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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-05-2018, 11:09 AM
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Brake Light Issue

New to this non-factory bike thing. Have a '05 CFL and just swapped out the brake light to a different style. I'm an idiot when it comes to electrical.
I thought the one that was on the bike was working before the swap, but to be honest I didn't really check.
So here's what I know;
In-line hydraulic rear brake pressure switch.
I have the red connected to red. Black to black. Green to blue.
If I run a jumper wire from the black to the frame, both the brake light and plate light, turn on. But no on-off with brake pressure applied.
Without the jumper to ground, nothing comes on.
I swapped black and green and blue and black, but it didn't fix anything.

So maybe I'm missing something, but does it sound like I have a bad pressure switch? I tried jumping the connectors on the switch (not sure if I was successful - hard to do that and look at the light) and unplugging them, but it didn't turn the light on or off.

Any ideas? Maybe I'm missing something stupid.
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Old 08-05-2018, 04:31 PM
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It sounds like your light is grounded through the lamp body, you need to make sure the body is properly grounded so you will probably have to scrape some paint/powder to get a good ground. I prefer to run a proper ground wire to my lights. You can check to see if you have a good ground by hooking your test light to the positive battery terminal and the probe to the lamp body.

To check the switch connect your test light to the negative side of your battery and probe both terminals on the switch, one should be hot, then probe the other terminal while applying brake pressure, if it does not light up you need a switch, if it does you need to check your wiring.
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Last edited by Captain America; 08-05-2018 at 04:34 PM..
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Old 08-06-2018, 05:49 PM
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Thanks for the tips. Tied both. Here is what happened;

You can check to see if you have a good ground by hooking your test light to the positive battery terminal and the probe to the lamp body. Light turned on.

To check the switch connect your test light to the negative side of your battery and probe both terminals on the switch, one should be hot, then probe the other terminal while applying brake pressure, if it does not light up you need a switch, if it does you need to check your wiring. Two things happened here.
First; I had previously ran a "manual" ground from the mounting plate to the bike as this would make the brake light turn on and the plate illumination light on (so I could drive with some type of light on). With this "manual ground" still on, the brake switch would not light up my test light on either terminal.
Second; With the "manual ground" wire removed, the test light would light up on 1 side of the switch and would light up on the other side of the switch when the brake was pressed (as in theory it should). But would not light up my brake light still.


I'm even more stumped now...I hate electricity and circuits...I should become Amish...

Thanks again for any help and insight!
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Old 08-07-2018, 08:29 AM
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OK, start from scratch. Disconnect your wires and verify what the wire on the bike actually are. Test light on the positive terminal of the battery and you will verify which wire is ground. Next, use that wire as the ground for your test light and figure out which wire is running lights and which is brake...mark them all or write it down. Now using a battery, find the ground on the new lamp, the brake light, and the running light and connect the wires accordingly(the brake light is the bright one).
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Old 08-07-2018, 10:48 AM
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Those hydraulic brake switches go bad, especially aftermarket ones.

you can test them by putting sound ohmmeter on the contacts and pushing the brake pedal- you would hear the sound when the master is compressed.

On my builds i started to use this nice mechanical switch right under brake pedal.

It's on when the pedal moves away from it letting the plunger out.



But as the captain said, you want to make sure what is what-running light, brake and ground.
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Old 08-07-2018, 07:05 PM
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I've tried everything! Bought a lift so that I can get the bike up off the ground and look at this thing better. Been bouncing my head off the ground for a few nights now.
Will report back if I ever get this figured out or bring it in to get fixed.
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Old 08-08-2018, 04:31 PM
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Did some more digging;

Multimeter reads 12v on red wire (from battery).
Multimeter reads 12v on green wire (from brake switch when engaged and 0v when brake is off).
Multimeter reads 6-7v on black wire (ground).

Soooo, why is the ground wire getting power??? Guessing this is a bad ground connection somewhere??
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Old 08-08-2018, 05:31 PM
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You need to find where that black wire goes, if you still have the old lamp you might want to check functionality on that. Right now if you taped off that black wire and ran a proper ground your new tail lamp should work but you need to figure out exactly what that black wire is...does the bike have a lighting module?
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