If you have a Jeep Wrangler JK and would like to install a Rigid Industries LED as your third brake light, we have taken the guess work away with this closer look. This post explains how to utilize Rigid A-Series LED lights in your install without the Jeep’s spare tire and carrier.
So for whatever reason, you’ve decided to remove your spare tire and its mounting carrier. Be it weight reduction, looks, ignorant bliss, what have you, but now, you have no third brake light. This is also illegal in some areas of the country. However, pretty much anywhere, it’s just not as safe as one can be. So here’s something you can do to remedy it…
Getting Started: Materials
To start with, you’ll need a Poison Spider Tramp Stamp. Because someone over there was thinking the same way you are, they produced this awesome piece to help dress up the unsightly naked tailgate. You’ll also need some Rigid Industries A-Series lights. Legally, red is your best choice. But if the state you live in allows it, pick any color you choose, as Rigid has a variety to choose from.
You’ll also need some plexiglass. Be sure to purchase a piece large enough to extend beyond the edges of the stamp, keeping in mind that a 15 inches long by 11.5 inches high is the minimum size you should use for this project.
Let’s get started. Depending on the size of plexiglass you found, you may have to trim some before moving on as 15″ high by 11.5″ long should be just the right size. Trace your stamp on the top of the piece of the plexiglass, taking care to mark all of the mounting holes, including those for the license plate if you choose to mount it.
Cut the plexiglass to the size specified and grab three different grits of sandpaper. I used pieces of 80, 100, and 220. Sand the cut edges of the glass first with the 80 grit, moving on to the 100 grit, and finally the 220. I recommend using a buffing wheel with a polishing compound for the polishing step, and a mild cutting compound used for soft metals like brass and aluminum. Polish the edges until they are clear in appearance.
Next, use the 220 grit sandpaper to sand the face of the plexiglass on the side that will be mounted to the back of the tramp stamp, making sure to create a uniform finish across the entire surface. Don’t forget to drill the mounting holes when you’re done polishing, taking care to drill slowly with a sharp bit so as to avoid cracking or breaking the plexiglass.
Now it’s time to mount the Rigid A-Series Lights. Remove the vent if you haven’t done so already, and you’ll see the perfect spot to fit two lights. You don’t have to use two lights, but the brighter, the better!
Connect the lights to the factory third brake light wires inside of the tailgate. You can gain easy access to the wires by removing the plastic panel on the right side of the tailgate when you are looking at the interior side of the gate. Now, it’s time to finish up!
First, place the plexiglass with the clear side onto the Jeep tailgate, sanded side onto the back of the tramp stamp. Replace the mounting bolts and tighten them down (but not too tightly to avoid cracking the glass). Once it’s all together, try it out as you’re sure to enjoy it. It will look great, and you’ll be the envy of Jeep enthusiasts!
Hopefully anyone following you will snap out of his or her daze and notice your bright Rigid brake lights. THEY DEFINITELY WILL! Good luck, and have fun!
Submitted by Frank Asenbauer