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Brianbuick

55 Buick Horn wiring problem

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As an aside. When I did my 57 I needed to restore the steering wheel. I did a beautiful job, it was like new. When I went to install it I realized I had restored an extra 55 wheel I had laying around. I figured, oh well, I'd just put it on EBay, which I did with an opening bid of $10 no reserve. Only one guy bid. A deal is a deal. I packed it up and sent it to the guy for $10. Oy Vey..............Bob

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As further aside. The OP has a plain Jane Special. Stick shift, 2 door sedan, bare bones. IMHO that is a treasure. I would NOT do a thing to "upgrade" that car. You can't swing a cat without hitting a Century or Roadmaster. Bare bones entry level Special not so much.................Bob

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As further aside. The OP has a plain Jane Special. Stick shift, 2 door sedan, bare bones. IMHO that is a treasure. I would NOT do a thing to "upgrade" that car. You can't swing a cat without hitting a Century or Roadmaster. Bare bones entry level Special not so much.................Bob

Now I feel all special. My parents bought this car new in 1955. No power anything, radio or clock. It had the hub caps. When I got it from my mother in 1977 I began a multi year restoration process th at included a radio and clock, both of which just occupy space at this point, a day/night mirror and wheel covers, all from a classic car yard that operated in Indianapolis back then. Porta walls were the finishing touch. After your comment I think I'll just leave the steering wheel as is. It would be nice to know if there is any trick to polishing it up to get rid of what appears to be some kind of occidation.

Its first road trip was to Flint in 1978 I think it was. Was anybody there? As I said earlier in the thread I am aiming for Springfield MO in June. That's about as close to Tulsa as it will probably ever be.

I think I'm getting the drift of this mindless rambling.

Brian

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Your car DEMANDS hub caps not wheel covers. Porta walls are tacky but fit the era perfectly. Sell the radio and clock on EBay. Remove the steering wheel, fill any cracks with epoxy, lightly sand and paint with enamel. Oh, one other thing. While the wheel is off fix your f**king horn problem so I can claim my beer...............Bob

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...

Its first road trip was to Flint in 1978 I think it was. Was anybody there?

Brian

I was there, albeit for only the Saturday show. I've got to dig for any pictures I took. But we were probably parked back to back .

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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.

John, you are the winner of the el supremo diagnostic award of the year. I followed your directions precisely. The wire, when unplugged and touched to the brass sleeve with the help of a short piece of wire produced no sound. With the plate reattached I plugged the wire back in to the connector at the plate and the horn sounded. I can see nothing amiss with the spring loaded pin but somehow it is shorting. THANK YOU.

Now what? Any ideas?

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My whole theory about this thread is shot. :D

Mine too. The only non-theory now appears to be to buying a deserved round of cold ones and having some laughs.

Hey Mike - I think my busted up horn collar is still in the cabinet. Maybe we can leave it on the floor of Brians car like the "magic bullet"....

Edited by KAD36 (see edit history)

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Damn. Do a continuity test from the pin to the pin case.................Bob

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I'm still in for a round of beverages, even though my answer was washed out in TexasJohn's test. Gonna be some pretty thirsty people in Allentown...

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I demand a recount. The fix was in.;)....................Bob

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Damn. Do a continuity test from the pin to the pin case.................Bob

Bob, I really thought we had it. The continuity test to the plastic case would have confirmed some kind of leak in the plastic case and thus to the mounting plate. But, there is no continuity.

Just for the hell of it I slid the spring loaded pin in its plastic case out of the plate, clipped the tan wire back on the pin and pushed it through the slot in the steering column and in contact with the sleeve. The horn sounded!!!!

There are obviously forces in play here that exceed my ability to understand. I officially give up. Thank you all for your attention and input.

Brian

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I can't quite picture what you are saying. The continuity test should be from the plate to the pin and move the pin in and out. If there is no continuity then the pin itself cannot be the problem. I also don't know how you "slid" the plastic pin housing out of the plate. I have one in front of me and the plastic is crimped into the plate. Let me ask you this. when you are doing the horn sounding tests have you moved/touched the wheel at all or maybe bumped it with your back?. WE CAN'T give up yet. Not until we have a definative answer. My beer is at stake here..............Bob.

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Also do a continuity test from the brass sleeve to the column, this should definitively determine if the short is in the column. Remember, the upper end of the wire in the column must also be insulated from grounding.

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I guess if you guys aren't willing to give up then I can't either.

Bob, to respond to your comment, yes the plastic body for the pin is crimped into the plate. Mine came out with a little encouragement. You had suggested testing continuity from the pin to the plastic housing, if I understood you correctly. I didn't see how there could be continuity there, but I did test, and there was none. With the plastic seated back within the plate no continuity to it either.

Now to your suggestion, John. My wife held one lead of the multimeter tothe top end of the steering column, the hollow shaft coming up the middle with threads on the end, and I touched the other lead to the brass collar. I got continuity, indicating a grounding from the brass collar to the steering column. But remember the other test that you had me connect the tan wire to the brass sleeve (using a short piece of wire) and the horn did NOT blow. That had caused us to rule out a bad horn button or sleeve grounded to the column. Well, I did it again, exactly as before - tan wire to brass sleeve with use of the same pigtail. This time the horn sounded.

At least now the signs are all consistent, and unfortunately it's looking like a steering wheel removal to fix.

Brian

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Brian, sorry about the continuity test misunderstanding. I hadn't looked at the pin in a awhile and used the word "case" as a catchall term meaning from the pin to whatever holds it to the column. It's looking more and more like the the contact ring in the wheel hub needs an adjustment. If so that would be the cheapest easiest fix. You would not have to remove the wheel just the horn button.............Bob

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With the horn button already off you have access to the top end of the wire, it also has to be isolated from the steering shaft.

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Brian, sorry about the continuity test misunderstanding. I hadn't looked at the pin in a awhile and used the word "case" as a catchall term meaning from the pin to whatever holds it to the column. It's looking more and more like the the contact ring in the wheel hub needs an adjustment. If so that would be the cheapest easiest fix. You would not have to remove the wheel just the horn button.............Bob

I'll have another go at it tomorrow. I'm not sure that there is a contact ring to be adjusted. Remember, I have the horn button not the ring. There's the steering wheel hold down nut ( which is currently removed. The only other thing I'm seeing is the spring loaded switch attached securely to the white wire going down into the shaft. There's a wafer like piece (sort of like what was in one of the pictures that someone provided) that keeps the switch from being pushed down into the shaft.

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I'm a bit out of my depth regards the "standard" button type horn. That said, there has to be a some type of contact assembly under the button. That would be the "spring loaded switch". I'm speculating the short to ground you have is in the spring loaded switch or the adjustment of it....................Bob

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I'm a bit out of my depth regards the "standard" button type horn. That said, there has to be a some type of contact assembly under the button. That would be the "spring loaded switch". I'm speculating the short to ground you have is in the spring loaded switch or the adjustment of it....................Bob

That's where I will focus. Thanks for the continued input.

Brian

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New to this discussion. Bought a 54 Century a month ago and horn is a bypass button under the dash. Would like to restore it to the steering wheel. The relay on the column (with the 2 screws) is gone, but I found one and can order it, NOS. In the glove box is an in-tact brass slipring with a short white wire soldered to it. I guess someone had the whole thing apart if this is off its shaft. Took off the horn ring from the steering wheel and inside the steering shaft is the spring loaded connector for the horn button with a white wire attached but it is not connected to anything -- it is about 2 feet long, just hanging inside the shaft. Does someone know how this long white wire makes contact with the horn relay? The shaft turns when steering of course, so if the wire goes through a hole in the shaft, it would get tangled. I think I'm smart, sometimes, but can't figure this one out. I suppose to fix this, I will have to take it all apart, but would like to know how it connects before I start. Thanks for any advice.

Follow up - I saw a photo of the slipring on another post and I see how it turns when the wheel turns and the relay touches it constantly. So my question is answered, BUT, where can I find the rubber bushing that goes in between the slipring and the shaft? Or, can I make one out of something else? Thanks...

Edited by CasinoBeige (see edit history)

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So....It may be that I might have a winner, if the spring loaded horn button under the steering wheel cap is truly the culprit! I getting really thirsty, Bob!! ;)

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So....It may be that I might have a winner, if the spring loaded horn button under the steering wheel cap is truly the culprit! I getting really thirsty, Bob!! ;)

I respectfully refer you to posts numbers 2 & 7. Of course it ain't over till it's over...............Bob

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New to this discussion. Bought a 54 Century a month ago and horn is a bypass button under the dash. Would like to restore it to the steering wheel. The relay on the column (with the 2 screws) is gone, but I found one and can order it, NOS. In the glove box is an in-tact brass slipring with a short white wire soldered to it. I guess someone had the whole thing apart if this is off its shaft. Took off the horn ring from the steering wheel and inside the steering shaft is the spring loaded connector for the horn button with a white wire attached but it is not connected to anything -- it is about 2 feet long, just hanging inside the shaft. Does someone know how this long white wire makes contact with the horn relay? The shaft turns when steering of course, so if the wire goes through a hole in the shaft, it would get tangled. I think I'm smart, sometimes, but can't figure this one out. I suppose to fix this, I will have to take it all apart, but would like to know how it connects before I start. Thanks for any advice.

Follow up - I saw a photo of the slipring on another post and I see how it turns when the wheel turns and the relay touches it constantly. So my question is answered, BUT, where can I find the rubber bushing that goes in between the slipring and the shaft? Or, can I make one out of something else? Thanks...

Are you sure that the slip ring on the steering shaft is bad? Maybe the failure is where the wire is soldered to the slip ring. If you peruse the preceding 96 entries to this thread it will help in your analysis.

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