We had a brake light switch fail on a Bugeye in our shop this week. That’s not a big deal… these switches fail and periodically need replacement (when was the last time you checked yours? If not, this switch is often the culprit). And by the way, there are limited suppliers who make this inexpensive switch, so we may be changing even more of them in the future.
Anyway, back to our car with no brake lights… this repair should be relatively simple, just undo the (switch shown above with two green wires attached) from the union and replace. But in this case, no amount of persuasion would break it free for replacement.
This steel brake light switch had spent the last unknown number of years in its brass union, and the dissimilar metals had fused. Couple that with the single mounting bolt that holds this union to the body of the Frogeye (and many British classic cars) and you have no way to anchor the brass fitting sufficiently to loosen the brake switch. If you apply torque to loosen the brake switch, it winds-up the brake line union, thus bending and stressing all the brake lines. If you do this, you risk bending and/or breaking the brake lines which could result in brake failure.
Enter “The Lifesaver!” This is a simple tool we made that allows you to trap the brass brake union in its jaws (without damaging any of the components) so you can apply the torque where it is needed and liberate the brake light switch. This makes a five minute job a five minute job once again!
We made this tool to get out of a bind in our shop without damaging paint or equipment. You will appreciate it for the same reason, when and if your brake lights fail and you are unable to remove the broken switch to make the repair!
This valuable addition to your tool box is useful for any classic sports car with a single bolt mounting for the brake union. Pictured is our prototype. Our production tools will be laser cut and cleaner, painted black.
To order this new lifesaving tool, click here.
If you need a new brake light switch, click here.