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Old 06-12-2007, 08:24 PM
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85 chevy horn

This may sound like a stupid question, but here goes. I recently replaced my steering column in my 85 Chevy truck and the little white tube that sticks out of it with the spring broke off. Is this the reason my horn no longer works and if so, is there a pin that the spring goes over before it goes in the tube? Thanks.

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Old 06-13-2007, 12:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wrangler
This may sound like a stupid question, but here goes. I recently replaced my steering column in my 85 Chevy truck and the little white tube that sticks out of it with the spring broke off. Is this the reason my horn no longer works and if so, is there a pin that the spring goes over before it goes in the tube? Thanks.
Yes. This tube is part of the turn signal cancelling cam, but it also serves as the slip ring for the horn contact. There are two different configurations for the contact reach the horn button on the steering wheel. Wheels with large horn pads usually have a wire (or wires) coming off the bottom with an eyelet, spring, and retainer. The eyelet goes in the tube, the spring holds it down against the contact, and the retainer is a small plastic part with protrusions that locks the whole thing into the tube. The end of the tube that's broken off will have a pair of L-shaped slots, like a tail light socket. The retainer is pressed in against the spring and turned a quarter turn.

The other configuration, usually used on sport style steering wheels, uses a spring in the tube, followed by an eyelet and the plastic retainer. When assembled, the tube and protruding eyelet sticks up inside the hub of the steering wheel. A separate horn contact ring screws to the steering wheel hub and makes electrical contact with the eyelet. The horn button snaps into this contact ring.

In any case, the steering wheel needs to come off to replace the cancelling cam. You'll also need to remove the lock plate under the steering wheel, which usually requires a lock plate compressor to allow you to remove the snap ring. The cancelling cam is readily available at auto parts stores, usually in Dorman's HELP line of products.
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Old 06-14-2007, 05:36 PM
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Doc here,

If the plastic INSULATOR is sticking out of the steering wheel, all you may need is the "Brush~like " assembly that fits THROUGH it and it's spring retainer..

This contact looks like a motor brush somewhat, and goes in the insulator which when the horn is pushed puts downward force on the brush. It contacts a brass ring on the bottom of the wheel and completes the circuit to GROUND. ERGO: Honk!

The contact is simple to change, just remove the pigtail screw off the wheel, install the new contact and spring retainer and re~Attach the grounded pigtail.

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Old 06-23-2007, 09:32 PM
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I've got the new parts in the column. Gm originals. The instructions say for vehicles newer than 1967 to cut the pin to 3/4". I did that. I put the parts in the way I thought was right, pin first, spring over the pin and then the insulator locks them in. Horn didn't work. What I did then was put the spring in first with the pin on top of that and then the insulator. The pin sticks up beyond the tube now whereas it didn't when I cut it to 3/4", and the horn works. I guess my question is, does the pin sit recessed in the tube, or does it have to protrude out of the tube. Just wondering if my horn has a chance of coming on and staying on or will it be alright? Thanks.
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Old 06-24-2007, 08:40 AM
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Doc here,

Actually, the way you did it first, it should have gone off and stayed on IF you put the horn button (ring) back on the wheel..the Spring was holding the contact down on the brass ground ring.

The way you have it now is right..If you didn't have anything sticking past the tube, you'd have nothing for the button to push against when you sounded the horn..The spring holds it UP off the brass ring when not in use so it won't blow all the time. and it can't fall out once you put the horn ring back on..

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Old 06-25-2007, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by docvette
The spring holds it UP off the brass ring when not in use so it won't blow all the time. and it can't fall out once you put the horn ring back on..
Actually, that's not correct. Both the pin and the spring are conductive, so holding it up is irrelevant - they're still in contact. See the first frame in the attached photos. The brass (or sometimes aluminum) pin and the spring are simply designed to act as the conduction path to the brass ring on the cancelling cam. The spring goes in first, then the pin, then the plastic retainer. The nib on the retainer fits into a slot in the tube and holds everything in place until the horn contact ring goes on.

The horn contact ring bolts to the center of the steering wheel and serves as the actual switch. Note in the second frame that the horn contact ring has a black stamped spring plate and chrome metal plates held together with plastic rivets. The horn button snaps into the black spring plate and moving the button causes the spring plate to contact the chrome plate, closing the circuit. The three tabs are where the horn ring bolts to the steering wheel or hub.

The contact ring type varies depending on the style of the steering wheel, as shown in the bottom two frames. The contact ring has a tab that contacts the pin when installed. The spring under the pin is there simply to ensure positive pressure between the pin and the contact ring and to take up any manufacturing tolerances. It does not move up and down in normal operation.
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