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Discussion Starter #1
Anyone who has worked on a bike with me knows I'm not the greatest wrench. Not the worst. But I don't understand electricity at all. So, bear with me. I used the search engine. Read a bunch of stuff. Totally confused.

Issue: tail light and brake light fine, but front brake does not activate the brake light - rear brake does

I know it could be the wiring or the switch. Basically, can someone tell me where to start using small words that you would use to explain how the internet works to a monkey? And pictures would be super helpful. :nerd:

Thanks. :)
 

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Missed Gear
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Switch under the brake lever on the handlebar could be bad or dirty.

When you pull the lever to you hear the subtle clicking noise?

Also check the connection to that switch. You could possibly have pulled it out maybe.

I've had that switch fail before.
 

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Mine failed in Cody, WY. The contacts can go bad.

It is possible to disassemble the switch and clean the contacts and reassemble, but getting a new switch is the better way to go.

It's kind of odd, too, as the switch contacts are of a self-cleaning design.

Here's the part, at Partzilla: 27010-0025 SWITCH,BRAKE $18.03

Tom
 

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Paul, I think it failed between Lander and Cody. The hailstorm was up on the Top Of the World, just short of Beartooth Pass.

Had to hole up at the store for a while. This picture was taken after the hail stopped and the rain had come back. While riding up the road, visibility was about 20 feet and I barely saw the store's driveway. The man had coffee at a buck a cup and I think I left $10 with him.


I was there for about an hour before continuing on to Beartooth, but the visibility was poor.


The switch is held together by two plastic posts that are melted or glued where they poke through one side. It's possible to cut that seal and get the two halves apart and work on the switch. I did that to mine and keep it as a spare. Shoulda taken pictures.

LJ, sorry to jack your thread.

Tom
 
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Discussion Starter #6
Threadjacking is always welcome. :35a:

Awesome. Thanks, guys. I got mad family stuff going on this weekend, but I'll get at this ASAP and let you know what I find. Much obliged.

"I want people to know when I'm engine braking without moving my right foot," Tom said handily. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #7
OK, I do hear the click, but still not working. The connections were duly wiggled. No loose connections.

Should I assume it's the switch or is there any chance this is something that can be fixed by a duct tape and bailing wire altar to the electricity gnomes? (Thanks for the link, Tom!)
 

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Dan,

The switch has what are known as 'wiping contacts'. As they open and close they wipe across one another, therefore they should not corrode and go bad.

But they do.

I sat in the parking lot of the Cody Best Western and dribbled gas inside the switch (it was all I had) and worked the switch on and off for a long time. No joy. I just wound up with smelly fingers to eat my pizza with.

You can verify that the switch is bad with a volt-ohm meter; they're a few bucks at RadioShack, if those exist anymore. If not, Horrid Fright carries them for hardly any scratch.

You might try squirting a proper contact cleaner into the switch and working it to see if it will come back to life. If it does, put it back in and then order a new one, install it when it comes, and carry the second as a spare. There is a single screw that holds the switch in place.

If it don't, order a new one and install it.

"Either way, you're gonna get a new switch", Tom ordered.

Tom
 
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I'll suggest that a Lot of Plastics do not take kindly to electrical contact cleaners. Melts them or Hardens them!

WD-40 is plastic safe.
 

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Dan,

Try this.

"If you don't have an Exacto knife a penknife will do, if you happen to have one," Tom said sharply.

Tom
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
You guys are the best. Much obliged. :35a:

Tom, just watched the video. You're aces, man. Thank you so much.
 

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I have to check the dimensions on this:

SDDH Series - Basic information

If it is what I think it is (a waterproof version of the switch used on the KLR), I'm going to try one. Mouser has them for abut $13 with shipping.

Our switch is also used on the Honda Revere, which means it should be on the Hawk. Probably on s few others, as well.

Tom
 

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I ordered the switch from Mouser for a total of $13.18. When Warren Buffet gets done fulfilling my order in 3-10 days we'll see if it fits.

The switch is largely the same, but the spacing on the lugs is different. The switch is a water proof design.

"Good grief, but this is a tremendously exciting project", Tom said, switching topics.

I most fervently hope Mouser sends me a sticker...

Tom
 

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"That white silicony looking stuff. Or the clear silicony looking stuff."

Brilliant! Hahaha.

Just my .02

Even a cheap multimeter will do you wonders. Extremely useful around the house, around the garage, and around any vehicle on the road. Easiest way to test electrical components, even those that are going bad if you know what to look for. It is easy to read up on simple electronics and understand the basics.

Testing for closed or open contacts? No power applied, use an ohmmeter and test for continuity. If it is open, then there will be a 0 reading or OL. If they are closed, then it will read very little ohms on most items. If it reads a lot of ohms (value>5), then you have an issue. On closed and good contacts it will read only a couple ohms. 99% of the time you don't need to worry about items being shorted out on a bike unless a wire is pinched somewhere against the frame or another wire. Simple fix for that is to run through all your wiring from time to time and to wrap any pinched area with electrical tape and reroute it if necessary.

The above "a lot of ohms (value>5)" is just a random number. A simple NO (Normally open) or NC (Normally closed) contact will ready very little ohms when closed because all you are testing is from one spade connector of the switch to the other. The power supply withing the multimeter or ohmmeter does not have to test a very far distance. You could even apply voltage to the switch and test it with a voltmeter. Have one lead to the ground, and then the other lead place it on each side of the switch one at a time and make sure you have proper voltage with the switch closed. Then open the switch and make sure you only have voltage on one side. This will also check to make sure you have proper operation.
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Wow. That hurt my brain. But I think you're right. Im gonna pick one up and play around with it. I gotta see it and hold it to understand.

Thanks, brother.
 

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Of course! Let me know if you need anything. I'm sure there are plenty of "how to" videos on YouTube even. Multimeters are a fantastic tool!
 

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Dan,

Can't beat this one. It's quite similar to the one RadioShack used to sell, and at $6 is a bargain. "And, in Horrid Fright fashion, best to check the Sunday supplement to see if there is a coupon you can use or if they are giving them away to the first 10,000 customers with a pulse," Tom said breathlessly.

You only need to learn to use the Ohm scale to check for continuity, like with the switch, and the DC 20 volt scale to check for voltage on the bike, though the AC 200 volt scale is good for checking to see if outlets around the house are working. Knowing how to use the Ohms and DC volts functions will allow you to do most anything electrical on the bike.

Tom
 
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You have persuaded me, Tom said convincingly. :mexican wave:
 

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Warren Buffett is a man better than his word; I received the switch yesterday against a promise date of next Tuesday.

Here's a side-by-side comparison of the OEM switch and the new switch:


"X" is the critical dimension, as it is the spacing of the locating boss to the screw hole. They are identical.

The switch is completely sealed with a waterproof boot around the um, what's the technical term? Nubbin. Yes, nubbin will do.

Here's a top view. The two bosses on the OEM switch don't interface with anything, they are merely a sort of baffled vent.


Test fitted to a brake lever:


Installed:


To recap, then. The OEM switch has two vents on it that will allow dust and moisture to enter. D&M are the bane of anything electrical.

The switch is designed with wiping contacts that should keep the contacts from corroding. Why don't they? The switch, designed to be "Normally Closed", is held open in the installation and only closes when the brake is applied. Dust and moisture can enter, corroding the contacts. The spring tension on the contacts and the wiping action is insufficient to clear the corrosion. If you live in a dry climate you'll probably not have a problem, but living at the beach in a salt-air environment, as Dan and I do, it can become a problem. I'm not sure if The City qualifies as 'the beach' or as just a cold, dark, and dank place but nonetheless...

The replacement switch is a plug-'n-play replacement, sealed against moisture, and costs a lot less than the OEM ($18 + shipping vs $13 shipped).

Mouser is a good company to deal with. They are as willing to sell you one as they are 10,000, they take PayPal, and they are professional about getting the order out to you in a timely manner.

Warren Buffett probably didn't handle my order, but he owns Berkshire-Hathaway, which owns TTI, Inc, which owns Mouser. I recommend them for your odd electronic needs.

"You can become part of a small, exciting, adventuresome and elite group of KLR experimentalists with this mod", Tom said inclusively.

Tom
 
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