'69 Horn Question - Team Camaro Tech
Electrical & Wiring Troubleshooting electrical.

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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 03, 02:25 PM Thread Starter
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I've got a question about the horns on my
'69 Camaro. First off the horns do not work.
I took off the horns and hooked a wire on each one seperately from the connector on the horn to the positive battery terminal, then grounded the horn to the negative side of the battery and no sound. I got a new repro set of horns and decided to try them before mounting them and they don't work either when hooked up the same. Is this the correct way to test the horns, or do I have to go through the horn relay to check them? Also, when I hook a test light into the green wire on the drivers side horn and clip the other end of the test light to a ground and push my steering wheel horn button, I don't get any light. What's up with this? Looks like a new horn relay was already installed. HELP!! Thanks! Bill

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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 03, 02:52 PM
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When you press the horn button on the steering wheel without the horns hooked up, do you hear the horn relay clicking in and out?, if not check your relay or horn switch wiring...don't know why the new ones don't work directing to the battery thou, make sure the negative is correctly grounded to the horn body, maybe paint on the horn is the problem...good luck... Mike
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 03, 03:28 PM Thread Starter
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I just took my steering wheel apart and made sure the push buttons are making a good connection. When I push either button, there is no sound at the relay. How can I check the relay? The red wire on my horn relay has power (test light). I unplugged the black wire and put a test light on that one with the other end of the light grounded and when I push the horn buttons, still no light there. I did the same with the green wire on the relay and still no light there either. Now what? Thanks! Bill
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 7th, 03, 03:36 PM
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Bill, If I had my car here, I would check for you, it's at the bodyshop, maybe someone else has a wiring diagram for the horn circut or can check...good luck, I sure it's something simple...Mike
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 02:21 AM Thread Starter
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Anyone else have any idea of where to start to determine the problem and get these horns working. How can I check my relay? Thanks! Bill

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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 05:08 AM
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On the testing procedure, will just touching the car battery terminals set them off? Is there any chance of harming them that way?

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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 09:32 AM
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Don't have a schematic but believe that relay also has the key minder wire coming into it. If it does the wiring should be (I hope the colors are right).
Red - relay coil (+)
Green - horn output
Small black - relay coil (-)
Small black w/stripe - key minder wire.
Small black goes to the horn button and gets grounded. If you ground this terminal under the hood, to a good chassis ground, the relay should "click" and close the contacts.

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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 12:39 PM Thread Starter
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I'm sorry for this long read but I really don't understand how this all works. What is the horn relay for, why is it there and how does it work?
Here's a description of the wiring on my horn relay. I've done the testing below with a test light.
There are 2 screw on connections:
The one on the outside looks to be red and one on the inside looks to be (dirty)black. These 2 wires are hot at all times.(Test Light)

There is a double(side by side)push on connector:
The outside one has a green wire and it's NOT hot with or without pushing the horn button (I know this wire goes to the horns)
The inside one looks to be black and it's NOT hot with or without pushing the horn button.

There is a single push on connector:
This one has a red wire and the connection (with wire disconnected)is hot all the time.

The horn relay looks to be new and so does the voltage regulator. Hooked onto the side of the voltage regulator is a small cylinder
(looks lke a resistor) (pretty old looking) and it has a wire coming out of the top plugging into the top of the voltage regulator. What is this?
Maybe I'm making this harder than it is. Inside my horn shroud there are 2 buttons (one on each side). One has a white wire and the other one has a black wire. Those 2 wires splice together into a plastic piece that hooks into the column with a spring under it. I took all of this apart and cleaned all of the terminals and put it back together. Neither of these horn button wires were hot. My old horns were nasty looking and to test them (off the car), I hooked a wire to the horn connector and ran it to the positive side of the battery. I took a ground wire, hooked it to the horn mounting bracket and ran it to the negative side of the battery and nothing happened. I tried this with both horns, so I determined that they are both bad (correct). I went to Auto Zone and picked up a cheap set of horns just to help me get things working. I decided to check those horns before I installed them. I checked them the same way and nothing. Now I'm stumped. Please help!! Thanks! Bill
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 01:11 PM
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This may sound silly, but is there any chance of your battery being dead?
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 01:32 PM Thread Starter
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The battery is new and fully charged. I wish it were so easy. Thanks! Bill
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post #11 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 04:04 PM
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I'm stumped too Bill, I tested three horns tonight using your same testing method, and I get nothing either. We must be doing something wrong, are horns that complicated? HELP!

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post #12 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 04:13 PM Thread Starter
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Anybody know how to properly test a horn with a battery? Evidently Not Me!!

[This message has been edited by redlines4us (edited 01-08-2003).]
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post #13 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 04:16 PM
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Hey guys when I tested my horns, I removed them from the car put them in a vise and used my 12volt battery charger, positive to the male spade and ground to an unpainted part of the horn case...worked for me. Direct to the battery, It should work also, or maybe I'm missing something. Mike
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post #14 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 8th, 03, 05:37 PM Thread Starter
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That's how I did it only I used a new battery and I did check the battery and it's fully charged. I checked 2 new horns and 2 old horns and none of the 4 even made a sound. Something wrong here!!
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post #15 of 40 (permalink) Old Jan 9th, 03, 05:10 AM
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"'m sorry for this long read but I really don't understand how this all works. What is the horn relay for, why is it there"

Because the horn takes a large amount of current to operate, it is better to switch it with a relay instead of a switch.
1, If the horn button (a switch) was the only think that switched the horn, the horn button switch would require very large contacts to operate.
2, If the horn button (a switch) was the only think that switched the horn, the wires to the horn button switch would have to be the size of the large green wire to operate.
3, It is safer to switch ground, on the horn button, than a large current 12 volt line.
4, It's easier to run small wire up the column instead of a larger gage wire.
Using a relay makes good sense for the application.

"and how does it work?"

It works by running the large current load through the contacts of the relay. Relay unenergized, the contacts are open-no horn sound. Relay energized, the contacts close-horn blows. Applying power to the relay coil closes the relay. The coil needs 12 volts on one end and ground on the other end to close the relay. One side, the 12 volt side, is tied to the terminal where the red wire goes. This side of the coil always has 12 volts on it. The other side of the coil is the black wire that goes to the horn button. When you push on the horn button, the button grounds the black wire. When the black wire is grounded, the coil gets grounded, coil is energized, closes the relay contacts, makes the horn work.

Bottom line, you need two things to make the relay close. Without the horn attached it makes a slight "click" sound. You need the red wire with 12 volts. You need to ground the terminal where the horn button black wire goes to. Any clean spot on the frame will work. This is the same as pushing the horn button.
The relay red wire is also attached (inside) to one of the relay contacts. When the relay "clicks" and closes, 12 volts from the red wire goes through the relay contacts and out the green wire.

The voltage regulator has nothing to do with the horn.


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