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Hello all, first I have to say what an awesome site!! I love this place. Ok, I am new and have just purchased a 92 seville for the lady. We are on a budjet since the baby and I wanted to fix the third brake light...only 20% of it worked. Heres what I did. I removed the light and noticed some jumpers inside the light (2) and could see one was not connected anymore. These little jumpers are white peices of paper with 3 wires in them. I used a hacksaw and in a nice easy operation cut an access hole above the 2 jumpers. I re-soldered (not sure how you spell it) them on - replaced the plastic with some very small amounts of caulk and it works perfectly. Just thought I would share, I am sure its been done before :) OK, now for some questions since I am a noob. I see people talk of codes? How can I look for the codes? My antenna is shot but the motor works great (someone bent the antenna) Can I buy just the antenna? Or do I have to spring for the entire motor assembly? I have the "service ride control" issue and was told I need to goto struts for the rears at 900$$$ Any other suggestions I WOULD LOVE. The trunk motor is a doozy...works - doesnt work...I have tinkered and now it works well except when it gets the trunk down the motor doesnt want to stop running? I think this is enough for now THANKS ALL IN ADVANCE.
P>S> I just put some 2002 deville rims on the car and it looks sweet!! Please dont think Im crazy...:)
 

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caddycaddy said:
Hello all, first I have to say what an awesome site!! I love this place. Ok, I am new and have just purchased a 92 seville for the lady. We are on a budjet since the baby and I wanted to fix the third brake light...only 20% of it worked. Heres what I did. I removed the light and noticed some jumpers inside the light (2) and could see one was not connected anymore. These little jumpers are white peices of paper with 3 wires in them. I used a hacksaw and in a nice easy operation cut an access hole above the 2 jumpers. I re-soldered (not sure how you spell it) them on - replaced the plastic with some very small amounts of caulk and it works perfectly. Just thought I would share, I am sure its been done before :) OK, now for some questions since I am a noob. I see people talk of codes? How can I look for the codes? My antenna is shot but the motor works great (someone bent the antenna) Can I buy just the antenna? Or do I have to spring for the entire motor assembly? I have the "service ride control" issue and was told I need to goto struts for the rears at 900$$$ Any other suggestions I WOULD LOVE. The trunk motor is a doozy...works - doesnt work...I have tinkered and now it works well except when it gets the trunk down the motor doesnt want to stop running? I think this is enough for now THANKS ALL IN ADVANCE.
P>S> I just put some 2002 deville rims on the car and it looks sweet!! Please dont think Im crazy...:)
Ok, I'll take a stab at this. I have a 92 Eldorado, same car more or less. The antenna I think you'll have to replace entirely, it's not replaceable seperate from the motor. The struts you can get at Autozone or Discount Auto for about $70 each. They'll be Ryder or Monroe, but the price difference is hard to ignore. Trunk motor, mine does the same. I left the trunk open and by trial and error, a bit at a time, I cycled it down by hand until it was closed right and then left it unplugged. It works like a regular manual trunk lock now but it's ok while I fix more important things.
Bob
 

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bob2231 said:
Ok, I'll take a stab at this. I have a 92 Eldorado, same car more or less. The antenna I think you'll have to replace entirely, it's not replaceable seperate from the motor. The struts you can get at Autozone or Discount Auto for about $70 each. They'll be Ryder or Monroe, but the price difference is hard to ignore. Trunk motor, mine does the same. I left the trunk open and by trial and error, a bit at a time, I cycled it down by hand until it was closed right and then left it unplugged. It works like a regular manual trunk lock now but it's ok while I fix more important things.
Bob
Thanks Bob for the tip...I have cycled my trunk down and as of now will be using it manually as well. Question reguarding struts is...can I just put them on or do I have to do or buy a complete conversion kit? Thanks
 

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caddycaddy said:
Thanks Bob for the tip...I have cycled my trunk down and as of now will be using it manually as well. Question reguarding struts is...can I just put them on or do I have to do or buy a complete conversion kit? Thanks
Autozone doesn't have anything available yet, but Discount and Napa both do. These are air struts, electronic. They should be direct replacements so no conversion would be needed.
Bob
 

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Trunk Motor

caddycaddy said:
Thanks Bob for the tip...I have cycled my trunk down and as of now will be using it manually as well. Question reguarding struts is...can I just put them on or do I have to do or buy a complete conversion kit? Thanks
You can just replace the antenna mast itself. Any GM dealer will be able to order you a kit complete with all the neseccary parts and simple instructions($50). As far as the trunk motor continually running: On the side of the metal latch that the lid locks on to there are two metal tabs bent out and facing the black plastic box on the motor. The box should have a small switch sticking out in between the tabs. When the latch retracts the top tab pulls the switch down and shuts off power to the motor. Check to be shure the switch is still there, is in between the tabs, and (using a mulimeter/test light) kills the power to it when it is flipped down.
 

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On the antenna, I would try the junk yard first. I got the whole assembly for 50 bucks. This is also a lot less work than actually having to disasemble and re assemble. On the trunk, from what you said, I would guess that the only problem there is the switch. These are fairly cheap at only 15 bucks from the dealer. And finally on the Deville wheels, I think thats awesome. I have been looking for a set for my 93. Good luck with your car and your fixes.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sean McDonald said:
Wow, thank you very very much for posting that info on the brake light repair. I'm going to be trying that this weekend!
No problem...if you have any questions just ask.
 

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There are 3 electronic versions of these lamps. Only the very early ones used the described jumper style.

Your brakelight is not really fixed. Its a temporary repair at best. Cadillac issued a bulletin and dealer technician video about 10 years ago describing this exact repair. In the bulletin it even mentions that the customer should be informed of the fact that its considered a temporary repair. Lamps like this last typically about 3-4 months.

The lamps will last 20 years working on a workbench. The problem is when the lamp is installed in a vibration enviroment. The internal circuit boards flex and kill the solder joints. Often after a 'resolder' job the boards continue to vibrate but the next time it fails it rips the circuit foil of the board. Ruined lamp. It is critical to change the design of the lamp.

Another overlooked problem is the boards have double sided circuits. Many backyard repairs short out the backside of the boards and instantly destroy the lamp.

Another issue is the 'caulking'....the lamps live in a very harsh enviroment. It gets very hot during the summer and very cold in the winter. Most materials...silicone, epoxy, goop, etc will either blow out or fail outright. We have seen people even use electrical and duct tape. The only real repair is to use new plastics and OEM materials such as this-

http://www.devcon.com

Another problem is micro cracks at the studs. About 30% of the lamps we see have leaks at the studs. The cracks form from the simple effort of removing the lamps. The cracks will often go undetected and are a water leak. If you dont leak test the lamp you wont find the leak. Water leaks of course will kill the electroincs.

Being we have dealt with these lamps for years....we have seen more 'backyard' repairs then anyone out there. They are pretty bad and all failed. Right now we have a stack of perhaps 100+ lamps scrapped out due to attempted repairs. Try to fix it if you want....we are only trying to save you money. New lamps are $423US plus tax and labor.

Heres a photo of one of ours being repaired-

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1065282089762_repair.jpg

Logan
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Logandiagnostic said:
There are 3 electronic versions of these lamps. Only the very early ones used the described jumper style.

Your brakelight is not really fixed. Its a temporary repair at best. Cadillac issued a bulletin and dealer technician video about 10 years ago describing this exact repair. In the bulletin it even mentions that the customer should be informed of the fact that its considered a temporary repair. Lamps like this last typically about 3-4 months.

The lamps will last 20 years working on a workbench. The problem is when the lamp is installed in a vibration enviroment. The internal circuit boards flex and kill the solder joints. Often after a 'resolder' job the boards continue to vibrate but the next time it fails it rips the circuit foil of the board. Ruined lamp. It is critical to change the design of the lamp.

Another overlooked problem is the boards have double sided circuits. Many backyard repairs short out the backside of the boards and instantly destroy the lamp.

Another issue is the 'caulking'....the lamps live in a very harsh enviroment. It gets very hot during the summer and very cold in the winter. Most materials...silicone, epoxy, goop, etc will either blow out or fail outright. We have seen people even use electrical and duct tape. The only real repair is to use new plastics and OEM materials such as this-

http://www.devcon.com

Another problem is micro cracks at the studs. About 30% of the lamps we see have leaks at the studs. The cracks form from the simple effort of removing the lamps. The cracks will often go undetected and are a water leak. If you dont leak test the lamp you wont find the leak. Water leaks of course will kill the electroincs.

Being we have dealt with these lamps for years....we have seen more 'backyard' repairs then anyone out there. They are pretty bad and all failed. Right now we have a stack of perhaps 100+ lamps scrapped out due to attempted repairs. Try to fix it if you want....we are only trying to save you money. New lamps are $423US plus tax and labor.

Heres a photo of one of ours being repaired-

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1065282089762_repair.jpg

Logan
Thanks for the tips....but I must say I will take my chances and keep the 423$$ in my pocket...if it fails again I will just disconnect the power and will not use the brake light. Me being a novice at this kind of stuff I was quite pleased to see the light work. If I can get 4 months then so be it. Keep up the good work.
 

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caddycaddy said:
Thanks for the tips....but I must say I will take my chances and keep the 423$$ in my pocket...if it fails again I will just disconnect the power and will not use the brake light. Me being a novice at this kind of stuff I was quite pleased to see the light work. If I can get 4 months then so be it. Keep up the good work.
If your ever in Nashville. Be sure to stop by our 'Museum of attempted repairs.'

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1071134835010_attemptrepair_003.jpg

We offer these same lamps for $149 exchange. 2 year warranty.

Logan
 

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I agree 110% as I have also "temporarily" repaired my STS brake light today using the same method you did. A little home solder and a hacksaw blade than reinstalled the piece I hacked out. Covered with duct tape and heated it up so it got super sticky. Bet it last for years. How much water or moisture really enters that cavity? Not much as mine had several dead spiders in it.For those who have neither the time or technical experience to repair these Logan offers an attracive alternative to buying new thats for sure. But I think a statemant like "3 or 4 months" is a bit of an alarmist attitude. I bet it lasts for years like that-mine and yours. What is Logan doing to combat the "flexing circuitboard issue"?
 

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I guess you did not read the reason listed above as to why they fail. Resoldering does not work. Its as simple as that. Basically you just ruined a 'good' rebuilable lamp. Let lamps must be modified.

Duct tape. Yeap...we've seen those. Water will get in. First warm day the duct tape will come off. Same with electrical tape.

Dont think so? 3-4 months not a good guess? I did mention that if anyone wanted to see the stack of scrap we have to come on by. Even presented a picture.

Heres a shot of 3-4 of the lamps just like yours....ruined

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1068324662877_attemptrepair_001.jpg

No water in that area? I need to go see if I can find one of the water lamps and take a picture.

Logan
 

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Logan - We do not permit commercial solicitation on this Board unless you sign up as an advertiser or Supporting Vendor. Please do not post links to your website or other means of contacting you until you upgrade your status.
 

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Hey no doubt your repair is better than us "backyarders". But besides the top quality liquid plastic (to seal the same access hole I cut)what makes your solder more flexable and better suited to the "harsh enviornmet" my brake light lives in? While 150 is better than 350-400 for a dealer light I would still like to know what I am getting or whats being done to make this repair.
 

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Johnny- When you've worked for GM for 23 years you learn some tricks. And I mean 'GM' and not the dealership. An electronics degree will also get you farther.

We will not tell what the modification is on the version 1 lamp. That would defeat the time and money we have spent figuring it out. I can tell you that duct tape comes last place just ahead of electrical tape as a repair. It does not work. I feel we have posted plenty of pictures showing both what a good rebuild is and what a bad one looks like. In addition the eary style jumpers are not the only problem that can happen. Diodes, resisters, and LEDs can and do go bad all the time.

I have been looking for another + post from a different website talking about us. It appears it has fallen off the server over time. The best I can offer is this 'copy and paste' from an email we got this week-

"Hello,
I am very happy with the brake light strip. My local Cadillac dealer took out the defective one and installed yours. They were careful not to damage the strip because I stressed it to them. I also checked the condition before I mailed it this morning. The package is insured. Do you have everything you'll need to credit my credit card? My name is...."

We did not include the name or phone # of course. But I can say this customer is in Florida.

We are not trying to screw anyone here. We own a Cadillac also. It took us 30-40 lamps before WE even had the correct repair procedure. Its either ours for $149 or a new one from Cadillac for $423. All the resoldered ones will die.

One last thing I will extend. If 'johnnyz' and 'caddycaddy' send us their lamps. We will do our best to save them with the repair mods at no charge. Since the lamps have been open and 'repaired' there would be no warranty and you would have to pay all shipping charges involved. These 2 and thats it.

Logan
 

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I fixed my 3rd brake light today. I have had my car for over 5 years and 2 of the 3 led strips stopped working.When I took out the light I discovered that someone had already done a "backyard repair". So, I went ahead and did another "backyard repair" then filled the soldered portions with high temp high temp black engine rtv. if it lasts another 5 years I will be happy. it only took me 1.5 hours from start to finish.
 

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Well you sold me!! If I pay shipping and you'll work your magic on the lamp at no charge I'd have to be foolish to pass that up. This is a very generous and obviously confident offer and one that I will certainly take you up on. Advise me how to contact you to arrange this and I will get a shipping tube and send it out asap. In fact I'm off tomorrow and can have it on its way before noon. Thanks,John
 

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Johnnyz- Thats fine with us. I would much rather work on the lamp then have it fail again in 3-4-5 months with the foils ripped off the boards. Try to contact me thru email and I can offer the best shipping modes and address etc. The webmaster of THIS site will not let me post any contact info unless I subscribe as a vendor for $$$. We offered to exchange links with them but no go.

For Wrolinfat. Buddy..I hope it does work 5 years for you. Silicone...seen that one too. From your description the lamp has failed at least twice. Should be a clue that it does not work. Typically one repair and the foils are ripped off the boards. Cooked goose.

Heres another shot...all scrapped Seville/STS lamps due to home repairs. I count 17. At Cadillac thats $7,191 worth of lamps. Add tax and labor it would be about $9,775.

http://images.andale.com/f2/115/106/3768672/1069185155542_brake_008.jpg

Logan
 
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