Has anyone ever installed the brake light switch that attaches to the starter bendix? Looks simple but trying to figure out how the brake lever hits the switch seems puzzling. Any suggestions would be appreciated.
Remove the floor boards,then step on the brake. You will see how the end of the brake pedal shaft moves toward the bending cover. The end of this shaft is what activates the switch.
Here are a couple photos from:
I used to have one of those starter-mounted switches on my car. It was inexpensive and easy to install, and it lasted a few good years, but the darned thing needed constant adjustment due to the slippage of putting a circular grip around a cylindrical object. Eventually, when the thing broke, I saw it as an opportunity to replace it with something that wouldn’t need constant attention, so I bought one of John Regan’s "Fun Projects" brake-light switches.
Installing this kit did involve spending a couple of hours getting intimate with the greasy underside of my car, but there was nothing difficult about it. The hardest thing I had to do was compensate for the thickness of the mounting bracket by buying a longer bolt and drilling a cotter-pin hole through the threaded shank — and by the way, here’s an easy way to do that:
The Fun Projects switch looks to be an extremely high-quality unit. The switch itself has a neat, weatherproof, rubber seal and the steel mounting bracket is powder-coated.
The simple geometry of the brass actuating linkage is strong and hasn't needed adjustment since it was installed a little over a year ago. And if you buy it direct from Mr. Regan, it only costs about three bucks more than the starter-mounted unit.
Thanks for all the suggestions. You would think I could have figured it out without asking but sometimes asking is quicker. From Pros no less!
I don't know why the suppliers can't get the Chinese firm to make a better quality switch. The outside appearance is nice. I used to see original switches at Hershey, but thats a long time ago. No offense to John Regan, but I would much prefer to have the correct looking switch than anything else.
Snyder's is stating that the repro Bendix can style switch is now U.S. made.
The one in the first picture is the one I do not like.
You gotta tighten the he## out of it to keep it from turning on the Bendix cover
It gets in the way, there are better ones.
I wasn't going to mention it since the post was specific to one type switch but as long as Bob C. brought it up, and I'm sure any one that's used it, will love the Fun projects set-up. The bracket alone is worth the price of the full kit.
I had one that bolted to the starter cover...didn't like it much. It used to spin just like Aaron says causing you to tighten the b-jesus out of it, and it would eventually move anyway. The one I have now straps across the transmission door, which means every time you adjust the brakes you have to also adjust the switch...the Fun Projects product is far superior to either of two other types in my opinion, mostly because it works regardless of how many times you adjust the brake bands.
I made a bracket to hold a microswitch. It uses the two center bolts on the tranny door. The switch has a set of NO and a set of NC contacts. I used the normally closed set and let the brake pedal open them when it is retracted. No adjusting. No springs needed to allow for over travel. You do have to remove it to get into the tranny, but it's no problem to do so. You had to remove those screws anyway to get the cover off.
I have the one that bolts across the trans cover - but it doesn't really need any adjusting, I just take it off and put it back on without much fuss.
I really like the Fun Project design but I have too much mess going on between my Warford transmission and my mechanical linkage for my Larry Sidmore AC brakes (shameless shoutout for great product!).
When I was helping a friend who had the problem with the bendix mounted switch rotating my wife came up with the solution, she had me clean the bendix cover with nail polish remover then she cut a section of the non-slip stuff she uses in the kitchen cabinets put that between the clamp and the bendix cover did not have to do anything but snug the clamp it hasent moved since
Can't agree with Bob Coiro more. I have one on my '12, and one on the shelf for when the Bendix mounted one craps out, which eventually that flimsy switch will. Fun Projects switch is definitely the one to buy. John builds good stuff.
A point that is overlooked often is in the choice of switch used. A brake lamp is a high current lamp unlike the "running tail light". All tungsten filament lamps have a much lower resistance before they light up. A lamp that has an operate current of 3 amps will draw over 25 amps of "inrush" current and that is what the switch must handle. I have no quarrel with those wishing to rig up their own switch but most of the switches chosen are not sealed against water, dirt, and oil. All 3 of those are present under the floor boards and I simply wanted a switch that was made of stainless or brass parts and was sealed with ability (at 60 amps) to handle 2 brake lamps since I firmly believe that the biggest danger when driving a T is from the rear. What ever your method of hook up - make sure your lamps are bright and that your brake light switch is solid and adjusted properly.
To John's point, I probably could not get away with using the switch I used if I had incandescent bulbs. I'm only lighting an LED strip.
Get a Fun Projects unit. You won't regret the purchase.
John's switch is simply the best. I have two on different vehicles, one with incandescent and one with LED. Both work flawlessly! And until John explained to me about the in rush current, only then did I realize why I had failure of the other switches.
I have an original genuine Ford switch on my '25, and have never had a problem of any kind.
I was just at Dream Works picking up my rebuilt short block and James had installed a 60's Harley sportster rear brake light switch with a simple home made bracket and spring/rod style linkage new for under 10 bucks. Maybe he'll post a picture.
Mine is pictured at the bottom of this thread.
The starter bendix switch will work if properly adjusted. However a couple of drawbacks. One is that it is very close to the clutch link and can be moved by depressing the low pedal. The other is that those nuts which hold on the wires. The bolts can sometimes turn inside the switch when you go to install the wiring. If that happens it can ground the inside of the switch causing a direct short to ground. Be sure to always use a fuse in the circuit if you use that type of switch. I like the fun projects type better.
I think the Fun Projects switch is a classy solution for a Model T brake light switch.
I use the FunProjects unit, love it solves a lot of issues . Recommend.
George n L.A.
I like using motorcycle stop light switches. Buy them used at bike salvage shops.....normally pay $5.00 for a good used switch. Bring an Ohm meter so you can check to make sure the switch you select is good.
I look for the round body pull style that use a pull spring. Clamp the switch with a loop clamp using a screw that attaches the hogs head inspection cover. Simple, not expensive and designed to survive in the elements.
Not model T original but works well.