54 brake lights?

bull_islanderbull_islander Expert Adviser
in HUDSON Posts: 479
What's the culprit?  The brake lights only light up when I've got the pedal fully pressed.  It has power brakes, so the only time they'll light up is when I'm at a full stop (only time I get that much pressure on the pedal).  How/where do I adjust?
Steve Clarke
Southeast Virginia
1954 Hornet convertible


  • Geoff C., N.Z.Geoff C., N.Z. Senior Contributor
    Posts: 3,186
    If you have a hydraulic switch, it has gone bad.  If a mechanical switch, it needs the linkage adjusting.
    If you're stuck in a hole, stop digging.
  • onerare39onerare39 Expert Adviser, Moderator
    Posts: 866

    The pressure switch is attached at the banjo fitting.  It is not uncommon for these to go out.  You can replace the switch without needing to bleed the brakes.  You can perform a simple test of your brake lights by pulling the wires off of the switch terminals and putting a jumper wire between the two wires, a paper clip will work.

    Hope this helps.


    Hudson Motor 006.jpg
    1984 x 1488 - 2M
  • bull_islanderbull_islander Expert Adviser
    Posts: 479

    John, that's one nice looking engine compartment!
    Steve Clarke
    Southeast Virginia
    1954 Hornet convertible

  • onerare39onerare39 Expert Adviser, Moderator
    Posts: 866
    Thanks. That photo was in 2009 when I got it back on the road after the engine rebuild and paint.  I drive it regularly and try to keep everything clean and tidy.

  • Ken U-TxKen U-Tx Senior Contributor
    Posts: 3,200
    That brass Y fitting is the same as used on the under-floor master cylinder of non-power brake Stepdowns. My question is: is the stoplight switch of a 3/8"-24 thread with an inverted flare, so as to fit on the outlet of the brass Y fitting without the need for an adapter from 3/8"-24 inverted flare to 1/8 NPT tapered pipe thread?
  • RichardDRichardD Member
    Posts: 384
    Also be aware that a 'low pressure' switch is available. NPT. 

    1953 Hornet 4Dr 



  • jjbubaboyjjbubaboy Senior Contributor
    Posts: 710
    Here is another great alternative if you have repeated brake switch failures.
    Friend of mine put one in and has had no problems.
    Inline Brake Light Switch


  • 50C8DAN50C8DAN Senior Contributor
    Posts: 1,406
    Just a quick note.  If you are using DOT5 brake fluid you will need to make sure you are using a pressure switch that is resistant to this type of fluid.  They are available from Ron Francis (as noted above) and Harley Davidson dealers.  There may also be other sources out there.  I know as I use DOT5 and this was a problem when I first switched over.
  • FrankvintagefullflowcomFrankvintagefullflowcom Senior Contributor
    Posts: 924

    At first I thought this to be not likely true, thinking that there must be some other factor in the equation that was causing the failures, but in my limited knowledge of rubber compounds, I've surmised that the only reason a brake light switch would suffer from the use of DOT 5 is if the diaphragm was made of silicone rubber. Silicone fluid is basically inert and shouldn't cause a problem with rubber components, but it will soften (or worse) silicone rubber parts and is considered incompatible in hydraulic systems.

    I always change to mechanicals anyway but it's something to think about.....if you were needing something.


  • FrankvintagefullflowcomFrankvintagefullflowcom Senior Contributor
    Posts: 924


    You got a gift of one day between storms! Get that T-Plane out and stretch its legs!


  • jjbubaboyjjbubaboy Senior Contributor
    Posts: 710
    Hey F,
    That would have been great!! The 'honey do' list seemed to be more urgent... ;)
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