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  • Horn Issue

    My horn does not function using the silver hornring on the steering wheel. PO installed a custom button under the dash that's connected to the horn. But I would like to fix it so the hornring works.

    It was suggested that I try adjusting the steering column by loosening the two screws under the dash and pulling on the column. The thought is that maybe the column slid down and the hornring is no longer making contact with slipring.

    I am going to try this and let you know how it goes. Not sure exactly what those two screws look like but I can probably find them.

  • #2
    Originally posted by ssj335 View Post
    My horn does not function using the silver hornring on the steering wheel. PO installed a custom button under the dash that's connected to the horn. But I would like to fix it so the hornring works.

    It was suggested that I try adjusting the steering column by loosening the two screws under the dash and pulling on the column. The thought is that maybe the column slid down and the hornring is no longer making contact with slipring.

    I am going to try this and let you know how it goes. Not sure exactly what those two screws look like but I can probably find them.
    Kirsten, Do you have a shop manual for our '59 Bird ? It may be necessary to remove the steering wheel and find out if the horn wire is there for the horn to work .

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    • #3
      Here's the column screws you wanted to find. The manual will tell you how to proceed.
      Attached Files

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      • #4
        Horn Issue

        Chris, thanks for posting that pic. I was in the process of looking for it when I was replying to Kirsten in email about this. Kirsten, it is probably going to take two people to adjust that steering wheel. One to pull up on it and one with a screwdriver to tighten it down while the other keeps it in position while it is being pulled up. As Martin said, the horn wire may no longer be there in the steering column, or disconnected. It is going to take a good mechanic to take all that apart and work on it. Yes, she has the '59 shop manual, and she also has the '60 shop manual for her new Bird..

        Kirsten has told me that she is not pleased with the sloppiness in the shift selector and would like to fix that down the road. I have informed her of the various components in the steering column that are probably worn and should be replaced. Shift Tube Selector Arm down at the bottom of the steering column, shift lever, that expensive Shift Collar, the Detent plate, maybe the PRNDL itself.. So my suggestion would be to wait until you have gathered all the parts for that, and do this all at one time. Fix the horn, and the shift sloppiness, including.... taking the steering column out and replacing that Shift Tube Selector Arm.... That can be one of the main problems along with the others, causing that problem after some 60 years of use... So go into that area once, and not multiple times...
        Last edited by YellowRose; October 26th, 2018, 09:49 AM.

        Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
        '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
        "It's Hip To Be Square"
        Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

        Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

        http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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        • #5
          Thanks everyone! That photo is super helpful.

          And thanks to Ray for all that information. It's a shame that there are so many parts for the steering column that need to be purchased without knowing which part in particular is the main culprit.

          I plan to try to pull on the steering column on my own to see if I can at least fix the horn issue that way. I know there's a good chance this may not work, and sounds difficult for one person to do alone. But I will try. I agree with Ray, that if I have someone work on the horn issue they should do the shifter at the same time.

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          • #6
            If someone bypassed the wiring in the column to add a button you are probably going to have to undo what they did to get it to work. You can certainly try moving the column but if it doesn't work the wiring will have to be looked at to see exactly what was done.

            John
            John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

            Thunderbird Registry #36223
            jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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            • #7
              If you look under the steering column you will see a number of wires coming out. The horn wire is blue with a yellow connector. You will have to trace that wire and see if it's unplugged. There should be a male and female yellow connector. If pulling up on the column does not fix the horn then the wire may have been unplugged at the connector and a new wire plugged in that goes to the button. You may just have to unplug that wire and connect the original wires back together. The horn wire was probably bypassed either because it didn't work or it wouldn't stop working.

              John
              John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

              Thunderbird Registry #36223
              jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

              http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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              • #8
                Is that blue wire in the photo below that shows the underside of the steering column?

                You are probably right that the wire was disconnected by the previous owner and re-routed to the button. It just seems really funky that someone would go into the column and disconnect the wire to attach to some useless under dash button. But if the horn wouldnt work or wouldnt stop working that could make sense.

                I am hoping that the previous owner was just too lazy to have someone go into the column to fix it properly. He is a larger guy and told me that he adjust the seat (and he may have also said he adjusted the steering wheel) in order to give himself the most room possible to fit his body between the wheel and the seat. So I am hoping that he pushed the steering column in as far as possible to make himself space and in doing that it messed with the hornring's functionality. Maybe he decided he valued a couple inches of space more than a functioning hornring. That's my hope b/c it would be a simple fix if pulling the column is the solution.

                If that fails, then it's probably something in the column as suggested. =)

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                • #9
                  You can't see the wires in the photo. They come out of the steering column farther down. There's a large group of wires that come out all together. They should be easy enough to see if you don't mind getting under there. I doubt that anyone messed with the inside of the column.

                  John
                  John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                  Thunderbird Registry #36223
                  jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                  http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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                  • #10
                    There is a contact inside the column beneath the steering wheel, it gets dirty or corroded and the horn only works intermittently, it's way easier to reroute the wire to a button then it is to take off the steering wheel and do it properly. I guarantee there's nothing seriously wrong, just a lazy PO. I know you said you like doing the small jobs, the indent piece for the shifter needs replacing on yours, tackle it all at the same time, print out the how to off the TRL and follow it step by step, it's not the easiest thing to do but it doesn't require super mechanic abilities either.
                    Scott
                    South Delta, BC, Canada
                    1960 White T-Bird, PS, PB that's it
                    Red Leather Interior!
                    www.squarebirds.org/users/sidewalkman
                    Thunderbird Registry #61266
                    http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_g...ibrary/trl.htm

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                    • #11
                      Here's where the wires come out of the steering column. Somewhere in that group of wires is a blue wire with a yellow connector or a yellow stripe around it. That is the horn wire.

                      John
                      Attached Files
                      John Pizzi - Squarebirds Administrator

                      Thunderbird Registry #36223
                      jopizz@verizon.net 856-779-9695

                      http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Awesome. So even if pulling the column fixes the hornring issue it still may not work because the wire could've been disconnected and rerouted to the button correct?

                        Maybe that blue wire with yellow connector is now attached to the button. If so, is there some way to determine where this is supposed to be plugged into the steering column in that jumble of many wires?

                        This is helpful.

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                        • #13
                          Be careful. This can be done with ONE person if you do it right. It's very important you do NOT twist the column when you pull it up. Twisting will change the Neutral Safety Switch position. This switch determines the shift lever position for starting in Park or Neutral. It also turns backup lights on.

                          Mark the column's position at the clamp just for reference. Mark two directions, in/out and rotation. If you loosen those two Philips head screws, leave enough 'drag' so you can pull or jerk the column up (toward your chest when sitting), and it will stay where you put it. Loosening those screws too much will let the column slip in any direction. If that happens, you can return to your marks as a starting point.

                          I'm with John. I don't think anyone would open your column to disconnect the horn wire. It's hard to know what others did in the past but most likely, the column simply slipped down which disconnects the brush under your horn ring.

                          Here is the Blue/Yellow wire, between the two large brown-ish junction blocks:



                          Notice, there are a few blue wires but they have different color ends. You want the Blue wire with the Yellow end. If you disconnect any of these bullet connections, they don't come apart easily. I would disconnect the battery first, then use two pair of pliers on the connection, to pull them apart.

                          You may find the replacement button is connected to ground on one side and to the Blue/Yellow FEMALE connector (with the yellow MALE connector dangling). - Dave
                          My latest project:
                          CLICK HERE to see my custom hydraulic roller 390 FE build.

                          "We've got to pause and ask ourselves: How much clean air do we need?"
                          --Lee Iacocca

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                          • #14
                            Horn Issue

                            I think I have answered your questions in the email I just sent you on how to read the 1960 Wiring Diagram... Yup, even if you pull up on the steering column, that blue-yellow wire might not be connected to anything. It could be taped off or a crimp on connector put on it. He may have cut the wire out of the steering column and ran it over to his Magic Black Button under the dash to complete the circuit to the Horn Relay and allow the horns to sound... I gave you some tips on trying to find that steering wheel Blue-Yellow wire.. Hopefully, it is a short wire that has been taped or capped off for safety reasons...

                            I see that Dave just gave you some very important additional information that you or Jay need to follow in order not to change the Neutral Safety Switch position. IMHO you should leave this to Jay to do. I would hope he knows all about the Neutral Safety Switch and not twisting the steering column if he moves it... And ALWAYS disconnect a battery cable when working on something like this. Thanks, Dave...

                            Ray Clark - Squarebirds Administrator
                            '59 Tbird "The Yellow Rose Of Texas" aka "Tweety Bird"
                            "It's Hip To Be Square"
                            Thunderbird Registry #33025 VTCI #11178

                            Contact me via Private Message for my email address, or (Cell) 210-875-1411 (Home) 210-674-5781

                            http://www.squarebirds.org/picture_gallery/TechnicalResourceLibrary/trl.htm

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