Ford Explorer 3rd Brake Light Fix

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Introduction: Ford Explorer 3rd Brake Light Fix

WARNING! There is a risk of electrical shock associated with this instructable. The manufacturer recommends only authorized service personnel make this repair.

The high mount brake light on my 1996 Ford Explorer went out. There were several years where Ford installed neon lights instead of standard bulbs. There are 2 primary components to these light assemblies, (1) Ballast (2) Neon bulb. Most of my research suggests that the ballast is the component that fails and that's exactly what happened in my case. This instructable is limited to changing of the ballast.

***Don't forget to disconnect the battery before starting this instructable***

Step 1: DISCONNECT THE BATTERY!!!


DISCONNECT THE BATTERY!!! 
The voltage gets stepped up to run the neon bulb. You don't want to get shocked.

Step 2: Accessing the Ballast

Raise the lift gate.
Pull the trim back to access the ballast.
You may need a screw driver to get under the trim.

Step 3: Disconnecting the Baslast

Unscrew the 2 screws holding the ballast in place.
Partially remove the ballast.
There are 3 plugs you need to disconnect.
On the left side of the assembly there is a 12v connector. Disconnect that one.
On the right side of the assembly there are 2 individual connectors. Disconnect both. They are colored coded. One is white and one is green.

Step 4: Installing the Ballast

Get your new ballast (i bought my from Ebay).
Install the new ballast by reversing the steps. The process is simple enough I didn't feel you would need the instructions.

Don't forget to reconnect the battery and test out the light.
If this doesn't fix the issue then its likely the bulb. That's an instructable I hope I don't get a chance to write. That involves drilling out rivets and more.

Good luck.

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    6 Comments

    0
    PatriotM
    PatriotM

    Question 2 years ago on Introduction

    How hard is it to remove the plastic around the top hiding the balast

    0
    aeguilamo
    aeguilamo

    Answer 1 year ago

    Pretty simple actually, all you have to do is to remove the plastic pins (pry with an small flat screwdriver) and then pull on the plastic trim.

    -

    0
    bobwilliams645
    bobwilliams645

    Question 3 years ago on Step 4

    I have no power coming out of the wiring harness itself well Io

    0
    bbqbrisket
    bbqbrisket

    9 years ago on Introduction

    I found it a waste of time replacing parts for this light.
    Found a kit from real bright leds online for about $50 that worked out perfect.

    0
    ac-dc
    ac-dc

    Reply 5 years ago

    Well it's lovely that you spammed with that info but a replacement LED strip that can run off 12V is only about $5, not $50, then reuse the existing housing.

    1
    zazenergy
    zazenergy

    9 years ago on Introduction

    Sounds like a nice hack! I don't know much about car repair, so I would love to see more photos of the of the repair. Any chance you have more to share?