Hand Brake Light Switch Broken

Discussion in 'Electrical' started by prodaytrader, Jul 31, 2009.

  1. prodaytrader

    prodaytrader Member

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    I have posted a few threads about how my cruise control hasn't been working and how I was recently told my brake lights were flickering and how I figured the two must be related. I purchased a replacement hand brake light switch because I figured the switch was bad. When I started to disassemble the hand brake unit I discovered that the switch tip appears to be snapped off. It would seem that someone at some point either didn't shim the hand brake or from over use the switch tip snapped off. There is lots of switch left including all of the rubber grommet, but what appears to be missing, when I compare mine and the one I bought, is the round knob at the end of the switch tip. I have something of a delima, now that I know what's going on.

    My first thought is that I can replace the switch with the new one, but that has two issues to it which is that the switch wires are so long that they are supposed to be run through the wiring harness down the handle bars and connected somewhere towards the engine block somewhere. This would be OEM installation I suppose. My second option with the switch is to splice the wires somewhere in the brake housing which would save tons of time and energy, but could lead to issues. I am pretty good with wiring and could do a bang up job splicing it, but there is always a risk doing things this way.

    Keep in mind that the switch is around 60 dollars, assuming I can return the switch because it is still unopened, my other thought process is to repair the switch by gluing a tip onto the old/existing switch. I could use some pretty good epoxy for the job and I have plenty of access and available work surface to make it work. This has obvious draw backs as well. The epoxy may wear out, break, who knows. The worst that would happen would be that my brake lights come on and stay on if the switch repair didn't hold. The existing surface of the switch has a small hole in the center which would work pretty good for screwing or pressing something small into that hole for additional support. I could also put some sort of shim on the brake as a means of closing the gap to the switch this way. As I recall the hand brake lever has a small protrusion at the end which might allow me to wrap wire around it to install some sort of shim.

    Should I attempt to repair the switch myself, replace the switch at a cost of 60 bucks and if I replace the switch should I splice the switch in or run the wires to wherever they suggest I run them which would probably takes hours to do? I really would like to save the money if I can. I just dumped 300 bucks on a oil cooler and another 30 bucks on an oil change. If I can save the 60 dollars I would just assume do that, but not at the cost of doing a shotty job I suppose.
     
  2. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

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    Do the job the proper way. You already have the switch. The bike is supposed to be your pride and joy so don't butcher it. Fish the wires through the jacket and be proud of the job you did and be satified that that the job will last and be reliable.
     
  3. STEVE07

    STEVE07 Well-Known Member Staff Member Super Moderators

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    I'll second what Kemo has said. Cut the cable ties where they attach to the bars,follow till it comes to the connector,remove it and put it on a bench or table keeping the wiring as straight as possible. Then cut the old wires at the switch. tape the new ones to them and pull them through the jacket,re-attach everything and you are done. It sounds like a lot but the whole job should take you under an hour
     
  4. Sheepdogmarine

    Sheepdogmarine Active Member

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    I had the same problem. I replaced the switch, but spliced the wires in the housing. There is not a lot of room, but if you solder them and heatshrink, it should be fine. Just be sure to put the heatshrink on before soldering.

    Ride Safe!
     
  5. Mavagrand

    Mavagrand Senior Member

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    Same thing happened to me on my road king, i broke the tip off changing the grips. I removed the lever and taped up the end that sits inside the housing. there is not a lot of pressure in there, I used duct tape and it worked for over two years. still worked when I traded up. you can spend the money or you can ride!!!!
     
  6. RGBubba

    RGBubba Member

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    Same here, forgot to use the cardboard. Found the tip and used Loctite super glue and glued it back on. Work fine.
     
  7. prodaytrader

    prodaytrader Member

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    call me redneck, but I went ahead and repaired the broken switch with good old fashioned ingenuity. Like I mentioned before the shaft is hollow to a degree. I took a metal thumb tack and super glued a small nut that was smaller then the head of the tack and also had a small diameter center hole. I originally tried some washers on the tack, but because the diameter of their center hole was too big it didn't want to sit well on the shaft of the switch. A small diameter center hole allowed for more contact on the switch. Once I allowed the glue to dry onto the tack and nut I then glued the combo onto the switch. Since the tack's shaft fit well into the center hole of the switch it provided more stability once it was glued on. I also figure that considering that the tack's head is smooth, medal and flat it will provide a nice surface for the handle bar to slide back and forth across and not cause further damage or erode my solution away like tape would. I suspect that my solution will be a permanent one and may actually be stronger then the plastic knob on a OEM switch. The solution works perfectly and the brake lights function properly once again. I forgot to test the cruise control tonight, but I'm sure it will work as well.

    Think Harley will give me grief for wanting to return the switch I bought? I never did open the package so that is in my favor. Unfortunately I can't find the receipt though.

    Thanks for the tips and suggestions.
     
  8. kemo

    kemo R.I.P

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    I bet that you own that switch. The most you will get is an in store credit, but you may get a suprise, who knows.