View Full Version : Need help with brake

17th April 2008, 12:38
I've been going over this again and again. This is a bad setup.

The foot brake relies on a piece of metal making contact with the switch to keep the brake light off. when the foot brake is applied it pulls the plate away and the light comes on.


However. I have had to go back in and adjust this because the plate does not always return fully, and the brake light stays on. Or the brake light switch moves (despite being screwed down tight) That and the spring to make the foot brake return back to normal position, doesn't and I have to toe it back up to take the brake light off.

Any suggestions.


17th April 2008, 15:23
I have the same setup on my '78 and it's working fine. Sounds like you might have some added friction from the cable itself or perhaps back at the drum. I'd disconnect the cable from the brake drum lever and make sure the cable and pedal move smoothly with little or no resistance. I do agree that it's a Mickey Mouse system but if everything is in good shape it should work correctly.


72 Ironhead XLH
17th April 2008, 16:05
Can`t really tell from the pic and can`t use my bike because i use a brake rod but could a micro switch or mecury switch be installed to ride off the brake pedel behind the case.

18th April 2008, 04:06
The switch on my 77 has never given too much trouble.
To get the pedal and that metal pad to return to the same position every time, adjust the bolt down under the pedal pivot as per the workshop manual. IIRC, the screw is supposed to stick out about 5/16".

Then to make sure the pedal assembly returns all the way to the stop, you will need to make sure the cable is oiled, the brake pedal pivot is greased, the rear brake cam pivot is greased and the slack is adjusted out of the brake cable to a reasonable amount. Make sure the spring that goes on the outside of the rear brake cam is engaging with the brake backing plate and the brake arm.

Once that is set up to be all working freely and the metal pad is returning to the exact same position every single time, the trick with that mickey mouse little switch is to set it so the metal pad just kisses the plastic button in the fully off position. You dont want the button to be fully depressed because this then passes the return spring pressure of the rear brake on to the body of the tiny switch and will move the switch around like you describe.

That whole inner sprocket cover set up on the 77 is a major PITA and was obvioulsy a lash-up job done in a hurry for the left foot shift changeover.

PS, just looking at the pic of your bike it looks like the rear brake arm is angled forwards, not a little backwards like it is supposed to, which indicates brake shoes are worn and you might be getting near the end of the cable adjuctment, which could stop the metal pad and the pedal from getting pulled all the way back when you let off the brake.