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post #1 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2002, 08:36 PM Thread Starter
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No brake lights

Coming home this evening, my next door neighbor was right behind me and let me know that I've got no brake lights. The neighbor stood at the back as I tried tail and turn signal lights. They worked, just no brake lights. He's a State Trooper, but he's the one I helped replaced brake pads on all four corners of his wife's Explorer. He wouldn't right me a ticket anyway, I don't think he even carries a ticket book anymore, but I still better get it fixed.

I started checking and I don't know why, maybe just because JerseyWheeler asked about using that toggle switch, I had the premonition that it was in the turn signal switch in the column. Nevertheless, first things first, I check the fuse. The fuse is good and it feeds both the brake switch and the hazard flasher. I turn on the hazard flashers and I've got fronts but no rears.

Now I'm really convinced that my problem is probably in the turn signal switch in the column. I unplug the connector to the steering column and started checking for power and continuity. I found that there was power on the pink wire from the brake switch when I press on the brake pedal. I connected a jumper from the battery and found that if I touch it to either of the light green wires, the corresponding brake/signal lamp lights.

I get out the multi-meter and check the column side of the connector and find that I have continuity between the wires going to the brake lamps but not to the power from the brake switch. I'm thinking I don't have a schematic on the column itself, but I check my books anyway. Nothing, so I get on this board to ask if anyone has one.

How lucky can you be? I notice there had been a lot of responses to JerseyWheeler's post so I check it out. I notice LEVE's response and think, "If only he was right." I drop down and there it is, the schematic for the column.
Thank you in2mud.

Using that schematic that in2mud provided, with the turn switch centered, I've got continuity from RR to LR tail light wires (green), but not to the feed from the brake switch (red). The red goes hot when the brake is depressed. This still doesn't explain why both of the front hazard flashers work but neither of the rears do.

So, anybody think it could be anything but the turn switch or a bad connection to it? How hard is it to get to the switch? I've gotten into steering columns before, but that was years ago before they had the lock ring. I know I need a lock ring depressor. I've got a wheel puller, Chilton and Haynes manuals and the link to the tilt column repair. Any other hints?

The bad part is, as a spring project, I was just contemplating switching to a later model column with the wiper and dimmer switch on the column. Drat the luck!
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2002, 08:47 PM
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Re: No brake lights

1. Unhook the electrical connector to the column.
2. Jumper 12 volts into the dash half of the connector to duplicate the switch.
3. That will tell you if the problem's in the column or the dash.
4. The Column's GM.. so you should be able to find the parts at almost any good AutoParts store... on the HELP rack.
5. To remove the switch just start takin' apart the colum.
6. The turn signal assembly is right under the locking plate. It's not too bad to replace.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 12-31-2002, 10:20 PM
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Re: No brake lights

Your Welcome glad it helped it sure made it easier to explain what I was talking about. Its hard to picture it in your head.

I'd almost bet money its the switch it always has been from my experiance anyway. Keep in mind that is a "typical" turn signal switch and there may be some variations on how the hazards are switched.

Another thing to try and would be easier to do in the dark is step on the brake pedal and wiggle the turn signal lever around some even move it slowly till it switches and see if the brake lights comes on. A lot of times they will then you know for sure [img]images/graemlins/wink.gif[/img]

They are really not that bad to replace just watch how it comes apart and mark the steering wheel and pay attention to the horn ring.

The hardest part is getting that darn circlip for the lockplate off without it turning or you stabbing yourself [img]images/graemlins/cussing.gif[/img]
Once you get the lockplate off it's right there and the easiest way I found to change them is to cut the wires on the old one and tape the new connector to them to pull it through the column.
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post #4 of (permalink) Old 01-01-2003, 05:49 PM Thread Starter
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Re: No brake lights

Turned out to be pretty much a no brainer. My biggest problem was remembering how those three pieces went back together for the horn switch. $7.95 for that lock ring depressor was money well spent. I wouldn't even want to think about trying to do it without one.
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