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MG TD TF 1500 - 3rd brake light option for TF

I was wanting some better brake lamp visability for other motorists without distracting from the TF's look.
Came up with this:
I ordered a pair of red extreme bright 8 LED flatpacks in addition to new LED 1157 replacements on-line.

1. Carefully pry out the red disk from the tub's rear reflectors and remove rubber via single metal-screw.

2. Drill 1/16" hole in rubber holders on the side closest to petrol tank and insert dual conductor wire that is long enough (3 to 4 feet)to reach rear tail lamps under vehicle. Slide 1" shrink tubing over each wire first and solder to flatpack's wire plugs. Slide shrink tube over solder joint and heat. Take note of polarity of wires as LED's are polarity sensitive. Red= positive, black = negative

3. Slip dual conductor wire behind petrol tank until visable underneath and re-attach reflector bases to tub via metal screw.

4. Carefully tuck LED flatpack and wiring into bases and while doing so, press the red reflector disk back into rubber base. There is just enough room for the LED flatpack to sit in the rubber base, furthest from the petrol tank, vertically.

5. Underneath, locate the brake/turn-signal lamp wire on each side and route wire from behind petrol tank to exposed brake light wire. Using "T-tap" wire connector, attach one leed to the brake lamp wire and the other to nearest chassis ground. Remember wire's polarity in step 2 above. If positive ground vehicle, red needs to attach to chassis and black to brake lamp wire. If negative ground vehicle, black will go to chassis and red to brake lamp wire. To keep any moisture and corrosion away, I use a silicone dielectric (non-conductive) grease on all connections.

6. Secure any slack wires with electric tape or "pull ties" and your done.

'55 TF 1500 "Sunrise"

TD Hall

Where did you order the LED's from (part #)?
I did this many years ago to my TF but was before LED's were in abundance so mine was done with standard 1157. Been meaning to swap it out for LED's...just never got around to it.

About the only thing I did differently was in the wiring. My harness had bunches of splices in it when I got the car but the majority of it was in good shape. When I re-did mine I brought most of the Lucas style connectors "inside" the car and ran home runs from there.
(click on Izzy's image ...last boot wiring)

Only thing I would question with yours is the "T-tap" connectors ....I haven't had very good luck with those. Rear of the car is a bad spot for corrosion. I do know a good source for Lucas soldier type bullet connectors if you have an interest.

While there ...check out Part No: K6006 in apearal / T-Shirts! LOL

David Sheward

Tim Would you give more particulars on the 3rd light housings. Any make,model etc would be helpful. Same for the LED 8-packs. Or at least how them mount to car - did you drill holes to mount, are they magnetic, suction fit, ...
I have a set of rectangular (3"x6" or so) brake light add-ons from the usual auto parts stores but haven't mounted yet so looking for alternatives.
R Biallas

TF 1500's have reflectors high on the tub.
(Was one way you could tell a 1500 from a 1250 back in the day as 1250's did not have them)

Simply a rubber cup held on with one screw and lens you can "pop" out of the rubber.

Moss sells them and I have done this mod to a couple friends TD's as well. (but before led's were all over the place)

Wife says it makes a big differance when she is behind me even with 1157's in mine ...LED's would be much better!

Whilst we are on the subject...
A little re-wiring, some relays, and double throw toggles and it's pretty easy to use Fog/driving lamps much the same way for front turn signals.
Double throw toggles allow them to still be used as Fog/Driving lights. I got sick of people not seeing turn signals in bright sunlight! I have amber Fog & Driving lamps so it works well for me.
(Some states may not allow "clear" turn signals?)

Or you can always go this route.....cover your eyes Steve it comes again! LOL
Bet they "see" this one coming...and going!

David Sheward

We did the same, but turned a small bezel out of stainless to add a little depth. It is the same style bezel as on the brake lights, just added to the 1500 reflector. Works pretty well.
Scott Ashworth - '54 TF

S. R. Ashworth

Hi David, Randy,

You are probably right about bringing connections inside.
I took the "lazy" route. My bad.
Dielectric grease does wonders for exterior connections though.
I checked Triple C and see your tee pic :-) They are out of the Lucas 3 way bullet connectors but will check back again as they are a better alternative.

Here are part numbers for LED's

1157-60SMD-R RED 60-SMD LED 1157 Signal Tail Brake Lights


This is a Canadian site, shipped close to my home at

You may want to try a US site

Moss now sells led bulbs too but not the flat LED panels.

Randy, the reflectors are standard on late model TF's as far as I can tell and they are attached by a metal-screw into the tub body.
Moss part#
144-600 REFLECTOR late TF

TD Hall

And here's a closeup of the bezel. We did wire our LED's for positive ground.
Safety? Fast?
Scott Ashworth - '54 TF

S. R. Ashworth

Like the added bezel Scott, looks great!
How did you attach it and did you use a different reflector disk?

TD Hall

"Bet they "see" this one coming...and going!"
You could see that apparition coming or going even in the dead of night without any of the lights being on. Thanks Dave, now I have to go out and get some eye bleach. Cheers - Dave D.
Daved DuBois

Thanks Tim!
Let me know if they don't get more "3-ways" in ...I can check when I get home and see if I still have some.
Mine went inside out of necesity.
My DPO never "unpluged" a bullet connector on my car ....for some reason he found it easier to just cut it (on both ends) and splice it back together with his multi colored napa butt conector set using what ever wire was handy and a rock for a crimp tool!
I suspect he was somehow involved with a company that made "zip-cord" in assorted sizes and colors.

I have a "memorial fuse" in my holder dedacated to him...complete with escaping smoke.

David Sheward


My dad put together some explanations and also a sketch which is attached:

We found some 1073 LED lights on the rack at PEP Boys, tore them apart and found single strand wires from the circular collection of tiny units that are, of course, wired to conventional plugs for US cars, and therefore, negative ground. We separated the wires and re-routed them for positive ground.

The problem was how to get the LED’s into the low profile of the reflector. A brass holder was lathe-turned and it holds the collection of LED’s. We wanted to use the reflector plastic if we could but decided to build the stainless bezel that gave a little more depth. An extended bezel was fashioned by building a die that allowed a flat disc of light-gauge stainless to be hammered down into a radiused cross-section which was touched up and then polished. The bezel has a lip to which we epoxied a slightly smaller reflector which was also a PEP Boys off the shelf item. The new profile with a touch of shine matches the chrome bezel on the stock stoplights down on the fender. Sheet metal screws go through the brass ring and on into the body and the bezel is held in the original reflector ring in the rubber.

The wires were run to a connection box we built and attached to the frame under the rear of the tub. A single strand wire was directed to the number 22 terminal on the relay on the firewall. Any other terminal would cause it to flash instead of coming on steadily with the brake. This wiring allows these “third stoplights” to also flash with all rear lights when the four-way flashers are turned on. That circuitry is pretty well known on this board / NEMGTR.

Safety? Fast?
Scott Ashworth - '54 TF 1250 (with 1500 reflectors)

S. R. Ashworth

My contribution to the third brake light.

Mort Resnicoff (50 TD-Mobius)

Ah Guess I should look at TFs closer (I have a TD).
Have seen previous threads on 3rd lights for TDs (ala Mort's single and others double).
Gotta make my front sides more visible too.
R Biallas

In a strange and bizarre effort to keep my TD all Lucas, I fitted a Triumph TR2, TR3 stop lamp on a custom made wooden plinth to the top of the spare tire rim. Wiring is behind the tire and can be unplugged with Lucas bullet connectors to remove the tire. This lamp is a standard bulb type not an LED type and I believe they may have been used on some British motorcycles as well. It's Moss part number 544-100.

John Quilter (TD8986)

If you haven't figured it out Scott and his father are our resident "one-uppers" ...what ever we come up with they find a way to vastley improve on it!
When you search the archives always look for post from the "Ashworth's"!

Scott...mean that in the best possible a bottle of wine waiting for you at Abingdon Hootersville North Anex for your next trip through.

David Sheward

On the TD with the low mounted luggage rack I'm just taping a ribbon of LEDs from Autozone to the top rail of the rack that are wired to the brake light wire and ground (reverse polarity, of course) and they come on with the brake lights and are hight enough and bright enough to be seen. It's pushing midnight here so the pic will follow in a couple of days.

Simple, nothing permanent, no holes, better than no third light.

J K Chapin

All good ideas men.
The old saying from 15th century "children should be seen and not heard" applies to MG's too :-)

David, I found bullet connectors at Moss and B&G.
Will add a handful of tips and double connectors next order I put in.

TD Hall

Here are the Brake, Signal, and Four Way Flashing LEDs that I made up for my TD. Leds came from JC Whitney.
High luggage racks are good for some things. Connected lights to harness via a boat triailer connector so I can take them off in a jiffy if needed
Out of level appearance is due to camera angle.

GF Metz

The National Hockey League is suggesting a realignment that would put Columbus in Pittsburgh's division. If that happens, I'll probably be coming past you to watch my Pens. Hopefully I can mix pleasure with pleasure and stop by the Annex.
Take care,
Safety? Fast?
Scott Ashworth - '54 TF
S. R. Ashworth

I have good parking at Nationwide down in the tunnel next to the TV truck where the players park...but I go in about 7 hours before game time.
After game party in the garage is do-able!
David Sheward

See for the approach that I took in '06. They're still going strong. Bud
Bud Krueger

This thread was discussed between 28/02/2013 and 02/03/2013

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