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Old 12-19-2008, 11:37 AM
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brake light pressure switch

I have finally bled the brakes and have pedal pressure but not sure if there is enough. My question is if the brake lights don't come on is there enough line pressure (or am I looking at another problem). The switch is an aftermarket in-line pressure activated unit. The lights work with the light switch but I am also having a problem with the turn signals, is this the reason no brake lights or too little fluid pressure?
Thanks for an answer for either fix.

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Old 12-19-2008, 12:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by 46highboypu
I have finally bled the brakes and have pedal pressure but not sure if there is enough. My question is if the brake lights don't come on is there enough line pressure (or am I looking at another problem). The switch is an aftermarket in-line pressure activated unit. The lights work with the light switch but I am also having a problem with the turn signals, is this the reason no brake lights or too little fluid pressure?
Thanks for an answer for either fix.
It doesn't take much pressure to activate one of those switches, far less than it takes to stop the car. However the quality of the switches has dropped sharply in the past few years. I now avoid them altogether.

First thing to do is confirm that there is power to the pressure switch. If there is power:
Hook a jumper wire between the terminals on the pressure switch plug and see if the brake lights come on. if they do, check the switch.
Use a test light to test the switch. Figure out which terminal is the power feed to the brake light switch and hook it to the switch. Attach the ground wire of the test light to a good ground and probe the OTHER terminal on the pressure switch while depressing the brake pedal. If the test light lights-up, the switch is good.

The brake light signal passes through the turn signal switch. If the turn signal switch is disconnected, you will have no brake lights. Also if the turn signal switch is faulty, it can cause the brake lights to stop working.

Hope this helps.

Joe G.
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Old 12-20-2008, 10:51 AM
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Joe,
Thanks for the help. I'll try your ideas as soon as I can heat up the shop enough to work for awhile. I hope this doen't turn into too much of an electical question, but the tail lights come on bright when I use the turn signals. Does this mean the turn switch is functional enough for the brake lights to have worked? I could see no indicators for which pole on the brake switch to go to which wire so I will swap them over and see if that helps.

I've tried to explain my problem with the turn signal wiring to anyone who will listen but I'm not having much luck. That is why I was unsure of the brake switch, if the problem was back to the wiring or not enough line pressure. I'll let you know if I make any progress.

Thanks again!!!
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Old 12-20-2008, 11:34 AM
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Like Joe said, the quality of these switches are the pits. When I was building my 34 I removed mine and installed a mechanical pedal activated switch. I think your problem is somewhere else though.

Vince
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:13 AM
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I'll agree with the quality of the dang pressure switches. the last 3 wire jobs I've done have had multiple pressure switch failures. It you get a good one, they seem to hold up. It just get to be a nuisance to have to get 3 switches to get a good one. There are about a dozen varieties of them if you go to NAPA.


Funny thing is that after doing the wire test above I checked the fuses. yep, all three "stop" were blown. Why is it that the supplied fuses blow out in the wiring kits. I've replace nearly all of them in my own hotrod and there have been no shorts or sparks. Maybe there is a patience fuse somewhere that needs to be replaced. haha
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Old 12-21-2008, 10:32 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bentwings
Funny thing is that after doing the wire test above I checked the fuses. yep, all three "stop" were blown. Why is it that the supplied fuses blow out in the wiring kits. I've replace nearly all of them in my own hotrod and there have been no shorts or sparks. Maybe there is a patience fuse somewhere that needs to be replaced. haha
Chinese?

Vince
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Old 12-21-2008, 12:59 PM
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I gave up on the pressure type brake light switches long ago.



I always use the lever type ... now.

Napa has them for the mid 60's Chevrolet pickups ... and there are some available from the Hot Rod supply shops also.

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Old 12-22-2008, 09:17 AM
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i've used motorcycle pressure switches in the past, if you want go with a pressure switch in your system, and watch kinda turn signal switch you using?, cause the brake lights go through the turn signal switch, so it can blink one and stop light on other one, so like said make sure you have power going to switch, but you said turn signal not working right either so i'd make sure it's all wired right.
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:16 PM
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Joe and everyone,
Thanks for the tips. I bypassed the switch with a jumper wire and the brake lights work. I finally figured out (by asking some one who knew) how to check continuity on the switch and that seems to be the problem. How is it that I never find these things out until I've installed the part and it doesn't work?
Next question...rather than draining/rebleeding the system to remove the pressure switch can I just leave it there and install a mechanical one? I would think as I have fluid to the rear that it doesn't keep the sytem from working, only the lights.
Also, before I run into the same "too late" problem, what mechanical switch is best? One such as illustrated above from a parts store or is there a better version?
Thanks again for all the help!!
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Old 12-31-2008, 01:21 PM
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Yes you can just leave the switch plumed up and install a mechanical switch. The only problem I can think of it might be the source of a leak sometime down the road. The switch Deuce shows IMO is one of the best, it is very easy to mount and adjust. It just requires bending of the arm to adjust it just right.

Vince
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Old 12-31-2008, 06:51 PM
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I went through this very same thing. I had the hydraulic switch plumbed into the rear brake lines. When I was running drum in the rear, the brakes worked fine. When I went to disc brakes on the rear, I had to literally stand on the brake pedal to get the lights to activate. After messing with it for a while, I got tired and bought a manual brake switch at the local auto parts for $4.00 and change. (can't remember off hand what vehicle it came out of). I fabricated a L shaped bracket which I drilled a half inch hole in for the switch to go into. The switch was threaded with nuts so there was adjustment for fine tuning. The other end mounted to a frame underneath near the brake pedal. Very simple install. The same wires from the hydraulic switch connected to the mechanical switch and Wow! I have brake lights everytime. I will never use the hydraulic switch again. What a headache! I left the switch in the line until I changed it out later when I replaced the master cylinder.
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Old 01-02-2009, 12:31 PM
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swing pedals can use the 70-80 chevrolet inside switch you used, I usually use a 71 camaro as my mythical car to look parts up that I need on the streetrod to the "counter jockeys" at the chain parts stores that cannot find a part on their own. the lever switch is from a 57 chevrolet p/u. (or a 61 cushman scooter!!)
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Old 01-02-2009, 02:41 PM
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The switch I used was from a mid to late 70's Ford pickup truck.
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Old 01-08-2009, 10:22 AM
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Joe and everyone,
I really appreciate the advice on my problem. I checked with the local parts store (Car Quest) and the only mechanical switch they had was from '75 Chevy truck. I wasn't sure about the intallation as it need my swing pedal to push back against the switch to keep it "off". After alot of thinking and drawing it looked like a simple "L" bracket would do the job. I mounted the new bracket on my fabbed up pedal mount, bypassed the turn signal switch which is still giving me fits and wired it up. Brake lights work!!! I will try to add pictures. Now I need to get the wiring tucked away and go on.

Thanks again!!
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Old 01-08-2009, 05:51 PM
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Congrats. That exactly what I posted in my post?
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