I killed my front brake lever tail-light switch? - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 9 Old 09-01-2013, 10:11 PM Thread Starter
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I killed my front brake lever tail-light switch?

Being that it was a nice sunny day, I decided to install my Eastern Beaver Control Wire Extension kit. I figured out the riddle of the connectors and how they attach to the shroud, snapped in the extension pieces, and gave it a go. Left side controls all work properly, and the horn honks just as loud as before (stebel). Right hand controls, the bike's electric starter works, and the motor kill switch works. Only thing that didn't work is the tail-light switch. When I use the front brake lever, the tail light switch doesn't kick in.


Great......The tail light switch for the foot pedal works, so that's OK. I dived in again, removed the EB extender, reconnected the original connectors together, and tested the brake switch again - nothing. I also removed the two prong brake switch at the controls and reseated it - nothing again. Next, I got my multi meter and applied the probe to each of the 7-ports in the connector switch from the bike's wiring harness. Only 3 of the 7 ports show any juice running thru them, but perhaps they all are not used (?). There's no obvious damage to the wires where I separated the harness connections, and all the connections seem to be in good shape. Any suggestions on what to try next (other than taking it to my local shop for a spendy fun fest)?

Here's a look at the wiring diagram, if that helps:

"Side effects may include: Mild kidney explosions...Testicular cranberrying... And Rectal hallucinations."
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post #2 of 9 Old 09-01-2013, 11:47 PM
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Pull the plug on the brake light switch and bridge the two wires, with the ignition on you should get the brake light.

If YES ? the switch or switch adjustment is bad, plug the wires back on and remove the switch, depress the switch by hand, if the light works it's only an adjustment, if it does not work it is the switch.

If NO light when bridged ? it is in the wiring and it's time to trace them.

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post #3 of 9 Old 09-04-2013, 12:08 AM Thread Starter
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OK, so it looks like the switch itself was bad. Apparently, the little plastic plunger did not have any spring tension on it from the odd assortment of stamped metal/spring/plastic bits inside the switch. The plunger would freely slide it's full range without any influence of the spring loaded bits - which is why my brake light wouldn't come on.

The thing is, I had no idea I'd been riding about, for who knows how long, without my front brake tail light switch functioning. You all may want to check your own switches to see if you too have the same situation - it could just save your life.....

That said, if I can't get this thing back together, a new switch is only about 25 bux.....

"Side effects may include: Mild kidney explosions...Testicular cranberrying... And Rectal hallucinations."
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post #4 of 9 Old 09-04-2013, 10:42 AM
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I'm a front brake guy myself. Use the rear sparingly. I bounce the lights off the garage door every morning (F&R) just to make sure they both are in working order.
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post #5 of 9 Old 09-04-2013, 11:06 PM Thread Starter
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I fixed the front brake tail light switch! Seems that the whole switch is very much a Rube Goldberg fulcrum-type device, using spring tension contained by some cleverly designed bits of plastic and metal. It took me a few tries to get the combination right, so that the plastic push rod was actually being pushed upon by the spring mechanism. The key is to get the two round contacts within range of each other so when you use the brake lever the push rod is released, causing the mechanism to snap the two contacts together, completing the electrical circuit.

The idea here is the switch, when it is static, is in the completed circuit mode - always a complete circuit. Interesting, the switch is only in this static state when the front brake lever is used, moving the front brake's metal tab away from the pushrod, allowing the springy thing to push Simple, but very cleverly conceived, I must say...........(there's so many small moving parts on these machines, it's a wonder they work at all for very long!?!)

A bit of crazy glue buttoned up the two halves together, since I had to break the plastic 'one time only' deals that hold the two housing pieces together. If you ever do this repair, make sure you're careful with the crazy glue, and actuate the push rod so any crazy glue leakage doesn't make any mayhem for the moving bits.

Shows the switch re-assembled, but i've not yet plopped in the black push rod....


Push rod in place.......


Two halves glued and clamped! (Saved $30 on a new switch, and probably saved my ass in the future!)


"Side effects may include: Mild kidney explosions...Testicular cranberrying... And Rectal hallucinations."

Last edited by jokermtb; 09-04-2013 at 11:10 PM.
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post #6 of 9 Old 09-05-2013, 07:04 AM
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You're not alone on front brake switch failures, I just found out yesterday that mine is becoming intermittent. On an '09 with 37K miles I thought this may be premature but then again those miles are racked up mostly in bumper-to-bumper traffic with the front brake switch seeing a LOT if use every day. I've just got a new switch coming.

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post #7 of 9 Old 09-06-2013, 12:23 AM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Stoopy View Post
You're not alone on front brake switch failures, I just found out yesterday that mine is becoming intermittent. On an '09 with 37K miles I thought this may be premature but then again those miles are racked up mostly in bumper-to-bumper traffic with the front brake switch seeing a LOT if use every day. I've just got a new switch coming.
I'm gonna order a fresh one too. Fixing my original wonky switch is merely a stop-gap. But, at least I can ride with a clear head and an unfurrowed brow!

"Side effects may include: Mild kidney explosions...Testicular cranberrying... And Rectal hallucinations."
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post #8 of 9 Old 10-13-2013, 11:47 PM
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Thanks for the insight jokermtb. Opened my faulty switch and found that the contact points were darkened due to arching. Cleaned it, carefully applied jb weld and all's well. Hoping to get another 75K before I consider replacing it.

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post #9 of 9 Old 10-14-2013, 07:33 PM
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my original front brake switch went out at 100K. The replacement is still going strong 203K later. think of all of the times that that little plunger goes back and forth!

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