My MINI OBSESSION
A Personal Site by Richard Lin aka OctaneGuy | Wednesday, May 24, 2006
Technical Articles
BRAKE LIGHT MOD

October 2, 2003
(Updated 7/27/04)

This page documents the Rear Fog Light becomes Brake Light mod. It is here for your reference only, and you take full responsibility should you try this procedure on your own MINI. I repeat, I am not responsible at all if you attempt to follow these procedures and end up damaging your car!

Requirements:

(2) Radio Shack 3amp 50 PIV diode:
PART#276-1141 $1.29 (for 2)

Electrical tape to cover exposed metal of diode
Needle nose pliars to bend Diode
About 10 minutes of your time!

This is a really simple modification that can be installed or removed very easily, yet it improves your rear visibility by almost double!

Click picture to enlarge


This is a picture of only the left rear brake light modified. You can see just how much more visible the light is now!


In order to make this mod, you need to remove the rear access panels in the boot. You then want to unplug the connector for the brake lights. There is a release clip that you need to pinch in order to remove it.


Here is a closeup of the connector once removed.


I forgot to take a picture of the actual diode, but just go to your nearest Radio Shack and buy part#276-1141. You need 2 diodes, but because each package includes a pair, you only need to buy one box. This item is called an Epoxy Rectifier Diode 3amps & 50PIV $1.29 for 2 diodes.

The diode is black with a silver band. This silver band indicates the Cathode Side. Just insert this end into the hole for PIN1. If you push it in far enough, it'll stay.

Next you'll want to carefully bend the diode to a 90 degree angle, and bend the other leg to fit the hole for PIN4.

If you bend the diode leg after the 90 degree bend into a little Z, and push that Z inside the connector, it will help keep the diode from coming out.

Greatbear says this:

Simply bend the leads in a slight 'zig-zag' pattern with needle-nose pliers to help them stay put.

/\/\==[diode]==/\/\

bend ^ rt angle ^ two places, then install
.
================

Once you have done this, remove the diode, and wrap it carefully with electrical tape so only the ends of the diode are exposed. Remember that once it's wrapped, you won't know which is the Cathode side, so I would mark one end of the diode with a pen so you can identify the correct side once it's wrapped with electrical tape. It becomes a simple matter of reinstalling the diode until it's snug. You can then drape another piece of electrical tape along the back of the plug to ensure the diode won't work loose.

After you complete one side, activate the brake lights and ensure the rear fog light is now on! Now just repeat this with the other light.

I want to thank Greatbear over at MCO for providing the notes and directions on how to accomplish this modification.

Here is the ORIGINAL Thread that my instructions were based on.

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