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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok I've been experiencing an intermittent brake light problem for some time now. I've checked grounds, terminals, you name it. What happens is sometimes the right light is out, other times the left light is out and once in awhile they are both out...it's had me baffled. So last weekend both lights were out again and I had my wife watching while I was under the dash fiddling with connections, then testing, as soon as I messed with the brake light switch plunger(very loose and wobbly) the lights worked, both sides, messed with it once more, the passenger side quit, messed with it again both lights worked, once more and the drivers side quit...an AH HA moment:). So I ordered a new switch from Mark @ Mutton Hollow. Turn signals worked on both sides at all times.

My question is are the two wires coming from the new switch specific to the harness plugs? If so how do I determine which wire goes where? or doesn't it make a difference?
Any installation tips like adjusting plunger length etc. would be appreciated...thanks
Gary
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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No, it doesn't matter which wire goes to which terminal on the switch.
You want the switch to close as close to the top of the pedal movement as you can to give the guy behind you as much warning as you can, so adjust for as little movement of the pedal and still get reliable operation.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
No, it doesn't matter which wire goes to which terminal on the switch.
You want the switch to close as close to the top of the pedal movement as you can to give the guy behind you as much warning as you can, so adjust for as little movement of the pedal and still get reliable operation.
Thank you! I feel like a real ding-dong because I never, ever thought of checking the switch especially after checking ,numerous times, the wires, bulbs, grounds, etc.. I was about ready to pull my hair out it was getting so frustrating.

Again thank you for the info.
Gary
 

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I never, ever thought of checking the switch especially after checking ,numerous times, the wires, bulbs, grounds, etc.. I was about ready to pull my hair out it was getting so frustrating. Gary
Usually the brake light switch won't cause only one light to fail, but anythings possible. Only one light or the other is usually the turn signal switch, if the turn signals work.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
The switch is new about 9 mos old, Danchuk. Turn signals were really funky when I got the car and I replaced the entire assembly in Jan this year? Followed all the instructions for installation(yeah I'm one of those that read instructions)and got them fixed, making sure no wiring was pinched etc. .
Of course I could've gotten some of the Chinese crap to but there was no "'made in" info on the packaging.
If the switch doesn't cure the problem I guess it's time for plan B
 

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Usually the brake light switch won't cause only one light to fail, but anythings possible. Only one light or the other is usually the turn signal switch, if the turn signals work.
I agree, I don't see how the brake light switch can cause only one brake light to go out or act weird. It controls both of them through the turn signal switch. How is it possible?
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Now this really baffles me because in messing with the plunger the lights worked, then didn't, then one side was on, then the other, then both, and when they both worked wiggle the plunger, fine, wiggle the plunger again and either one side or the other went out, or both?
I've studied the wiring diagrams and cant figure out where the problem could arise until I messed with the plunger on the switch...

Can you enlighten me?
 

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The brake switch has ONE wire in and ONE wire out. Power comes from the headlight switch, to the brake switch, then to the column and up to the turn signal switch. Since the brake lights and turn signals are on the same filament, this is the way they have to do it, at least on a 56, and I think a 55 is the same. The turn signal switch interrupts the brake signal to the light that is blinking. The other one stays on when the brakes are on.

For some reason the 55 wiring diagram doesn't show it this way, but they don't show any turn signal switch. This is how it is on a STOCK 56 wiring diagram. Don't know what AAW or others do, but I'm sure it's similar. Might just take power from a different source, like a fuse.

I don't see any way that a brake switch can cause ONE brake light to go on and off. It has to be in your turn signal switch, column connector, or wires to the brakes.
 

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Trifive Automotive Electrical Wiring Expert
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In 1955, turn signals were an option, RPO 100. Because of that, the turn signals may have been either dealer installed or added later by a previous owner. That means that the wiring may be different than the diagrams. ....http://www.trifive.com/garage/55%20Chevy%20Assembly%20Manual/100-4.gif and the reason that turn signals aren't in the stock 55 wiring diagram. I have even heard of another light socket installed in a hole that was drilled in the stock tail light houseing, so that the brake lights and turn signals were seperate bulbs, but the brake switch should affect both bulbs anyway.
 

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In 1955, turn signals were an option, RPO 100.
That's pretty funny. :sign0020:

Especially these days when A/C, ABS, cruise, power windows, power brakes, power steering, power door locks, and climate control and lots of other features are standard equipment. My how we've become spoiled!!! :party0031::D
 

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Check your tailight sockets to see if they have good ground. I had a problem once with my 55 tailights not being properly grounded. I remember soldering a wire to each bulb socket and grounding it to the body or frame. Jim
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Check your tailight sockets to see if they have good ground. I had a problem once with my 55 tailights not being properly grounded. I remember soldering a wire to each bulb socket and grounding it to the body or frame. Jim
I already did that. I had read an article somewhere about doing just that to insure a good ground on a 'glas body when I built my first Cobra and figured why not try it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Well installed the new brake light switch and with the wife watching I wiggled the plunger and nothing went out. The old plunger had a lot of movement in it and the new one has very little.
I'll see if the switch is the culprit, if not then I may may enlist my friend Donnie to help me put in an entirely new harness and get rid of the 50+ yr old wiring.

On another note my cousin called me to tell me that I need to make my decision soon about what color to paint the Anglia. Said they'd be ready to apply color about the first of November...

here's the colors I'm seriously considering

from a NY Anglia :


from a DEL Anglia:


Mine after the first primer coat, Phil pulled all the windows after this and the flip front is just sitting on the engine, they moved it out of the shop for the day I was there with my camera for a change. Oh yeah and the wheels/tires are not the ones I'll be using, look good in photos or from 10ft away but tires are shot and the wheels are pitted/scratched one rear rim is bent...$100 swap meet buy for rims/tires.


Which color do y'all prefer...red or blue?
 

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Well installed the new brake light switch and with the wife watching I wiggled the plunger and nothing went out. The old plunger had a lot of movement in it and the new one has very little.
Makes no sense to me, unless your brake light switch is wired in some weird way. Anyhow, I hope it fixes your problem. Did you say you live in Greeley? We should plan to get together sometime. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Yep, Greeley good ol' Smell Town, CO:sign0020:
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
Anglia color choice

Well installed the new brake light switch and with the wife watching I wiggled the plunger and nothing went out. The old plunger had a lot of movement in it and the new one has very little.
I'll see if the switch is the culprit, if not then I may may enlist my friend Donnie to help me put in an entirely new harness and get rid of the 50+ yr old wiring.

On another note my cousin called me to tell me that I need to make my decision soon about what color to paint the Anglia. Said they'd be ready to apply color about the first of November...

here's the colors I'm seriously considering

from a NY Anglia :


from a DEL Anglia:


Mine after the first primer coat, Phil pulled all the windows after this and the flip front is just sitting on the engine, they moved it out of the shop for the day I was there with my camera for a change. Oh yeah and the wheels/tires are not the ones I'll be using, look good in photos or from 10ft away but tires are shot and the wheels are pitted/scratched one rear rim is bent...$100 swap meet buy for rims/tires.


Which color do y'all prefer...red or blue?
Guess I should have posted this in a new thread or poll:)
 
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