Recently, I noticed that my brake lights were staying on constantly and only going out when I pressed all the way down on my brake pedal. The front brake lever had no effect on the lights. After a quick e-mail exchange with Bill at VT Cycles, I followed his advice to use a wire jumper to eliminate the switch on the front brake as being the culprit. Then a Google search uncovered an article by Vance Blosser on the Crawford Sales Company web site on how to deal with a stuck brake switch. The purpose of my post here is to build on his advice.
After removing the switch from the bike, I douched it out with CRC QD Electric Cleaner but there really wasn't any crud in the switch so I reasoned that I needed to delve deeper. After drying the switch off, I lubed the pin with some of my moly paste but is still felt rough as it traveled up and down inside the switch housing. I then attempted to search for a means to lube the upper part of the pin. As I peered into the housing, it became apparent that I might be able to remove the pin if I disconnected the spring that attaches the switch to the brake pedal. After bending the hook on the spring a bit and removing it from the pin, I was able to pull the pin out of the switch housing with needle nose pliers. Immediately I saw that the shaft of the pin was corroded, probably with that metal eating salt crap the Maine DOT uses. At first I went after the corrosion with fine emery paper. It quickly became apparent that this was a soft metal, probably aluminum, so I switched to 0000 grade steel wool to make it as smooth as possible. I then applied some 10% moly paste, buffed it in and set the pin aside. Returning to the housing, I liberally sprayed it some MMM Super Lubricant and shook off the excess. I then reinserted the pin. Care needs to be taken here because on my first attempt to do this I popped out a brass washer imbedded in the base of the switch housing. Fortunately, I was able to retrieve it, clean it up, reinstall it and then reinstall the pin. Then the top of the switch along with the plugs that attach to the brake wiring received a generous application of Silicone Grease and the spring was reattached and lubed with more MMM Super Lubricant spray before the unit was reinstalled as indicated in Vance Blossers article. With the bike turned on, both the front brake lever and the pedal operated the brake light as expected. Now, if had the tools and skills necessary, I'd turn out a stainless steel version of that pin to eliminate the salt corrosion issue.
An armed society is a polite society.
2011 Gear Up