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1932 Buick horn shorted


Robert Engle
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I went to install the horns on my 32-58 today and I ran a test before putting them on the car.  The right horn is shorted out.  I don't see any wiring problems,  so I suspect the capacitor may have failed.  This electrical stuff is not my strong suite.  Who is the go to guy for horn repairs?  Any suggestions are welcome.

 

Bob Engle  

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When my points were stuck, I applied 6V and saw, after about 5 seconds, a little smoke coming up from various wires, telling me there was too much current, so I let it cool and tried again, same thing. After 2 or 3 times and seeing tiny bit of smoke each time, I had no idea how to fix it, so I threw it in the trunk and drove around for about a year, with the horn bouncing around in the trunk the whole time. Then I installed it for show and hooked it up just for a local ice cream stand car show.....and it worked!! Bouncing around like that unstuck the points. So I got the other horn, and it was the same way, making smoke until I deliberately pulled the points apart.....then that horn worked!! It was crazy.

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I cleaned the points, but still no operation.  I have attached two wires to the connector screws on the horn and then touch the ends to a 6 volt battery. I get one blip on the horn, but no cycling to produce sound.  I hesitate putting ammeters and ohmmeters in the circuit as I don't want to damage anything further while trying to read gauges.

 

Bob Engle

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An ohmmeter is an electrical instrument that measures electrical resistance, the opposition to an electric current.

 

An ammeter (from Ampere Meter) is a measuring instrument used to measure the current in a circuit. 

 

Neither of these would cause damage. The ohmmeter uses a very small current to measure the resistance in a circuit and the ammeter measures the current passing through, it neither adds or subtracts anything.

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I would try this. Mount the horn in a vise. Connect negative lead to the horn body. Use a small non metal tool or  something to hold the points open. Apply 6 volts to the input terminal. Then manually open and close the points to see if any sound is produced or better yet the points begin to cycle. Look for any damage to the metal disc/diaphrams. There should be a tension adjustment screw to adjust . The horns  are usually simple to revive.

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I went back to an original spec manual 1932 and took a photo of the line drawing and enlarged it.   From there I went back to shop and went through the manual setting instructions.  The air gap on the horn was .050" and the spec manual calls for .020".  After setting correctly, the horn now works properly.  I will now play with the tone to my liking.

 

Thanks for all your suggestions.  I could not determine the air gap setting on my reproduction manual.  The enlargement cleared that up for me.  Photo of enlarged original is in the previous  response.   The system glitched when I tried to attach the photo.

 

Bob Engle

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  • 2 weeks later...

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