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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I was getting tired of replacing my third brake light's incandescent bulbs every few months and I was also tired of looking at that faded light
assembly, so I figured a change was needed.

I purchased DNA Motoring's model "3BL-TH01-LED-RD LED" LED third brake light on Amazon for $28 CAD free shipping. Upon
arrival I had discovered that they sent me TWO by accident which was nice! Also nice was the quality of this assembly, which was better than I expected. The 6 LEDs on the assembly were a nice bright red - matching my Hybrid LED tail lights perfectly! After a side by side test, there was absolutely no comparison between this LED assembly and the stock - so in she goes!

Before:
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Luxury vehicle Compact sport utility vehicle

After:
Land vehicle Vehicle Car Compact sport utility vehicle Sport utility vehicle



Step 1: Removal


Since my car is a limited with the rear spoiler, the job was significantly more tedious. I had to use an offset Philips screwdriver to get the screws out, exercising caution along the way to prevent stripping them.

Windshield Automotive exterior Automotive window part Glass Hand


Once the screws are out, use a plastic trim tool to pry off the sticky adhesive - separating the light assembly from the car's body. Carefully work your way around the light, prying and scraping off the adhesive until the assembly slowly pops off the car's hatch.

Vehicle Vehicle door Automotive exterior Car Rim


Now, you'll need to disconnect the socket from the assembly, just like when you go to replace the third brake light bulb. Remove the trim panel right above the back window, find the socket, twist counterclockwise to pop it out and then the assembly can be removed entirely from the car. Be careful while closing your trunk when the bulb is out, it can easily be crushed if its not left to dangle - don't ask me how I know this!

Automotive exterior Bumper Vehicle Automotive lighting Car



Step 2: Installing the LED


Scrape off as much of the old foam as you can from the car. The new brake light assembly didn't come with an adhesive so I used some butyl rubber tape by Dicor. I experimented with closed cell foam at first, but wasn't happy with its adhesion and it didn't seal very nicely.



I wasn't a fan of how the new assembly plugged into the car so I changed it. Instead of using the connector that the original light uses, it uses an unnecessary adapter to plug into the OEM socket instead of the wire that plugs into the socket itself. I found the original plug (#: 2P090K-1160-M) from Japan, and ordered it for $3 CAD. It came with 2 pins and the housing - these had to be crimped in and then the wires are soldered to the new brake light (the old ones ripped off and had to be re-soldered :mad:). I only recommend going this route if you're a crazy bastard like me.
Finger Hand Nail


Slowly press down the new assembly down onto the car as you feed your new wire through the hole behind the trim panel, and into your original third brake light wire/socket. Line up the screw holes and crank her down until the butyl compresses, and voila! You're done!
Design Room Table Furniture Bumper



Step 3: Done


Now you can enjoy your new LED assembly! It has been going strong for 6 months now! Nice and bright, maintenance free, and a nice compliment to the hybrid LED tail lights!

Bumper Automotive lighting Automotive tail & brake light Vehicle Automotive exterior


298499
 

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Thanks Lowlander. Looks great!
For those who want a better CHMSL with less work I like this LASFIT 921 912 W16W LED Third... Amazon.com: LASFIT 921 912 W16W LED Third Brake Center High Mount Stop Light Bulbs, Red Light,Plug&Play: Automotive
One advantage is I find that even though the LEDs will last thousands of hours the associated electronics often will not in the aftermarket lamps and will need replacement. The previous version of this bulb was actually a little brighter but this one is good.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Thank you C R! Funny enough, I was looking at those exact bulbs, but Lasfit doesn’t seem to ship to Canada unfortunately!

LEDs of any kind are definite step up in every way if they are well made. Let’s hope this stands true for my third brake light!
 

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I was getting tired of replacing my third brake light's incandescent bulbs every few months and I was also tired of looking at that faded light
assembly, so I figured a change was needed.

I purchased DNA Motoring's model "3BL-TH01-LED-RD LED" LED third brake light on Amazon for $28 CAD free shipping. Upon
arrival I had discovered that they sent me TWO by accident which was nice! Also nice was the quality of this assembly, which was better than I expected. The 6 LEDs on the assembly were a nice bright red - matching my Hybrid LED tail lights perfectly! After a side by side test, there was absolutely no comparison between this LED assembly and the stock - so in she goes!
Having a difficult time confirming the 2004-2007 uses the exact same part as the 2001-2003. When I select 2001-2003 as model years, I can find aftermarked LED 3rd brake lights that fit that vehicle selection. But when I choose 2004-2007, I cannot find any.

Thoughts?
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I sold my original third brake light to an owner of a 2006 Highlander. He sent me pictures confirming it fit. Improper cataloguing on the LED seller’s side. Will fit right on.
 

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Scrape off as much of the old foam as you can from the car. The new brake light assembly didn't come with an adhesive so I used some butyl rubber tape by Dicor. I experimented with closed cell foam at first, but wasn't happy with its adhesion and it didn't seal very nicely.
When I was working on mine, I messed up the seal between the light and the car, so now some water gets in a little in moderate rain, and I dare not take it through a car wash.

Can you tell me what size/thickness tape you used successfully? I need to get some of that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
UPDATE: Jan 19th, 2022!


The setup is still working great, but now my brain is as well! You can indeed get the OE plug from Toyota (their fitment is wrong, it is used on more cars than listed), I just couldn't find it at the time. 90980-11159

Do I still recommend doing this? Absolutely! It's still one of my favourite little additons to the car, and it's great for safety too! Beautiful, bright & reliable! I would have had to change multiple bulbs by now!
 

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Having a difficult time confirming the 2004-2007 uses the exact same part as the 2001-2003. When I select 2001-2003 as model years, I can find aftermarked LED 3rd brake lights that fit that vehicle selection. But when I choose 2004-2007, I cannot find any.

Thoughts?
I sold my original third brake light to an owner of a 2006 Highlander. He sent me pictures confirming it fit. Improper cataloguing on the LED seller’s side. Will fit right on.
The 2001-2004 uses Toyota part # 81570-48040. The 2003-2007 takes 81570-48060. Confusingly, there is an overlap in the years in Toyota's parts catalog and no indication what the difference is. No mention of the VIN where the change takes place. Anecdotal evidence provided by @TheLowlander suggests that the early one fits the later cars. Anyone know what the actual difference is?
I have an LED #921 bulb in my stock center high mount but as I think I'm about to switch to LED tail lights off a hybrid I might also do the aftermarket CHMSL. Wish you could get the old one off without destroying the $36 gasket - and, yes, I know about butyl tape I'd just rather have the gasket.

Edit: I wonder why Toyota didn't do an LED third brake light on the Hybrid? The parts catalog lists the same 81570-48060 for the Hybrid that it shows for the base model.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Here's what I've found based on being behind 01-03 and 04-07 Highlanders on the road. The 04-07 ones are smoked a little darker to go with the regular 04-07 taillights which are "smoked" a little compared to the 01-03 taillights.

I have also noticed Toyota constantly says 01-04 in the part numbers, but they are incorrect as 04 is the start of the gen 1B "facelift" models. I wonder what would happen if someone ordered an "01-04" part for their 04-07 and had to return it.


Edit:

Yes, the hybrids have the smoked 3rd brake light too, it looks dumb and out of place because the hybrids have bright red taillight assemblies like the 01-03 models
 

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Yes, the hybrids have the smoked 3rd brake light too, it looks dumb and out of place because the hybrids have bright red taillight assemblies like the 01-03 models
LOL - just realized that you're "Yorgi" on Amazon.:cool:
Makes sense now that you remind me that the lights on my 2006 are slightly smoked. I never notice it normally.
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
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