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PostPosted: Wed Apr 26, 2017 7:06 pm    Post subject: Brake switches Reply with quote

I have been having reacurring problem with my tail lights not working. Checked the fuses, bulbs, good, all my grounds look good also. When I replace both switches of the master cylinder, they usually are good for a year or two. Could something else be going on that I am not aware of? Also, there is plenty of fluid in the master cylinder.
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PostPosted: Sat Apr 29, 2017 7:45 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Are you saying the brake switches keep going bad? The only thing you have to do to fix this is just replace one or both of the brake switches?

Have you done any testing on the old ones after you've taken them out? Maybe try to simulate the pressure required to open that circuit. A continuity test during this to see what happens. I would run that test on one of the bad ones and then on a brand new one.
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rockerarm
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 12:27 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Hi. If you are paying less than $10 per switch, either the 2 prong or 3 prong, you are buying the low quality china switch. I used to work on our cars for a living and trusted my parts supplier. The SoCal parts distrib would put their own sticker over the made in china print on the box. Had multiple times where either the brake lites failed to light up and/or switch was leaking. My personal DD had the center blow out in a hard stop and pedal sank to the floor.
I currently use the ATE switch on my car and have had zero issues with them, for the last year or so.
When I bypassed my parts supplier and e-mailed the distrib about the high failure rate their response was the profit margin was great enough to absorb that failure rate.
My thinking is the electrical internals are so cheap that they fail with the minimal current needed for two stop light bulbs.
Hope this helps, Bill.
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74 Thing
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 3:22 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

I had a similiar problem with the reverse light switch (made in China and just repackaged in different boxes). The thing would leak through the plastic area near the male electrical spades. Obviously it is even more of a problem if it is your brake fluid!
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PostPosted: Sun Apr 30, 2017 6:15 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

I bought and replaced both last summer, for the second time in 5 years. I bought them from NAPA, but I am sure they are the cheap ones. The next obvious question is where to go to get the good ones? Thanks guys. Cliff W. in western Pa.
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PostPosted: Tue May 02, 2017 8:15 am    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

[email protected] wrote:
I bought and replaced both last summer, for the second time in 5 years. I bought them from NAPA, but I am sure they are the cheap ones. The next obvious question is where to go to get the good ones? Thanks guys. Cliff W. in western Pa.


Hi. Even though I live in the heart of VW activity (SoCal) I have found myself going to a dedicated European BMW/Mercedes/Porsche parts store for many common items. Search this part number- 113-945-515G. ATE and FTE are probably the two big suppliers for them. I believe I've seen VDO as a supplier for this too, but I don't know of there reliability on this part.
For my '74 standard beetle I'm currently using the 356/911 2 prong switch, part number 901-613-401-00. It is an ATE made in Croatia. It is a 10mm x 1.0 thread with a crushable gasket. This switch has performed flawlessly during the year it has been installed.
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PostPosted: Mon May 08, 2017 5:26 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Thanks rocker, I bought 2 of the european switches from CIP1, the brake lights are good. In replacing the switches, a small bit of brake fluid leaked out, when I filled the reservoir, it seems the fluid is high in the right side, being 2 chambers. I don't want to add and overfill that side, how do I get it to even out in both chambers?
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 5:08 am    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Hi. When you said "European" switches I hope the brand wasn't Euro Max. That brand was the offender in all of my scenarios.
I think the retail price that you paid should be the decider between the poor quality and the acceptable. Less than $10 is gonna be junk and $15-20 is the acceptable part.
On your brake fluid loss during the R&R, There is two schools of thought here.
1- Top it off til the level is at the appropriate level. But that requires one to open up a fresh container and its shelf life begins. The smaller bottles are only about $3-4 each.
2- Mark or document the level on the reservoir and wait til you want to do a total brake fluid flush. The quart bottles are about $8-15 each.
Hope this helps, Bill.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 10:46 am    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Thanks rocker, the switches I bought were advertised on the CIP1 site as European made, and were around 21.00 each. I still question how to make the fluid level come out even in both sides of the reservoir under the dash?
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 11:08 am    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Well, you will find that many name brand European companies are now having their parts made in some third world countries BUT utilizing their European history to sell the part. I would guess if you spent $21 per each switch it should be good.
As far as your level goes, you could remove the two phillips screws and tilt in an attempt to balance out the level, BUT it is still low but now in both sides. Isn't $3-4 peace of mind for a small bottle of DOT3 worth it?
Bill.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 6:09 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Absolutely rocker, would spend more than that for the best stuff. I am just a little anal about the levels not being level, will take out screws and adjust. The Thing only gets the best of every-thing. I am also an anal Amsoil guy in all my cars.
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PostPosted: Tue May 09, 2017 9:00 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Very good. I looked at your gallery pics. That is a fine looking 181.
Bill.
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 5:25 am    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Thanks rocker, I had never done a gallery search, but figured it out after your kind comment.
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PostPosted: Wed May 10, 2017 6:39 pm    Post subject: Re: Brake switches Reply with quote

Hey rocker, after a rather spirited drive, the levels in the reservoir have kind of leveled themselves. Alls good.
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