Generic front brake switch repair - not XS650

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Cleveland, OH
The original 16mm master cylinder on the TX-A was toast and I wanted a smaller ½” one anyway for lower brake lever effort so I did some searching and found one from a Honda Shadow on eBay. It arrived covered in black Plasti-dip and the brake switch didn’t work (same as the switch on Dad’s Bike) so I thought I would document the switch repair and share my experience.

When I did the switch on Dad’s Bike, I did the obligatory Google search and found several YouTube videos and it’s pretty straightforward with one exception. The videos all show how to open up the switch and clean the main contacts but that’s only half the job. The last time I did one, I followed the procedure from the videos and the switch worked for a short time (VERY short time as it turns out) and stopped working again. I pulled the switch apart and the current path through the switch also travels through two pivots in the body of the switch that also need to be cleaned for the switch to work reliably.

This is the switch, and you can see the three pins that hold the switch together, two are in the bottom of the photo and the other at the top. I used a 7/32” drill bit in a drill chuck that I removed from a dead cordless drill and drilled them out by hand so I wouldn't drill too far.

It doesn’t take much and the case is easily pried apart and you can see the two contacts inside which I cleaned up with 800 grit sand paper. Just to see if this would be enough to get the switch working again I tested it at this point and after actuating a few times it showed 300-400 ohms with the switch closed so this switch had the same problem as the previous one.

I opened up the switch and removed and dis-assembled the switch guts and this is what’s inside. The current path is from the switch frame, through pivot one, then through pivot two and finally from the contact on the end to the other fixed contact.

Pulling the spring retainer backward a little and upward frees the switch guts which look like this.

They will need to be held in this orientation when installing back into the frame which is a bit fiddly but doable. I cleaned everything up with an X-acto knife to get the chunks, a wire brush to get the rest and 800 grit sand paper to polish all the contact surfaces. I then coated everything with a light coat of dielectric silicone crease to slow future corrosion and reassembled the switch.

Testing the switch again, the switch now shows 0-1 ohm resistance after actuating a bunch of times. The previously repaired switch is still working after three years so I expect a number (who knows how many) years of continued service for about an hours work.
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