June 23, 2002 - Stoplights and all that

Since I want to drive this car on the street, I figure brake lights would be important.  So I tackled that next big mountain: THE STOP LAMPS.

I changed the fuse, still didn't work.  Crap.  It can't be as simple as the stop switch being broken right?  As Doc Pontiac said over at Classical Pontiac: it's easy, just change the stop switch.  Well it was.  Duh!

I decided to take the entire instrument cluster apart as none of the dash lights worked and the cigarette lighter caused the clock to cease functioning the previous day when bumped (oops... did I do that?).

First, gotta have the tools.

Swiss army knife, check

Place for screws, check

Toolbox with cell phone, check.

Attack this first.  Get the speedometer cluster ready to pull out.  Crap.  It's not coming out.  In this business you can't afford to force it, so I figure the speedometer cable is still hooked up and I have to reach around to get it.  Pull fuel gauge\voltmeter cluster to the right and BAM.  Out it all comes.

Notice some monkey broke off one of the tabs on the speedometer cluster harness.  Do I superglue another plastic piece on or cut the harness and solder a good one back on...?  Superglue or solder, superglue or solder...?

No Trans Am would be complete without the total hack-job stereo and tons of wire to go along with it.  I decided to remove all traces of the old stereo.

Nice and open.  Now I can clean up the connections real well and clean up the area.

Found the brake switch.  It's the little grey switch at the middle\top right.  For reference the brake pedal is at the bottom left, the fuse box the top left and the steering column is the black cylinder in the bottom right.

The harmonica connector on the steering column after being reattached (it was just hanging around, get it?).  It's missing a connector piece with a blue, grey, and blackish wire.  Not sure what this does at the moment, but backup lights and stop lamps are a priority.

Steering column is dropped to gain better access (having the seat removed probably would have helped too).

Old faulty switch removed.

Hook up wires.  Let's test...

Hey... it worked!  Button the whole thing back together and find that I now have brake lights!

There was another harness that went to the older brake switch that didn't fit this new one, but I figure it had to do with the cruise control as the 1978-1979 Pontiac manual shows nothing there and in 1980 they added the resume and decelerate features.  Since the cruise control is gone, I just left it unhooked but hooked the vacuum line that was on the brake pedal back up.  Just for reference, once the switch is positioned with the top two tangs pointing up, it is 3 full turns to the right to get the switch adjusted properly.

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Last updated  June 23rd, 2002 at 11:20PM