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mechanical brake light switch mounting question

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by BeatnikPirate, Oct 22, 2011.

  1. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,416

    BeatnikPirate
    Member
    from Media, Pa.

    My brakeline pressure-activated brake light switch doesn't work right so I just bought a mechanical switch to replace it from NAPA. I intended to make a bracket to mount the switch inside the car, to be activated by the brake pedal. But my master cylinder is under the floor and the brake pedal is floor mounted, rather than suspended. So it would be much easier to make a bracket and mount the switch under the car near the master cylinder.
    Here's my question: Is it a bad idea to mount this plastic switch under the car, where it may be exposed to the elements and to potential road hazards?
    Thanks for your advice.
     
  2. I did as you suggested mounting a plastic switch under the car.

    I wrapped the thing in electrical tape and never drove it in the rain.

    Just bought a new waterproof on to replace it with. Ron Francis Wiring sells them.
    Mine was on back order for about 90 days. Hard to get.
     
  3. I need one of those for my bike. Any other sources?
     
  4. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,416

    BeatnikPirate
    Member
    from Media, Pa.

    Thanks for the lead, 2many projects,
    I just checked the Ron Francis Catalog and found a couple different ones that are designed to do the job.
    Francis' plastic one, similar to the NAPA one I got, is described as for use under the dashboard.
    I called Ron Francis to check stock status on their waterproof switches and lever type switches, but today's Saturday, and the office was closed. I just checked. American Autowire's catalog lists some too. I don't know the stock status.
     
    Last edited: Oct 22, 2011

  5. budd
    Joined: Oct 31, 2006
    Posts: 3,478

    budd
    Member

    i have installed a micro switch under the floor of a friends car a couple years ago, no problem yet and he does drive it in the rain.
     

    Attached Files:

  6. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907

    40FordGuy
    Member

    Chev cars,.....until about 1953 used a stoplight sw that mounted to the bottom side of the toeboard....the actuating arm was held in the "open " position, by the brake pedal arm. They seemed to work ok, even during western N.Y. winters,....road salt and all!! I 'm using one on my 40 Ford pickup as a safety sw,...the clutch ped. must be pushed, in order for engine to crank.

    4TTRUK
     
  7. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,866

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    I use a good old arm switch from a 40-50's chevy truck, they're meant to be outside the cab. You can get them in normally open, normally closed and reverse arm.
    [​IMG]
     
  8. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,741

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Yes, as they are not designed for exterior use.
    The best switch I've found is the SW-42 sold by Ron Francis. It is water proof, not just water resistant, and can handle high amperage halolgen bulbs without the need for a relay. :)
     
  9. CutawayAl
    Joined: Aug 3, 2009
    Posts: 2,144

    CutawayAl
    Member
    from MI

    Why not just replace the original malfunctioning pressure switch switch? Wouldn't that be less aggravation than installing an manual one, then having a switch in environment it wasn't intended for?
     
  10. ponchopowered
    Joined: May 27, 2010
    Posts: 438

    ponchopowered
    Member

    i agree with 1oldtimer i use those flip switches on all my cars and have never had a problem with weather or road grime, you can get them at napa auto parts and there cheap
     
  11. mgtstumpy
    Joined: Jul 20, 2006
    Posts: 8,682

    mgtstumpy
    Member

    I use this brake switch under pedal arm in the engine bay. Same as above only adjustable. Had it there 5yrs now and I drive rain or shine, never an issue.
     

    Attached Files:

    39cdan likes this.
  12. 40FordGuy
    Joined: Mar 24, 2008
    Posts: 2,907

    40FordGuy
    Member

    Use the one "Old Timer" sent the pic of.... Works ok under the car.

    4TTRUK
     
  13. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,416

    BeatnikPirate
    Member
    from Media, Pa.

    Thanks for all your suggestions. I picked up a lever type switch looking like the one pictured by mgtstumpy. Ron Francis had it in stock (SW68) for under $30. It took me a while to figure out the best place to mount it on my Model A, but I settled on mounting it to the firewall/floor, a little below where the pedal rod comes through. After some adjustment problems, it worked fine, but occasionally the brake lights stayed on after the brakes were off, due to the pedal not always releasing all the way. This was solved by putting a return spring on the pedal arm. Now the brake lights come on instantly when I touch the pedal, and turn off as soon as my foot's off the brake.
    The reason I like this better than a line pressure activated switch is because it's simple, mechanical, responds instantly, and, I'm told, is more reliable.
    (My old switch didn't always work because the line pressure was not high enough to activate it unless the brakes were applied very hard. As an alternative,Francis does offer a low pressure switch. The wires from my old pressure switch connected right up to the lever switch.)
     
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2011
  14. 4dFord/SC
    Joined: Sep 12, 2004
    Posts: 837

    4dFord/SC
    Member

    I believe it's NAPA p/n SL128--at least that's the one I'm using on my '40 mounted to the toe board behind the brake pedal arm.
     
  15. Chemin
    Joined: Mar 4, 2009
    Posts: 325

    Chemin
    Member

    I just picked up the Ron Francis SW-42 switch today. It's normally closed so how would it get wired/mounted? The pedal is floor mounted so would the switch be above the pedal or below the pedal.
     
  16. enjenjo
    Joined: Mar 2, 2001
    Posts: 2,531

    enjenjo
    Member
    from swanton oh

    SL 128 or 129 are similar. I've bought enough the local NAPA store stocks them.
     
  17. V8 Bob
    Joined: Feb 6, 2007
    Posts: 2,741

    V8 Bob
    ALLIANCE MEMBER


    All brake light switches I've seen are normally closed. You want to mount it under the floor and position to operate by the lower pedal leg. I made a bracket with a small piece of angle iron to mount my SW-42 on the pedal box, and use a tab on the stock '33-'34 brake pedal to push the button and open the switch when the pedal is returned.
     
  18. I have used those plastic Chevy ones under the floor board of several cars and have yet to have one go out (about 10 years now).
     
  19. 1oldtimer
    Joined: Aug 21, 2003
    Posts: 7,866

    1oldtimer
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    you can buy normally open OR normally close switches (from auto parts store or cole hersee) and you can get one with an arm going to the left or right. Which aids on mounting it. I used a normally close one on my '54 panel, on the firewall, arm behind the pedal arm (between firewall and pedal arm).
     
  20. pasadenahotrod
    Joined: Feb 13, 2007
    Posts: 11,776

    pasadenahotrod
    Member
    from Texas

    I installed a lever arm switch on the track roadster after the hydraulic switch failed. It's been in service rain or shine without problem for several years now. Mounted it to the underside of the floorboard next to the pedal slot. Rain a new pair of wires down from the dash and never thought about it again. These have to be the most foolproof installs and dependable switches ever. Still in production after about 60 years. That says something.
     
  21. BeatnikPirate
    Joined: May 21, 2006
    Posts: 1,416

    BeatnikPirate
    Member
    from Media, Pa.

    Here's a pic from the Ron Francis catalog showing an example of mounting the SW-42.
    Also a sketch I drew of how I mounted the SW-68 lever switch in my car.
     

    Attached Files:

  22. AlanRM
    Joined: Mar 23, 2017
    Posts: 3

    AlanRM

    Hi all - a newby here, but with an urgent question, please - 1OldTimer says (above) "I use a good old arm switch from a 40-50's chevy truck, they're meant to be outside the cab. You can get them in normally open, normally closed and reverse arm."

    Can you advise where they can be bought in normally open format (ie with no current being transferred when the switch is at rest)? I have tried a Speedway arm, but it's closed when at rest, so the brake lights are on, until I brake...

    Due to the design of the car, I can't take this under the floor, and would like a simple arm for convenience.

    Urgent help sought. thanks!
     
  23. Check the Cole Hersey website
     
  24. DDDenny
    Joined: Feb 6, 2015
    Posts: 14,597

    DDDenny
    Member
    from oregon

    jackalope likes this.
  25. AlanRM
    Joined: Mar 23, 2017
    Posts: 3

    AlanRM

    Thanks Anothercarguy - I have emailed littelfuse. Also, I am ready to order the alternative, DDDenny, but all other suggestions welcome :)
     
  26. AlanRM
    Joined: Mar 23, 2017
    Posts: 3

    AlanRM

  27. jackalope
    Joined: Mar 11, 2011
    Posts: 687

    jackalope
    Member

    DDDenny posted the one I use on my A. Works great and never had a problem with it!
    Ron Francis product.


    Sent from my iPhone using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  28. 39cdan
    Joined: May 11, 2016
    Posts: 41

    39cdan

    I used the same lever switch from Watson Streetworks for 10 years now under my 39


    Sent from my iPad using The H.A.M.B. mobile app
     
  29. What he said - 39cdan

    Me too, over ten years
     
    39cdan likes this.

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