '89 325ic today to seal it up. I noticed after putting it back together that it gets real hot where the bulb is.( had my foot on the brake for maybe 30 seconds) It has actually discolored a "quarter sized" spot in the paint. Is this a common problem? Do I need to install a different bulb? I just sealed it up!
Thanks,
Art
September 30, 2011 08:31PM
You may have too big a bulb in there. mine barely melts the frost on a cold morning.

Bob in Everett
September 30, 2011 11:51PM
That's what I was afraid of.....need to take it back apart.....messy silicone!
October 01, 2011 01:02PM
Quote
Art Munson
That's what I was afraid of.....need to take it back apart.....messy silicone!

You need to use silicone to change a brake light? Is this some messed up convertible thing that I'm not aware of? The rest of us just unscrew a panel and pop the bulbs out...

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1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

October 01, 2011 02:22PM
The 3rd brake light is this spot on the youth's face.

Apparently Art's brake light was leaking a bit, so he wanted to fix it with silicone.
October 01, 2011 02:39PM
And there is no access to it from underneath?

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
1989 - E30 - M20 - Manual. Approximately 270,000 miles
2000 - E46 - M52TUB28 - Manual. Approximately 110,000 miles

October 01, 2011 11:47PM
Yea, once again the easy way out...I looked in my manual for about 2 minutes and I couldn't find anything to show me how to remove the brake light assembly because yes, it was leaking into the trunk, I removed the obvious 4 screws but overlooked the other three that are not behind the foam but further forward near the edge. So I googled "third brake light removal bmw 325IC" and BAMM! There was a link to a site with the answer...the other three screws.

My lense has a crack and chunk missing near one of the holes so that is where the water was getting in. A little silicone on each screw hole and no more leak. After reinstalling everything is when I noticed the discolored paint and "hot plastic". No big deal just another 20 minutes to fix.
October 13, 2011 01:54AM
Quote
Art Munson
Yea, once again the easy way out...I looked in my manual for about 2 minutes and I couldn't find anything to show me how to remove the brake light assembly because yes, it was leaking into the trunk, I removed the obvious 4 screws but overlooked the other three that are not behind the foam but further forward near the edge. So I googled "third brake light removal bmw 325IC" and BAMM! There was a link to a site with the answer...the other three screws.

My lense has a crack and chunk missing near one of the holes so that is where the water was getting in. A little silicone on each screw hole and no more leak. After reinstalling everything is when I noticed the discolored paint and "hot plastic". No big deal just another 20 minutes to fix.


Ooo ooo ooo, I have this little leak too in my cabrio's trunk. Do you have pictures of the repair? Do you need to remove the foam (or little bits) above the tool tray? My foam has little rust marks from the screws I assume - is this bad? But my third brake light is still working. Am I asking for trouble by fussing with it?

Thanks, Kelly :-)
October 13, 2011 08:33AM
I never had noticed the cabrios had a brake light there, is kind of a stupid position, isn't it?
Just like roof mounted antenas, the seals will eventually start to leak inside.

In Portugal the e-30 had no third brake light when new, just after the mid 90's.
As for the heat, there are now LED lights, mounted on regular bulb sockets. It may do the trick, as LED do not produce heat.
October 13, 2011 10:49PM
The leaks are around the screws. Have to take them out and put some silicone sealant on them and put them back in. No need to remove the foam. Probably can do it one screw at a time and not even have to remove the light. I had my tools get ruined by rust before I realized how to fix it. When my cabrio was damaged and needed a new lid, I was tempted to leave the light off the new one, but have had no problems with it since I sealed it up.

Bob in Everett
October 13, 2011 10:51PM
There are two sizes of the cabrio center brake light. I may have a spare one from a salvage.

Bob in Everett
October 14, 2011 11:00AM
I didn't take any pictures when I did the repair. It is very straight forward, just need to remove all the screws(7?) and it comes right off. Once off you will see where you need to put silicone. No need to pull any foam off because there are holes where the 4 screws are-its the other three closer to the window that hid from me.The weather is much cooler here lately so I probably wont do anything about the light till spring.I think I had my foot on the brake for a long time that day messing with the radio.Lots of other projects to worry about. If/when I fix the light I will go with the LED.
Thanks Bob for the offer,
Art



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 10/14/2011 11:03AM by Art Munson.
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