Front brake light switch - losing my mind - Kawasaki Vulcan 750 Forum : Kawasaki VN750 Forums
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Where does this wire go?
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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 12:13 PM Thread Starter
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Front brake light switch - losing my mind

I bought a 1999 vn750 in October and have gone through 3 front brake light switches. First one, the switch detent locked down and wouldn't toggle, the second one some circutry fried inside and the third the detent locked down again. Each time the switch doesn't last more than a week.

Argggh! Anybody with any thoughts here?
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-13-2019, 05:17 PM
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The two mechanical failures could be caused by a misalignment somewhere. Could the mounting location be damaged so it puts unwanted (sideways) forces on the switch mechanism?

'99 Vulcan "Victoria"
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-14-2019, 02:43 PM
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Check the wires for shorts. Shorts are bad, but pants are acceptable.
If there is a short, the excess current could overheat the switch.
An overheated switch could physically bind and stop actuating.

In case you are wondering, wire pants are actually a thing!
They prevent shorts.
https://www.amazon.com/Speaker-Wire-.../dp/B004YUIW1Q
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'89 Vulcan 750 Bought 4/12/18 @ 17805.9 miles $800
Purchased stock. Wrecked once
22490.0+ miles

Completed modifications:
Removed mufflers, straight pipes out of GB
110/90 Front Tire
Pick-up coil re-gapped to .020"
Compufire 55402 r/r series regulator
USB Outlet + Voltmeter
Repainted Metallic Blue w/ new tank bages
Ear Shave (wo/ coasters) 40/140 NO shims 45MPG
MCCT conversion

Planned modifications:
Custom LED turn signals
Windshield
Highway Pegs
(Possible) ignition advance
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-15-2019, 02:38 PM
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Pulling too much amperage due to corroded connections and/or bad grounds will melt headlight sockets for sure.
Might be enough draw in that brite brake filliment to futz the internal switch contacts as well.
Check the bulb socket and ground(s)
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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 01:37 PM Thread Starter
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Stumbled upon the thought you guys might be right about current.

The most recent switch was stuck recessed, and I got it released and it tested fine. Then sometime later that day it stopped working.

Few weeks later now and I found time to take another look and the switch seems fine and I had it off mount, hanging in space, key on and manually triggering. Looks good. Weird, right? So, I went to get a can of wd40 and maybe lube the detent a bit and when I got back and lifted the switch up, I about burned my finger off. Yeoww!

I don't think it should be that hot. Like, ever.

So now the question is why? I can certainly get in there and clean up the contacts on the bulbs, but what else could it be?
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 01:41 PM Thread Starter
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Doing some reading, looks like I'll check the relay too.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-24-2019, 06:55 PM
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I would bet there's a short to ground between the switch and the tail light. I think there's a set of bullet connectors under the seat that goes to the tail light that might be getting pinched against the fender. Corroded terminals would decrease current in the switch (but may create localized heat at the corrosion). A short after the light would have no effect since that wire goes to ground anyway.
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1992 US-nonCA * tuxedo mod * r/r relocated

Vulcan slang for newcomers
Service Manual Download
Wiring Diagram + annotations * still undergoing revisions, but still more useful than the generic one. Let me know if you find mistakes or think something additional should be added
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2019, 09:30 PM
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I would agree that there is a wiring problem after the switch. If it's getting that hot, something must be shorted to ground.


'89 Vulcan 750 Bought 4/12/18 @ 17805.9 miles $800
Purchased stock. Wrecked once
22490.0+ miles

Completed modifications:
Removed mufflers, straight pipes out of GB
110/90 Front Tire
Pick-up coil re-gapped to .020"
Compufire 55402 r/r series regulator
USB Outlet + Voltmeter
Repainted Metallic Blue w/ new tank bages
Ear Shave (wo/ coasters) 40/140 NO shims 45MPG
MCCT conversion

Planned modifications:
Custom LED turn signals
Windshield
Highway Pegs
(Possible) ignition advance
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