3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)
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Cadillac CTS First Generation Forum - 2003 - 2007 Discussion, 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux) in Cadillac CTS Coupe, Sport Sedan and Sport Wagon Forums; Sorry guys it took me awhile to get the trasformer in, one got lost in the mail so they sent ...
  1. #1
    tommy compton's Avatar
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    3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    Sorry guys it took me awhile to get the trasformer in, one got lost in the mail so they sent me out another one, i finally got it.
    here's the fix for under 50.00.

    tools needed

    heat gun or large oven
    solder gun and or wire connectors
    wire 18 or 20g
    electrical tape
    glue, 3m emblem adhesive, goop, or epoxy
    neonxa transformer from amazing1.com http://www.amazing1.com/profneon.htm
    silicone
    double sided tape
    zip ties
    wire stripper
    torx driver
    water proof butt connectors(includes shrink wrap)



    after you remove the brake light frome the rear deck panel with a torx driver, carefully heat the back side of the light with a heat gun(oven may work on low heat) gently and slowly pry the lense from the back cover.
    careful while prying not to break the cover and be very carefull not to pry on the neon tubes inside ( i broke one) they are extremely thin and fragile.
    i had a neon sign place make me another tube to replace the one i broke, he charged me 40.00.
    once the lense is off, it's time to remove the old transformer, cut the rires going to and from it. you can reuse the wires going to the tubes if you like.
    you need a wire on each side of each tube, neon tubes do not have a negative or positve side so the colors of the wires do not matter.


    wire the light in series, don't hook it up to the trasnformer yet, solder new wire to the stock clips, and wire the two inside electrodes together. in series will require less voltage for them to work, hooking them parallel will probably not work with one transformer, you may get dead spots or dim lighting. wire a length of wire to each of the outside electrodes and leave enough wire to feed it through the rubber grommet to the outside of the case.
    cut the connection off of the the stock connection, leave some length of wire on it, we will reuse it. feed the 2 outside tube wires through the rubber seal.



    now you can glue the lense back together, clamp it and let it sit over night to dry, be sure to remove as much of the old glue as possible before gluing.
    after the glue has dried. seall all seams with silicone to prevent water from getting in.


    i cut the mounting plate off of the transformer, it fits good in the location in the pics.. i mounted the transormer on the back of the deck panel, so hopefully i'll never have to take apart the lense again. if the transformer fails you can easily replace it. there is only one output power wire on this transformer, hook one wire to it from the tubes, then the ground side you need to do a 3 way, using the negative lead on the input side. so you'll be grounding the other side of the tubes and the negative side of the transformer to the negative on the wiring harness connection. hook the red wire from the transformer to the white wire on the harness connector. use the water proof butt connectors on all wire connections to the transformer and heat seal the connections.

    i tested mine before installing it with a variable voltage power supply(just to be sure) if you don't have one don't worry i did all the foot work for ya) if you do, make sure you don't touch any wires one the output side of the transformer if you have any exposed wires left. not only does it hurt you will smell burning flesh.


    double sided tape the transformer to the panel and clean up your wiring with zip ties and electrical tape. then install in your car.


    here's the finnished product working beautifully.
    CTSM, Ikera and Mankalas like this.

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  3. #2
    txbest1980's Avatar
    txbest1980 is offline Cadillac Owners Master
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    great breakdown...thanks

  4. #3
    the cadillac kid's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    looks good, tommy

  5. #4
    tommy compton's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    lol i just noticed the brake light on my drivers side is burnt out, now i gotta go back a change that bulb.

  6. #5
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    Eggs-selent, TC.

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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    What's the chances your Neon guy will ship $40.00 tubes to the rest of us? Your technique vs. ebay replacement = You win.

    Thanks Tom

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    tommy compton's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    i don't know, i'm sure i could get him to make tubes. the only problem is shipping them, they are so thin and fragile. that would be a nightmare itself.
    however you shouldn't need tubes unless you break one like i did, it's not the tubes that are the problem it's the ballast/transformer.

  9. #8
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    Ahh...okay

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    afterdigital is offline Cadillac Owners Enthusiast
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    tommy

    thanks. great write up.

    If i was to use LED's would i still need to use the NEONXA transformer?

  11. #10
    tommy compton's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    no, the transformer is only used for neons, it would probably fry led considering it's delivering 4000 volts.

  12. #11
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    the transformer that was lost in the mail finally showed up, i phoned amazing1 to be honest and let them know i wanted to keep it and would pay them for it, they said don't worry about it, very nice of them. in the packaged there was a small capacitor
    they forgot in the other one i got(they are even sending me the capacitor they missed free of charge, how awesome is that for service). apparently you install it on the negative lead right after the negative on the neon tube.
    the capacitor is supposed to make the neon glow brighter and allows for cooling running of the transformers(not that the brake light is on long enough for it to matter) but i decided to add the capacitor soldering it to the negative lead and heat shrink warapping it for water proofing.
    i also added the second transformer and hooked it up so i had one transformer per tube. this is how i wired it.


    the reasoning was i noticed during testing that the neon tubes became dim at around 12v, also the cold (really cold here) seemed to effect the voltage requirements to keep it brightly lit with no dead spots. during the extreme cold around here lately, and monitoring my battery voltage i noticed my voltage dipping below 12v. that was with both my heated seats, rear defroster, heat cranked, lights on and stereo blaring. with all things running it would cause the brake light to dim greatly.
    with 2 transformers the voltage requirement was around 9v before dimming, so now in the cold weather with everything electrical possibly running, it doesn't even phase the brake light one bit. while one transformer does work, i think that 2 is optimal.

    i can't say enough for the service i got from amazing1, they even sent me a cool pen, that has a laser pointer and a 2gig usb drive because i ordered around xmas, those guys rock, considering i only ordered a 20.00 transformer.

  13. #12
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    Way to go man, great work.

  14. #13
    tommy compton's Avatar
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    thanks (thanks to all) i am very pleased with the results(with 2 transformers). it took me some trial and error to get the right match and set up, but it seems flawlessly figured out. i was very sad when my brake light went out, knowing a replacement wouldn't be cheap and a new replacement would be hard to come by. i knew that i could fix it, mounting the transformers on the outside of the lense only made sense, stupid cadillac, they should have made the unit servicable. even the cost of 2 transformers, and some menial supplies is far cheaper than any other option, and probably a more reliable solution too.
    even after buying a new tube and 2 other transformers that didn't work out, and an led attept that i didn't like, it still cost me alot less than buying a used one from ebay. now that i worked it all out, it still shouldn't cost anymore than 60-70 dollars for anyone else to fix.
    if anybody needs more help with wiring just let me know, i'll be glad to give back to the community here.

  15. #14
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    nice idea... i'm kicking myself for not thinking of this myself when mine went out, I could've saved myself a few hundred... I like your taillight tint btw

  16. #15
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    Re: 3rd Brake light fix with pix(redeux)

    Excellent post. I just discovered the wifes CTS third brake light is out so this is a good fix considering the cost of replacing the entire assembly...

    Thanks !

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