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Discussion Starter #1
Hello all,

About a week or two ago, the driver side rear tail light went out. The long red panel between the brake lights and reverse lights. At first I thought it was a bulb but it looks like there are several bulbs in that panel, but I am not sure as I don't see any way to remove it so I can check it. This happened right after I carried some plastic lawn chairs in the trunk and used some bungee cords to keep the trunk lid as low as possible. So I suspect, I may have loosened a connector by mistake, although, again, I cannot see where it goes. I am disabled, and unable to crawl into the trunk, but do have a friend or two who could help if I can supply the knowledge. One is 13, and the other is not mechanically inclined. Any help would be appreciated, as this is driving me crazy looking at my car with one panel on, and the other off.

Also, related to this issue is the third brake lights. The driver side bulb has been out ever since I bought the car, but again, I can't seem to see a connection. I can feel around the area for the wires, but can't see where they connect to the bulbs. I would like to replace both bulbs (already bought the bulbs) at the same time and use the currently working one as a spare. However, as stated above, I cannot find the access hole, or connector, or anything.

Jim
 

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1997 Thunderbird 4.6, 1998 Mark VIII LSC
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9,523 Posts
The LED panel with the chromed bird emblem in the middle is a common failure point. There is a short connector that hooks up near the trunk lock though; it's possible that got yanked out (although not likely since it's got a pretty tight snap connector). They're not designed to be serviceable parts, so your best bet is to find a known good replacement. Otherwise, feel free to cut it open and try to replace the LED strip.

As far as the high mount stop lamp, the bulbs are replaceable from under the package tray in the trunk IIRC. It uses a 921 bulb. If it's anything like my Mark VIII getting to the bulbs is a bit of a pain (I never had a T-bird with the package tray mounted stop lamp - mine has it in the spoiler).
 

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I believe that the plastic third brake light housing pops off its base, and then you can get at the bulbs. Of course, to do this, you need to be crawled into the back seat. So it might be time to get a friend involved. I don't remember exactly how it needs to be moved, but I would try sliding it toward the front of the car first.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Thanks guys. I'll see if I can fix the 3rd brake light tomorrow, when my friend is here. Don't know what I will do about the LED lights though. :(

Jim
 
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