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1100RT brake light problem - continuously on


HH0

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I have a 98 1100RTP and I just noticed a problem with my brake light. I noticed it was burned out and replaced it and it is now on all the time with application of brake pedals having no effect on continuous on light. Old bulb was an 1156 so that is what I replaced it with. Power is coming from the grey/yellow wire and tests at 11.9V. I am guessing it has been on continuously which caused it to burn out. Since I am not much of an electrician, where do I start looking for the problem? Running light and turn signals all work correctly.

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Afternoon HHO

 

More than likely a sticking or malfunctioning brake light switch.

 

See if lifting the rear brake pedal a bit, or pushing the front hand brake lever forward slightly, makes the brake light go out.

 

If no problem found with the brake light switches then you will have get more creative & disconnect both brake switches or even look for a mis-wiring at a connector or something non BMW hooked into the brake light circuit.

 

Start at the brake switches though.

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szurszewski

If your wife were on here, she might suggest this is only a problem because you didn't sell the silver one when you bought the blue one.... :)

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Ride gravel?

Once in a blue moon asmall rock can get stuck in the foot pedal area.

Only visible from below (lie down look up under the pedal when you move it).

Good luck.

 

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Happened to me this spring. When I pushed the brake lever ahead they went off.

So all I had to do was take two screws out of the handle to get it apart and bend the metal part on the switch a bit and its good as new.

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I tried moving the foot and hand levers backwards with no change. I will get underneath tomorrow to see if there is any dirt or gravel underneath.

 

Szur, the wife stated something today about telling me she told me to sell Silver but I ignored her............

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like DR says, start with the switches. Had same symptoms as yours, turned out to be a faulty switch on the rear brake, put a new switch in and viola.

good luck

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szurszewski

Hey - I don't know what's involved in swapping switches (I should at least know what that would take up front since I had that control group apart a couple of years ago to rebuild the MC...but I don't remember), but if you want to come over and swap the switches from my bike to yours for diagnositic purposes, you're welcome too. Maybe you could even do that between the 1100 and the 1150 - a parts fiche would tell you if that would work.

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Hey - I don't know what's involved in swapping switches (I should at least know what that would take up front since I had that control group apart a couple of years ago to rebuild the MC...but I don't remember), but if you want to come over and swap the switches from my bike to yours for diagnositic purposes, you're welcome too. Maybe you could even do that between the 1100 and the 1150 - a parts fiche would tell you if that would work.

 

Afternoon szurszewski

 

Can't do that as the 1150 switches work reverse logic (backwards of what the 1100 switches work).

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Using and electrical diagram from here, could you test the violet-yellow wire coming from each switch to see if it has power all the time?

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Afternoon Lee

 

I think that wire diagram is incorrect as the 1100RT brake light wire color is gray/yellow.

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Afternoon HHO

 

Sometimes you can find a bad brake light switch by just listening--

 

Find a quiet time, then, slowly pull the front brake lever & slowly push the rear brake pedal.

 

As a rule a good brake switch will make a small audible "click) as it closes the contacts (no clickey could mean a sticking brake switch)

 

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thanks for the suggestion on the sound. I am going to try and find the problem this afternoon and will report back. You are correct about the wire color on my bike as it is grey/yellow but the diagram does show violet/yellow so obviously there is a difference in the 1100RT years.

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update and need for advice......

 

I can hear a slight "click" when I press the rear brake lever.

I can not hear same "click" when pulling the front brake lever. I removed the front brake lever switch cover and I see 2 small screws on the switch bottom but are these for removing the switch or electrical in nature? I tested continuity across the 2 screw heads and it is there but does not change when I pull the lever. Not sure if it is supposed to or not... I tried depressing the small white contact ball that the metal strip moves in when pressed but it changed nothing but it did recess which is what I suspect it is supposed to do from a mechanical function.

I thought of disconnecting the switch wiring so that I could determine if the front or rear switch is the problem but it appears the wiring goes directly from the switches to the fuse box as I see no connections. Does anyone know how the wiring is setup and do you have to replace the switches complete with wiring or are the switches detachable from the wiring?

 

 

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Afternoon HHO

 

There is no wire disconnect right at the switch. You can follow the switch wires for a ways & there should be a white (or some were black) 2 pin connector in line (doesn't run all the way to the fuse box)-- Switch has a long pig-tail on it with a 2 pin connector.

 

You can also cut the wires at the switch, then unbolt the switch, then take the switch to an electronics supply store & buy a generic switch, then just solder the wires onto the new switch (much caper than buying a new BMW switch)

 

Even some hardware stores have those switches.

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question for DR or other intelligent people.......

 

I dug into the wiring and had to remove the Tupperware and loosen all the bolts holding on the front fairing to get to the wire connector. Rear switch tested ok and when I unplugged the front switch the stop light functions correctly using the rear lever so I am sure the front switch is the problem. I don't have an electronics store close that indicated they would have a similar part so I searched eBay and found one advertised as being for R1100RT and other Oilheads but it has the white connector instead of the black that mine has. Pictures appeared to be the same plug just different color and wires are in the correct slot.

 

Do you think there is any reason this switch wouldn't work?

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Afternoon HHO

 

Some plugs were white & some were black.

 

Just make ABSOLUTELY SURE that the switch is for the 1100 & NOT the 1150 as the 1150 switch works backwards to what the 1100 needs.

 

As for that particular E-Bay switch working, I have no idea as all we have to go on is what is written in the E-Bay description.

 

You might try Beemer Boneyard as they should have the correct switch you need.

 

A switch that will work in your bike is also used in some sump pumps, furnace door safety switches, & other industrial applications so you might try a plumbing shop or hardware store for a similar switch. Just make sure it has a set of N/O contacts that close as the switch operates.

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thanks for the heads up on the switch DR. I took a chance on it as it was only $20 including shipping. I would have spent half that driving around. If it doesn't work I will then try out the plumbing and HW stores if needed. Just have to wait for it to show up to see if it works!

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D.R., question for you. I received the front brake switch I bought on eBay. My bike had the black connector and the one I ordered has the white. Unfortunately you can't plug the white into the black due to a very minor difference in the plugs. I tested the continuity on the new one and moving the switch does change the reading - off shows zero, on shows 1 or incomplete circuit if I understand the test correctly. The one on the bike is stuck on 1 whether the switch is on or off so that would explain the continuously on light but seems backwards to me as zero would indicate a complete circuit wouldn't it?

 

I tried running jumper wires from the new switch plug to the receiving plug on the bike to test the switch but I get no brake light on in either the on or off position. My thought was I would get the light on by using the jumpers. The rear brake switch turns the light on so I know the blub is good. You indicated that the 1150 switches were reversed from the 1100 switches and I thought the black and white plugs might indicate which bike. I am thinking I have an 1150 switch in the new one and therefor the reversed readings. Any suggestions on why the jumpers didn't work? I didn't want to cut and solder the new switch in if something else is wrong.

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D.R., question for you. I received the front brake switch I bought on eBay. My bike had the black connector and the one I ordered has the white. Unfortunately you can't plug the white into the black due to a very minor difference in the plugs. I tested the continuity on the new one and moving the switch does change the reading - off shows zero, on shows 1 or incomplete circuit if I understand the test correctly. The one on the bike is stuck on 1 whether the switch is on or off so that would explain the continuously on light but seems backwards to me as zero would indicate a complete circuit wouldn't it?

I tried running jumper wires from the new switch plug to the receiving plug on the bike to test the switch but I get no brake light on in either the on or off position. My thought was I would get the light on by using the jumpers. The rear brake switch turns the light on so I know the blub is good. You indicated that the 1150 switches were reversed from the 1100 switches and I thought the black and white plugs might indicate which bike. I am thinking I have an 1150 switch in the new one and therefor the reversed readings. Any suggestions on why the jumpers didn't work? I didn't want to cut and solder the new switch in if something else is wrong.

 

Evening HHO

 

I'm not sure I am fully understanding your continuity test so explain what you mean by switch ON & switch OFF?

 

Measure the continuity with the switch just sitting there, then re-measure the continuity again with the switch plunger depressed. (switch just sitting there you need to see open or no continuity// with plunger depressed you need to see continuity.

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D.R., here is an attempt to clarify my description of the problem which was not clearly stated above. I am no electrician so here is my understanding on a continuity test: when I set the multimeter dial to ohms? it shows a 1. When I touch the probes together it completes the circuit and the meter shows 0.0 which I think of as a "complete circuit". The new brake switch shows a 0.0 when it is just sitting with no activation. When I push the metal tab and depress the switch it shows a 1 so my assumption is that the switch "works" but is reversed from the old switch. The old switch is stuck showing 0.0 when the switch is either depressed or not depressed and this old switch was causing the constant on brake light.

 

What confuses me is that I ran jumper wires to connect the new switch with the wire connector on the bike and I got no brake light response when either depressing the new switch or not depressing it. I jumped the green to green and grey to grey wires from new switch to bike harness but no brake light resulted. My assumption was the new switch should just work backwards but I get nothing. Ideas?

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D.R., here is an attempt to clarify my description of the problem which was not clearly stated above. I am no electrician so here is my understanding on a continuity test: when I set the multimeter dial to ohms? it shows a 1. When I touch the probes together it completes the circuit and the meter shows 0.0 which I think of as a "complete circuit". The new brake switch shows a 0.0 when it is just sitting with no activation. When I push the metal tab and depress the switch it shows a 1 so my assumption is that the switch "works" but is reversed from the old switch. The old switch is stuck showing 0.0 when the switch is either depressed or not depressed and this old switch was causing the constant on brake light.

 

What confuses me is that I ran jumper wires to connect the new switch with the wire connector on the bike and I got no brake light response when either depressing the new switch or not depressing it. I jumped the green to green and grey to grey wires from new switch to bike harness but no brake light resulted. My assumption was the new switch should just work backwards but I get nothing. Ideas?

 

 

Evening HHO

 

Was the key ON during your switch test?

 

It does sound like the new switch is working backwards.

 

To test your bike circuit just jump (hook) the two (bike side) wires going to your switch together with a jumper wire. If the bike side circuit is OK then brake light should come on.

 

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HHO, you haven't bought yourself a switch from an 1150 have you?

The logic of the switch sounds like it is an 1150 item. Also you commented on the connector being wrong...sounds suspicious.

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szurszewski

Well, he has an 1150 parked right next to the 1100 - I guess he could pull the tupperware and loosen the nose on that one to compare...

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I just tried doing the jumper of the 2 wires on the bike connecter and I get no brake light. Activating the rear brake lever does get the brake light so I know the bulb is good. My assumption is that there must be some issue between where the front and rear brake lever wires meet as there is only one wire running to the brake light. It is not obvious to me where to look so any suggestions on what to do next?

 

And yes, I do think I have a switch from an 1150 and not an 1100 as advertised by the seller as logic seems to show it is reversed. Since I also have an 1150 I will just keep the switch and, of course, then I will never need it! I will get the correct switch but I could be looking for the second problem if I knew where to look.

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Afternoon HHO

 

(IF) you jump the wires together (key on) & get no brake light (but b/light works from rear) then you definitely have an open in wiring going to the front switch.

 

The usual (but not definite) place for the open is right at the bike side connector going to the front brake switch. The wire breaks inside the outer insulation right at or close to the terminal.

 

If your problem is farther back then it will be difficult to find without tearing the bike farther apart & possibly opening up the wire harness.

 

I think before I want though all that work I would just run new wires from the rear brake light switch wires to the front switch (they both operate the same circuit the same way) -- I would run the wires forward inside a small diameter split convoluted wire conduit, then zip tie that along the main harness.

 

 

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D.R., thank you for the suggestions! I contacted the seller of the incorrect switch and they exchanging it for on off a 1998 1100RT so I know it will be the correct one. I am going to test the new one on the bike before I do your suggestion of running the wires from the rear wires. Can I just tie into these wires anywhere along the wires coming off the rear switch? I am assuming it doesn't really matter and I can see where those wires go up under the seat and would be easy to splice into.

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D.R., thank you for the suggestions! I contacted the seller of the incorrect switch and they exchanging it for on off a 1998 1100RT so I know it will be the correct one. I am going to test the new one on the bike before I do your suggestion of running the wires from the rear wires. Can I just tie into these wires anywhere along the wires coming off the rear switch? I am assuming it doesn't really matter and I can see where those wires go up under the seat and would be easy to splice into.

 

Afternoon HHO

 

Basically, yes, you are just running a parallel circuit to the rear so any tie-in point will work.

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Further assistance needed.........

I received the new switch and after getting it plugged in it worked as it was supposed to. The first replacement switch was definitely from an 1150. As I was removing the original old switch I noticed it was coated with brake fluid so it occurred to me that during a recent brake line replacement, I must have spilled fluid with eventually caused the switch problem. However after cleaning everything up and getting ready to install the new switch I noticed brake fluid seeping out of the bottom of the rubber seal on the bottom of the brake handle lever. I looked underneath the rubber seal and see that is has fluid inside. My assumption is that there must be a leak from the bottom of the reservoir down into the handle plunger area and it isn't just a spillage from the brake line replacement.

 

I think all of the lever action with bleeding the new brake lines must have caused a seal problem with whatever is connected to the reservoir. I looked up the brake handle parts list on the BMW fiche and there is no break down or diagram of anything associated with the lever and reservoir.

 

Can someone explain what I look for and how to go about fixing this problem? I am guessing there is some sort of piston that is actuated by the lever and that there must be O-rings or seals that have to be replaced. I couldn't see how to dis-assemble the brake assembly and since I have never worked on one before, I thought I would get advice first.

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szurszewski

Sounds like you need to either rebuild or replace your MC. Info here:

http://www.largiader.com/tech/r11mc/

rebuild kit at beemer boneyard.

 

I did mine a couple (?) years ago - pretty easy and don't even need to remove the controls from the bars.

 

Crud builds up in the bore and then can mess with the seals - if you were working the lever all the way through its travel you may have moved the piton/seals enough to rub up against accumulated crystalized fluid causing or worsening the leak.

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