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Thread: Energy to brake lights

  1. #1
    President Member Jimmie's Avatar
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    Energy to brake lights

    Can someone please tell me specifically where the wiring for the brake lights on my 62 GT actually hooks up to be energized. It is as though that wiring has no energy! I tried simply hooking the two wires together that fasten to the sending unit and the brake lights do not come on. I have enlarged the wiring schematic page found in the manual and still cannot tell where the system is to get its juice. According to the schematic both the brake lights and the dome light are on the same fuse. The dome light works fine so I do not think it is a fuse. I suppose that I could just run new wires back to the wiring that is good at the back end of the car but am hoping that I can avoid that.

    Any help again would be greatly appreciated.

    Jimmie
    Jimmie
    Orange County, Indiana
    1950 CHAMPION -ORANGE COUNTY, INDIANA

  2. #2
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    If you can say that you have Tail Lights, Parking Lights and Turn Signals all working fine, that would tell us a lot.

    That would mean that those wires from the dash to both front and rear Low and High Filaments in the bulbs are good, and the Bulb Sockets, Contacts, the Bulbs and the grounds are ALL good.

    Then if you verify that your Power to the Stop Light Switch DOES come from that Dome Light/Stop Light Fuse (meaning no one has wired the Stop Light wire from another source) then a test Light touched to ground and to that wire coming OUT of the Fuse Holder should light.

    Assuming that tests OK, the OTHER wire FROM the Stop Light Switch goes into the Turn Signal Switch behind the steering Wheel through the column to make the determination whether to Light the Right, Left or BOTH Tail Light bright filaments.
    The trouble is usually worn or broken contacts on that turn signal switch, or the stop light wire going through the Column that MAY need replacement.

    OR, since it is usually the SIMPLEST things that cause Studebaker system failures, the wire from the stop Light switch plugs into the Turn signal harness at the steering column below the dash, if THAT wire's contacts are loose, disconnected or poorly connected, THERE is your problem!

    You cannot run new wires to the Stop lights or you will LOSE your turn signals!
    Last edited by StudeRich; 07-15-2017 at 02:13 PM.
    StudeRich
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  3. #3
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Jimmie,
    As Rich indicated, the brake light power runs from the brake light switch to the turn signal switch. That way, if you are on your brakes the turn signal still operates in the direction of your turn while the opposite brake light remains illuminated.
    Here's a quick diagram of the wiring to that switch that may help. Turnsignal.jpg
    "All attempts to 'rise above the issue' are simply an excuse to avoid it profitably." --Dick Gregory

    Brad Johnson, SDC since 1975, ASC since 1990
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  4. #4
    Speedster Member
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    Mine had some seriously buggered up wiring from a previous owner. I still have mystery wires. I wanted to be sure it had brake lites and just used the fusible link on the battery cable. So far it has worked fine and I did not have to crawl under the dash yet again. (yes, I know it is not original!)

  5. #5
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jeffry Cassel View Post
    Mine had some seriously buggered up wiring from a previous owner. I still have mystery wires. I wanted to be sure it had brake lites and just used the fusible link on the battery cable. So far it has worked fine and I did not have to crawl under the dash yet again. (yes, I know it is not original!)
    So I take it you have No operational Turn Signals now?

  6. #6
    President Member Jimmie's Avatar
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    I really appreciate every one's responses to my questions. It is difficult for me to look under the dash and to get under the car so I need some help in this regard please. I want to check the fuse for the brake lights and if I have an idea where to look it would really help. Also, where, other than at the bottom end of the steering column will I find the wires coming down from the turn signal switch? Will they be bundled together or will there be separate wires at that point. Also, if it appears that I need to repair/replace the switch and associated wiring do I just pull it out the upper end of the steering column? I think that I saw the whole assembly in the catalogue from SI.
    Thank you to anyone who can help.
    Jimmie
    Jimmie
    Orange County, Indiana
    1950 CHAMPION -ORANGE COUNTY, INDIANA

  7. #7
    President Member Jimmie's Avatar
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    I really appreciate every one's responses to my questions. It is difficult for me to look under the dash and to get under the car so I need some help in this regard please. I want to check the fuse for the brake lights and if I have an idea where to look it would really help. Also, where, other than at the bottom end of the steering column will I find the wires coming down from the turn signal switch? Will they be bundled together or will there be separate wires at that point. Also, if it appears that I need to repair/replace the switch and associated wiring do I just pull it out the upper end of the steering column? I think that I saw the whole assembly in the catalogue from SI.
    Thank you to anyone who can help.
    Jimmie
    Jimmie
    Orange County, Indiana
    1950 CHAMPION -ORANGE COUNTY, INDIANA

  8. #8
    Golden Hawk Member StudeRich's Avatar
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    You look for the Turn Signal FLASHER, it is on the same small Insulator Board that the Turn Signal and Stop Light Fuses are on. it's under the Left Side of the steering Column.

    The wires and disconnects in a small harness that you are looking to check, are also right in that same area under the dash.
    Most of us have the best luck doing this, by laying on the floor under the dash with feet over the top of the seat.
    StudeRich
    Second Generation Stude Driver,
    Proud '54 Starliner Owner




  9. #9
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    The signal switch harness should exit the column housing below the dash and have a gang plug for connection to the main light harness. P7160131.JPG

  10. #10
    President Member
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    Those turn signal switches can be cleaned and reused. try it. Luck Doofus

  11. #11
    President Member Tom B's Avatar
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    Two thoughts,
    1) I had to pull the wires through the steering column one at a time, and
    2) The modern brake light switch that I installed had pins that were minimally smaller than the originals, I found I had to crimp the plugs just a bit to get good contact.
    Tom Bredehoft
    '53 Commander Coupe (since 1959)
    '55 President (6H Y6) State Sedan....back on the road, again and again and again
    '16 Subaru Impreza Hatchback, (MIJ)
    Two out of three Indiana built cars

  12. #12
    President Member Jimmie's Avatar
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    Thank you to everyone for your suggestions and overall help!!!!!
    I finally found the problem to be with the turn signal switch. There were two problems. First, I poured alcohol on the switch and operated it back and forth several times and the turn signals started working better than ever. The brake lights still didn't come on until I was moving the small red wire on the outside of the switch and then they came on until I let it go. There were so many good suggestions and the specifics as to the location of things under the dash made the search so much easier.
    Thank you again to all who were involved.
    Jim
    Last edited by Jimmie; 07-17-2017 at 12:36 PM.
    Jimmie
    Orange County, Indiana
    1950 CHAMPION -ORANGE COUNTY, INDIANA

  13. #13
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimmie View Post
    The brake lights still didn't come on until I was moving the small red wire on the outside of the switch and then they came on until I let it go.
    I believe that red wire would be the power feed FROM the stop light switch on the brake line.

  14. #14
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    I'll add this since I just converted to a mechanical switch on my '64. When I was done I asked my wife to check to see that the brakes lights were working. She said "only one." I relieved her of her duties by wedging a board between the pedal and the seat. I then did the usual, checked the grounds, dug out the meter etc. to no avail. I decided to give the turn signals a try and the instant I turned the key to On they blinked. About a second later I moved the turn level back to its off position..., went around back..., and..., sure enough..., I had both brake lights. So if you are diagnosing (single) brake light issues make sure your turn indicator is in the off (center) position.

    1. Glad I only took about 20 minutes and didn't pull too much apart before I found the cause of the problem.

    2. Glad I relieved the wife of her duties to watch the light by wedging the board between the seat and pedal. Had she had to have stood there..., because of my error..., she would not have been too happy.
    '64 Lark Type, powered by '85 Corvette L-69 (carburetor), 700R4, - CASO to the Max.

  15. #15
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    Late to the party, but if the issue is power to the stop light switch (or thought to be!), one way to troubleshoot is to run a clip lead from the battery hot terminal to the stop light switch. Either terminal!

    Result #1: stop lights come on (one or both); you know that the wire from the stop light switch to the turn signals is intact and connected, and you have identified the "cold" terminal of the stop light switch.

    Result #2: stop lights don't come on and stay, but will illuminate if the pedal is depressed; you have found the "hot" terminal of the stop light switch, plus the conclusions of #1. If the stop lights weren't working before, the conclusion is that the power flow from the fuse to the stop light switch is compromised.

    Result #3: nothing happens, nohow; your lack of stop lights is not due solely (if at all) to a bad stop light switch or failure of power to it, but is at least partly downstream from there, most likely in the turn signal switch.

    Basically, this trouble-shooting technique takes the stoplight switch out of the equation, and lets you concentrate on other potential faults.
    Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

  16. #16
    Golden Hawk Member rockne10's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by wittsend View Post
    make sure your turn indicator is in the off (center) position.
    True that. A worn or broken canceller may shut off your turn signal but not return to center, preventing current to a brake light.

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