Brake light switch?

I have a 64 roadster and brake lights not working. Tail lights and turn signals work perfectly. The fuse was ok but I replaced it anyway and still no brake lights. Most vintage cars have a brake light switch but can’t locate or maybe the E doesn’t have one. Any ideas?

Hello and welcome. The E-type has a hydraulically activated brake light switch. On your car I believe it is mounted on the picture frame. It it’s not there it’s bolted to the bulkhead (firewall) below the brake boosters.

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Your switch is either mounted on the picture frame or directly below your booster. It is a pressure switch that completes the light circuit when the pressure in your brake line is high enough. They are known to fail. They have british pipe threads. A little bigger than a quarter.

Thanks John, I’ll check tomorrow. What’s the pictures frame?

Picture frame? Never heard that term after near 40 year ownership.

It is the rectangular frame the connects the front of the side frames. Your radiator cooling fan is mounted on the top. You can jack up car from the bottom

On a 64 it’s right in front of the generator pulley. SNG Barratt supposedly has a new and improved one.

I do not mean to be critical of you or anyone else on the J-L site but: (1) You can jack the front of the car by the ‘picture frame’, but first put a piece of ‘hard wood’ in the channel. The edges will not fold in so readily if you use the wood (oak or ash) unless it already has been abused by a previous owner. (2) Do not make the mistake of putting the jack under the lower radiator support (as many have done) as you will bend it and stand a good chance of making dents in the bonnet as the radiator is pushed upward.
(3) The ‘picture frame’ is actually called ‘front cross member assemble’ by Jaguar. As Kris memtioned it is called the picture frame by many as it is rectangular and your radiator fan is attached to it…
By the way, Welcome to the group, a good group to know and ask questions of.

Regards, Joel…

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Great, now I know what I’ve looked at for a long time.

Welcome Mike! While you’re messing with brake light switches, you might consider adding a mechanical one. Details discussed in this thread -

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My brake light pressure switch failed so I replaced it with a new one. That one failed rather quickly too so I added a mechanical one.

Found my switch under the frame rail very close to the clutch master.

Go figure!


If you run silicone fluid (Dot 5.0), the low pressure brake switches from the usual suppliers fail quickly as they are not compatible. As such, I have used the following switch for over a year and have had no problems. Also, since this is a low pressure switch, my anecdotal impression is that it activates quicker than the prior switches.

Found it, right on top of the picture frame!! Thanks guys for all your help.

I did what Drew did. I got tired of replacing them so put a mechanical one in.

It’s not what you look at that matters. It’s what you see.
Henry David Thoreau

Same here. My pressure switch was working so I added a mechanical one in parallel. Then added a third brake light and replaced the filament bulbs with the brightest LEDs I could find. Some clueless boob could still rear end the car, but you do what you can.