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57 Tbird Stop Light Question

This is a discussion on 57 Tbird Stop Light Question within the Early Birds [1955-1957] forums, part of the Thunderbird Model Years category; Hi, First time poster. Does the engine need to be running for the stop lights to work? Thanks! Stu...

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  #1 (permalink)   IP: 104.129.194.129
Old 08-01-2020, 05:22 PM
 
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57 Tbird Stop Light Question

Hi,

First time poster. Does the engine need to be running for the stop lights to work?

Thanks!

Stu
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Old 08-01-2020, 09:28 PM
 
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No power to the hydraulic switch is always on.
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Old 08-06-2020, 09:15 PM
 
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OK, so after not seeing where the switch is supposed to be based on the manual (master cylinder) I found it buried in the engine compartment.

New question - how do I even access it to replace it????

It's not like I have ham hands, but can't get in there with pliers or a wrench to grab it.

Thanks!
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Old 08-06-2020, 10:49 PM
 
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The switch on a bird is always on the frame. On the sedans, the switch is attached to the master cylinder.

I usually use a socket and a long extension. I've removed them from the top and underneath. Make sure that is your problem before trying to remove it. Use a piece of metal (maybe a #8 or #10 machine bolt) to connect both terminals. If the lights go on, than it's the switch. You can use a test light too - one of the wires should be hot. If not, the switch may be ok

While it better to use a deep socket, it can be done with a regular length socket

Remember to disconnect the battery first.

Last edited by paul2748; 08-06-2020 at 10:52 PM.
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Old 08-07-2020, 07:33 AM
 
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So the problem I'm having is that I have to press down really hard on the pedal to make the lights work. If I don't press all the way down, the lights won't go on, but if I really press down hard, they do. I'm thinking the switch may be starting to go.
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Old 08-07-2020, 11:03 AM
 
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The switch may be on it's way out. That's the problem with the hydraulic switches. For the average switch, it needs a lot of pressure. There are low pressure switches on the market, so look for one of these. The solution is a mechanical switch. CASCO (and I assume the other Tbird parts suppliers) have a mechanical switch conversion that if adjusted correctly, lights the brake lights almost the instant you touch the brake pedal.

I put the CASCO unit on my 56. Been on the car s number of years with no problems.
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Old 08-13-2020, 08:37 PM
 
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So I replaced the switch and no major improvement. Just how far down should I have to press the pedal for the stop lights come on? I never really paid attention to it.

Probably going to convert to the mechanical switch....
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Old 08-13-2020, 09:00 PM
 
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Can't help with that question - as it's a pressure switch, it depends at what point there is adequate pressure.

Quote:
Originally Posted by classiclincoln View Post
So I replaced the switch and no major improvement. Just how far down should I have to press the pedal for the stop lights come on? I never really paid attention to it.

Probably going to convert to the mechanical switch....
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Old 08-31-2020, 09:28 PM
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I rigged up a mechanical switch from a motorcycle long ago when I converted to disc brakes. The switch wasn't closing the circuit unless I was braking hard. A new switch didn't help at all. My mechanical switch is a linear type mounted with a long spring on one side and an adjustment bolt on the other. The spring end connects to the dash and the other high on the brake pedal arm. I snipped the wiring from the hydraulic switch connector and pulled them through the dash to connect the new switch. Works like a charm.
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