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I purchased a 97 Ultra Touring. The previous owner told me the battery was toast and all the lights stopped working. I replaced the battery with new and changed out all the blown bulbs. I also replaced the voltage regulator and a bad circuit breaker. now the electric start works great, most of the lights are working.However the tail lights seem very bright and the brake lights will not operate. I have verified the switch works. i have added an additional wire to ground for the VR and the starter solenoid to eliminate a grounding issue. Should I replace the rectifier attached to the battery box? Is the sounding like a stator issue? Or a defective VR? Any advise would be helpful
 

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It sounds like to me that the tail light signal is working the brake light part of the bulb. Check the socket for internal corrosion. You should also be able to get voltage to ground on both pins of the socket using a test light or VOM.
 

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If the taillight is the 1157 type it could be installed 180 degrees out. Thus the tail light works the brake light element. The older the socket the easier it is to do. I've done it. Worth a look.
 
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