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Looking for a non-Ferrari brake light switch

Discussion in '308/328' started by flyngti, Oct 26, 2009.

  1. flyngti

    flyngti Formula 3

    Jul 16, 2009
    1,183
    Snohomish, WA
    Full Name:
    Eric L
    After some more digging around, I think I've tracked down all my electrical gremlins. I installed Birdman's fuse blocks and replaced all the relays. The screeching fuel pump was replaced with a Pierburg. The only things left are the headlight switch (which I will send to Verell as soon as I get the thing off) and the brake lights.

    I pulled the brake light switch off and found the plunger and contacts fused together internally. Looks like the contacts got hot and the plastic melted together into a big blob. Before ordering a new one, does anyone know of another switch that can do the job? I've read other posts on this topic, but no one had a definitive answer on which specific switch would work. Are the current brake switches better then the old ones? Seems like the original was pretty cheesy and I'd like to replace it with something that won't destroy itself.
     
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  3. AZDoug

    AZDoug Formula 3

    Jun 17, 2009
    1,437
    Along the Verde , AZ
    Full Name:
    Doug
    This isn't about your brake light switch, but I sprayed some electrical contact cleaner into my headlight switch and then simply started operating them on/off/on/off, etc.

    After many repetitions everything started to work, head lights, lifters, turn signals. They all worked when i parked the car, so i knew nothing was broken.

    Doug
     
  4. flaviaman

    flaviaman Formula Junior

    Jul 26, 2005
    297
    Vernonia, OR
    Full Name:
    Gregg
    The brake light switch was used by Alfa Romeo on Spider 2000's, Alfetta's, Milano's and GTV6's through 1994.

    Fiat also used this switch on 124's and Spider 2000's and no doubt others.

    I suspect someone like International Auto Parts can fix you up, they are very inexpensive.

    Cheers
     
  5. flyngti

    flyngti Formula 3

    Jul 16, 2009
    1,183
    Snohomish, WA
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    Eric L
    #4 flyngti, Oct 26, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    No such luck for me. Mine is definitely broken -- plastic is cracked at the pivot.
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  6. flyngti

    flyngti Formula 3

    Jul 16, 2009
    1,183
    Snohomish, WA
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    Eric L
    Are we talking about the same switch or a different one that will work? I think I'm looking for something less fragile than OEM.
     
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  8. birddog

    birddog Formula Junior

    Jun 24, 2006
    415
    Illinois
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    Ed
    Well, if the one you have lasted since 1978, maybe it's not as fragile as you think it is. Generally if I can find a part I'm in need of, I buy it. However, if you're one of those guys that likes to reinvent the wheel, have at 'er.
     
  9. eurogt4

    eurogt4 Karting

    Apr 15, 2006
    243
    Sacramento, CA
    Full Name:
    Mike
    When you install a switch, make sure that it is adjusted so that when the pedal comes to the rest position (brakes off) that the switch plunger is pushed in enough to turn off the lights, but not so much that it bottoms out the switch.
     
  10. f308jack

    f308jack F1 Rookie

    Jun 7, 2007
    4,267
    Cape Town, South Afr
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    Jack Verschuur
    I had the same problem with mine last year. Didn't have a new one at hand, opened it up and McGyver'ed it, and it's still working.
    Since ordered a new switch (cheap), and it appears the new one is made of different materials and all black. It also came without the big plastic nut at the plunger-end.
     
  11. flyngti

    flyngti Formula 3

    Jul 16, 2009
    1,183
    Snohomish, WA
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    Eric L
    Thanks. This is what I wanted to know -- whether the new switches are made of the same material as the original.
     
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  13. flyngti

    flyngti Formula 3

    Jul 16, 2009
    1,183
    Snohomish, WA
    Full Name:
    Eric L
    #10 flyngti, Oct 29, 2009
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 7, 2017
    I don't know why, but I somehow felt compelled to use a different switch. I found one made by Painless Performance, the guys who make wiring harnesses and such for old American iron. It seems pretty well made and the switch makes a positive on/off click when the plunger is depressed and released. Truth be told, I did have to make some modifications to get it to work. The Painless switch is about 1.5cm too short and the threads on the switch body are wrong. No big deal though -- I ran a 12mm x 1.75 die to cut new threads and I extended the plunger tip by using the plunger from the old switch. Oddly enough, the new plunger seems to be made of the same thermoplastic as the old one. I simply drilled a hole at the tip of the new plunger and stuck the old piece in it. A little directed heat and the white plastic pieces fused together.

    I know, it would have been easier just to buy the right switch. However, this works perfectly and the hardest part was contorting myself to get under the dash.
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