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Hot Rods Brake light pressure switch

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by HOTRODPRIMER, Oct 6, 2020.

  1. lostone
    Joined: Oct 13, 2013
    Posts: 1,373

    lostone
    Member
    from kansas

    Its too easy to hook up a mechanical switch I really don't get why people run the pressure switch style especially after reading the problems and life span of most of them.

    Go to a junk yard and pull a switch off of a 1962 Savoy and chances are it stills works just as it did day one.
     
    Driver50x, Tman and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  2. RmK57
    Joined: Dec 31, 2008
    Posts: 1,595

    RmK57
    Member

    I convert all my older vehicles to this style. Never had one fail.

    lrs-13480b_569933dc.jpg
     
    cfmvw and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  3. I like to use the pressure switch mainly because it's simple and most importantly traditional, like copper/brass radiators & mechanical fans. :D HRP
     
  4. cfmvw
    Joined: Aug 24, 2015
    Posts: 441

    cfmvw
    Member

    Ironically enough, I adapted a mechanical brake light switch to my 1960 VW. The old German pressure switches lasted for years, but the new ones (probably made in China) never went more than a couple of months.
     
  5. fortynut
    Joined: Jul 16, 2008
    Posts: 990

    fortynut
    Member

    I hate to burst anyone's bubble but any decent Hot-Rodder who's been around the block and kicked a few tires knows mechanical switches are 'traditional'. Why? Because some of the older ones you could pry apart and repair yourself in a pinch; and, I can't count the number of time I've replaced points on the side of the road and gapped them with a match book cover, or any number of things it takes to get back to where you 'do the job right'. The 'mechanical' part of a mechanical switch somehow seems to speak the same language we do, and 'pressure' sounds like something Madison Avenue created to sell aspirins --- same as brake pressure switches were.
     
  6. 37gas
    Joined: May 25, 2013
    Posts: 59

    37gas
    Member

    I buy new old stock off ebay still in old box. There are always some there, they last for ever. pre china
     
  7. Marcosmadness
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 361

    Marcosmadness
    Member
    from California

    I was burning out these switches on an off topic, but vintage, race car on a regular basis. I finally "solved" the problem by switching to LED bulbs in the tail lights. The LED bulbs pull very little amperage compared to the incandescent bulbs that originally came on these cars. The LED bulbs are "plug and play" with no alternations needed to the tail light socket or to the electrical system. Most, if not all, auto related bulbs are now available in LEDs. I switched to the LEDs a couple of years ago an haven't had a problem with the tail light bulbs or the hydraulic switch since I switched to LEDs.
     
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  8. '34 Terraplane
    Joined: Jul 11, 2011
    Posts: 231

    '34 Terraplane
    Member
    from Western PA

    Last edited: Oct 6, 2020
    RICH B likes this.
  9. For most American-made vehicles built between the early 1930s and the late 1960s, the brake lights were activated by a hydraulic stoplight switch mounted either directly to the brake master cylinder or to one of the steel brake lines near the master cylinder.
     
    deathrowdave, 3W JOHN and ramblin dan like this.
  10. This is what I do as well !
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.
  11. Yeah, but for the last 20 to 30 years we have known the new hydro switches are prone to fail so we use a 60s mechanical switch.
     
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  12. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,742

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Many 50's up gm & Mopar used mechanical switches as well ... Some lever arm , some plunger style ...
     
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  13. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,000

    clem
    Member

    I thought that the first photo was an attempt at humour !
    I couldn’t believe anyone would do that.
    I also cannot believe that your final solution is held on by cable ties. (Mechanical switch- not pressure switch). In time it will probably/possibly move and cause failure of the brake lights.
    I now also have a clearer understanding of why our insurance premiums are so high.........
     
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  14. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,000

    clem
    Member

    Blue One and HOTRODPRIMER like this.
  15. 302GMC
    Joined: Dec 15, 2005
    Posts: 6,268

    302GMC
    Member
    from Idaho

    Been driving since 1961. So far, I've had one hydraulic switch fail ('57 Dodge - stuck in the on position & gave me a dead battery) and quite a few mechanical switches seize. I have coffee cans full of used ones just in case.
     
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  16. primed34
    Joined: Feb 3, 2007
    Posts: 1,102

    primed34
    Member

    I've had good luck with '68 VW switches. Haven't bought one in a while. They may be junk now.
     
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  17. Rex_A_Lott
    Joined: Feb 5, 2007
    Posts: 1,018

    Rex_A_Lott
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    At least you've got Brenda to help you do a pre-cruise inspection of the brake lights and turn signals. Or you can always back up close to a white building at night and look for the reflection in the mirror.
    Just switching to a mechanical switch is no guarantee either. I've had a few of them apart in the last couple of years and they are different than the original design too. Good luck.
     
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  18. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,150

    ramblin dan

    Yes and the cars of those years also had single piston master cylinders which I also changed after that failed one day and my car became a runaway locomotive for a few heart stopping seconds. Luckily on a deserted country road.
     
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  19. Thepartsbinguy1
    Joined: Oct 14, 2019
    Posts: 195

    Thepartsbinguy1
    Member
    from Space

    I love botching stuff together.. 2E0C47C3-913C-4E9F-8C7D-F48807C8C44F.jpeg
     
  20. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,607

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    The do suck, I've read about many problems with them over the last 10 or so years. Converting the '41 p/u since I have it apart. I use the same light switch that my '56 Chevy Panel has stock, but I use either NOS delco or OLD NORS (like 90s or older Standard Ignition)........read made in the USA.

    My old '54 F100 was converted also. If you look up Cole Hersee they make 2 types of switches with arms, one left and one right.

    [​IMG]
    [​IMG]
     
  21. Blue One
    Joined: Feb 6, 2010
    Posts: 10,682

    Blue One
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Alberta

    They’re not similar they’re identical.
     
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  22. ramblin dan
    Joined: Apr 16, 2018
    Posts: 2,150

    ramblin dan

    Nice. The only problem I see with that set up is you better hope both thermostats in those housings open at the same time.
     
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  23. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 2,742

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Careful , somebody will believe you :rolleyes:
     
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  24. 3W JOHN
    Joined: Oct 8, 2015
    Posts: 700

    3W JOHN
    Member

    I have had problems with both switches, they quit working and I replace them.
     
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  25. i.rant
    Joined: Nov 23, 2009
    Posts: 3,021

    i.rant
    ALLIANCE MEMBER
    from Illinois
    1. 1940 Ford

    One quit on me after about 6 years,replaced it with a Painless #80171 switch.
    I also carry a spare but problem free so far.
     
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  26. I'm probably going to stick with what I got and replace the pressure switch with a Harley- Davidson piece, I already have a HD horn on the car. HRP
     
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  27. clem
    Joined: Dec 20, 2006
    Posts: 3,000

    clem
    Member

    yes, I know that.
    Hence the ‘..........’
    ........ I guess some things get lost in translation.......
     
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  28. winduptoy
    Joined: Feb 19, 2013
    Posts: 2,120

    winduptoy
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    They are break light switches....check your spelling
     
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  29. They are going to break the brake light bulbs?

    Ben
     
  30. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 20,260

    Roothawg
    Member

    I am done with the hydraulic switches. I have changed 3 in the last 2 years. I am switching the Produce Truck over to a mechanical arm. It came in yesterday.
     
    HOTRODPRIMER likes this.

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