1980 Honda Express brake light not working

I just got a 1980 Honda Express NC. All the lights work properly except for the brake light. The tail light is fine.

Here are my assumptions:

- The green wire goes to the tail light.

- The green/yellow wire goes to the brake light.

- The brown wire is the ground.

Here's what I've done so far:

- Checked the Green/Yellow wire for continuity from the headlight assembly back to the brake light. It's fine.

- Wedged the green/yellow wire into the same plug as the green wire. Both filaments in the bulb lit up.

I haven't yet tried cleaning the brake lever switches, but the bike appears to have been garage-kept so I'd be surprised if both brake lever switches could be bad. However, if there's a problem with one of the brake lever switches, will that prevent the brake light from working from the other lever? I've checked and reconnected both the green/yellow and black wires from the brake levers where they merge in the headlight assembly.

Soooo, other than trying to clean the brake lever switches, any ideas where the problem might be?

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

IT looks to me like you have to chase voltage on the black wire starting at the brake lever. http://www.mopedarmy.com/mediawiki/images/9/94/1980-nc50-wiring-lrg.jpg

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jack Rutherford /

If one brake light switch is bad, it shouldn't affect the other.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jack Rutherford Wrote:

-------------------------------------------------------

> If one brake light switch is bad, it shouldn't

> affect the other.

This^^^

Every once in awhile my 79 will do the same thing. I probed the bulb socket and found that I had voltage. I assumed it was a blown bulb filament until the brake light started working again on its own. I think the contacts are worn or dirty in my circumstance.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

Trying to revive an old thread...

I’m having this issue with the left brake switch. It stopped working a couple of weeks ago and at the same time, the horn stopped working. The horn just makes a clicking sound like it wants to work (was previously working). They both have wiring on the same side. The signal switch does work (On the same housing), with a weird delay. Battery seems good. Was brand new as of a couple months ago.

I cleaned the housing with contact cleaner, but it didn’t help.

I’m also having difficulty finding the brake switch in the brake handle. I know it’s there, I know it’s like a little lever that gets pressed when you squeeze the brakes. Is it hidden inside the brake lever?

Short somewhere? What do you think?

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

If you haven't taken things completely apart to see exactly what's what , you may never have good results . ;)

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

The switch is normally open. When you pull the lever it closes the switch and completes the circuit by sending voltage from the battery to the brake light. The brake light runs off the battery and should illuminate with key on regardless of motor running or not. The brake light switches are there plain as day and thread into lever perches...

Screenshot_2020-10-01-12-16-43.png

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Also, the horn clicking will happen for one of two reasons. Either your battery voltage is so low it wont beep or the lock nut needs loosened and set screw adjusted to make horn beep again. They do need adjusted sometimes after 40 years. Be gentle with the threads and it dont take much turning at all. (edited)

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

You guys and your sensible responses....

PD is right. No easy fixes. I’ll take it apart this weekend and give it a more thorough inspection.

Little evil, the set screw you’re referring to in the horn....is that the one one the back? I couldn’t quite figure out it’s function. Can I take that whole horn apart? I’ve been afraid to tinker with something that I’m not sure I can fix if I go too far. I guess I can’t make it worse, right?

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

It does not come apart. Loosen lock nut with an adjustable wrench while holding screw in place. Turn screw 1/8 of turn in or out and try horn again. If that doesn't work go back then other way an 1/8 turn. It don't take much.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

Perfect. Thanks. I’ll give it a whirl this weekend.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Actually, you can take the horn apart with a little finesse. You have to carefully lift up the rolled over edge all around and it will come apart. Pay close attention to the order of the washers and bits inside. Mine had a bit of rusting going on - once cleaned off and reassembled, then had to mess with the screws as described above. But now it's loud as heck.

Joe

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

Still haven’t fixed the horn, but I did dig into the brake light switch. Turns out a wire had popped out of the switch.....

So, yeah. Should have just taken it apart to begin with. I ordered a new switch. I ended up blowing the fuse in the process, so couldn’t test the horn as the fuse got fried into the fuse holder. Another fix, but that should be easy. I figured out how to make adjustments on it. I’m not hopeful on this as the screw is pretty shredded as is the lock nut. It might just be easier to get a new one. They’re cheap and probably worth the hassle of fixing the old one.

Thanks for all the help with this.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

But , the fun is in the fixing .

Any pour soul can go buy anything . ;)

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

You’re right. It’s really is fun when you figure out how to fix something. I’ll give it a whirl. What the heck? Can’t make it worse at this point.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

It's likely a bit of rust inside .

See about undoing the crimp around the outside . Might be a little tricky .

Then you'll see how a horn is put together and hopefully be able to make it work again . ;)

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

As I said earlier:

Actually, you can take the horn apart with a little finesse. You have to carefully lift up the rolled over edge all around and it will come apart. Pay close attention to the order of the washers and bits inside. Mine had a bit of rusting going on - once cleaned off and reassembled, then had to mess with the screws as described above. But now it's loud as heck.

Joe

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

Thanks Joe. Gonna give this a shot. Like I said, I suppose I can’t really make it worse at this point. Appreciate the tip.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

If you've currently got a "click" sound, then there's hope. Have fun. It was educational!

Joe

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

Yep. It’s getting power. I’ll probably have to replace that screw and nut to get something usable. I have a feeling this isn’t the first time it’s gone wonky. I bought this bike over the summer, and the horn had been on and off. Now, it’s totally off. Probably won’t get to it for a couple of weeks. Is it weird that I’m now excited to take it apart and see how it works? I suppose it’s probably normal, and that’s really why I started messing with 40 year old mopeds....just to see if I can do it. Thanks for the encouragement! To all of you!

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Must be those Wisconsin bikes - got one from over near Fond Du Lac in August. That's the one I took the horn apart on. When it finally BEEPed, I was so excited. It's a great feeling to make these old bikes run/work again. I went overboard and have done 3 over the summer - retirement is great!

Have fun (and GO PACK)!

Joe (originally from Spooner)

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Jason Majernik /

I’m a ways from retirement, but I’m closer than I am farther (hopefully 15 years?). Yep, Wisconsin bikes. Got all of mine here in Wausau. New to this starting this summer. Have been interested in restoring something for a while. COVID shut everything down, so I decided to pick up a new hobby. Now, it’s more of an obsession. I went from none to three in the course of 2 months. This one is finicky. I’ve basically rebuilt the motor from the ground up. Now I’m trying to put on the finishing touches before it gets too cold (horn). The engine still isn’t right. Have a lot of smoking. It’s not transmission oil, because I replaced the transmission oil seals. It’s white smoke. I’m pretty sure it’s a timing issue, but it’ll probably have to wait until spring. Can’t seem to get the points and timing in a happy place.

I have an ‘82 Iowa 2 speed that I have running. Thinking of doing a whole kit/carb/exhaust change next spring to see if I can get it going about 40. Should be a challenge.

Looks like the Pack are gonna win tonight. Happy day at work tomorrow!

Enjoy retirement! I’m looking forward to having the time to do this whenever I want. These things are addictive.

Re: 1980 Honda Express brake light not working

Tom Mitchell /

Anyone had the brake levers apart? My front brake light wire seemed to pull out. Maybe solder?

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