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Old 11-19-2020, 10:16 PM   #1
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2001 E350 Brake warning light on???

Hello SMBers,

I have a 2001 Econoline E350 7.3L that is having a strange parking brake dash light issue. While I drive down the road randomly the dash light will turn on and off. Sometimes it fades on and sometimes it just clicks on.

This symptom has been happening for a while and finally getting frustrating. When it turns on it will also kill my cruise when in use.

I have a new OEM vacuum pump installed and it made no difference.
Unplugged the parking brake switch with no difference.
Unplugged the brake reservoir sensor with no difference.

Not sure what else turns on that light?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.
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2001 Van Haus E350 EB 7.3L (4x4 soonish)
1999 Sportsmobile E150 - SOLD
2002 Sportsmobile RB50 7.3L 4X4 - SOLD
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:58 AM   #2
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There is a switch on the parking brake pedal bracket---that's probably the issue here. Something is loose in the pedal holding/mechanism or the switch contacts have worn over time and they're the culprit.

Try using a Bungee strap provide constant tension on the parking brake pedal to see if that stops the light coming on.

HTH
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Old 11-20-2020, 10:44 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JWA View Post
There is a switch on the parking brake pedal bracket---that's probably the issue here. Something is loose in the pedal holding/mechanism or the switch contacts have worn over time and they're the culprit.

Try using a Bungee strap provide constant tension on the parking brake pedal to see if that stops the light coming on.

HTH
That was the first thing I tried... I actually have that switch unplugged currently with no change in symptoms. Thanks for the idea though.
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Old 11-23-2020, 08:35 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by dokaman View Post
That was the first thing I tried... I actually have that switch unplugged currently with no change in symptoms. Thanks for the idea though.
Drats! There is nothing else from that switch connector to the instrument cluster to have failed and cause the lamp to come on. As its an on-off function only unless its mechanically failed there's scant little to cause the IC issue.

That being said it might be the IC itself having an issue--good news there is its a relatively simple assembly that's somewhat easily diagnosed and repaired. It could be as simple as a loose wire on one of three chassis wiring connectors feeding the IC.

There are no modules or CAN-BUS devices to fail and cause this.

Question though---when the e-brake switch is connected does the lamp come on and off when you actuate the pedal?
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:24 AM   #5
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Are all your other gauges reading correctly?
If it is intermittent and you can't make it happen just sitting still, sounds like a bad ground. Stick your hand under the dash wiggle some wires and see if you can make it happen. Does come consistently, everytime you hit a bump for example.
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Old 11-23-2020, 11:46 AM   #6
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I have the same issue with mine, which I am pretty sure its the connector where it attaches to the instrument panel, the wire is loose and so dependent on humidity and a multitude of other factors it will intermittently turn on. If you look at the electrical diagram there is only two switches feeding this light, Parking brake switch and booster\master cylinder switch.
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Old 11-29-2020, 11:19 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by dokaman View Post
Hello SMBers,

I have a 2001 Econoline E350 7.3L that is having a strange parking brake dash light issue. While I drive down the road randomly the dash light will turn on and off. Sometimes it fades on and sometimes it just clicks on.

This symptom has been happening for a while and finally getting frustrating. When it turns on it will also kill my cruise when in use.

I have a new OEM vacuum pump installed and it made no difference.
Unplugged the parking brake switch with no difference.
Unplugged the brake reservoir sensor with no difference.

Not sure what else turns on that light?

Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.

I had the same issue on my 2000 EB with the 7.3, drove me nuts until I figured it out. In my case, it was the front cables that connect to the ABS sensor on each wheel hub. I replaced those and the brake light went away.



**NOTE** It's really annoying trying to get down to the ABS sensor with the brake rotor installed. I don't really care about the front ABS, however, the cables MUST be plugged into the body harness in order for the brake light to go away and to get cruise control working. I ended up just plugging the cables into the harness, but NOT plugging them into the ABS sensors (I just zip tied them out of the way).
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:07 PM   #8
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JWA - Yep, the light goes on and off normal with the parking brake switch plugged in. The random light on and off does not seem to care about this switch. I will pull the dash later and wiggle the IC connectors and such.

Lilnuts2 - Yep, all of the other gauges work fine.

SAMarty - I will check that out...

rgaller - Very interesting. Just to confirm, you plugged in new ABS sensors into the van but did not install them into the front wheel/rotor assembly? Hmm, one more reason I need to do my 4X4 soon! That will have new sensors.
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Old 11-29-2020, 10:17 PM   #9
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JWA - Yep, the light goes on and off normal with the parking brake switch plugged in. The random light on and off does not seem to care about this switch. I will pull the dash later and wiggle the IC connectors and such.

Lilnuts2 - Yep, all of the other gauges work fine.

SAMarty - I will check that out...

rgaller - Very interesting. Just to confirm, you plugged in new ABS sensors into the van but did not install them into the front wheel/rotor assembly? Hmm, one more reason I need to do my 4X4 soon! That will have new sensors.

No, the other end of the cable does NOT need to be connected to anything. It ONLY needs to be connected to the harness coming down from the body.
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Old 11-30-2020, 09:37 AM   #10
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I have a 2000 E350 7.3 Quigley. 205,000 miles. The brake light would randomly go on and then cruise control would stop working. I took it to the local Ford dealer for repair. They have replaced the ABS module 3 times (part #4C2Z 2C219 BARM). They replaced the 2 front ABS brake sensors. They checked the brake fluid level sensor, parking brake switch, and brake lamp relay. Checked circuits. Each time they determined the ABS module had internally shorted. After last repair, the brake light still randomly will go on and then maybe the next day will be off. Still under 2 year Ford warranty on repairs.
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