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Thread: XLCH Stoplight Switch

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Huntington, New York - American Zone
    Posts
    841

    Default XLCH Stoplight Switch

    I purchased a NEW cad-plated brake light switch for my '64. Approximately 20 cycles later, it became a direct short circuit to ground. I disassembled it and found the problem - Chinese 'craftsmanship'. Unfortunately, i can't find a replacement that isn't chrome plated and taking them apart does some unavoidable damage. Besides, I'm concerned about the insulation washer that failed in my current switch failing in the replacement switch as well. Unfortunately, I also can't find a good OEM replacement (my obvious preference). Does anyone have a source for these, OEM or new?
    Thanks...
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    152

    Default

    i think i have one sportster brake switch left.
    message me your number & i can text pics.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Huntington, New York - American Zone
    Posts
    841

    Default

    Knuck:

    My cell number (no secret) is (516) 532-6322.

    If you find one, please let me know if its Cadmium, Parkerized, or Black. I believe that they were Cad in 1964. I would choose not to disrupt an original part by taking it apart to just plate it. If that's the case, I'll maul an aftermarket switch, strip it and Cadmium plate it and leave your original for someone that really needs that variety for an original restoration.

    Thank you for looking!
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Huntington, New York - American Zone
    Posts
    841

    Default

    Well, in absence of an good OEM switch, I figured out the problem with my aftermarket unit. I disassembled it and found that the dished brass contact plate was installed backward which allowed its insulating washer to meander just enough to cause an intermittent direct short. This is a real problem with a magneto Sportster, as the hot side of the brake switch is common and direct to the regulator output terminal.
    I corrected the problem, re-assembled the unit and hid any disassembly damage with Duplicolor 'Bumper Chrome' paint (it looks just like Cad plating) over the holding tabs for the Bakelite terminal plate. It actually looks really good and it appears to work fine. However, I'm still keeping an eye out for an OEM switch!
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    194

    Default

    Bill
    I looked at the brake light switch on my 64 to check if I had a extra one. I only had the later one. But my 64 switch is painted black.
    Jim D

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar 2005
    Location
    Huntington, New York - American Zone
    Posts
    841

    Default

    Thanks Jim,
    It looks like the jury is still out on the finish. I seem to recall that the switch on my original 1964 (when I bought it in 1968) was black, but that's from memory. Since then I've been advised that it was Cad. I have seen them both ways. The Bike will be judged again next year most likely at Oley, so there's time to make the correction before then, if necessary. I do believe that your correct though.
    Bill Pedalino
    Huntington, New York
    AMCA 6755

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2010
    Posts
    194

    Default

    The other one that I have which was used after this one is also black.
    Jim D

  8. #8

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Pedalino View Post
    Thanks Jim,
    It looks like the jury is still out on the finish. I seem to recall that the switch on my original 1964 (when I bought it in 1968) was black, but that's from memory. Since then I've been advised that it was Cad. I have seen them both ways. The Bike will be judged again next year most likely at Oley, so there's time to make the correction before then, if necessary. I do believe that your correct though.
    Bill, I have seen no evidence to believe that any Sportster with the 1957-66 style of brake switch ever left the factory with it painted black.

    I did some searching in my photo library, and most period photos are taken from the exhaust pipe side. However, of the few I found, it looks like a couple are parkerized and others are cad plated. I would say it was a running change during the model year, so both could be correct in my opinion, depending if you have an early or late serial number.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2001
    Posts
    522

    Default

    I just found one in my stuff that is cad and not BT because the brkt. is at a 90 degree. Sportster correct?
    DrSprocket

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jun 2011
    Location
    Southern CA
    Posts
    43

    Default Brake light switch

    "Bill, I have seen no evidence to believe that any Sportster with the 1957-66 style of brake switch ever left the factory with it painted black".

    I have seen Sportster and have foot pegs and kick stands that were OEM and painted black. In talking to others, namely Roger, we believe that there was some use of black paint in the transition from parkerizing to cadmium plating, probably in the 1964 time frame. Maybe some of the big twin folks can give us more details.

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