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Thread: Light on Dashboard - BRAKE - no brake lights

  1. #1
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    Default Light on Dashboard - BRAKE - no brake lights

    88 Tbird Turbocoupe

    I've been spending the past 4 days cleaning up my Frankenstein car that some kid thought he could wire himself with solder and scrap wire.
    I finally got done fixing the turn signal wire he chewed up and now I am trying to figure out why BRAKE light is on, on my dash and that none of my brake lights work now, I was hoping to get the car inspected today, but this is holding me back.

    Checked #1 fuse, looks fine.
    My parking brake does have like 2 inches of slack when its all the way up though. Although I don't think that would cause my brake lights to not work.
    If I need to swap out a part, I have a whole parts car at my disposal so let me know.

    Thanks.
    1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - Black - 5 Speed - 181k Miles
    1989 Chrysler LeBaron Conv - Silver - Auto - 24k Miles
    1993 Thunderbird LX 5.0 HO - Silver - Auto - 72k Miles

  2. #2
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    Sounds like the brake light switch or the wiring involved with it. Do the actual tail lights themselves light up?
    -- 05 Mustang GT-Whipplecharged !! -- 87 5.0 Trick Flow Heads & Intake - Custom Cam - Many other goodies...3100Lbs...Low12's! http://www.fquick.com/V8Demon

  3. #3
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    The lights light up with headlight switch, turn signals work, there is still some Frankenstein wiring in the trunk in the inner tail light bulb, someone replaced the Plus pattern socket with some random regular auto bulb, going to cut where they did and rewire stock setup back in.
    1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - Black - 5 Speed - 181k Miles
    1989 Chrysler LeBaron Conv - Silver - Auto - 24k Miles
    1993 Thunderbird LX 5.0 HO - Silver - Auto - 72k Miles

  4. #4
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    It can also come on with low fluid. Check your fluid level first, because that's easiest.

    The brake lights are probably a separate issue that you only just noticed. Check the wiring at your brake light switch, since this wiring is known to get brittle and break off
    2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

    1988 5.0 Thunderbird SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post

    The brake lights are probably a separate issue that you only just noticed. Check the wiring at your brake light switch, since this wiring is known to get brittle and break off
    +1

    I ended up having to extend the wires to the brake light switch in my Thunderbird because they broke off. It's fun laying upside down under the dash with a soldering iron repairing the wires.
    '88 Thunderbird LX: 306, Edelbrock Performer heads, Comp 266HR cam, Edelbrock Performer RPM intake, Edelbrock 70mm TB, 76mm C&L MAF, 30lb injectors, 2.5" exhaust, AOD with 2800 PI converter, 8.8 with 3.73 gears, 31 spline Traction-Lok, 31 spline Moser axles, 04 Cobra front arms, Maximum Motorsports extreme duty rear arms, subframes.
    '11 Focus, '12 Mustang 3.7, '17 Accord EX-L V6

  6. #6
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    So I went out today and checked my brake light switch and yes 1 of the wires was broken off, I also have fixed "Brake" on the dash being on by simply filling up the brake fluid reservoir thanks to Thunder Chicken for that advice.
    1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - Black - 5 Speed - 181k Miles
    1989 Chrysler LeBaron Conv - Silver - Auto - 24k Miles
    1993 Thunderbird LX 5.0 HO - Silver - Auto - 72k Miles

  7. #7
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    Now that you know why the light was on, it's time to find out why the fluid was low. Brake fluid goes low by two methods: Leaks or worn out pads. If your pedal is hard and doesn't sink while holding it down I'd lean toward the pads being worn...
    2015 Mustang GT Premium - 5.0, 6-speed, Guard Green - too much awesome for one car

    1988 5.0 Thunderbird SOLD SEPT 11 2010: TC front clip/hood ♣ Body & paint completed Oct 2007 ♣ 3.55 TC rear end and front brakes ♣ TC interior ♣ CHE rear control arms (adjustable lowers) ♣ 2001 Bullitt springs ♣ Energy suspension poly busings ♣ Kenne Brown subframe connectors ♣ CWE engine mounts ♣ Thundercat sequential turn signals ♣ Explorer overhead console (temp/compass display) ♣ 2.25" off-road dual exhaust ♣ T-5 transmission swap completed Jan 2009 ♣

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Thunder Chicken View Post
    Now that you know why the light was on, it's time to find out why the fluid was low. Brake fluid goes low by two methods: Leaks or worn out pads. If your pedal is hard and doesn't sink while holding it down I'd lean toward the pads being worn...
    The pads are probably worn, I got the car back in 2012 and never did anything with it (besides oil change, valve cover gasket, all the intake gaskets, and spark plugs and wires)I did also find some scary wiring job for the headlights which could have got me killed if I had chose to ever drive this car in the state it was in previously, I was driving around the neighborhood at twilight just trying the car out, when the headlights went totally dead.

    I live in the country, so theres no street lights anywhere but the main city, if I was on one of the dark winding backroads and this had happened, I am pretty sure the car would have been totaled and no clue what state I would be in.

    That has since been fixed(moved the whole wiring harness from my parts car), it's been in pieces ever since I got it really, but now it's all been put back together and is now ready for the road.

    anyway... Ive gone off topic, thanks for all the help.
    1988 Thunderbird Turbo Coupe - Black - 5 Speed - 181k Miles
    1989 Chrysler LeBaron Conv - Silver - Auto - 24k Miles
    1993 Thunderbird LX 5.0 HO - Silver - Auto - 72k Miles

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