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Discussion Starter #1
Hi y'all.

I have a 03 FWDWG and put new grips on. Followed the service manual and put the cardboard insert in the break lever and all went well. However, a couple of days later I wanted to check something, had a senior moment and forgot to insert the cardboard before I took the switch housing off. Now the brake light is permanently on. I can't seem to find the rubber boot and switch that the service manual warns about damaging. How can I fix the problem.

Thanks in advance.
 

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The switch may have become cocked in the switch housing when you installed the lever. Remove the lever and from in front of the handlebars, look inside the bracket where the lever attaches. You'll see the switch on the right hand side. See if you can easily press the switch in. While doing that have the ignition switch on and see if the brake light works. If the switch plunger moves easily and the light comes on, reinstall the lever. Make sure when you install it that the "actuation arm" on the lever doesn't bind on the switch plunger.

If the brake light comes on but the plunger is binding, remove the switch housing and see if the switch is properly seated in the housing and that the little copper wedge that goes between the switch and housing is installed. If all that is correct and the plunger is still binding then the switch may have gotten hosed up - you'll have to replace it.

I've done several grip and switch housing changes and never used the cardboard thing. Ya just gotta be careful when reinstalling the lever so it doesn't bind against the switch.

-jeff
 

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Switch resides in the handlebar housing that has the other switches in it. A small nipple protudes thru a hole in the lower (I think) housing. You may have broken the nipple off. If so, replacing the switch is only alternative.
 

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I found that the best way to elimate damage to this switch when removing the handlebar swich housings, is to remove the the brake lever altogether Before you do anything
Remove the circlip (holding the anchor pin underneath), slightly engage the lever to take the protrusion inside away from the switch, then ease the anchor pin and lever out........
Reverse on assembly. As easy as.......
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Thanks guys.

I checked last night and it appears as if the switch is working correctly. The boot doesn't look damaged, the switch works correctly and the brake light functions correctly. I am now thinking that the wrong levers were sent from HD. They fit when I put them on but the reach seemed to be much wider than the originals and I have big hands. It doesn't look like the tongue on the back of the lever is long enough or at the right angle to depress the switch when not in use. I will put the old lever on tonight and see what happens.
Thanks again.
 

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You didn't mention new levers. I've used JB Weld to build up the tongue on a couple of bikes to make them work OK.
 

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Putting on aftermarket levers was a significant and crucial bit of information you left out of the original post. Had it been included the solution would have presented itself much quicker.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Sorry, it was new grips and levers, all from HD though.
 

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Did you put the original levers back on? Did it fix the problem? I have taken by handlebar controls off a few times without thinking and didn't use the cardboard insert and haven't had a problem yet.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
Yep, it was the lever. Checked the receipt and I ordered the correct levers but I don't have the original package to see what I actually received. I think I am in for an argument with the dealer over this one or out more money for another set of chrome levers. Thanks for all the help from everyone.
 

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Eh, the dealer *should* swap the levers out if they're worth a crap (the dealer that is). I had the exact opposite problem with a set of Paul Yaffe levers I tried to put on my Deuce. The brake light worked as advertised but they kept the slightest amount of pressure on the master cylinder plunger causing the brakes to drag. They'd heat up and the front wheel would literally lock up. I got rid of the POS things and put on some MoCo levers and never had a problem since.

-jeff
 
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