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  • Brake light switch adjustment

    I have a brand new brake light switch and spring, and I'm having a tough time getting it adjusted correctly. As the brake pedal is pushed, the distance from the "on" position to "off" again on the switch is really short.

    So if I adjust it to go on as the brake is first applied and engaged, once the pedal is fully pressed hard the light turns off.
    If I adjust it to turn on when I'm really pushing on it, it won't go under normal braking.

    Doesn't make sense to me that the switch should have an off, on, then off again position, but I'm told this is normal.

    Am I missing something?

  • #2
    I had the same trouble with an aftermarket stoplight switch I purchased from a prominent vendor which fit most Indian models. (I also found the same exact switch, without mounting brackets and hardware on EBAY, of course made in China... alot cheaper). I bought 4 of the clone switches. They actually work and look pretty well, especially when hidden under the mounting box.

    I made my own wrap around bracket for the frame mount location, a clamp with an adjustable screw (for the exact reason you described).
    The clamp allows the mount location to be adjustable by about a half inch. Also I found a light weight small spring (I think it was a lawnmower carb return spring) to connect to the bellcrank and the little special tab which holds the tiny spring, and the larger return spring.

    Actually, this task was rather daunting. I had the same experience adjusting everything to FINALLY get the proper length, free travel, and clearance, when accuated and at rest. This took well over an hour and repeated attempts to get it right. I kept having to move the switch assembly forward, toward the bellcrank, to get the adjustment correct. I also, after a week, had to readjust
    the switch location again, as the switch stem pulled away too far, and the switch wouldn't function.

    So far, nearly 6 weeks, and maybe 12-15 rides, and the switch still works OK... but, it looks as though I will be watching for the switch to creep forward again. It may be creeping forward when I apply the brakes in a panic stop situation, or it may need the little bracket a bit looser when at rest. Maybe coming from the linkage adjustment at the bellcrank (plunger frame). I'm not sure.

    This was one of the bigger challenges I had when putting things together. Something to really make you scratch your head. but , isn't it always that way with Indians ?


    C2K

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    • #3
      Originally posted by ChiefTwoKicks View Post
      I had the same trouble with an aftermarket stoplight switch I purchased from a prominent vendor which fit most Indian models. (I also found the same exact switch, without mounting brackets and hardware on EBAY, of course made in China... alot cheaper). I bought 4 of the clone switches. They actually work and look pretty well, especially when hidden under the mounting box.

      I made my own wrap around bracket for the frame mount location, a clamp with an adjustable screw (for the exact reason you described).
      The clamp allows the mount location to be adjustable by about a half inch. Also I found a light weight small spring (I think it was a lawnmower carb return spring) to connect to the bellcrank and the little special tab which holds the tiny spring, and the larger return spring.

      Actually, this task was rather daunting. I had the same experience adjusting everything to FINALLY get the proper length, free travel, and clearance, when accuated and at rest. This took well over an hour and repeated attempts to get it right. I kept having to move the switch assembly forward, toward the bellcrank, to get the adjustment correct. I also, after a week, had to readjust
      the switch location again, as the switch stem pulled away too far, and the switch wouldn't function.

      So far, nearly 6 weeks, and maybe 12-15 rides, and the switch still works OK... but, it looks as though I will be watching for the switch to creep forward again. It may be creeping forward when I apply the brakes in a panic stop situation, or it may need the little bracket a bit looser when at rest. Maybe coming from the linkage adjustment at the bellcrank (plunger frame). I'm not sure.

      This was one of the bigger challenges I had when putting things together. Something to really make you scratch your head. but , isn't it always that way with Indians ?


      C2K
      Hey C2K, thanks for the advice. This is helpful. I've also spent a couple of hours adjusting everything trying to get it right and thought I was just missing the obvious!

      It appears that the distance my brake pedal moves once engaged is longer than the "on" position of the switch. Even if I moved the switch forward, or used a longer spring, I would onlty be able to have it turn on when the brake pedal is fully depressed. The light wouldn't go on from normal or light braking.

      Guess it is one of those Indian things!

      Thanks

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      • #4
        I just replaced an incorrect stop switch with a correct one from Jerry Greer. The only thing I really had to do to make it work right was to stretch the spring between the lever and the switch a bit, by hand.

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        • #5
          I was curious so I took one apart! I'm still using an original switch (cleaned it one time) but a friend gave me a reproduction switch, so that's the one I took apart. Pretty simple design as you can imagine:
          assembly.jpg

          On this switch I also found that if you pull it too far then contact is lost. It seems that if you wanted to you could fabricate a longer contact plate (copper) and solve the problem:

          slide.jpg

          Wait, on second thought a longer plate might be in the way when the switch is fully retracted?
          Last edited by pisten-bully; 01-25-2021, 02:01 PM.
          Pisten Bulley is Harry Roberts in Vermont.

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          • #6
            Thanks, Lipdog. I will try stretching the spring and may also need to add to it to make it longer so it doesn't start pulling on the switch until the brake pedal has moved more.

            Harry, I knew I could count on you for some great pics! If I had an extra switch I'd pull it apart and experiment with trying to extend the plate, and no I understand why the switch turns off when fully extended. Thanks

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            • #7
              What about putting a stopper in the front of the switch to prevent it from being fully extended.
              Tom

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              • #8
                The stopper would be inside of the switch body.
                Tom

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                • #9
                  Great idea! I'll take it off again and take a look to figure out the best way to accomplish this. Based on Harry's pics, I may be able to add a spacer inside the cover that would stop/limit the travel of the slider.
                  Thanks

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                  • #10
                    I would probably use a small rubber block as that would cushion the bakelite slider body and corrosion and conductivity would not be a problem.
                    Tom

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                    • #11
                      Success!

                      I took the switch off and tested it again with a meter and depending on how I held it, I found that the connection was over a much greater distance than when it was installed. Took it apart realigned everything and tested it again and once the connection was made it stayed connected even as I pushed the slider in all the way. The cover on the switch did seem a little loose before I took it off, so maybe it was loose enough that the slider body wasn't making a good connection once the slider was pulled forward.

                      Put the switch cover back on and clamped the base tabs on much tighter than they were, back on the bike and now the connection is made and stays on over the full throw of the brake pedal.

                      Thanks for the pictures and advice, it pointed me in the right direction!

                      Sorry I didn't take any pics, once I start something I usually have tunnel vision!

                      Another plus, the brake is now considerably brighter.
                      Last edited by TH47Indy; 02-01-2021, 09:51 AM.

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