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Old 03-27-2007, 03:45 AM   #1
bbaddog
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No brake lights...1978 Lincoln Towncar.

No brake lights...1978 Lincoln Towncar.

My brake lights don't work. I checked the fuses under the dash and they look good. The particular fuse for brake light and emergency flashers is good.

My emergency flashers and tail lights work but no brake lights. There is a tail light in the rear window that works and brightens when I step on the brake.

I bought this car about 15 years ago. I don't drive it much anymore and I'm not sure how long they haven't worked because I can see the red light in the rear window. I was recently notified by a state patrolman that my brake lights don't work.

I cleaned the bulb and lens but that's not the problem.
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:21 PM   #2
Cliffy
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As long as you've checked both bulbs to make sure they work, I suggest checking the brake light switch, located above the arm of the brake pedal....Other than that it's could be a wiring fault I guess.
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Old 03-28-2007, 05:58 PM   #3
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Quote:
No brake lights...1978 Lincoln Towncar.

My brake lights don't work. I checked the fuses under the dash and they look good. The particular fuse for brake light and emergency flashers is good.

My emergency flashers and tail lights work but no brake lights. There is a tail light in the rear window that works and brightens when I step on the brake.

I bought this car about 15 years ago. I don't drive it much anymore and I'm not sure how long they haven't worked because I can see the red light in the rear window. I was recently notified by a state patrolman that my brake lights don't work.

I cleaned the bulb and lens but that's not the problem

I am almost with Cliffy on the Brake light switch except for the fact that you say that the back window brake light works. Maybe that doesn't work off the switch. I dunno!! However you said you cleaned the bulb.....but did you change it?? That might be a first try. Also it could be the the connection between the circuit board (for lack of a better term) and the bulb connectors. In which case you might wanna try replacing the board. (It's the panel that the wires plug into and the bulbs as well). If this is the case you may have trouble finding one for your car parts stores don't usually sell them. However hunt around and you may find it. With that said it could very well be the switch like Cliffy said!! Good Luck
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Old 03-28-2007, 06:58 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TexTruck
I am almost with Cliffy on the Brake light switch except for the fact that you say that the back window brake light works. Maybe that doesn't work off the switch. I dunno!! However you said you cleaned the bulb.....but did you change it?? That might be a first try. Also it could be the the connection between the circuit board (for lack of a better term) and the bulb connectors. In which case you might wanna try replacing the board. (It's the panel that the wires plug into and the bulbs as well). If this is the case you may have trouble finding one for your car parts stores don't usually sell them. However hunt around and you may find it. With that said it could very well be the switch like Cliffy said!! Good Luck
Whoops, I didn't notice that bit, lol. The switch would more than likely be connected to the high level brake light too, although I've never seen one that is also a tail light. I havn't seen it any other way before (could be wrong I guess). It could be the bulbs that are blown, even if the stop/tail lamps are on the same bulb. However this would have been the first thing I checked if it was me.
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Last edited by Cliffy : 03-28-2007 at 07:02 PM.
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Old 03-29-2007, 03:33 AM   #5
bbaddog
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I did locate the brake switch you mentioned and can get to it to replace it. I will have more time over the coming week end. Would there be a chance that the rear window brake lite would be connected in a way that bypasses that switch?

should I replace the bulbs first? It seems unlikely they would both burn out at the same time.

another possible clue....My cruise control de-activates when I turn on the lites. When my lites are off it works fine and de-activates when I touch the brakes. As soon as I turn on the lites the cruise control stops. I think it's related to the brake lites not working?

TexTruck...when you say curcuit board are you referring to the bulb socket?

I do have a parts car if I need discontinued parts.
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Old 03-29-2007, 04:06 AM   #6
Andrew0261
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yes replacing the bulbs should of been the very 1st thing you should of done
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:05 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaddog
I did locate the brake switch you mentioned and can get to it to replace it. I will have more time over the coming week end. Would there be a chance that the rear window brake lite would be connected in a way that bypasses that switch?

should I replace the bulbs first? It seems unlikely they would both burn out at the same time.

another possible clue....My cruise control de-activates when I turn on the lites. When my lites are off it works fine and de-activates when I touch the brakes. As soon as I turn on the lites the cruise control stops. I think it's related to the brake lites not working?

TexTruck...when you say curcuit board are you referring to the bulb socket?

I do have a parts car if I need discontinued parts.
How did you find out your lights weren't working? Maybe not the most relevent question I guess, lol.....I'll ask another, what makes you think they both went out at the same time? I mean, you could have been driving with only the high level light and one standard brake light for sometime, surely?
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:34 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bbaddog
I did locate the brake switch you mentioned and can get to it to replace it. I will have more time over the coming week end. Would there be a chance that the rear window brake lite would be connected in a way that bypasses that switch?

should I replace the bulbs first? It seems unlikely they would both burn out at the same time.

another possible clue....My cruise control de-activates when I turn on the lites. When my lites are off it works fine and de-activates when I touch the brakes. As soon as I turn on the lites the cruise control stops. I think it's related to the brake lites not working?

TexTruck...when you say curcuit board are you referring to the bulb socket?

I do have a parts car if I need discontinued parts.

I believe he stated he was stopped by the police Cliffy.

The bulbs you have, are actually two bulbs in one. They have one filament for the turn signals and hazards. The other filament is for the brakes lights. You can look inside the bulb and see them.

The brake switch has two circuits also. One is for the brake lights, the other one is normally closed, and opens to disengage the cruise control.

All three brake lights are on the same circuit. It is very common for both to burn out at once.

Replace the bulbs.
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Old 03-29-2007, 07:40 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jcutsh
I believe he stated he was stopped by the police Cliffy.

The bulbs you have, are actually two bulbs in one. They have one filament for the turn signals and hazards. The other filament is for the brakes lights. You can look inside the bulb and see them.

The brake switch has two circuits also. One is for the brake lights, the other one is normally closed, and opens to disengage the cruise control.

All three brake lights are on the same circuit. It is very common for both to burn out at once.

Replace the bulbs.
I must start reading things properly, lol......ignor the first question then.....Or, just replace the bulbs, lol.
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Old 03-29-2007, 08:04 PM   #10
jcutsh
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cliffy
I must start reading things properly, lol......ignor the first question then.....Or, just replace the bulbs, lol.

Why start reading now? You have been doing so well without it!


Well back to some serious post whoring.
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Old 03-29-2007, 10:41 PM   #11
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Come on guys, replacing bulbs and the brake switch is hardly likely to fix the problem. It's more likely a bad chassis connection. I will stand corrected if I'm wrong.

Get an el cheapo digital multimeter and start checking for potential between the negative wires to chassis, when the pedal is depressed.
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Old 03-30-2007, 11:27 AM   #12
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are you guys ****ing retarded? if the turn signals and emergency flashers work, the bulbs (and grounds) are fine. a 78 should not have a third brake light unless it's aftermarket... the brake switch is the likely culprit, but i've seen the wires chafe in the steering column harness before. unhook your brake switch, (near the pedal) take a paper clip or small piece of wire, and connect the wires that were connected to the brake switch. walk around back to see if the brake lights are on...
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Old 03-30-2007, 07:46 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dodger65
are you guys ****ing retarded? if the turn signals and emergency flashers work, the bulbs (and grounds) are fine. a 78 should not have a third brake light unless it's aftermarket... the brake switch is the likely culprit, but i've seen the wires chafe in the steering column harness before. unhook your brake switch, (near the pedal) take a paper clip or small piece of wire, and connect the wires that were connected to the brake switch. walk around back to see if the brake lights are on...

If you read his post you will see there is a third light in the rear widow, which comes on when he presses the brake pedal (course that could be cause by chaffed wires in the glovebox). Also he has not even replaced the bulbs. Now what would you do first thing.

If you read my post, you will find, those are dual bulbs, Heard of those, have ya?

So let me get this straight, If your engine is missing, you go for a piston change instead of checking the plug wires first? Is that how it works in your garage?
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Last edited by jcutsh : 03-30-2007 at 07:48 PM.
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Old 03-31-2007, 12:02 AM   #14
bbaddog
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I've got figured out. There was rust in varying degrees on all 4 of the rear light bulb sockets. I squirted wd-40 into all the sockets and also the backs of the sockets where the wires plug in. Three of the bulbs are now working nice and bright. The 4th is still dead but the wire to it is good so it might work by morning with the wd-40 soaking overnight. If not I have access ro another socket in my parts car.

thanks for all the comments.

You'll have to decide among yourselves who was most right.

I'm still not sure if that will have any effect on my cruise control or not. What do you think?
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Old 03-31-2007, 01:25 AM   #15
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hahahaha that was funny actually, rusty sockets.....good one. i vte all answers were close but usually checking the bulbs is step one because its the easiest and cheapest, but if you knew what you were looking for you woulda found the bad sockets the first time you check the bulb, the difference between qualified...and a professional
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