Ford brake-light switch

Any Ford brake mechains out there? ('84 T-Bird)
My car’s brake lights don’t seem to be working, and according to a manual I bought at Pep Boys it’s at the top of the pedal shank. I’d like to have more details about this before I start fiddling with parts beneath the dashboard and maybe ruin something.

The brake light switch is at the top of the shank, that is. :Sigh: :o

Oddly enough I’ve never looked at a Ford before and that’s all I’ve ever owned. A dodge my ex owned though the switch was on the pedal and not up under the dash.

The switch is at the top of the brake pedal lever, which is under the dash. However, it’s not high up and you shouldn’t have to fiddle with anything else under the dash to replace it.

It straddles the pushrod that goes from the pedal to the brake master cylinder. You’ll need to disconnect the pushrod from the pedal to remove and replace the switch. The fastener is a hairpin clip which is yanked out of (and upon reassembly shoved back into) a hole in the peg that the pushrod slips over. Note the location of the nylon bushings in the assembly. The main challenge is the awkward access.

And thereby hangs the tale.
A mechanic was inspecting the connections from the brake-light switch and told me it wasn’t the switch–or the wiring–or the fuse–or the bulbs. Well, almost not the wiring. He showed me a relay that had been improperly patched. The last (and only) person to handle this equipment was a mechanic at a local Firestone place. I owe them a credit-card balance but I’m going to point this out to them now that I know about it. (The idiot used a pneumatic wrench on my decorative hubcaps–which have dummy lug nuts–and ruined two of the hubcaps! :mad: )

How does one patch a relay?

Incorrectly inserted?

The mechanic showed me a small black fitting like a receptacle at the female end of an electric cord. In a small square compartment, two wires had been sloppily stuffed; this was apparently a relay, and the fittings were not properly connected. Ergo, no brake lights. Only the Firestone mechanic had access to that (I had complained about the dashboard brake-light sensor going on and staying on, even after the brakes had been serviced). I personally don’t know where that fitting is, and did not even see it until the other mechanic showed it to me.

The independent mechanic who was working on my car last month had waited to continue–I would need about $100 for a replacement steering column (a mounting point is broken).
So now it’s June. This mechanic has apparently dropped out of sight–he’s homeless-- :frowning: and I found that he has apparently refused to continue working on my car. :mad:
As it happens, the management of the mobile-home park where I live sent all the tenants a notice about slurry-sealing the drives and driveways, so we’d have to move the cars out of the park; and the work begins this Monday morning, at our end of the park. When a car isn’t running this is hard to comply with, but the saving grace was that I have Auto Club Plus membership and the car could be steered and taken out of gear. I had it put onto a nearby side street.
I’m still annoyed with the mechanic for reneging on his promise to continue. Another wrinkle: He left good socket wrenches and other tools in the car, which I have kept locked. I figure if nothing else I may be able to sell the (apparently abandoned) tools, even if this guy never comes back…

I took the car to a regular garage a block from home; this mechanic had been recommended by a yard customer of mine in our mobile-home park (and he has already worked on our other car).
He replaced a broken flange (made of “pot metal,” whatever that is) on the steering wheel–instead of replacing the whole steering column.
He also got the brake lights working and replaced a leaking master cylinder.
All this work cost me about $400. :frowning:
But I still have the question about Firestone’s possible liability for the mishandled brake-light wiring relay.

“Pot metal” is a common term for high zinc casting alloys. They melt at fairly low temperature (a pot on top of the stove works fine, possibly the source of the term). Very detailed castings requiring little finishing can be made, and are margionally stronger than aluminum castings. Most automotive door handles, hood ornaments, and similar are made of this stuff.