Why would I loose both brake lights and tail lights on my 64 thunderbird?

Asked by Jun 11, 2012 at 05:14 PM about the 1964 Ford Thunderbird

Question type: Maintenance & Repair

All other lights work.  Could it have anything to do with the nuetral safety switch?  

5 Answers


No, the neutral safety switch only keeps your car from starting in gear and your brake and tail lights work no matter what gear you are in or if you are stopped or in motion. Want to guess one of the changes made during production that still bewilders 1964 Thunderbird owners today? A relay was added to the brake light circuit during production, and a kit was released to retrofit cars without the relay. Many an owner scratches their head in wonderment after replacing the brake light switch only to find the lights still don't work! After verifying the bulbs are good, they fear the turn signal switch has gone bad, and sometimes even replace it only to discover that...you guessed it...no brake lights. The secret is the relay, located in the engine compartment, cleverly located behind the windshield washer fluid bag! So, if you have a 1964 T-bird without brake lights, check behind the washer bag to see if you might have a bad/missing/unplugged relay. And here's some trivia for you: Ford had originally planned on debuting the sequential rear turn signals for the 1964 model year, but had to delay it for a year because the new sequential turn signal flashing sequence had to be voted into motor vehicle laws in all states before the cars could legally be driven in them. And, typical of government, there were a few states that still hadn't made it legal when the time came to start building the 1964 models! So, the feature was delayed for one year, and got introduced on the 1965 cars instead. Good Luck, Kenny.

1 people found this helpful.

Good one on the relay. Your right, most owners either forget or don'w know about it.

Can you post a picture of what the relay looks like? So I know what to look for?


1964 BRAKE LIGHT RELAY. According to the Vintage Thunderbird Club, The 1964 Thunderbird brake light relay has now become obsolete from Ford and is not being made by any other after market manufacture. This is definitely going to create a problem for you people who own 1964 Thunderbirds and have this relay in your system. I do not know of any replacement for this relay. I only know how to bypass it so you can still have brake lights. The brake light relay is located on the left (driver’s side) inner fender of the engine compartment just behind and to the rear of the windshield squirter reservoir bag. The relay has four wires, one ground wire and three wires going back to the brake light switch. The brake light switch is located on the master cylinder. There are two wires that come out of the firewall (for the brake light system) just to the right of the brake booster, almost in the center of the firewall. One green wire and one green\red wire. They plug into the brake light relay loom. Two wires split off and go to the brake light switch and three wires go to the brake light relay. There are two ways to bypass the brake light relay. You can either remove the brake light relay wire loom altogether and run the two wires coming out of the firewall (green and green \red) directly to the brake light switch or you can bypass the relay by jumping two of the four wires at the brake light relay plug. Good Luck, Kenny/MrBlueOval See attached illustration to locate the four wires on the brake light relay plug. Make a jumper wire that will plug into the green \ red wire socket located at the narrow end of the plug and into the green wire socket located at the wide end of the plug. Special tips: You should use the original plug at the brake light switch if you chose to remove the brake light relay loom completely. You can splice it in nicely using plain butt connectors (ones with no plastic on them) and shrink tubing. If you can find green shrink tubing that's good. However, I have not been able to find any so I use flat black. Try to make your splice after the separating plug. This way you can unplug the wires if you need to.

1 people found this helpful.

I just found out that the relay is being reproduced. You can find one here at Larry's T-bird parts http://www.larrystbird.com/product/brake-light-relay-6566-late/ Kenny/MrBlueOval

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