Third Brake Light

I saw a 1953 F100 with a third brake light fitted in the rear of the cab and really liked the look.  I dont usually like to copy things, but I just though that this looked very cool and couldn't see how to better it.

The only problem was that the light is made and supplied by a company in the US only.  So after finding the company details Hitech Products I placed an order for a single row 10 1\4" long Brake light with two lenses, one red and one clear, as I am not sure which will look best with the final paint colour.

The light is designed to be flush mounted, so it looks just like a very thin neat line on the rear, it is only 1/4" (6mm) high.

The only problem now was cutting the slot in the rear of the cab, it needs to be super neat to look good.  I needed to find a way of cutting a 1/4" wide slot in the 16SWG steel.  My initial thought was that I could use my Dremel tool in a similar way to a router.  Unfortunately when I tried this on a scrap piece of steel it was just not up to the job.  So the second option was to cut the slot with an angle grinder.  Luckily I had some ultra thin cutting discs approx. 1mm.  So what I did was drill a hole at each end then used the angle grinder to join the two holes.

You can see here the way that I cut the slot, after drilling the holes and the cutting within the lines to join them up to make a slot, it was then a matter of filing the remainder of the slot by hand.  It took a while but the end result was worth it.

 

There was a slight problem, after I had cut the slot it was evident that there was a bow in the lower cab section.  This meant that I had to make a stiffening bracket to pull it back straight again.  The bracket was then spot welded to the inside of the cab over the slot.  I also used a stud welder to weld two studs to the bracket to mount the light.  Here you can see the slot after the bracket has been spot welded in place.

 

Here is the slot after a final skim coat of plastic padding filler and block sanding down.