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The ring on the underside of the  horn button of my 31 Transcontinent fell apart in three pieces last fall. It had been glued together many years ago by Carl Barker, I suppose. I repaired the ring, but now face the puzzle of how to reassemble the horn. I can see how the horn button ring lines up with the inner ring, but I can’t figure out how to reinstall the spring and the retaining ring. Any fine fingered magicians out here have a technique?

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You don't have to pull out the steering column, but you do have to disconnect the hi/low switch tube down at the steering box end and lift the hi/low switch lever ring tube up out of the steering column enough to get at the underside of it's three-tab top plate.


The tapered coil spring goes into the center of the lever ring . Then the lever ring is positioned on the tube top plate so that the top plate's three tabs fit into the three gaps in the lever ring. Then the wire snap ring goes into the inner groove formed by the edge of the lever ring, just like any internal snap ring. That wire snap ring holds the top plate tabs into the lever ring gaps by overlapping them.  Don't have the snap ring's two ends meet on a top plate tab, or it may pop loose.


Then reinsert the bottom end of the hi/low lever tube into the hi/low switch. Note that there is a slot cut in the end of the tube and there is a tab inside the hole through the switch's contact plate. They have to line up so that the tube can rotate the contact plate.  So you may have to turn the lever until they line up and allow the tube to slide back down through the switch housing. 


Note, the hi/low beam switch lever should be up at 12 o'clock position when the switch and tube have their slot and tab aligned. If not, then one of the other two positions of the three tabs will put the lever up at 12 o'clock.    


And, FYI, the hand throttle lever should be pointing down at 6 o'clock when the throttle is closed. That can be rotated by loosening the lever arm that clamps the larger hand throttle tube just between the hi/low switch and the steering box.  Here's pix of that same hi/low switch and hand throttle lever arm and brass strap friction clamp setup on a147.


In the first picture below ( viewed from under the engine), you can see the tube's small strap clamp to the right of the switch housing.  It's just to prevent the tube moving back up inside the steering column. And you can just make out the slot in the tube end that engages the tab inside the switch - with the armored horn wire coming out the tube.


In the second pic (viewed from under the left fender) you can see the slotted round head screw of that tube strap clamp that keeps the tube from moving up.


Sometime in 31, instead of the hi/low lever tube's strap clamp, Franklin switched to a brass hex nut that clamps the bottom end of the tube to the inner contact plate of the switch as the hex nut gets tightened, but it still uses the slot and tube to align the tube with the switch contact plate, so where the top plate's three tabs fit into the lever ring's slots still matters to get the lever arm pointing up at 12 o'clock.  



30 hi-low swt, motor side.JPG

30 hi-low swt.JPG

Edited by PFitz (see edit history)
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About the only tough part is getting the  switch control tubes in and out of the switch contact plate.   Very often they are a snug - sometimes really tight - fit inside the switch contact plate.   


Before lifting out the switch  tube, mark the 12 o'clock position  so you know where to orient the plate to have the tube slot and switch tab realign. Then install the lever ring so that the handle matches up with the 12 o'clock mark.


For the really tight fitting tubes, put a wooden block up against the lower end of the switch tube and gently tap on it to get the tube  started up enough to get your fingers under and grab the tube's top plate.


Then when it's time to push all that back into the steering wheel hub, make sure the tube slot is alingned with the switch plate tab by wiggling the lever ring as you gently push down to feel for the tab and slot to engage. 


Then be careful where you push on the horn button and switch lever ring. Old pot metal often has cracks lurking waiting for just a bit of force to set them free. ;)



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