Have to remove this piece and the big trim piece underside of hatch to get to the clips that hold the third brakelight. This piece was snappped in two at the screwhole, fixed by Super Glue and let it sit clamped overnight.
This is the big trim panel inside hatch door that needs to come out. Slide panel toward front of car after removing the three screws along the back edge and be ready for it to fall.
These two R & L trim pieces fit along the back edge of the hatch door, and they pull off. There are no connectors, clips, screws, prawls. etc. They will be FILTHY from all the exhaust soot. Three rounds of scrubbing with 409 and a garden hose. Then soak the soft edge with Armor All.
There are two 8 mm nuts on the corners and four clips holding the lens onto the body. The bolts are only anchored in plastic so if they do not turn easily, you will damage the lens. If you are installing a new lens then no worries, you can break the old lens off in pieces. I removed my lens in one piece. If you can get one nut and connectors on half the lens free, the other half of the lens will slide free without undoing the nut or other two connectors first. Slide away from center.
Underside of hatch with trim panel and pieces removed. Inside each dark square cut out is the back side of a clip that must be squeezed to free up the lens.
Looking up under the inside of hatch. This long hose clamps turned out to be great for squeezing the back of the clips that were holding the third brakelight onto the body.
Three different kinds of bulbs were installed. Third one from left is OEM. This is why the red brake idiot light came on when the dash when the brake pedal was pressed.
The bulbs can be changed without removing the lens, just unscrew the grey sockets accessed by removing the trim panel.
Stock bulbs are the only bulbs that will keep the brake idiot light from coming on when the brake pedal is pressed.
A lot of elbow grease was required to get above the tail lights clean, underneath where the lens was located. I used 409, WD-40, and rubbing compound, plus I applied pressure through a paper towel with the nubby end of a plastic pry tool.
Believe me or not, I got the lens off in one piece, then dropped it on the concrete floor. They are fragile when new, plus brittle when old. Was planning on getting a new one anyway but I felt stupid after that.
Always pick up the lens by the thick part in the CENTER where the brake lights are located. The above piece will break under its own weight if you pick it up near one of its ends.
These are the bits to remove from the old lens before you discard it. Replacement cost of the pieces in this picture alone is over $65.