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Old 08-23-2014, 10:00 AM   #1
Ken B
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Default 30/31 Brake light switch

Several members of our club got back yesterday from a 1300 mile roundtrip to the Gilmore Museum. The whole trip was awesome and included a few days up in Mackinaw City. We only had a couple minor issues. One was a inner tube failure but the other one was an issue with my brake switch on my 30 Town Sedan. I replaced it prior to the trip. It lasted only about three days and then stayed on. Fortunately, one of our members had a spare along. I installed it and it only lasted a couple of days. The switch rod is centered in the hole on the frame crossmember but it still binds up and doesn't return to the off position. What am I doing wrong? I have an old original that has a brass bushing where the switch rod goes through. The reproduction ones don't and I noticed a lot of side play on them. I might have to get my original one fixed.
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Old 08-23-2014, 10:51 AM   #2
Dick M
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

I have a 31 coupe. About eight years ago I went through 4 brake light switches in a four month period. The repo switches are junk. I purchased a switch from A&L. It is made with the brass bushings. It is a little pricey but it has lasted eight years with no problems.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:00 AM   #3
Mitch//pa
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

A&L makes a good switch
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:01 AM   #4
Barber31
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Is your brake lever traveling all the way back to the return position? I had a similar problem and bought the bracket with the spring to give more tension on the brake lever. Works better now.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:56 AM   #5
Purdy Swoft
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Check the brake pedal rod. If the service brake shaft isn't set up just right the plunger end of the pedal rod may not be moving backwarss far enough when the brake pedal is released. The service bulletins calls for a 1/16th gap between the plunger end or the brake pedal rod and the inside rear of the center crossmember. If this adjustment isn't correct it will have a big effect on how the brakes work , as well. If this checks out wrong the brake rods will all need to be disconnected. Adjust the brake pedal rod clevis so that the pedal is at the top of its travel with a 1/16th gap between the pedal rod end plunger at the rear of the center crossmember. Then adjust each service brake rod clevis end so that the clevis pin will just enter with no slack or free play in the brake rod. This will probably give brakes that you didn't even know that you had. If the brake light switch still doesn't function replace the switch. I've never had much luck with repro brake light switches. Berts usually has Nos or good used switches that work, I've got several from Berts in the past.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:13 PM   #6
KMeredith87
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

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As others have mention the switch from A&L is fantastic. Had similar issues and got fed up with the cheap repo switch and took the dive for the A&L switch. Took five min to install and the only regret is not buying it first because it would have saved me a lot of time and frustration
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:36 PM   #7
Ken B
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Thanks for all the posts. I do have the brake pedal return spring installed. The gap is about 1/8" from the rod pad to the switch rod. I will be giving A&L a call and get a good switch on order. Does anyone have a picture of their switch?
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:20 PM   #8
KMeredith87
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Here is mine, not the best picture but it's installed on the truck and I was just driving it...it's hot down there! And please ignore my laziness on the white wire of not soldering it, I haven't fixed it since I got the switch, it's a left over from my frustration with the old switch
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Old 08-23-2014, 02:55 PM   #9
JackA
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

i can't tell from the angle, but it looks as though your terminals "could" ground against the housing.
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Old 08-23-2014, 08:16 PM   #10
JohnLaVoy
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

We reviewed the A&L switch several years ago, the only one being done to the Ford blue prints and it works very well.
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Old 08-23-2014, 09:55 PM   #11
Flathead
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

I have the A&L switch on my 30 Tudor, no problems no regrets. The quality is well worth the small extra cost.
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Old 08-23-2014, 11:21 PM   #12
Mike V. Florida
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

A&L, all others are junk.

I think the model a times did an article on the switches but i'm not sure.
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Old 08-24-2014, 12:07 AM   #13
CarlG
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Quote:
Originally Posted by Mike V. Florida View Post
A&L, all others are junk.

I think the model a times did an article on the switches but i'm not sure.
See post #10

(Volume 5, #4. [Fall 2009] Page 23)
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Old 08-24-2014, 02:09 PM   #14
Marshall57
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Is there a link to the A&L switch, or do the most of the parts houses handle them?
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Old 08-24-2014, 03:22 PM   #15
rocket1
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

A&L is in Connecticut,phone # (860) 693-0112,8-6 weekdays,usually in Hershey,never been there? gotta go at least once.
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Old 08-24-2014, 05:53 PM   #16
Stew
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Ken,

Sometimes the post on the switch binds when it hits the plunger. Here is an easy fix that I got from another Fordbarn member. I've done it and it works.

Thread the shaft 10-24 I think. (choose appropriate die). Then screw on a nylon insert lock nut flush with the top of the shaft. The lock nut gives the switch a larger surface area so it never binds. Also the shaft spins when it hits the plunger, so it wears evenly. It takes 5 minutes to do and it works great.

Regards,

Stew
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Old 08-25-2014, 05:32 PM   #17
Ken B
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Stew,
Thanks for the advice. I ordered the switch from A&L already today but I might try your suggestion on one of my other Model As for comparison.
Ken
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Old 08-25-2014, 07:44 PM   #18
Tom Wesenberg
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Ken, someone needs to reproduce your radiator mascot. Nipper is cool!
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Old 08-26-2014, 06:25 PM   #19
Ken B
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Default Re: 30/31 Brake light switch

Tom,
I saw this Nipper radiator ornament at a phonograph show years ago and had to have it. It came off a delivery vehicle for a phonograph shop years ago. I have come across one other in over 30 years of collecting phonographs.
This has triggered my next project of building a Model A C-Cab delivery vehicle like the one in the pictures. I have the chassis pretty much done. The body is pretty much all wood behind the windshield. I have searched for plans with no luck. So I plan on building it from several pictures I have found of them. UPS had them and the Restorer magazine did an article on it a while ago. It is a ways away from being completed but it will be a kind of crescendo of both of my interests, old Victrolas and Model As.
Ken Brekke
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