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Technical difficulties on how I uploaded images. Please log in as member to view images until I can fix this. 1/27/17
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C0161 ABS Brake circuit malfunction per code reader via OBDII port (note: some autoparts stores only read "P" codes. Make sure they can read "C" codes as well). Stabilitrak, traction control error presented on DIC. Usually not a CEL on dash.

Physically noted failure features: Tail brake lights continuously on (they shut off when car is turned off -- ignition must be on to detect condition). Car can shift out of park without pressing brake pedal. Car not able to take out of park. This condition will disable cruise control and park assist.

For Acadia, Enclave Outlook Traverse.

Common fix is to replace and recalibrate Brake Pedal Position Sensor (BPPS). I believe most conditions do not require replacement at this point in the lifecycle of our vehicles, just a slight mechanical adjustment.

I had this failure on my 2009 Enclave around 110K intermittently until I corrected it this week at 116K at not cost. The stabilitrak/traction control first began appearing over rough roads and going up hill. Didn't occur for each drive cycle. Each time the car was turned off, the DIC would reset. Over time it became progressively worse.

Researched posts on the Lambda forums here where VWTodd replaced 4-5 BPPS's (outlookforum.net & acadiaforum.net). The first was installed by the dealer and potentially not calibrated. VW since has replaced 3-4 more himself. He' reported the failure at about 9-12 month increment. Odd There would be so many.

The theory is tolerance slop from the pedal to the BPPS increases over time with wear. That changes the set point (starting point) of the calibrated BPPS. So as our car would go up hill and/or ride rough roads, the BPPS set point (point at which pressing the brake pedal turns on the brake lights) was on the edge of calibration adjustment and would momentarily set off the c0161 from pedal play in our case. This makes the car think you are driving with one foot on the gas and the other on the brake simultaneously. Don't be surprised if you are asked the two footed driver question. Its in the GM troubleshooting process. If they put you down about it, go someplace else.

I measured ~ .015" of wear between the mating surfaces of the BPPS and brake pedal. That doesn't sound like much, but the BPPS fork does not turn that much either. The BPPS fork is glass filled plastic which sands down the cast brake pedal. The pedal wears faster than the BPPS plastic. As well as the wearing down at the pivot point of the cast brake pedal. I believe this accounts for folks replacing their BBPS wo calibration earning P0161 again so quickly.

My guess is when most folks have BPPS failure, its mechanical, not electrical. The BPPS is a variable resistor, potential, volume control type of device. I've located EBCM and BPPS troubleshooting guides posted below. After you read these procedures, you might as well buy the part for the $15-25 bucks if you think the switch has an electrical malfunction.

The first logical choice is to recalibrate and existing part in place. This requires someone with the GM tech II tool (for the earlier models) to recal. I called two local dealers for pricing. One was $120, the other $260 to install a new BPPS and recal. A local shop thought they could recalibrate if I brought the car in for ~$65. So it seems possible other devices like the Snap-on Solo, as someone reported, can calibrate the sensor.

I modified the mounting position on my BPPS where I guessed the slop due to wear and rotated the BPPS to account for it. I'm using my original factory installed 116k BPPS, but just rotated it. I don't know the chart profile of the calibration of the BPPS. I assume my sensor is still within cal to whatever table is required and I just readjusted the start point so it works correctly again.

The below modification will save you about $120 and a trip to a shop w a calibration tool.


The BPPS sensor for my 2009 is p/n 25913321 (see first picture below). You'll have to check if this part number is valid for your year if you decided to replace. I did not replace this new part. I bought it before I got into the project.

The second picture shows the part in position on the brake pedal assembly (Second picture, part had fatory green paint on it is the BPPS). Remove the connector. (Now view Third picture) My thumb is touching the 7mm bolt that must be removed and my finger is on the plastic boss. Note my boss is already modified and is noticeably smaller than the hole it fits into. My boss is already moved into its new position to allow my vehicle's brake lights to function properly. Yours should be an interference fit at this time (unmodified), filling the hole in the metal completely. Then pull off the sensor noting how the fork fits inside the pedal post before you do. (Note: I turned the key on (engine off), pressed the brake pedal until the tail brake lamps came on and measured (pedal to floor distance) ~ 1/4"' Do this before you remove the sensor. Keep in mind, mine was not a hard failure. It was intermittent. So my brake lights were not always on. If your brakes are on already, try pulling the pedal up while watching the BPPS forks move below to get an idea of the slop you'll need to remove.)
 

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Discussion Starter #2
This first image shows where the BBPS forks interact with the brake pedal post. Inspect for wear on parts shown at point of pencil.

The second image shows the groove worn into the backside of the pedal post from the BBPS fork. Backside is shown in mirror. Note the lines scratched into the metal from the plastic. Then note how much of the fork is worn off on your assembly. This is why I believe early failures for the BPPS, C0161 code is mostly mechanical. To fix it, you'd replace the pedal, not the BPPS. Not a practical solution.


MODIFICATION
The third image below shows where I filed down the bottom portion of the BPPS boss. You need to file the sides a little as well to give is some slop in the brake bracket hole. Suggest doing this in baby steps, reinstall and test. This is the part where everyone says do this at your own risk. Once you modify the boss or remove it, the force of the 7mm bolt is all that holds the BPPS in position. However, note slop in the 7mm portion of the assembly that already exists. You could also place double sticky tape or some glue on the backside of the BPPS if you feel necessary.


INSTALLATION
Reinstall in reverse order of installation:
1 Place BPPS into position w fork inside pedal boss
2 twist BPPS CCW about the 7mm bolt and BPPS boss as viewed per the 4th picture below with your hand. This will allow the BPPS to rotate from its original mounting position to put a little more pressure on the fork spring (takes up the slop from wear)'
3 Holding BPPS in position with CCW hand twisting force, tighten 7mm bolt to 37 inch-pounds. Over tightening can pull out the threaded brass insert out of the BPPS plastic. The new part I ordered came with a new 7mm bolt. It has Loctite on it. Assume GM would use Loctite if reinstalling the bolt.
4 Install connector

TESTING:
turn ignition on - engine not running. I pressed the brake pedal down until I got the slop out of the pedal assembly. In my case, it took about 1/4-3/8" of depression to feel the first hint of pedal resistance. Then I pushed another ~1/4-3/8" and I could feel another point of increased resistance. I stopped there. I think this second point was the slop in the master cylinder and hydraulics. Once I hit what I felt was the hydaulic system (second resistance point), I pushed another 1/8" and set my BPPS there to activate my brake tail lamps. I figured that's about how hard I tap the pedal to turn off the cruise on the highway. I wanted just enough resistance in the pedal to ensure rough roads would not jiggle the pedal to flicker my brakes. But not too much to put the system out of wack. This adjustment is your call. If you are not comfortable, then have your dealer calibrate it. This is at your own risk.

PRE EMPTIVE MEASURE:
For those of you who haven't had a c0161 yet and did not modify the BPPS boss, Id loosen the 7mm bolt and twist the BPPS CCW per 4th picture. Retighten. This will take out the manufacturing slop with the 7mm bolt and keep you to OEM installation specs. Then grease the fork at the point it rubs with the pedal post first picture for extended life. In my case, there was no slop on the plastic post coming from the BPPS. but the 7mm bolt allowed some play.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
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Post from Black02Silverado on www.truckmodcentral.com "Service stabilitrac / Service traction control"
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MS3DALE helped me out with researching the C0161 code. He sent me this info.

xTooltipElement
Service Information


2011 GMC Truck Acadia - 2WD | Acadia, Enclave, Traverse VIN R/V Service Manual | Document ID: 1875073
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DTC C0161
Diagnostic Instructions
• Perform the Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle prior to using this diagnostic procedure.
• Review Strategy Based Diagnosis for an overview of the diagnostic approach.
• Diagnostic Procedure Instructions provides an overview of each diagnostic category.
DTC Descriptor
DTC C0161 00
ABS Brake Switch Circuit
Circuit/System Description
The electronic brake control module (EBCM) monitors the brake pressure sensor voltage, vehicle speed, and a serial data message from the body control module (BCM) that the brake pedal is either Applied or Released. When the vehicle is stopping the EBCM detects the brake pressure sensor voltage increases and correlates the readings to the serial data message from the BCM that the brake pedal is applied, and the vehicle is slowing down, or when the vehicle is accelerating, the brake pedal is Released and brake pressure sensor voltage returns to 0 volts.
Conditions for Running the DTC
• The ignition is ON.
• The vehicle speed is greater than (7 MPH).
Conditions for Setting the DTC
• The EBCM detects the vehicle speed reduces, the brake is released and the brake pressure sensor senses an increase in pressure.
• The EBCM detects the vehicle speed is greater than (7 MPH), the brake pedal is applied for 60 seconds, and the brake pressure detects pressure less than the set value.
Action Taken When the DTC Sets
• A driver information center message and/or a warning indicator may be displayed.
• The EBCM disables the ABS, the traction control and the vehicle stability enhancement system for the duration of the ignition cycle.
Conditions for Clearing the DTC
• The condition for the DTC is no longer present.
• The EBCM clears the history DTC when a current DTC is not detected in 40 consecutive drive cycles.
Note: During normal diagnostic and/or repair verification technicians may find that the ABS, Traction Control and/or Stability indicators may be ON with NO DTCs displayed by the EBCM. Do not replace the EBCM for this condition.
If the ABS, Traction Control and/or Stability indicators are ON with no DTCs set, perform the following steps:
1. Remove the key from the ignition, open and close the driver's door to turn off retained accessory power (RAP), and wait 60 seconds.
2. Ignition ON, if the ABS, Traction Control and/or Stability indicators are still illuminated, operate the vehicle at speeds greater than 16 km/h (10 MPH) to complete the self test. The EBCM should request all indicators to turn OFF.
3. If the indicators remain ON with no DTCs set after the drive cycle, disconnect the battery for at least 60 seconds then reconnect the battery.
4. Operate the vehicle at speeds greater than (25 MPH), the EBCM should request all indicators to turn OFF.
Diagnostic Aids
• C0161 can set if the brake is applied while accelerating.
• C0161 will be set if the brake is applied for 60 seconds while at speeds greater than (6 MPH), such as a two footed driving.
Reference Information
Schematic Reference
• Antilock Brake System Schematics
• Exterior Lights Schematics
Connector End View Reference
Component Connector End Views
Description and Operation
ABS Description and Operation
Electrical Information Reference
• Circuit Testing
• Connector Repairs
• Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections
• Wiring Repairs
Scan Tool Reference
Control Module References for scan tool information
Circuit/System Verification
Note: If the ABS, and/or Traction Control indicators are ON with DTC C0161 set in history, perform the conditions for clearing the DTC and inform the customer that two footed driving set this DTC.
1. Ignition ON.
2. Verify the stop lamps turn ON/OFF while pressing and releasing the brake pedal.
o If the stop lamps do not turn ON/OFF
Refer to Symptoms - Lighting.
o If the stop lamps turn ON/OFF
3. Refer to diagnostic aids.



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Black02Silverado also posted on Truckmodcontral.com " Service Stabilitrac / Service traction control"
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Here is more info on diagnostics.

xTooltipElement
Service Information


2011 GMC Truck Acadia - 2WD | Acadia, Enclave, Traverse VIN R/V Service Manual | Document ID: 1911107
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Stop Lamps Malfunction
Diagnostic Instructions
• Perform the Diagnostic System Check - Vehicle prior to using this diagnostic procedure.
• Review Strategy Based Diagnosis for an overview of the diagnostic approach.
• Diagnostic Procedure Instructions provides an overview of each diagnostic category.
Diagnostic Fault Information
Circuit Short to Ground Open/High Resistance Short to Voltage Signal Performance
Brake Position Sensor 5 V Reference C0277 06, C0890 03 C0277 06 C0277 06, C0890 07 —
Stop Lamp Switch Signal C0277 06 C0277 06 C0277 07 C0277 09, C0277 4B
Brake Position Sensor Low Reference — C0277 06 — —
CHMSL Control B3445 00 3 4 —
Center High Mounted Stop Lamp (CHMSL) Ground — 3 — —
Stop Lamp Control 1 1 2 —
Stop/Turn Lamp Ground — 1 — —
1. Stop/Turn Lamp Inoperative
2. Stop/Turn Lamp Always ON
3. Center High Mounted Stop Lamp Inoperative
4. Center High Mounted Stop Lamp Always ON
Circuit/System Description
The brake pedal position sensor is used to sense the action of the driver application of the brake pedal. The brake pedal position sensor provides an analog voltage signal that will increase as the brake pedal is applied. The body control module (BCM) provides a low reference signal and a 5 V reference voltage to the brake pedal position sensor. When the variable signal reaches a voltage threshold indicating the brakes have been applied, the BCM will apply B+ to the stop lamps, center high mounted stop lamp (CHMSL), transmission control module (TCM), and engine control module (ECM). The stop lamps will not operate unless the ignition is in the ON position.
Reference Information
Schematic Reference
Exterior Lights Schematics
Connector End View Reference
Component Connector End Views
Description and Operation
Exterior Lighting Systems Description and Operation
Electrical Information Reference
• Circuit Testing
• Connector Repairs
• Testing for Intermittent Conditions and Poor Connections
• Wiring Repairs
Scan Tool Reference
Control Module References for scan tool information
Circuit/System Verification
1. Ignition ON, observe the scan tool BPP Sensor parameter while applying and releasing the brake pedal. The parameter should change between low counts and high counts when changing between the selected states.
o If the parameter does not change between the selected states, refer to the Brake Pedal Position Sensor Malfunction.
2. Observe the left and right stop lamps while pressing and releasing the brake pedal. The stop lamps should turn ON and OFF when changing between the selected states.
o If the left or right stop lamps do not change between the selected states, refer to the Stop Lamp Malfunction.
3. Observe the center high mount stop lamp while pressing and releasing the brake pedal. The center high mount stop lamp should turn ON/OFF when changing between the selected states.
o If the center high mount stop lamp does not change between the selected states, refer to Center High Mount Stop Lamp Malfunction.
Circuit/System Testing
Brake Pedal Position Sensor Malfunction
1. Ignition OFF, disconnect the harness connector at the brake pedal position sensor.
2. Ignition OFF, test for less than 5 Ω between the low reference circuit terminal C and ground.
o If greater than the specified range, test the low reference circuit for an open/high resistance. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
3. Ignition ON, test for 4.8–5.2 V between the 5 V reference circuit terminal A and ground.
o If less than the specified range, test the 5 V reference circuit for a short to ground or an open/high resistance. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
o If greater than the specified range, test the 5 V reference circuit for a short to voltage. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
4. Test for less than 0.3 V between the signal circuit terminal B and ground.
o If greater than the specified range, test the signal circuit for a short to voltage. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
5. Test for 4.8–5.2 V between the 5 V reference circuit terminal A and the signal circuit terminal B.
o If less than the specified range, test the signal circuit for an open/high resistance. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
6. If all circuits test normal, test or replace the brake pedal position sensor.
Stop Lamp Malfunction
1. Ignition OFF, disconnect the harness connector at the appropriate tail lamp.
2. Test for less than 5.0 Ω between the ground circuit terminal listed below and ground:
o With RPO Z88 – terminal D
o Without RPO Z88 – terminal B
o If greater than the specified range, test the ground circuit for an open/high resistance.
3. Connect a test lamp between the control circuit terminal listed below and ground:
o With RPO Z88 – terminal E
o Without RPO Z88 – terminal A
4. Ignition ON, press and release the brake pedal. The test lamp should turn ON and OFF when changing between the selected states.
o If the test lamp is always ON, test the control circuit for a short to voltage.
o If the test lamp is always OFF, test the control circuit for a short to ground or an open/high resistance.
5. If all circuits test normal, test or replace the tail lamp.
Center High Mount Stop Lamp Malfunction
1. Ignition OFF, disconnect the harness connector at the center high mounted stop lamp.
2. Test for less than 5 Ω between the ground circuit terminal 1 and ground.
o If greater than the specified value, test the ground circuit for an open/high resistance.
3. Connect a test lamp between the control circuit terminal 2 and ground.
4. Ignition ON, press and release the brake pedal. The test lamp should turn ON and OFF when changing between the selected states.
o If the test lamp is always ON, test the control circuit for a short to voltage. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
o If the test lamp is always OFF, test the control circuit for a short to ground or an open/high resistance. If the circuit tests normal, replace the BCM.
5. If all circuits test normal, test or replace the center high mounted stop lamp.
Repair Instructions
Perform the Diagnostic Repair Verification after completing the diagnostic procedure.
• Brake Pedal Position Sensor Replacement
• High Mount Stop Lamp Replacement
• Tail Lamp Replacement
• Control Module References for BCM replacement, programming and setup


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From IS973800 on Traverseforum.net on calibrating BPPS sensor "Service stabilitrac / service traction control" (assuming using a Tech II tool??)
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Brake Pedal Position Sensor Calibration

Calibration Criteria

Important: Do not apply the brake pedal during the brake pedal position sensor calibration procedure. Any movement of the brake pedal during this procedure will cause the calibration procedure to fail. If this occurs, the brake pedal position sensor (BPPS) calibration must be repeated.

Brake pedal position sensor calibration must be performed after the brake pedal position sensor or body control module (BCM) have been serviced. The calibration procedure will set the brake pedal position sensor home value. This value is used by the BCM to determine the action of the driver applying the brake system and to provide this information to the vehicle subsystems via the GMLAN communication bus.

Calibration Procedure

Apply the parking brake.
Place the transmission in the PARK position.
Install a scan tool.
Clear all BCM DTCs before proceeding.
Navigate to the Vehicle Control Systems menu.
Select Module Setup menu item.
Select BCM menu item.
Select the BPP Sensor Calibration procedure and follow the directions displayed on the screen.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Our Enclaves at 131k now. The brake sensor mod is working great. So as those moving parts wear, enlarge the mounting holes and readjust your original sensor to compensate for wear. I'd only replace the sensor if it electrically fails. Then you have to pay for the recalibration as well at that time
 

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C0161 intermitten returning condition. Brake circuit failure is BACKKK...

We're at 136K. Over the past couple of thousand miles the abs light might come on and or w or w/0 stabilitrack warning.

I put the car in the garage a few months ago when my wife reported this and pressed the break pedal down about 1/4 - 1/3" before the rear brake lights would illuminate. This proves to me my adjustment was still good from before. Still have to press the pedal down to take up the freeplay, then press a bid more until the tail light brakes would come on. so I can rule out running over bumps on road causing brake pedal to rattle about bushings and set off condition while highway driving.

Last night I finally installed the new BPPS I bought when I first did this mod. I modded the plastic on the new BPPS to match what I did to the old original one and installed it. I rotated the new BPPS to take up the slack as describbed in previous posted.

I did not take it in to calibrate. Going to punt on this one and not pay the $130 plus my time at the dealership and see what happens

Day one and no reoccuring DIC lights. I did not clear the OBD codes yet. Only code present is C0161. Just going to leave it. She would get the DIC lights every day in the past.

I'm not claiming victory yet.

My theory is the piezoid portion of the BPPS is getting worn out at the position of when the brake pedal is in the rest state. I've noticed theres a lot of free play in my pedal. I'm sure it moves around during rough road conditions. Thinking the constant moving of the brake pedal arm is slightly moving the BPPS peizoid (sorry for spelling) and is wearing that spot.

Others have posted replacing BPPS w/o calibrations w/ success.

I'll report back in a week or so.

Thinking the BPPS is electrically wearing out as well as wearing the deep groove in the aluminum brake pedal arm as depicted in the previous posts. Going to add grease to that spot.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Been several days now after replacing the BPPS - uncalibrated. No stabilitrac abs,.. lights ect.... I did not reset the ECM so the C0161 code was still present, but assuming it will clear out now. I clocked the brake pedal sensor so it comes on after depressing pedal ~1/4-1/3".

Claiming victory at the moment. My wife said it would come on daily, if not multiple times a day before I changed it out.

Believe there are now 2 common failure conditions. 1) break petal casting wear at BPPS fork slides against it and 2) the switch just wearing out. Believe as stated above where the loose brake petal vibrates under normal driving and it micro wears the potentiometer inside the plastic cylinder of the BPPS at the position the pedal is at rest.

My opinion.

Hope this helps someone else out there.
 

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My 2014 Acadia is experiencing the same problem. after traction control was turned off, it could brake itself. you could feel the car jerking. really scary.
 

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One question and one alternate to the enlarging of the bolt hole.

First. the question: Is there a replaceable bushing on the brake pedal assembly, and if so, is the wear on this bushing the reason for the bpps falling out of calibration. Of course, the pin that thw forks of the bpps rest on will show a bit of wear, but i think this would be potentially less slop than a worn bushing.

2. Rather than file open the bolt hole, I chose to place a piece of aquarium air tubing over the top tine of the fork. This effectively changed the set point of the bpps without needing to drill or file through metal. I dropped a length of the tubing in hot water, then stretched the inside a bit using needle nose pliers. Then, i slipped the tubing over the top tine of the bpps fork. The thickness of the hose raises the set point of the fork slightly, to account for any wear or bushing slop. Enlarging the hole to rotate the bpps is probably a better solution, but using the tubing (or perhaps some tape) is quicker and effectively gives the same result.

I would expect the tubing to wear out over time, so it would need to be replaced periodically, or greased at the contact point.
 

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Now I see that you filed the pin on the BPPS rather than enlarge the bolt hole. I needed to take a closer look at your pictures... I will try that if my air tube fix fails.
 

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Here's the free definitive fix! Don't file the switch or even take it undone. Problem can be repaired in place. The metal dowel to the BPPS is welded to a metal flat bar that travels up the brake pedal and around the pedal pivot point. At the top of the metal bar (just above the brake switch, there is a hole in the bar at the top tab. Simply insert a driver or metal bit into the hole, pointing upwards at about a 60 degree angle and bend the tab forward (towards the driver's seat) until the dowel engages the BPPS. I followed all the dealer service bulletin advice - throttle body replaced, 3 BPPS replacements, new vehicle speed sensors at the front wheel bearing reluctors, calibrations, almost replaced the yaw accelerometer, etc. Nothing worked. Over years of use, the tab had moved backwards. Bending the metal tab on the brake pedal dowel arm solved everything - no more "service stabilitrac," "traction control off," Service ABS," cruise control problems, limp mode, etc. Brake lights were coming on at 6 second intervals each time the pedal was released. All brake lights now work at the proper time. I am a certified master mechanic automotive instructor and own an Acadia, an Equinox, and a Yukon. This problem was driving me out of my mind. It took about an hour of staring at the brake pedal to realize the problem. I couldn't see the forest for the trees!
 

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(y)Thank you for that insight. Of course there are several sensors which may generate the Stabilitrac / Traction control messages. This is one of the easiest possible fix and it is free.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Glad to see improvements to this post. I've been offline since 2017. I have the 2009 CLX model. Now at 167K

My fix via filing the BPPS boss and reclocking is still good.

AcadiaTom: understand using the tube as a sleeve over one of the BPPS forks. Thats another way. I'll bet theres a bushing on the brake pedal. I tried looking, but my plastic cover trim is on.

RMM, Glad to see you have an easy fix in 1/10 the time it took me to explain mine. The 2009 brake pedal is cast aluminum The boss/post protruding from mine that sits between the BPPS forks I think would break if I tried to bent it. see 1145.jpeg post #2 w pencil pointing to it. What year is yours? Do we have same configuration? Am I understanding the same part you are referring to? Or are you bending the bracket in post#2 1147.jpeg w the 2 bolts in it?
 

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Mine is a 2008. I tried to move my sensor by filing the plastic bpps switch to take up the slop from the wear in the master cylinder and push rod
I thought the dowel had to touch the top fork tine. It seemed logical. But that made my problem worse. By bending the tab on the top of the bar above the sensor forks, it caused the dowel to move downwards and contact the bottom fork tine. That solved the problem. I saved my filed sensor and I tried the plastic straw on the fork top tine. I even added a return spring to force the brake pedal up to remove the excess Freeplay. My wife hated the extra tension on the pedal. I removed everything and started from scratch with a new bpps switch. That's when I stared at it for an hour and figured it out. The dowel had to move down, not up. Bending the tab solved everything. I wouldn't have gotten there without trying your method first. It was definitely due to wear causing play in the pedal. You nailed that part!
 
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