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MG MGA - Brake light switch conversion

Hi All
Had a trouble free drive in the A yesterday but noticed that the brake lights were taking a while to come on. I fitted my original hydraulic switch when the car was rebuilt and all was fine. I guess the contacts have broken down. Today the lights are not working at all. I wired across the switch and lights work so it is time to convert to mechanical switch. Tried looking through threads but cannot find info.
Can someone please explain which switch and how it is mounted on the pedal/bracket. Any photos would be good.
Thanks Brian
Brian Paddon

Or you could try NOS spade connections which work as fast as modern car hydraulic switches -
Nigel Atkins

This is the mechanical switch I fitted to my MGA Brian, it comes from S-V-C parts in the UK and it costs about £8.50p

I like how it is designed, it swivels freely around a central point and operates by pulling on a spring.
So this makes it really easy to mount as it will work in almost any position so long as the pulling force is approximately in-line with the switch.

I attached it to a very temporary "lash-up" on the steering column using jubilee-clips.
(I do plan to fabricate a more cosmetically acceptable bracket which fits the steering column better but I am toying with the idea of fitting EPS, hence the temporary fixing.)

I made a clamp that grips around the brake pedal which works fine too (similarly temporary, it would have been much easier to drill a small hole in the pedal to attach the spring to but I don't much like the idea of weakening the brake pedal arm.

(In my defence I can safely say that no MGA parts were harmed in the process of this experiment)

It works very well though.

This is the link to the website

I have taken a poor picture of the "lash-up" and will attach it, I wouldn't suggest you copied it but it may give an idea of how to make a better job than I did :^)


Colyn Firth

This is my admittedly crude trial lash-up for
fitting the switch to the steering column.

Colyn Firth


Out of interest, what's the other jubilee clip for?

I know that MG did a Jubilee edition of the MGB GT, but I didn't realise there was an MGA version ;o)

Dave O'Neill 2

Has anyone put the limit switch up where the pedal actuates the master cylinder. I've been contemplating that for some time but would prefer to not reinvent a wheel already rolling.

J. K. Chapin

the switch swivels on its own base-plate.
I pop riveted the base plate to a strip of thin metal plate and used a jubilee clip at each end to secure the plate solidly to the steering column.

Sorry it wasnt a better picture but I was at full stretch just to get the phone near to the switch and I struggled to hold it still.

Colyn Firth

Some of you may remember that I posted a thread last year about brake light switches, because I thought mine had failed, but after receiving lots of useful information about what to do and what not to do I discovered that one of the terminal screws was loose. Two minutes later I had brake lights again!

Last week I thought I'd better check that everything was still working OK, but sadly no brake lights again. This time both terminal screws were nice and tight and the lights work fine when I put a wire across them, so I decided to order a new hydraulic switch which arrived today. I know from previous threads, and Barney's site, that there are more bad switches out there than good ones, but I've decided to go the 'traditional' route rather than the mechanical alternative … and keep my fingers crossed.

The replacement I've been sent by MGOC is made by FAE part number 20010, which according to Barney's site is one to avoid, but as I've got it I'm going to give it a go. Watch this space!
Robert Sinclair


Yes, I saw those two clips. It was the third one, which I marked with an arrow, that I was wondering about.
Dave O'Neill 2

I have remained original. On my second switch in 22 years, the second being fitted about 15 years ago. So not really been an issue with me other than, as I recall, trying to get purchase on the old one to remove it without twisting the union. Is there a trick to it? Access not great down there at my age - almost easier to take the engine out!

Steve Gyles

Dave, sorry I wondered why you had re-posted my picture,I never noticed the red arrow.

That jubilee clip secures a lengths of rubber hose that I wrapped around the pedal-stop bar.

I was playing about with the lengths of the two adjustable push-rods to see if I could lower the height of the clutch and brake pedals to make it more comfortable for me to drive the car.

It was Barney and Dominic who both pointed out that the pedal return spring would still pull the pedals back to the stop bar.

So the rubber pipe just a simple (and reversible) means of increasing the thickness of the bar and keeps the pedals almost an inch lower than usual.

This is the last of my posts on the thread about my experiment.

"Posted 04 July 2016 at 18:18:47 UK time
Colyn Firth, South Yorkshire, United Kingdom.

"Well I have finally gotten around to playing about with the pedals to see how much I can lower them.
The new Weber 45DCOE Carb I have fitted doesn't need as much pedal movement between closed and fully open as the SU and so I have been able to lower the accelerator pedal by about 1".

Today I have re-adjusted the clutch and brake push-rods to make them shorter and this has also allowed me to lower both pedals by approx 1".

I cut a short length of rubber fuel hose to slip over the pedal stop bar to adjust it and then I fitted a length of rubber heater hose over which made it the correct thickness. I have fixed these securely in place with jubilee clips and this worked out just fine.

I have made certain that there is enough free play in both pedals so that both push-rods return fully.

The difference is amazing, I can now, for the first time, operate the clutch without having to lift my foot completely off the floor.

I wouldn't have believed just how much more comfortable this has made it for me and I am looking forward even more than ever to my next long distance trip, whatever it may be."

This is the link to that thread if you would like to read the entire thing.


Colyn Firth

As Steve I have stayed original. That is it 60 years old as fitted by MG. Also I think I have another that came of my original A I broke in 1972 but ????

Paul Dean

Hi All
Thanks for your comments and help. Having read the threads and Barney’s site I decided to go mechanical. So I made a bracket and bolted it to the long bolt and mounted a’normally closed plunger’ brake light switch. I took the wires through the grommet under the heater trunking, loosened the 2 screw terminals and fitted the wires. All working OK and adjustable. Added a photo showing bracket fitted.

Brian Paddon

This thread was discussed between 05/05/2019 and 11/05/2019

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