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41 Oldsmobile horn ring diagram

Doctor's Pontiac

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I am trying to understand how the horn ring in my 41 Olds steering wheel works so I can fix it. From my parts manual, below is the diagram for a deluxe steering wheel for 1941 Oldsmobile. Can somebody explain what the large doughnut foam does (group # 2.816) and how will it activate the horn when pressing the ring? I am fabricating a cushion but don't know how thick or high it should be to work properly. 




Notice NO SPRING is shown in the diagram. I think the spring goes under the button on the standard wheels? Does Deluxe Steering wheel use one?




Below is my disassembled horn ring with parts laid out as shown in the diagram. I don't have the "cushion" I ask about.




Thanks for any responses!  Manuel

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Seems similar to the design of my 41 Cadillac horn button. I've got the cap and the horn ring and everything else is missing. Purpose of the horn button and mechanism is to put a ground to the horn relay...

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Yes, I understand the general idea the mechanism is to provide ground to send the current to the horns. What I don’t understand is how the FOAM ring part works. What happens with the mechanism when you press the ring? Hope  somebody can clarify. 

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9 minutes ago, dictator27 said:

I think the foam ring is both "spring" and insulator.

Exactly!  As was the case in my now-long-gone 1939 Cad 75.  I had to experiment with several different pieces of closed cell foam to get the right amount of "spring action" or resilience.  Too little spring action and the horn won't stop; too little spring action and it won't blow.  And you won't know what's "just right" until you've spent the time cutting circles out of different pieces of foam and trying them individually.  Sorry, but I don't recall the specific type or thickness that worked.

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Thank you all for your input!  The description of being both a separator AND a spring makes sense and helped me to understand how this works. I fabricated the part today using a universal weatherstrip seal as shown in the photos below. First I had to trim the rubberized foam to fit into the channel around the lower side of the horn ring. Thickness is about 1/4 inch and I believe it has to be higher than the level of the plate in order to act as a spring. This is about 1/4 inch higher as can be appreciated in the photos. The weatherstrip seal is ribbed which is handy to insert the metal plate into one of its channels.





It looks nice also when looking from a side but I don't know if this is the way it was originally. 




I suppose there is no way to test unless the steering wheel is mounted. I still have a lot to do before getting there. Any suggestions to test on the bench?


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6 hours ago, mrspeedyt said:

This interior part is what I'm missing besides the foam.  I will try and recreate a similar part utilizing a top from a tin can.


Nothing but the best for my Cadillac.

If you are trying to fabricate the lower contact plate, perhaps these photos will help 




Diameter is 3 3/4 inches. The surrounding channel where the foam goes measures around 1/4 inch (next photo). The plate is pretty solid and thick, not at all like a tin can.





The location of the 3 screws with sleeve and insulator have to match the ones on the upper plate (next 2 photos)


Notice the hole in the lower plate through which the upper plate is seen. I think is for a contact that is soldered to the wire for ground. Mine is missing. Correct me if it is for something else. 



Hope is helpful. Manuel 

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