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Discussion Starter #1
My brake light is not working when I press the rear brake but it works when I use the front brake. I jumped the wires from the rear brake switch and the brake light turned on, so I think its a faulty brake switch.

How hard is it to change the brake switch and should I drain the brake fluid and replace it with new fluid too?
 

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Premium Member
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1,002 Posts
Do a search for better aftermarket switch as there are several. You have to bleed it after you install the switch so you might as well drain fluid. Not too hard... Merry Christmas.
 

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Black Beauty
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492 Posts
Yep.... the switch is bad. Pretty common problem. Mine did the same thing - then started to leak. If you have any warranty left it should be covered, mine was.
 

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I just changed mine, not very hard but I did have to remove most of the exhaust. I did not have to bleed the brake, good solid brake pedal and now a brake light, Skip
 

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You may have to remove the exhaust depending on your year, model and exhaust system.
Just be careful. The brake lines into the junction block are just soldered in there and can break off real easy. You will buy a whole new brake line assembly if you screw it up.

Don't ask me how I know.
 

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durata membro
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17,603 Posts
Even if you don't break the line,replace it with Goodrich lines because the splitter for the switch relocates the switch away from the heat.
 

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Very common problem. Mine on my 09 Softail went last month. Had to wait for replacement as they were back ordered there were so many bad. Mine was under warranty, you may want to check with dealer about warranty, recall or TSB issues. Maybe you can get yours replaced for free.
 

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i had to replace mine @15000 miles vrscdx, my dealer said it wasn't under warenty it didn't cost much however i didn't know it was broke.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I got the accel brake switch and just changed the switch. Now My brake light works
 

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Black Beauty
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492 Posts
I just replaced my switch for the second time. 1st time the dealer replaced it with OEM part. Lasted about a year before acting up again - no light and leaking. This time I replaced it myself with a switch from Auto Zone. Duralast part # RB401, $8.99 with a lifetime warranty.
It's a little larger, but fits no problem. SCREW the dealer OEM CHEAP parts!
 

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BeerLand
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83 Posts
A Dutch newspaper just published a report that H-D is recalling 300,000 vehicles world-wide in connection to faulty rear brake switches (due to excessive heat from the exhaust system). Interesting, since I just noticed a few weeks ago(!) that my switch is on its way out too!!

EDIT: Seems to be for FL platform only...

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Manufacturer:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON MOTOR COMPANY
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Mfr's Report Date:
OCT 19, 2011
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NHTSA CAMPAIGN ID Number:
11V506000
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N/A
NHTSA Action Number:
N/A

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Component:
EXTERIOR LIGHTING:BRAKE LIGHTS:SWITCH
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Potential Number of Units Affected:
250,757

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Summary:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON IS RECALLING CERTAIN MODEL YEAR 2009-2012 TOURING, CVO TOURING AND TRIKE VEHICLES MANUFACTURED FROM JUNE 6, 2008, THROUGH SEPTEMBER 16, 2011. SEE THE ABOVE LIST FOR THE MODELS INCLUDED IN THE RECALL. THE REAR BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH MAY BE EXPOSED TO EXCESSIVE HEAT FROM THE EXHAUST SYSTEM.

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Consequence:
THE EXCESSIVE HEAT MAY CAUSE THE SWITCH TO NOT ACTIVATE THE BRAKE LAMP OR ACTIVATE THE BRAKE LAMP WHEN NO BRAKE IS APPLIED AND/OR CAUSE A BRAKE FLUID LEAK AT THE BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH, AFFECTING REAR BRAKE PERFORMANCE. EITHER CONDITION MAY INCREASE THE RISK OF A CRASH.

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Remedy:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON WILL NOTIFY OWNERS, AND DEALERS WILL A INSTALL A REAR BRAKE LIGHT SWITCH KIT, FREE OF CHARGE. THE SAFETY RECALL IS EXPECTED TO BEGIN ON OR ABOUT OCTOBER 31, 2011. OWNERS MAY CONTACT HARLEY-DAVIDSON AT 1-414-343-4056.

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Notes:
HARLEY-DAVIDSON SAFETY RECALL NUMBER IS 0145. CUSTOMERS OWNERS MAY ALSO CONTACT THE NATIONAL HIGHWAY TRAFFIC SAFETY ADMINISTRATION'S VEHICLE SAFETY HOTLINE AT 1-888-327-4236 (TTY 1-800-424-9153), OR GO TO HTTP://WWW.SAFERCAR.GOV
 

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durata membro
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17,603 Posts
I just replaced my switch for the second time. 1st time the dealer replaced it with OEM part. Lasted about a year before acting up again - no light and leaking. This time I replaced it myself with a switch from Auto Zone. Duralast part # RB401, $8.99 with a lifetime warranty.
It's a little larger, but fits no problem. SCREW the dealer OEM CHEAP parts!
ALL of these type switches are garbage,always have been,always will be,but what the hell,NASA uses them.Cost is around 3 cents when they roll outa the machine in China.I'll bet I've changed thousands of oil senders on Chevy engines in my life.Thousands more inside transmissions that use a sender,(aka transducer) to convert a hydraulic signal to an electric for the TCM to read.Mopar Torque Flite transmissions have the highest failure of any switch I have ever seen! They list for $120 each,+ diagnostic labor,+ the labor,fluid to change it and my lunch.Carries a 90 day warranty!
Best way to keep a brake light sender working for a long time on a V-Rod is to make a new line and relocate the sender away from the heat.
 

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bcrichard
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139 Posts
What about a piece of heat shielding material cut to fit the switch and wiring? A couple of stainless tie wraps, or some safety wire to hold it down? This is one of my "projects" for over the winter....

http://www.summitracing.com/parts/SUM-350118/?rtype=10
this is what I am now trying, changed the switch this summer and I just slipped a piece of the heat shield wrap over the switch and the wires (its a hollow tube and doesn't need any tie wraps to keep it in place, mine hasn't moved at all)
 

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Brake Light Switch

I own a 2009 VRSCAW Nov 2011 the brake light switch went bad. Replaced it with the 72023-51D from Harley. Now its Nov 2012 and I am replacing it with a 72023-51E from Harley. Let's see how long this lasts. I'm in Hawaii and I needed it fast but I will definitely look aftermarket for the next. I have gotten better at taken off the exhaust though.
 

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Rear Brake Switch

Thanks for the info gang. I picked up a 2006 Night Rod 3 seasons ago and now with over 10K miles the rear brake sensor is shot. Will replace with RB401 and use the heat shield material.
 
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