Need Horn help - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

 
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 09, 06:14 PM Thread Starter
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John
 
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Need Horn help

My horn on my 68 has always worked intermittantly. Sometimes I would have to hit the horn button a couple times but it would eventually sound off.

Yesterday, someone cut me off and I went to honk the horn at them, but I got nothing. After hitting it a couple times, I noticed a burning smell that seemed to come from the steering column. I thought that was my horn button so I bought a new one and that wasn't it. I didn't realise that there really isn't anything electronic in the horn button assembly.

So here's my question, what kind of electronics are in the steering column for the horn that could possibly have shorted out? I don't have a steering wheel puller so I haven't been able to take a look.

Thanks in advance!
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 09, 09:54 PM
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Larry
 
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Re: Need Horn help

Your steering column has wiring that plugs in near the bottom to operate the blinkers, flashers and horn (relay). When you push the horn button it completes the circuit to operate your horn relay which supplies voltage to the horns. You need to get the wheel off to check. After removing the nut on the shaft you might be able to get the steering wheel off by gently rocking it back and forth, it worked for me. Its been one there a while, a little PB blaster might help.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 09, 05:58 AM
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Re: Need Horn help

Your steering wheel hub is a tapered fit to the steering column steering shaft. The best way to get it off is to borrow or purchase a steering wheel hub puller. I have seen them so tight that you could never get them off by hand. BTW you could damage the upper column bearing by trying to rock the wheel back and forth to get if off.

This might help to diagnose the problem. Horn operation has been pretty generic for a great number of years.

There are three basic areas that can cause your horns to not operate: 1) the horns themselves; 2) the horn relay/key buzzer; 3) the horn circuit in the steering column and steering wheel parts.

From your description it pretty much has to be in the steering column.

Horn System Wiring - The steering column has a curved connector (1967-68) or a flat (harmonica) wiring connecter (1969 and up) that connects it to the vehicle instrument panel electrical harness. All of the wires in the connector extend up into the steering column and connect directly to the turn signal switch in the column head.

The last wire in the steering column connector is a black one. Next to it is a pink wire. The next wire (the third one) is another black wire and is the horn ground. When you press the horn button there should be continuity from the third wire all the way to the lower end of the steering column steering shaft and across the flexible coupling to the flange that mounts to the steering gear input shaft. If not, the problem is somewhere within the steering column, flexible coupling, or steering wheel horn parts themselves.

Steering Column Wiring - Remove the steering wheel and hub. There should be continuity from that third black wire up to the spring loaded eyelet plunger sticking up out of the steering column (or out of the turn signal switch). If not, the problem is within the steering column itself. Also, you should NOT have continuity from the end of the black wire to any other metal part of the steering column itself. This would indicate a direct short to ground somewhere in the steering column.

The plunger extends out of the cancelling cam tower and should touch the horn button upper contact that is part of the steering wheel and hub. The plunger consists of a spring, a pin (called an eyelet), and a plastic bushing (called an insulator). The spring fits into the tower first, then the eyelet (upset end first) then the insulator is a press fit or you will need to rotate it so that it cams into the end of the tower and retains the spring and eyelet.

Common Problem – Horn Continues to Blow
Both the standard columns and the tilt columns from 1967 and up have their turn signal levers attached to the steering column switch by a single screw. This screw can loosen, back out, and ground the horn circuit. You will need to remove the steering wheel and hub. On 1969 and later columns you will have to rotate the steering shaft so that a hole in the locking plate aligns with the turn signal lever screw. Retighten it.

If your horn honks intermittently or honks on its own, you need to look for a location that is grounding incorrectly. Look for a chaffed wire extending up from the lower plastic connector up to the turn signal switch. Could that wire have a bare spot that might be rubbing against a metal column part? Inspect the upper horn contact (the part that the horn cap connects to). It should be held together with plastic rivets and should be spring loaded internally to prevent continuity across the contact unless it is depressed. Are the rivets broken or the spring fatigued?

Jim
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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 09, 07:56 AM
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Re: Need Horn help

There is nothing in the column that should short out and cause anything to burn in the horn circuit inside the column. The horn button provides a ground for the horn relay to activate the horns. As you could imagine, the worst that could happen is the horn wire gets grounded and the horns sound all the time.

I suspect something is miswired at the horn relay and when you pressed the button, instead of grounding/activating the horn relay, something provided a direct high current short to ground.

Start at the horn relay itself. Make sure it's wired properly.

Dave
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 09, 09:48 AM Thread Starter
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John
 
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Re: Need Horn help

Thank you guys!!!! I fixed it. I pulled the wheel and didn't find anything unusual other than the copper stud's spring was fully compressed and not making good contact with the horn button assembly. I stretched it out so that it made better contact but still no horn. When I touched a wire from the copper contact the steering column I got a spark, but no horn.

So, I went off to Autozone and bought their $25 horn relay. Wired it up and voila!!!! I have a working horn!!!!

Thank you so much for your help! I really appreciate it.
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 7th, 09, 01:17 PM
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Alan
 
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Re: Need Horn help

Yeah, but what was the burning smell?

alan
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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 8th, 09, 06:01 AM
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Re: Need Horn help

His rage from being cut off in traffic.

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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 8th, 09, 06:40 AM Thread Starter
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John
 
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Re: Need Horn help

Beats me.... maybe it was just the sparks from a bad connection in the horn assembly. They were a bit corroded. Other than that Ihave no idea.... I have had quite a few electrical issues since I bought the car in April so I'm not even going to worry about it now... :-)
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old Nov 8th, 09, 06:12 PM
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Alan
 
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Re: Need Horn help

Hmmm, might be worth checking the wiring in the column. A short could cause some REAL problems with the car!!! You might even consider disconnecting the battery until you are sure.

alan
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