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Offline vinnytruck

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brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« on: June 14, 2018, 07:34:32 PM »
Does anyone know of a brake fluid level switch that I can add to a brake fluid resovior. The one in my car doesnt have one and I need it to pass inspection. It seems the unit I have doesnt have a place/ hole for it. Need a ad on. (  year 77 pinto).  thanks in advance. VT

Offline enzo

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #1 on: June 15, 2018, 10:36:29 AM »
I have had Pintos from model years: 71,74,75,76,79 and 80. I have never seen a brake fluid level switch on any of my cars. What state do you live in that is trying to require to retrofit one?

Offline Wittsend

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #2 on: June 15, 2018, 10:41:36 AM »
I'm not an expert on the 77 Pinto (mine's a 73), nor do I know all state laws. But, I have looked over a number of Google images of Pinto engine bays, looked up 77 Pinto master cylinders at parts supply stores and NONE of  them have a brake fluid level switch (that I can see).  So, WHY does the inspector require something that does not appear to have been on the car in the first place???

Most of those types of switches are magnetic in function and given the cast iron/steel construction of the Pinto master cylinder I wonder if they would even work.  Please mention your state and hopefully someone here is from there and can better advise.  Additionally the switch would need a light labeled "Brake" on the dash if it were to have any function.

Now, all that said, there are switches for the hand brake (indicating it is on) and some cars (don't know if the Pinto does) have indicator lights on a dual system that light up if ONLY the front or rear brakes are working.  Are you sure those isn't what they are referring to?


Update: I just looked through a Clymers manual I have.  There does seem to be dual brake switch on the 1977 cars. But, this should be mounted on the distribution block for the brake system. And there is also an indicator light the parking brake is on.  So, yes, both of what I had suspected above. But..., there is NO brake reservoir switch on the 1977 Pinto.  I think the inspector has got it wrong (or you misunderstood) unless the switch is retro-fit required by state law (and I doubt that).

Offline vinnytruck

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #3 on: June 16, 2018, 07:07:38 PM »
Thanks wittsend for the speedy reply. I know he stated all lights MUST be labeled on dash, also hand brake LT, and low fluid (brake) system accompanied by LT. My state is NJ. I wonder if I call him  and tell him it was NEVER there why is he requiring it. I think he will say its a new law. I am really trying hard to get this car on the road, but it seems impossible. I think NJ doesnt want to deal with us. So if its hard for us, it will discourage us. I have not even got my paperwork back from them. I am in limbo, no title, no reg., no nothing...and I paid $60. to start the paperwork, NO NO NO NOTHING. Thanks again for the advice on the wiring, I think I will use it on the 77. By the way just got my new windshield on it had to be stated on the new glass AS1 cha ching, cha ching, (DOT ruling).  VT

Offline Wittsend

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #4 on: June 16, 2018, 11:29:42 PM »
 I grew up in Linden, NJ (to age 10) and remember sitting in the vehicle inspection lines with my dad. Yawn!  And I remember failing for very minor things.  Being your car is 41 years old the inspector probably doesn't encounter too many of that age and does not know it never came without the brake fluid warn light.  He need to be INFORMED.

Offline vinnytruck

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #5 on: June 18, 2018, 09:50:22 AM »
Thanks wittsend, I will work on that and see if he really knows...VT

Offline nnn0wqk

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #6 on: June 18, 2018, 10:38:06 AM »
In 74 at least the park brake light was an option. So your car may have not even had that. I believe all the dual brake systems did have the warning light. If you did have the pb light option it also used the same bulb in the dash, at least in 74 it was just labeled "Brake".

Offline vinnytruck

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #7 on: June 24, 2018, 03:53:02 PM »
thank you NNNo, I need all the ammo to justify this NJ request.  VT

Offline LongTimeFordMan

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Re: brake master cylinder fluid level switch
« Reply #8 on: June 25, 2018, 12:01:07 PM »
Pintos were fitted with a "BRAKE" indicator light which indicated the imbalance between front and rear brake systems due to loss of pressure not fluid.  When pressure loss occurred in either the front or rear system the pressure in the other system moved a piston to block the leaking system,  this disabled the leaking system so as to allow partial braking. The piston also  connected with an internal contact to light the "BRAKE" indicator in the dash. When the failure was repaired, the light can be "reset" by bleeding the opposite part of the system to center the piston. Pintos were never fitted with a fluid level indicator per se. The light is "tested" by flashing briefly when the key is trned to the start position and only lights during normal operation if there is a pressure failure..

This is a more or less standard syztem employed on most dual brake systm cars to prevent total brake loss.

I have a wiring diagram for a 72 pinto that shows how the failure switch is connected and where it is located if  you need that.
Red 1973 pinto wagon DD, SoCal desert car, Factory 4 speed, 3.40 gears, Stock engine, 14" rims and tires, 60 K original miles