89 S3 3rd brake light bulb and socket? - Alfa Romeo Bulletin Board & Forums
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post #1 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-21-2014, 05:32 PM Thread Starter
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Question 89 S3 3rd brake light bulb and socket?

My '89 S3 is missing the 3rd (center) brake light bulb and socket. I just have 2 cut wires and the hole.

Has anyone a pic of what the proper assembly should look like? I'm going to have to fabricate one and I'd like to see what I'm shooting for.

Thanks in advance-M5
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post #2 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-22-2014, 08:31 PM
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Originally Posted by miami592 View Post
My '89 S3 is missing the 3rd (center) brake light bulb and socket. I just have 2 cut wires and the hole.

Has anyone a pic of what the proper assembly should look like? I'm going to have to fabricate one and I'd like to see what I'm shooting for.

Thanks in advance-M5
Hi Miami,

Here is a link to one that is for sale on eBay. The seller has provided a few pictures of what it looks like:

Alfa Romeo Spider Rear Spoiler Brake Light Socket

I had to repair the one in my 1988 Spider recently, so the pictures below show the Universal aftermarket part I bought (to get the center contact and spring to fix mine), plus what my socket looked like after I repaired it.

In the top area of the last photo below, you can see a portion of the round flange opening on the lens itself (above the wires). There are two little pins on the outside of the lens opening flange, 180 degrees from each other, and near the opening edge (can't really see the pins in the photo though).

There are two mating slots on the the bulb socket that are designed to slip over and slide down those little pins on the lens cylinder. You should be able to see the socket slots in the last two pictures (on the inner diameter of the socket facing the bulb and gasket). Once the socket slots are aligned with the pins on the lens, it is inserted all the way down and locks in place with a twist. I'm sure these little pins break off the outside of the lens cylinder all the time, because they are very hard to see.

If my lens pins were broken, I might just use duct tape to hold the socket in place, or I would cut the flange off the lens completely and then find a way to use the Universal socket retainer in the lens hole. I'm sure there are other fabrication options.

Good luck,
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Edward
'88 Quad - "Claudia"

Last edited by Norseman50; 06-01-2018 at 09:16 AM.
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post #3 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 01:55 AM Thread Starter
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Bless you! You've given me a great starting point. I'm missing everything save for the two wires, a black rubber grommet, and the lens. I'll post pics of what I finally fabricate.

again, thank you so much for starting me on the right track-M5
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post #4 of 12 (permalink) Old 09-23-2014, 08:14 AM
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check on eBay for lens too

Hi again Miami,

The gentleman in Canada that is offering the third brake light socket on eBay (alfa311) is also offering the lens unit (that goes inside the spoiler):

Alfa Romeo Spider Rear Spoiler Brake Light

It's kind of hard to tell in his pictures if the little pins are still intact. You might want to email and ask him before you buy it.

I know his prices are a bit steep, but he does have some very hard-to-find items (and he ships quickly in good protective packaging).

You might consider picking up both the lens and socket from him and then you would be set. He does combine shipping (to reduce shipping costs) when you purchase multiple items from him at the same time.

Edward
'88 Quad - "Claudia"
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post #5 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 06:47 AM
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Is there supposed to be some kind of cover under the bulb socket to retain everything in place? Mine keeps falling out.

Jeff
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post #6 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 08:25 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jxochipili View Post
Is there supposed to be some kind of cover under the bulb socket to retain everything in place? Mine keeps falling out.

Jeff
if you mean this thing:
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/5247666-post15.html

then Shakey kindly made a file from which you can have one printed off!
http://www.alfabb.com/bb/forums/5436673-post55.html
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Dom - Alfa Spider 1990 S4 - formerly: Alfa 101 Sprint, 2600 Sprint, Montreal - family classics: Jensen Interceptor II, '58 Hooper RR Silver Cloud I, Shadow II, '60 Corvette.
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post #7 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 08:38 AM
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Originally Posted by jxochipili View Post
Is there supposed to be some kind of cover under the bulb socket to retain everything in place? Mine keeps falling out.

Jeff
Hi Jeff,

The stop light "lens", which is mounted in the middle of the spoiler, is supposed to have two little plastic pins extending from opposite sides of the tube that the bulb slides into. Those little pins, which are about 1mm in diameter and about 1mm long, are designed to mate with two little "L"-shaped grooves in the bulb holder, in a kind of "twist/lock" system to hold the bulb in the lens. You can barely make out one of the notched grooves on the right side of the bulb holder in the photo below.

It's quite common for the pins situated on the outside the bulb hole tube in the lens to break off, as they are only plastic, quite small and fragile. To make matters worse, the type of connect/disconnect system they employ is not easy to recognize when the bulb holder is in place, so many owners, trying to extract the bulb holder from the lens, just pull on it, or twist it past the "L" release point and snap off the pins.

Also, if the bulb holder has gone missing, an after market unit, without the required locking slots, may have been substituted.
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Edward
'88 Quad - "Claudia"
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post #8 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 04:55 PM
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All of that plastic crap back there is tremendously annoying. I broke my little pins in the lens last time I changed the bulb even though I was as gentle as I could be. I knew it was delicate - I'd changed it before - but it just fell apart. I fiddled with it quite a bit but in the end I just pushed it up into place (mine's a good friction fit but won't stay if you drive it) and used a little dollop of silicone on each side to hold it in place. Not enough so it's glued permanently - when I want to change the bulb I'll just scrape the silicone off. Next time it's getting an LED bulb though and that'll be the end of it. Until the wiring goes bad, of course.

I printed one of Shakey's models and it was perfect - but the ears on the spoiler that it "plugs" into are too munged so it won't stay. It might get the silicone treatment or it might just stay off. Like I said. Tremendously annoying.

Chris

1990 Spider Veloce
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post #9 of 12 (permalink) Old 10-26-2016, 08:46 PM
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I second GV27's concept - ditch the standard light and just go with a Mongo LED. Other advantage is less current draw.

Tom, Placitas, New Mexico '86 red Alfa Spider "Dinsdale," 1982 yellow Dodge W150 4x4 "E. Valdez," 1995 Ferrari 348 "wow", 2010 red Corvette "Prince" and 2006 Cadillac DTS "Dad"
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post #10 of 12 (permalink) Old 04-28-2018, 06:42 PM
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1988 Alfa Romeo Veloce Spoiler brake light socket replacement

I tried several adaptations when the spring in the bulb post disappeared and lost the connection. I went to PepBoys and tried several replacement sockets for the bulb and found a side marker socket (1992-72 Chrysler part # 85816) that takes a wedge bulb (or LED), and it slips inside the metal ring inside the spoiler brake light socket. Just remove the old wires and string the new wires through the holes, connect it up and it works like a charm. Get the biggest LED wedge bulb that will fit (about an inch clearance inside the housing).

Last edited by rsouviney; 06-01-2018 at 08:46 AM. Reason: fixed typo
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post #11 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 08:34 AM
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89 S3 3rd brake light bulb and socket?

My 3rd brake light problem was compounded by the fact that one of the little ears that holds the light assembly to the spoiler had broken off. My light was swinging away inside the spoiler. Then I discovered that the whole spoiler assembly is pop riveted together and without disassembling the spoiler assembly, you can't unbolt the light fixture inside!

So I drilled out all the rivets, cleaned out the slot to which the upper-side rivet are attached, slid on some "extruded u nuts" (Au-ve-co part 12669 for the nuts and 12065 for the bolts), creating an upper-rear spoiler which was no longer a sealed "black box."

Then I superglued and epoxied the broken "ear" to the main light-fixture body and also epoxied a "patch" to the top of the light assembly.

Some previous mechanic had taken a too-large bulb (an 1157?) and siliconed it into place. The heat and size of the larger bulb caused the top of the light assembly to start to melt. The epoxy patch (hopefully) will stop that deterioration.

Then I disassembled the original socket which, as mentioned previously in this thread, had lost the little pins that once held the bottom section of the socket to the top half. I reused the existing socket screws (along with two new washers) to hold the new wedge bulb socket in place. Since the new wedge socket fit well into the old opening, I didn't have to slather that junction with silicone adhesive. Instead, I used silicone adhesive in lieu of the broken-off pins to create a new base for the new bulb.

Finally, I ran silicone gasket material both along the spoiler's edge where it meets the trunk lid and also over the tops of the new u-nut bolts (in case the bolt heads are tempted to come into contact with the trunk lid).

It seems to work. Pictures of the assembly steps are attached below.

The miniature wedge bulb I'm using is a Sylvania 194 incandescent. I've got some much brighter LED bulbs on the way and I think I'll end up using those.
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post #12 of 12 (permalink) Old 06-01-2018, 09:11 AM
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1988 Alfa Romeo Veloce Spoiler brake light socket replacement image

I tried several adaptations when the spring in the bulb post disappeared and lost the connection. I went to PepBoys and tried several replacement sockets for the bulb and found a side marker socket (1992-72 Chrysler part # 85816) that takes a wedge bulb (or LED), and it slips inside the metal ring inside the spoiler brake light socket. Just remove the old wires and string the new wires through the holes, connect it up and it works like a charm. Get the biggest LED wedge bulb that will fit (about an inch clearance inside the housing).
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