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Brianbuick

55 Buick Horn wiring problem

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It ain't over yet, we haven't heard from the OP about what he found to be the cause of his horn blowing all the time, have we? There is still alot of beer on the table.

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Like Tx. John said previously, my pics above will fix a non-blowing horn AND this will happen very often in 55's. BUT with that said, I am veering more and more to the relay for the constant blowing.

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So this reminds me of a story - in the early 70s I was sitting in my Buick as a kid during a visit to my grandparents. Pap kept it in the shed, up in the air on blocks to preserve it (long story). I remember my dad pulling up with his 70 Cutlass (that was a cool car), we jump started the Buick as we did every visit, got it warmed up, and I proceeded to whip the steering wheel left and right (just because it was mindlessly fun) and suddenly, the horn started blowing. And blowing, and blowing. And anyone who had a 55 Buick back then in a shed in an alley in an old Pennsylvania coal town heard that car horn blow for blocks and they knew just where it was coming from because it was WAY LOUD. And the heads stuck out of kitchen windows and doors opened and there was the Buick ceremoniously honking away in all her glory full of dust in paps shed. My dad frantically yanked the wires at the relay to shut it off, but back then when wires were properly attached they did not yank off, rather they stayed put. As they should. Frustrated, they searched for a screwdriver and minutes seemed like hours while they yelled at each other and waved their hands in a language fit for the moment. Seems they argued about why they couldn't turn it off, while I decided it was vital to ensure the windshield wipers still worked, which they did, smartly wiping the dust from the windshield so a better view of the ruckus could be had.

When I took the car to college, I had one of those slap switches under the dash. What a pain. 30 years later, I finally took it apart, found the sleeve ripped and bushing loose. Took the bushing to a hardware store just as discussed here and matched up a fitting nicely. What I could never figure out was that brass sleeve was so darn thin and it just seemed to tear - made no sense.

One things for sure - the copper fitting WILL last! I'm in this one for the beer, buds and stories :D

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)

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Oh Oh. Augers for Willy's relay being the culprit. But, I'm sticking to my story. The sleeves didn't actually tear. They are stress cracks from the forming process. Some will crack just sitting in the box..........Bob

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Wow - crack just sitting in the box. Stress makes more sense than a tear.

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This is true, Bob. I found an NOS one a long time ago (when Buick Farm still had stuff). Probably late 90's. It had stress cracks in it then. I still have the box, but don't know where the piece went.

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The sleeves needed to be annealed either pre or post forming, maybe both. A different brass alloy might have helped too.................Bob

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Pictures of the top of column. I use a double pigtail from big auto parts store. This has the proper diameter pin, a top you can solder and a small spring. I stick it in an old bondo spreader. Cut the diameter for the steering shaft. Leave a little wire up top. Build up a solder "bubble". Twirl the wire so it goes into the shaft. (I used more heat shrink wrap here)

Make sure the spring works.

Reassemble and have a nice day.

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1CA83587-8DC4-4F71-AED6-7FE99FE59E4D_zps8lxdpksm.jpg

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50040F1E-1E1C-4E3C-A8FE-32CEB9EF4971_zps6sbdic8t.jpg

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Excellent tutorial my friend! Like the fact that you MacGyver'd it from available parts, including wire, springs, bondo spreader and solder...almost like a whole episode in 4 pictures...In the end, does the steering column blow up or something?? :cool:

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But what of the OP's situation? I'm getting thirsty...................Bob

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But what of the OP's situation? I'm getting thirsty...................Bob

Me too, Bob.

Maybe I spent too much time taking pictures and jabbering to myself.

I'm just going to further hijack this thread and start spouting my views on the world. Isn't that what the interwebz were invented for?

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and hungry....could go for a burger with that beer.

Maybe he needs help and we could show up and "point things out" ;:cool:.

Old Bondo spreaders have yet another use ;) Good one Mike.

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I'm finally back. Sorry to leave you talking to yourselves. I had some break issues come up. I owe an update to all of you who have been contributing.

To recap and fill in some blanks let me start by saying that back when the horn went to continuous on mode what I did was to disconnect the tan wire from the horn relay. That took care of the immediate problem. The only problem was no horn which is a little scary in view on the high number of idiots on the road. I also pried off the horn button to see what I could see. This car has a button versus the ring in the manual. I do have a manual by the way, an original and well worn one from back before CD rom's and the like.

the fact that the horn does not sound with the tan wire detached unfortunately rules out the stuck relay diagnosis. Too bad. That would have been simple.

Today I removed the small curved rectangular plate low on the steering column thru which the tan wire runs. The back side is a brass stud for lack of a better word that looks a little worn and ragged. It apparently is in continuous contact with the brass sleeve. I examined the sleeve as best I could and felt it as I turned the wheel. It seemed smooth free of cracks or breaks.

I next pushed down on the spring loaded switch under the steering wheel cap to make sure that it was not stuck in the depressed or down position. It was not. Then I grounded the brass stud to the steering column ans, as expected, the horn sounded.

I removed the steering wheel hold down bolt to better look at the switch and the white wire attached to it. All seems to be in order.

At this point I remain puzzled in part because I can't exactly picture what the inside of the steering column looks like. From some of the pictures various of you have been so kind as to share it seems as if the white wire ends up soldered to the brass sleeve, although in the picture the wire has become black. Short of removing the steering column I can't see exactly what is there.

i have taken some pictures but haven't figured out how to attach them to this thread. Perhaps one of you could shed some light. I have the pictures on my iPad which is where I am now.

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OK, Try unplugging the wire from the connector at the plate on the lower column, touch the end of the wire to the brass sleeve to see if the horn still blows. You may have to fashion an extension to the wire terminal to accomplish this. If the horn still blows, the problem is in the column or horn button switch. If the horn does not blow, re-attach the lower plate with the spring loaded button and then plug in the wire, if the horn blows, then the spring button is grounded to the plate. I believe that the spring loaded brush pin must be isolated from the plate.

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I'm thinking frosted mug with my beer, please....................Bob

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I just stepped outside to 29 degrees in Austin F-F-Freezin' Texas.

It's Murphy's Stout time.

:)

Brian, just reassemble it, adjust it to specs and make sure the horn ring isn't sticking on the steering wheel rubber insulators.

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No horn ring. Just a big "button" in the middle of the column................Bob

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I'm trying the easiest thing too, Bob. I'm making sure the horn ring isn't sticking to the rubber on the wheel itself.

Illustrated thusly:

196E21CD-9D2D-4A9C-AD23-3705AB8A02FA_zpsvfvff69z.jpg

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From what Brian said earlier he has a plain Jane Special with a standard steering wheel since he mentions a horn "button". That wheel would have no ring just a "horn button" in the center of the wheel. At least that's what the SM (page 374) and his "button" description leads me to believe. If he has the Deluxe wheel then he gets the ring with it. If he does have a ring you're right the rubber bumpers would be a good place to inspect.............Bob

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Earlier, Bob suggested an intermittent problem. If all the tests keep coming back normal and the horn works as designed...

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From what Brian said earlier he has a plain Jane Special with a standard steering wheel since he mentions a horn "button". That wheel would have no ring just a "horn button" in the center of the wheel. At least that's what the SM (page 374) and his "button" description leads me to believe. If he has the Deluxe wheel then he gets the ring with it. If he does have a ring you're right the rubber bumpers would be a good place to inspect.............Bob

Excellent point sir.

I have only seen one button version in person and totally forgot about that.

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Excellent point sir.

I have only seen one button version in person and totally forgot about that.

I'm hoping to be in Springfield in June and I'll be glad to show it to you. I wonder if it is feasible to switch steering wheels to go from the button to the ring.

Brian

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You have to find a decent steering wheel, first. Or have one recast for $800.

The last really good wheel I found was $250, plus a good useable ring-$125 and a good button $100.

And that is if you can actually win an eBay auction.

I'd love to see your car.

My whole theory about this thread is shot. :D

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