How to Change Out Harley Chrome Switch Housing

by Chris Gilliland

To promote self-expression and customization of its motorcycles, Harley-Davidson has introduced a catalog packed with custom parts. While recent Harley-Davidsons flaunt the company's new blacked-out Dark Custom motifs, chrome has always been the biker's choice. To keep with the tradition of bright, shiny metal, Harley-Davidson offers a chrome, bolt-on replacement for those drab, plastic switch housings. Although with the kit they are relatively easy to install, be prepared. The process may take some time.

Right-Switch Housing

1

Push the brake lever forward gently to create a gap between the lever and the lever bracket. Slip the cardboard strip between the bracket and lever. This will protect the brake light switch's rubber boot and plunger.

2

Remove the brake master cylinder assembly and clamp by removing the two T-27 screws that secure the clamp to the handlebar. Then, pull the entire assembly away from the handlebar.

3

Remove the T-25 screws that secure the upper and lower switch housings and turn both throttle cables' adjusters clockwise until they are seated against the throttle assembly. This will create slack in the cable and place the throttle sleeve at its loosest point. Separate the housing.

4

Lift up on the area where the rear cable is fitted to the throttle sleeve and pull the cable end and brass fitting free from the throttle sleeve. Remove the front cable and fitting from the throttle sleeve. Once both cables are free from the throttle tube, pull the cables out from the lower switch housing.

5

Remove the upper and lower switch housings from the handlebar and remove the Phillips head screws that secure the inner switch assemblies. There is one screw on the upper housing and two on the lower housing. Gently pull the switch assemblies and brackets out of the housings.

6

Remove the brake light switch by carefully prying out the wedge that holds it in place. Set the wedge aside for reinstallation. Using your thumb, gently push the brake light switch into the switch housing. To remove, pull the switch upward while rocking back and forth to work it out of the housing.

7

Place the upper switch assembly and bracket into the new chrome upper housing and align the bracket's mounting hole in with the threaded hole in the housing. Secure with the Phillips screw from the original upper housing.

8

Apply a drop of silicone sealant into the brake light switch's wedge before sliding the brake light switch into the chrome lower switch housing. Secure the switch by slipping the wedge between the switch and the housing. Then, place the lower switch assembly and bracket into the lower chrome housing and align the bracket's mounting hole in with the threaded hole in the housing. Secure with the Phillips screws from the original lower housing.

9

Place the chrome lower housing onto the handlebar and insert the throttle cables into the chrome lower housing. Slide the throttle sleeve into the lower housing's channel and and connect the front throttle cable and fitting to the sleeve. Then connect the rear cable and fitting to the sleeve.

10

Reinstall the upper switch housing and tighten the housing T-2 screws to secure it to the handlebar. Reattach the brake master cylinder and lever to the handlebar and secure by tightening the two T-27 bolts. Finally, tighten the throttle cable adjusters and jam nuts loosely. Adjust the cables until they operate properly and tighten the jam nuts.

Left-Switch Housing

1

Remove the clutch lever assembly by removing the two T-27 screws that secure the clamp to the handlebar. Then, pull the clutch lever assembly away from the handlebar.

2

Remove the T-25 screws that secure the upper and lower switch housings and remove the housings from the handlebar.

3

Remove the Phillips head screws that secure the inner switch assemblies. There is one screw on the upper housing and two on the lower housing. Gently pull the switch assemblies and brackets out of the housings

4

Place the switch assemblies and brackets into the chrome housings and align the bracket's mounting hole with the threaded hole in the housing. Secure with the Phillips screws from the original upper housings.

5

Put the chrome lower housing onto the handlebar, placing the channel in the lower housing over the hand-grip flange. Reinstall the upper switch housing and tighten the housing T-2 screws to secure it to the handlebar. Place the clutch lever assembly onto the handlebar and lightly tighten the handlebar clamp T-25 screws. Adjust the clutch lever to your desired position and secure by tightening the two clamp bolts.

Tips

  • check Do not rush. Rushing the installation will create problems that will take a lot of time to resolve.
  • check If possible, consult a service manual for comprehensive details about this process, throttle cable adjustment specifications and other requirements.
  • check If you are not confident in your ability to complete this project, have the work done by a qualified technician.

Warnings

  • close Ensure that the throttle cables are properly adjusted and operating correctly. Improperly adjusted throttle cables could result in a loss of control and may cause serious injury or death.
  • close Models from 2007 and later are equipped with a clutch interlock switch in the left-switch housing. Before removing the switch, take note of the switch's location and orientation for easier installation in the chrome housing.

Items you will need

About the Author

An avid motorcyclist, Chris Gilliland has immersed himself into the two-wheeled world while balancing work life and raising three daughters. When he is not managing the parts department of a local, multi-line motorcycle dealership, Gilliland can often be found riding, writing or working on his motorcycle blog, Wingman's Garage.

Photo Credits

  • photo_camera Doug Pensinger/Getty Images Sport/Getty Images