May 24, 2011If youre unlucky enough to have this annoying little switch go out on you like I did, you know the frustration it brings with it whether it be the fact that you dont have brake lights, you cant pass inspection, or you get an error message from the computer/SES light stating something about TCC override. (I had all three)
In my case, the worst thing was that my transmission wouldnt switch into overdrive due to the computer reading that I had no brakes/brake lights. I had drove 28 miles to the lake at one point and my newly rebuilt transmission not only wouldnt go into overdrive but its comfortable idle temp of 160 jumped drastically to somewhere between 260-280. And if you dont already know, metal in the transmission will start to warp around 300 degrees. REMEMBER, heat is the number one killer of transmissions!
Anyhow, I decided to take a couple of pics to give anybody with a 88-98 (and possibly older and newer models) a generalized walkthrough on how to fix this most inconveniently placed switch.
What you need:
New brake light switch (got mine from oreilly for <$10)
Likely a new brake switch retaining clip ($3 from oreilly)
*^*this part was actually hard to find due to nobody carrying it*^*
A useful flashlight (I used my clip on fishing light that connects to my hat)
A short and long flathead screwdriver
And most of all, a cool head.
I started off by removing my airbag fuse (picture below) and disconnecting the -terminal from my battery (lots of metal parts you might accidentally touch up in there). I then unclipped the brake switch from the brake booster bar located at the back of the switch. Next I removed the retaining clip from the right side of the switch that holds it in place ***this part is the frustrating section because it is so tight and crammed in there in my model truck. It took me about 30 minutes to wiggle the screwdriver in there and eventually just led to me posistioning the screwdriver on the left side of the switch and smacking the hell out of it with a hammer to dislodge the clip and switch. Next, remove the switch from its cramped location being careful to note that there is still the wiring attached to the switch (simply push down and out on the clip that holds them together). Next remove any residual parts of the retaining clip that may have stayed on the rod that holds the switch in place (of course this happened to me and I had to use the flathead to pry it off). Next, work in reverse order to replace the switch being sure to add the new clip, literally clipping the switch on to the brake booster rod, and affixing the new clip securely in place.
If you have any questions, feel free to add below and I will try and answer them promptly.
All in all, this project took me about an hour to do. If I had to do it again, I could proly do it in half that time. Just keep a cool head and try not to break anything else while doing this.
Finally, try and get all the parts necessary before you begin, while you may not break the clip getting the switch off, you most likely will and they arent that easy to find.
Here are some pictures to help.
Hope this helps!!!