Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Third Brake Light and a center Console Before the Roadtrip

In a nearly unacceptable deviation from past performance, I had the 1600 roadworthy with a week or so to spare before heading off to Vintage at the Vineyards. I considered breaking something, forcing myself into a right-up-to-the-last-minute repair scenario, but I decided to break from the norm and tackle a few small convenience tasks. The first of these two was a third brake light.

As many have noted, the 1600/2002 brake lights are not exactly bright. Some overcome this with a modern-style third brake light in the rear window, which I find to be a little too modern-looking. Others use a vintage, European, bumper-mounted red fog light as a source of extra braking luminescence. I prefer the latter option, but vintage fog lights are usually around $100.

Enter: K-Mart. Behold, the $4 trailer light.

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I painted the white, plastic backing of this thing flat black and wrapped a stainless steel tie around it for a little accent. Of course, the next step was to mount it, so I pounded a mount out of 1-1/2" flat stock. I shaped it to bolt between the bumper and the body, so I wouldn't have to drill a hole in my European-style bumper.

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After painting it, I installed the mount. only to realize that I should have made it a bit taller.

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I also made this little bracket to attach the light to the bumper bracket.

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With a small extension  piece to correct the hieght, I mounted and wired up the light. Since it grounds to the mount, I only needed to run one wire through the license plate light wiring grommet to the brake light circuit.

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Next up was the console. I wanted to update my accessory and radio functions, so I threw this console together.

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The old speaker grill conceals a newer-style stereo.

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Also, I modified the driver's side engine mount to limit lateral engine movement.

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Gratuitous engine shot:

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