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This DIY is to convert some convertible/coupe rear lights from non-check control to check control. (Also the process would suit saloon/touring).

The symtoms are that you replace your rear lights and get a Tail Light Fail warning even when the bulbs are OK. This is because on non CC lights, the 2-2-per-side tail lights share a single pin, and on CC they use a pin each.The CC module sees one bulb is not connected and throws a Check Control Tail Light Fail.

Here you can see the difference in the pinning between CC and non CC lights.



As well as the missing pin in the bottom corner, under the connector the two tail lights are connected, so they must be disconnected from each other and a new pin added.

First cut off the connector parts.

Next cut off the pins. I was using some scrap lamps that are beyond repair for a donor. The pins are pop-riveted from behind, hence the collars on the bases are made of a soft metal around the steel pin. You can steal a pin from the reverse lights if you don't have some lights to cannibalise.

Get your strongest cutters and cut and lever at the same time, levering to try to rip the steel pin from the metal rather than cut through it. Unless you can catch a bullet from mid air, cover with a towel as the pin will hit the ceiling and disappear.

Here you can see I managed to preserve the bottom of the pin to slot into the non CC lights.

Use strong cutters (not your favourite precision Lindstorms or you'll snap them. Ask me how I know) and cut the metal that connects the two Tail Lights. This will mean each tail light bulb are now driven by individual pins, making your light Check Control ready. Before cutting, make sure you are happy with the soldering, make sure your iron gets hot enough to put solder on the aluminium, and so on. Make sure enough metalcomes out to prevent accidentally connecting these two lights together when the connector goes back on.



Now to solder the new pin in. The metal will be oxidised, you could clean off the oxidisation with an etching acid, a solder flux or some sort of alcohol to make the solder take. Mine were actually fairly unoxidised and the solder took quite well. The black you can see in the solder is bad. You don't want it in your solder seams.

I had to widen the holes a little with my trusty hand drill.



I made a solder bath and tinned the base of the pin with solder. Using needle pilers I place the pin, made good the solder all the way round and waited patiently for it to cool. (It stores a lot of heat).




Next you'll want some really strong glue to glue on the connector, like this araldite 24hr resin. The lights plug in the car is pretty stiff, and you don't want to rip off the plug later on down the line. I needed to use the handdrill again to widen the hole in the black plastic to accommodate for the pin and its new solder.

You can't see it, but there is glue under the wings of the connector too.


I also replaced the seals on the lights and glued the seals with waterproof glue.

When refitting the lights with the new seals, do not use any tools, or you will snap the brittle old bolt standoffs. Instead, after positioning the lights so they are flush with the sides of the vehicle, lean firmly and progressively on the light from outside the car (don't crack the lens), compressing the seals, and tighten the bolt with your fingers. Otherwise you'll be taking it all apart again to glue the bolt standoffs again. Ask me how I know.
 

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Hi, as you know i found out my rear lights are none CC, is there a way of hard wiring the CC so the fault dose not come up every time i put the lights on, without the fiddly job of this walk though you have done??? I'm not bothered about losing the luxury of the computer telling me if there is a light out or not.

Cheers Andy
 
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