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Thread: Lazy Brakelights

  1. #1
    Jared Rundell - Registered User JCR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Birmingham, MI

    Lazy Brakelights - Nervous Driver

    I am currently attempting to mitigate a big concern of mine (rear end collisions ) by optimizing my brakelight performance. Don't mean to SUV bash like some, but the big ones make me paraniod when looming large in the rearview!

    I have bought new lenses, brighter halogen bulbs and will be installing a low profile LED CHMSL as seen in this Pelican thread.

    My only remaining challenge is that my brakelights don't come on until after quite a bit of pressure is applied. I checked into the pedal assy mounted switch, it seems to work ok, but doesn't click until after quite a bit of travel. I thought I could bend the mounting flange to change the angle of the switch so it would actuate sooner, but the mounting flange has excellent structural strength to it (thanks Stuttgart) and ain't movin.

    As a temporary band-aid, I put a thin wedge under the switch to change the angle and tightened it down. This helps, but still is not actuating soon enough and will only go so far. If I am in stop and go traffic, needing light brake pressure - the lights still won't go on.

    My question(s) (finally) is this:

    Will a new switch actuate sooner and take care of this? I'd like to know before ordering a $30 switch I may not need.

    Do I instead need to adjust by brake pedal height? It's even with the clutch now and doing this doesn't seem right-but it may help heel&toeing. If so, what is the procedure?

    Has anyone experienced / solved this issue? I have searched other boards and not found the specific answers I seek. I want those lights to come on right away!

    Thanks in advance, my a$$ end is in your hands - so to speak.
    '73 911S #0793
    '69 912_ #0602
    Early S #0454
    RGruppe #0391

  2. #2
    Adjust the actuator washer thats between the 2 nuts on the rod to the master cylinder.. adjust it in or out

  3. #3
    my brakes were lazy too...right after I put a new switch in...I adjusted the little screw and they popped on and off like new! I think you can also adjust the angle slightly with the mounting screws....
    71 911S Targa

  4. #4
    Also, since this is a 30 year old car. Have the connectors been cleaned of all corrosion?

    Connectors in the path:

    Brake Pedal Switch
    Multi-pin through the chassis
    Bulb Socket and Bulb contacts

    Cleaning these will actually brighten the bulb and its' reaction time because resistance is lowered by the improved electron flow through the connectors.

    Check with an electrical supply store for some contact/tuner cleaner.
    71' Olive 2.2E Targa / Early S #491

    I've always considered the glass to be half full...that is until I reached middle age and realized that it is actually half empty.

  5. #5
    Jared Rundell - Registered User JCR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2002
    Birmingham, MI

    Funny you should mention that; this is this very thing that left me standed on the side of the road a few weeks ago. I now know to tap on my fuel gauge for a correct tank level reading. The needle drops down about 1/4 tank with a gentle tap. Yes, I done ran out of gas, and right in front of my former employer's building no less! (now they're a client). I was hoping my former colleagues didn't see me walking back to the car with a gas can. So far so good - no ribbing phone calls, never would have lived THAT one down! Ah, the joys of vintage car ownership!

    I have been cleaning contacts as I do other work. Very important. I am assuming the fuel gauge thing is a contact, it's somewhere coming up on the list.

    Brakelights work great now, thanks all for the suggestions. I ended up adjusting several things:

    - Put a thicker pad at the brake lever return stop (looked like the old one was worn) to reduce extra travel slop and lessen switch arm travel.

    - Adjusted rod into master cyl. to further reduce slop.

    - My switch doesn't connect until all travel is gone, so I dremeled off the rounded nub at the switch arm end - against the washer, further reducing required travel - this worked well to dial the light timing in. The adjustment nut always tightens the actuator washer against the brake lever mount, so I couldn't adjust it's position without taking the whole assy apart and adding washers or a nut.

    Lights come on right away now, much more reassuring! The brake pedal feels more solid and it's much easier to heel and toe to "boot". (also adjusted accel pedal rearward).

    The only problem is that damn spring I found lying in the pedal cluster! I have no idea where it goes! It's not the brake or clutch return spring. It's made of thin gauge wire, about .75" long and 1.25" diameter and has flattened edges, about 4 coil rounds, no hooks or arms - just round. It looks like it's supposed to be between two surfaces coming together to provide resistance, like the accel pedal and floorboard - but there is no mount area I can see for it. Everything feels ok without it - but the accel pedal seems to have a just little less resistance at the beginning of it's travel. Which may all be in my head.

    I know, piddly stuff compared to you hot rod / racers, but any ideas about the mystery spring
    '73 911S #0793
    '69 912_ #0602
    Early S #0454
    RGruppe #0391

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