View Full Version : Stop lamp switch replacement

12-29-2006, 06:40 PM
This should be an easy answer for all you mechanical guys out there.

Can't seem to get my brake lights working and a quick multimeter check on the two terminals on the stop lamp switch would indicate that I am not getting a circuit. I understand these switches corrode up and quit working periodically? Is that the case and do they need replacement every few years? The one on my car looks like it probably is the original.

Second question: I am assuming that because there is nothing said in my 51 shop manual about the replacement of the stop lamp switch, that it is simply a matter of removing the push-on terminal wires and unscrewing it from its seat at the rear of the master cylinder. Is that correct?

I don't want to do this without checking, and end up with brake fluid all over the place.

Any and all replies I thank you for in advance.

Dave D.
'51 4-dr Champion
Smithers, B.C.

12-29-2006, 06:56 PM
You've pretty much hit it on the head. One thing to be certain of is to NOT cross-thread the switch during installation. As long as you DON'T have a 'helper' moving the brake pedal while you have the switch out (or have the car parked nose down a hill ;)) you ought not make too big of a mess.
I always carry at least one spare...

StudeDave [8D]
V/P San Diego County SDC
San Diego, Ca

'54 Commander 4dr 'Ruby'
'57 Parkview (it's a 2dr wagon...) 'Betsy'
'57 Commander 2dr 'Baby'
'57 Champion 2dr 'Jewel'
'58 Packard sedan 'Cleo'
'65 Cruiser 'Sweet Pea'

12-29-2006, 07:01 PM
Yes, that's pretty much it. Just take the old one off and screw the new on in. Try to have the new one ready as soon as you pull the old one so you don't have a lot of bleeding to do afterwards. I am on my second switch, the first one lasted 52 years. They are still available at your local FLAPS for about $7.00.

12-29-2006, 07:11 PM
If you run a jumper wire across the two terminals on the brake light switch and the brakelights come on you will know its the switch.


12-29-2006, 08:06 PM
Hey guys, thanks!

Just a note. It sounds like I am going to lose [u]some</u> fluid. Does that mean topping up the master cylinder when I'm finished. Didn't understand what was meant, when he said "I wouldn't have too much bleeding to do"? If I open the master cyl., I introduce air, correct? That means bleeding all four wheel cylinders to ensure no air in the lines?

And thanks again.

Dave D.
'51 4-dr Champion
Smithers, B.C.

12-29-2006, 08:22 PM
I once had to change the break light switch on my Champ in a parking lot. Luckily I had a friend and his Studebaker with me. He was smart and carried a spare. When I put the new switch on I lost no more than a few drops of fluid. The switch on the '51 may be different, but if it is the same you shouldn't loose too much fluid.
Joe Roberts

12-29-2006, 08:42 PM
You don't introduce air in the system when you remove the master cyl. cap.


12-29-2006, 08:50 PM
As long as there is always fluid in the resevoir, you will not introduce air into the system.

Guido Salvage - "Where rust is beautiful"

Studebaker horse drawn buggy; 1946 M-16 fire truck; 1948 M-16 grain truck; 1949 2R16A grain truck; 1949 2R17A fire truck; 1950 2R5 pickup; 1952 2R17A grain truck; 1952 Packard 200 4 door; 1955 E-38 grain truck; 1957 3E-40 flatbed; 1961 6E-28 grain truck; 1962 7E-13D 4x4 rack truck; 1962 7E-7 Champ pickup; 1962 GT Hawk 4 speed; 1963 8E-28 flatbed; 1964 Avanti R2 4 speed; 1964 Cruiser and various other "treasures".

Hiding and preserving Studebakers in Richmond, Goochland & Louisa, Va.

12-29-2006, 09:08 PM
As Gary indicated, if you tested the terminals on the switch without applying brake pressure you will have no current, as it only passes current under pressure. Only a jump between the two disconnected terminal wires results in good lights will pinpoint the switch as the problem.

12-30-2006, 01:45 AM
Also, you can buy a special socket designed for these sender switches (including engine heat senders and such). The correct socket is gentler on a sender that you may want to remove and reuse.

10-27-2009, 01:11 AM
Rookie question here on a 9G '50 Champion.

The driver-side taillight wasn't illuminating when the lights were in the "on" position, so I swapped in a new 1158 bulb. Now, the light illuminates (top light) when the lights are in the "on" position, but it fails to shine brighter when I press on the brake pedal. The right (passenger-side) taillight and brake work just fine. Is this a switch issue? Any pictures or sketches would help me.


Jersey2J | Sacramento, CA
9G 1950 Studebaker Champion
W3 4-Door DeLuxe
Visit my Studebaker website. Updated often with Studebaker minutia - http://www.studebakerguide.com

10-27-2009, 11:44 PM
One other question. Is the part # for a '50 Champion 9G stop light switch 191078 or 666858? Thank you!

Jersey2J | Sacramento, CA
9G 1950 Studebaker Champion
W3 4-Door DeLuxe
Visit my Studebaker website. Updated often with Studebaker minutia - http://www.studebakerguide.com

Anne F. Goodman
10-28-2009, 12:23 AM
Probably have the bulb upside down turn it over and try again.

Mabel 1949 Champion
Hawk 1957 Silverhawk
Gus 1958 Transtar
The Prez 1955 President State
Blu 1957 Golden Hawk
Daisy 1954 Commander Regal Coupe

10-28-2009, 12:45 AM
Thanks Anne. I've learned a few things here:

1. How to change a stop lamp switch.

2. Always replace bulbs after dusk so that you can really see what's going on with the lights.

3. Don't hire your kindergartner as your junior mechanic. They're not the best reporters re: which lights are brighter when Dad steps on the brake.

Problem solved. Thanks again ... but now I'm thinking that I should have an extra switch on hand. So, part #191078 or #666858?

I've said this before, but I'll say it again. This is an amazing forum. Thanks to all for helping me along. We weren't a "Studebaker family" in my household before buying and restoring our Champion, but we are now ... and forever (however long that is).


Jersey2J | Sacramento, CA
9G 1950 Studebaker Champion
W3 4-Door DeLuxe
Visit my Studebaker website. Updated often with Studebaker minutia - http://www.studebakerguide.com

10-29-2009, 04:45 PM
Jason; if your car has TWO female PUSH-ON terminals on the wires to connect to two (bullet type) male pins on the switch, it takes the 666858 switch. :)

Or, you could ask for a 1962 Ford Truck hydraulic type stop light switch at your local Auto Parts Store. They fit most ANY pre-'65 or so U.S. car! [^]