How to remove electrical connector from brake light switch_1987 Toyota Camry

josiah

Full Member
Joined
Jan 5, 2007
Messages
85
Points
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Make
toyota
Model
camry
Year
1987
Miles
235,000
Engine
4 cylinder
I am trying to remove the electrical connector plugged into the brake light switch.
1) The brake light switch and electrical connector for the 1987 Camry are located at the top of the brake pedal arm.
2) Blocking my view is the steering assembly (steering wheel column and supporting brackets).
3) Lying on my back angled to my right I can see part of the switch and a small part of the connector. The only way to see both is by holding a small mirror in my left hand at an angle.
4) When I press down on the top of the connector with my finger nail I think I feel a little give. So I press down and pull, but the connector will not come out of the switch.
5) I did loosen the switch adjusting nut, swiveled the switch appx 90 degrees; with the mirror I can clearly see the catch on top of the connector inside a slot in the switch.
6) I tried to press connector with a small screw driver but the connector did not release.
7) I don't see a lever on the connector that you can press down to lower the catch and pull it out of the switch.
8) The hardest part is that I can only work with one hand because the space on the floor is too cramped for my shoulders (and I am just an average sized man). I cannot effectively get both hands on the connector.
9) I looked at some Youtube videos and apparently for newer cars the switch is lower; so easily accessible.
10) I even tried to wedge a tiny screw driver (less than 2") in there but could not because of metal obstructions. Every bright idea I have gotten it seems something was alway in the way.
11) If I could pull out the connector I think the rest should be very doable.
So anybody out there who has experience with old Camrys please reply.
Thanks in advance.
 

nickb2

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Location
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Is the brake light fuse blown? This would be a good indicator if there was a direct short that cooked that connector together, cuz apart from that, toyota is known for there very easy disconnects.
 

nickb2

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Location
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From memory, camrys suffered water infiltration from rear driver side back glass, shorted out a lot of rear ends canmrys in brake light dept, and throwing brake switches at did nothing.
 

NickD

wrench
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Since I am not a midget have to remove the front seats, put down an old sleeping bag with something to lie on. If the dash has to be removed, trying to disconnect two cable connectors when you can only get one hand up there is tricky.

Even trickier is trying to couple two cable connectors together with one hand. But is is possible.
 

josiah

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Jan 5, 2007
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Thanks nickb2 and NickD.
1) I am convinced the problem is not the fuse because the problem is not that the brake lights will not come on; it is that they STAY ON.
I saw the the plastic (or rubber) pieces of the old brake switch cushion (or grommet) on the floor. First I tried to simply replace the old cushion with a new one (it snaps right into a flange across from the switch) but that is almost impossible because of limited space between the hole that the cushion snaps into and the brake switch. So I thought I would remove the switch to provide more room. And if I can remove the switch I can test it with volt-ohm tester.
2) I don't want to remove seat and/or dash; but I guess sometimes you got to do what you have to do. This is one the most frustrating (and embarrassing) repairs I have encountered; and only because it is hard to get to the switch (components in your way. I have done a timing belt, spark plugs, water pumps, power steering pump........they were fun or doable; but this is a pain!!! Any more ideas would be appreciated. Funny thing but this ole 4 cylinder Camry has been solid and has been reasonably easy to work on; you could replace spark plugs during half-time. Until now. Please any more ideas would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Joined
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Age
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If my memory serves me right. The brake pedal assy may need to be removed in order to gain full access to the switch. However, you mentioned about the brake light staying on. Couldn't it be just an adjustment? Well I can be wrong but just look it over again. Hope this helps. Good luck
 

NickD

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Aug 28, 2007
Messages
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Didn't mean to infer you had to remove the dash, on my 1988 Toyota Supra Turbo needed to repair the cruise control module that was way up under the dash. And it does help to be able to see what you are doing.

With an eight way power electric seat with power lumbar, had to disconnect all the electrical connectors, remove four floor bolts and remove the seat.

Then these switches are not just for the brake lights. Some you have to step on brake pedal before you can start your vehicle, disables the cruise control, with some AT's disables the torque converter lockup. With an MT vehicle, have to floor the clutch pedal to enable the starter.

Don't get me started with a leaky heater core, those antifreeze fumes can wreck your kidneys, with some vehicles, the heater core is the first thing on the assembly line with tons of stuff around it. Vehicles with a center console are even worse to work on.
 
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