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1949 Packard Horn Ground wire


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My 1949 Packard 22nd series is in need of a new horn ground wire that goes from the center of the steering wheel down through the steering column to the horn relay.  The wire that is there now is in bad shape.  The insulation is cracking and very brittle.  It has been wrapped with electrical tape in places to cover the bare wire.  When you turn the steering wheel at times it will ground the wire out because of missing insulation and the horn will blow.  I would like to replace this wire but I am not sure if anyone currently makes a new replacement wire or if I will need to cut the brass disk off the end of the wire and connect it to a new wire. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated!

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There are no premade replacement wires I am aware of.  You will need to remove the horn ring, disconnect the bullet type connector below the steering box and pull the wire out from the top.  I would suggest tying a string to the bullet connector end and pull it up thru the steering shaft with the wire.  When you go to replace the wire there is a narrow channel in the steering box the wire must pass thru for a few inches and having the string tied onto the new wire makes starting and pulling it thru that channel much easier.  Just be sure to keep bulk at the bottom end where the knot for the string is tied to a minimum so the wire does not get caught at the entrance to the channel.  It might even be good to add a very thin wrap of tape so the string smoothly pulls the wire straight in as it enters.   Some suggest using dental floss as the string since that is very strong and very thin so no bulky knots. 

 

You can cut the old wire an inch or two below the contact disc and reattach a new wire.   Solder and heat shrink would be best but a crimp connector will work since the steering shaft has plenty of room at the top.  Just be sure the crimps are proper and tight so the new wire cannot pull out and no errant strands come out of the crimp connector able to touch ground.  I would also suggest using 16 ga  silicone covered wire similar to this   https://www.ebay.com/itm/16-Gauge-Silicone-Wire-20ft-16-AWG-Soft-High-Strand-Flexible-Silicone-Wire/132218576414?hash=item1ec8d75e1e:g:Iq8AAOSwlMFZN3uB   because of the flexibility and thicker insulation.  16ga was the Packard stock size and the silicone covered wire is similar to the rubber that was the original.   I don't remember the length needed but 10' should be plenty and possibly even a 5' length also listed on ebay would work.  If you have the usual round connector at the steering box end it can be replaced with a .156 diameter male bullet connector available at most parts stores.  If it is a square tab then you may need to reuse the old connector.

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