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Technical Tired of changing brake switches

Discussion in 'The Hokey Ass Message Board' started by Roothawg, Sep 2, 2019.

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  1. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,689

    Roothawg
    Member

    I have a Ford styled pressure brake switch on the Produce Truck. I have had 3 fail in the last 2 years. Am I just that lucky or are they all junk?

    This last one is made in Mexico. Not sure about the first two. I asked for a US made and the guy at NAPA laughed....
     
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  2. Pete Eastwood
    Joined: Jul 27, 2011
    Posts: 787

    Pete Eastwood
    Member
    from california

    They're junk, put in a mechanical switch .
     
  3. Moriarity
    Joined: Apr 11, 2001
    Posts: 15,006

    Moriarity
    SUPER MODERATOR
    Staff Member

    kidcampbell71 likes this.
  4. goldmountain
    Joined: Jun 12, 2016
    Posts: 963

    goldmountain

    Insanity is doing the same thing over and over but expecting different results.
     
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  5. WOODEYE
    Joined: Feb 21, 2010
    Posts: 308

    WOODEYE
    Member

    Get one made for a Harley Davidson. Good switch and takes less PSI to activate
     
  6. Get one from Harley; some of the aftermarket ones for them are suspect too.

    VW Beetles used those too, but those may not have the right pipe thread.
     
  7. Bugguts
    Joined: Aug 13, 2011
    Posts: 585

    Bugguts
    Member

    I used one for a VW. Again, less pressure required to activate and been good for 2 years so far.
     
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  8. liljoe
    Joined: Feb 26, 2013
    Posts: 33

    liljoe
    Member
    from detroit

    I use motorcycle switches also, bullet proof and adjustable
     
  9. bobd1976
    Joined: Sep 24, 2010
    Posts: 32

    bobd1976
    Member

    Use a GM mechanical. Been using these for decades . Never had to replace one. Always wondered why anyone would use a pressure switch. switch.jpg
     
  10. olscrounger
    Joined: Feb 23, 2008
    Posts: 3,482

    olscrounger
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Use the arm type GM mechanical switch under the floorboard-work great-no issues
     
  11. Those can fail too... Had to replace mine a few years ago....
     
    Blues4U likes this.
  12. How are they going bad?, do they start to leak or just stop working. I guess if they just stick on, then you can use a relay, if they stop working or leak then I would go to a GM brake light switch....just get a good old one. I used some Cole Hersee switches from the 90’s made in the USA.
     
  13. 325w
    Joined: Feb 18, 2008
    Posts: 5,158

    325w
    Member
    from texas

    You have the wires crossed. Cause them to heat up. Replace the switch and switch the wires.
     
  14. okiedokie
    Joined: Jul 5, 2005
    Posts: 3,610

    okiedokie
    Member
    from Ok

    That is what I use, never replaced one.
     
  15. Russco
    Joined: Nov 27, 2005
    Posts: 4,065

    Russco
    Member
    from Central IL

    I use them on my hydraulic clutch for a safety switch on the start circuit. I go through about 1 or 2 a year I have tried the ones from Ron Francis or Painless wiring and the ones from Oreilly’s in the Borg Warner brand name. I think they eventually fail from the amperage load on them. I should probably switch to a relay but I can change it out in about 2 minutes and so far I’ve just been doing that. I keep a spare on hand and a jumper set up to by-pass it if it were to fail at a bad time or place.
     
  16. Black_Sheep
    Joined: May 22, 2010
    Posts: 957

    Black_Sheep
    Member

    Since the MC is mounted under the truck, I made a bracket to mount this waterproof switch to the frame. IMG_0378.JPG
     
  17. Chevy switch under the toe board is pretty dependable option.
    brake light switch.jpg
     
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  18. Roothawg
    Joined: Mar 14, 2001
    Posts: 18,689

    Roothawg
    Member

    How so? It's a switch? Either on or off.....
    Do tell.

    I built the truck to use a pressure switch, I don't want to redesign. I just want to install a part that lasts more than 3 months. Mine is a pain to change, I should have made it easier to access, but I never thought it would fail regularly.
     
  19. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,650

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    Huh ??
     
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  20. 2OLD2FAST
    Joined: Feb 3, 2010
    Posts: 1,650

    2OLD2FAST
    Member
    from illinois

    That's a nice switch !! What's the application ?
     
  21. mark latham
    Joined: Oct 24, 2018
    Posts: 49

    mark latham
    Member

    I wired mine through a relay, the switch activates the relay, the relay closes the ground to the lights. Works good and removes all the amperage from the switch. The switches are failing because the contacts are burning out, the relay eliminates that. The mechanical switches also work, it all depends on what you want to do. If you run a mechanical switch you just need to figure out a way to mount it and depending on your application maybe running the wires inside to the switch (if its inside). A relay adds an extra part but they rarely fail and bosch type relays are cheap and common.
     
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  22. Install a relay to carry the current and use the pressure switch to ground to close the relay. No more arc in the contacts and the switch will (should) last forever. Been doing it this way for a long time now with good results.
     
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  23. error404
    Joined: Dec 11, 2012
    Posts: 109

    error404
    Member
    from CA

    Every line pressure switch I've used has eventually (or sometimes immediately!) made me wish I just used a mechanical switch on the linkage instead.
     
  24. alchemy
    Joined: Sep 27, 2002
    Posts: 14,113

    alchemy
    Member

    Hydraulic vs. mechanical brake light switches have become the new bias vs. radials thread. Or is it the points vs. pertronics thread?

    Just say no to pressure.
     
  25. Mr48chev
    Joined: Dec 28, 2007
    Posts: 25,421

    Mr48chev
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    Pretty close Alcemy, I don't think I ever had a pressure switch last over 2 years on the 48 after I put on in 1989. That may be partially due to the fact that it is down on the frame rail and somewhat exposed to anything that splashes up under the truck. In all the years I had the stock mechanical one I replaced one and it was about 28 years old then. At least it still had the GM marks on it.
    I remember that in the years I worked in shops I replaced more Ford pressure switches on the Fords they belonged on than all other brake light switches combined. That was when you could get good US made switches too. That's not big numbers maybe 15 Ford to 5 all others combined but it was noticeable.
     
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  26. deucendude
    Joined: Oct 31, 2008
    Posts: 483

    deucendude
    Member
    from norcal

    I have not had a mechanical switch fail.
     
  27. Marcosmadness
    Joined: Dec 19, 2010
    Posts: 332

    Marcosmadness
    Member
    from California

    I had the same issue with pressure switches. Every 6 months I was changing switches and bleeding brakes. Then I switched to LED bulbs in the tail lights (less amperage draw) and I haven't had to change another pressure switch. Coincidence? Maybe, but electrically it makes sense that a lighter load on the switch would make it last longer. Regardless, the quality of the current supply of pressure switches sucks
     
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  28. I’ve also seen the contacts short/overheat and burn out the diaphragm....then they leak. So maybe try a good quality relay first.
     
  29. Kiwi 4d
    Joined: Sep 16, 2006
    Posts: 2,487

    Kiwi 4d
    ALLIANCE MEMBER

    We also had issues with dead pressure switches, most likely poor offshore quality, in our 57.
    By number 3 we had enough and fitted a relay into the circuit and the problem went away.
    I like @Marcosmadness idea of LED lights , its worth a try.
     
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  30. When I first got my Model A on the road I had a cheap Speedway pressure switch in it and it lasted about two months, replaced it with a $35 switch from Speedway and it has been fine for 4 or 5 years now. Guess I should go check my brake light when I get home tonight.
     
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