Brake Pedal return spring: 1966 Dodge Dart GT

Brakes for your Classic Mopar

  1. Rjm240

    Rjm240 New Member

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    Hello,

    I have a 1966 Dart GT. The problem I am having is that the brake lights are staying on unless I put my foot under the pedal. I crawled under the dash and pulled out the broken spring. I took the spring to a few hardware stores and did not find any close to what I need. I then made a replica using some wire. It worked great for one summer but then got too flimsy and does not apply enough pressure to turn the lights off anymore.

    I am seeking advise. Should I spend some more time trying to source a replacement spring or try my hand at making a spring again?
     
  2. toolmanmike

    toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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    Start a wanted thread and maybe someone will have what you need. I have never seen them available in the aftermarket. Automatic or manual transmission? May be McMaster has what you need. McMaster-Carr
     
  3. Dana67Dart

    Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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    Are you sure your brake switch is adjusted correctly.

    From looking at photos on eBay it looks like the bracket that holds the switch is adjustable. Loosen bolt and rotate the bracket toward the rear of the car.

    Not even sure there would have been a OEM return spring. Might have been added by a previous owner, ( my dad did the same thing for the same reason to his 67)
     
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    • Rjm240

      Rjm240 New Member

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      I am not 100% sure the brake switch has been adjusted accordingly. But I have owned the car for the last 15 or so years and the switch seemed to be adjusted ok until the spring broke. I could just adjust the switch but if there was a spring in there I feel like leaving it out and adjusting the switch is not the right fix. I didn't think to check mcmaster car. I have bought from them before. The hardest part is searching on their site and not being able to hand the part to see its relative size. Thanks for that tip. I will try it.
       
    • Dana67Dart

      Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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      Where was the return spring located. Please post some photos.

      There has to be some early A folks out here who can talk to a return spring being OEM
       
    • Dana67Dart

      Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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      any update?
       
    • 66Dvert

      66Dvert Working on my custom car parts again! FABO Gold Member

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      I just went out to verify my 66 darts (3 of em) none had a brake pedal return spring. what I did have to do on my 65 I sold a couple years ago was replace the master cylinder to get it to return to full up position. (the single pot was full of crud in the 1/4 " or so I needed to bring it up. so I changed over to the dual system for safety sake. using a ummm I think 73 dodge dart one manual brakes (disc, drum since I added scarebird discs to the front while it was down hunting for parts.) if your staying drum to drum go that way . 2 of my darts have been converted to dual pot mc's the 4 door parts car has the single pot still.
       
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      • 68gtxman

        68gtxman I used to reMember

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        As far as I know, the only spring is inside the master cylinder. I’ve never seen a pedal return spring on any brake pedal in my life - though my experience is very limited pre-1967. I too would advise you to adjust the activation switch.
         
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        • Rjm240

          Rjm240 New Member

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          I am not tying to leave this thread hanging. I cleaned the barn this weekend and looked everywhere for where I might have put the broken spring. I cannot seem to find it. I did crawl under there and it looks pretty easy to adjust the switch. The evidence makes it seem likely that the spring that was in there was aftermarket. And that makes sense because the plate it pushed against doesn't seem like it is supported very well and sort of "tips" due to the pressure of the spring.

          I will adjust the switch and let you know how it works. In the mean time the starter does not stop so I guess I need to figure that out as well. The starter stops but only when I turn off the key otherwise it seems to keep running. maybe the Bendix is stuck?
           
        • 68gtxman

          68gtxman I used to reMember

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          The starter problem is more likely a hanging ignition switch. They are pretty cheap to replace. I’d start there. Good luck!
           
        • 69_340_GTS

          69_340_GTS Well-Known Member

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          Someone put the spring on there, and when that was done the brake light switch was turned into a pedal "stop" instead of a switch. That is why the bracket is bending. It was never meant to take more pressure above what the master cylinder (internal spring) puts on it. If the pedal does not return, the problem is in the master cylinder.
           
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          • SIX225

            SIX225 Well-Known Member

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            Careful pulling up on the brake pedal with your foot. The only thing holding in the push rod is essentially a large O ring. Came close to having the rod fall out myself. There isn't suppose to be a return spring, but that's how many have fixed this problem even though its not correct (came close to doing it to mine too). That's when I decided to put some real effort into fixing it.

            I'd been fighting adjusting the switch on my '68 for a while. As noted above, the switch is not a return stop. Get the "heavy duty" switch. It comes with 2 nuts back to back and a little easier to adjust. Also used a couple quick connects and added a light under the dash show I could see what was going on while driving. Thought I had it fixed several times, only to hang up again.

            1. Check the backing plate for gouges where the shoes ride. I believe these points are also to be lubricated with something.
            2. Correct return springs (9" vs 10")? I believe this in addition to the spring in the master is what brings the pedal back.
            3. Don't over tighten the shoulder bolt to push rod, it can bind.
            4. Make sure shoes are adjusted.
            5. Lube pivot points under dash. I think mine might be slightly worn and ovaled out causing not returning to the same spot opening up the switch.

            I think the root cause on mine was the switch bracket being bent and flexing after the pedal was pulled back on when the master cylinder was replaced additionally aggravated by me lifting the pedal up with my foot. It still flexes a little bit (bracket surface riding on support not super flat any more) as the lamps occasionally are ever so slightly delayed coming off . Button needs to be centered on the arm coming down. I may have biased the position of the switch a little bit where is might act like a stop. Don't position it too low, otherwise the pedal won't return enough and the brakes with drag.

            Consider pulling the front seat when replacing the replacing/adjusting the switch. Sounds like more work, but its hard getting your hands up there.
             
            Last edited: Aug 27, 2019
          • Dana67Dart

            Dana67Dart Like a fine wine, only getting better with age! FABO Gold Member

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            easy way to test if it is starter or relay or ignition switch is to pull the ignition wire from the starter relay by the battery ( yellow I think but you should varify)

            1. have someone turn key to start
            2. once started and starter motor is still engaged, pull ignition switch wire from relay, if starter disengages most likely ignition switch
            3. if the starter does not disengage next test would be to remove the wire going from starter relay to the starter (not the wire from battery to starter)
            4. have someone turn key to start
            5. once started and starter motor is still engaged, pull wire going from starter relay to the starter, if starter disengages most likely starter relay
            6. lastly you could SAFELY tap on starter motor Bendix and see if it disengages.
             
          • Mopar Tim

            Mopar Tim FABO Gold Member FABO Gold Member

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            There is no pedal return spring on a 66 A body. For certain. Only in the Master Cylinder.
             
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            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              I had the same problem with my 66. I went to the hardware store and got a $2.00 spring and hooked it up.
               
            • 69_340_GTS

              69_340_GTS Well-Known Member

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              You are going to screw up the brake light switch and/or its bracket.
               
            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              No. The brake switch is properly adjusted and I didn't touch the bracket. The pedal lever just needed a little help.
               
            • toolmanmike

              toolmanmike FABO MODERATOR Staff Member FABO Gold Member

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              It doesn't look factory but who looks under the dash.
               
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