Horn Conundrums

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Post by 71Ghia on Mon Oct 19, 2009 8:33 pm

Hi all,

I'm sharing with you my latest conundrum on the Karmann Ghia. I was talking to a couple of you on Thursday about this and figure the more help, the better! I've posted a link to pics on facebook - hopefully you should be able to see them. And here's the guide of what's in each picture.

Any and all help, gratefully received!

Thanks,

Joanna

Picture 1: Going from the order of the indicator switch. You can see here, the steering column stripped back - the wire connection to the horn (which goes to a relay which then goes to the horn itself as well as a ground) is just about the indicator switch.

Picture 2: And the same but from a slightly different angle.

Picture 3: Here is the back of the steering wheel - you can see a metal disk that has three screws in it which attaches that disk (which I think has the canceller on the indicator switch - although it doesn't work).

Picture 4: Onto this, goes a plastic disk with a copper rim. The copper ring then faces the piece on the indicator switch section - always maintaining connection but without twisty wires getting in the way when you turn the wheel - so far, makes sense! From the copper ring comes a wire - presumably the grounding wire - and that goes through the steering wheel through an expanded hole. Here is Dad holding the copper ring in place.

Picture 5: And here is the back of the steering wheel with the copper ring screwed into place. The little copper square is where the wire goes through to the front of the steering wheel.

Picture 6: Here you can see the steering wheel on the steering column. Held in place by a bearing and nut in the centre. The wire from the copper ring is poking through.

Picture 7: Next is the horn button. Here you can see the back of the horn button - there are metal spacers which prevent constant contact between the copper ring on the back with the steering wheel and the screws have plastic insulators around them which are in good condition. This attaches to the steering wheel.

Picture 8: And here's the horn ring and button. When I have then attached the grounding wire to the horn ring - you can just see where the wire connects, at approx 10 o'clock between the two screws - and I have turned the ignition on, the horn sounds constantly. Good, because it means it works, but short of driving with it on all the time, I'm going wrong somewhere! Lastly, the Karmann Ghia emblem badge sits on top of the horn button when assembled.

https://www.facebook.com/album.php?aid=330616&id=881235110&l=c0ef476541
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Post by DiggerD on Tue Oct 20, 2009 1:02 am

Have you checked the wire coming from the horn back to the switch? The problem may not be in the actual horn assembly, you could be grounding somewhere between the horn and the horn button, so when you turn on the ignition you would get a constant horn like you describe. I had a similar situation on my bus where the wire had the insulation ground off where it exits the steering box from scraping. (low bus). When it would contact the box it would ground and the horn would sound.
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Post by bumblebuggy on Tue Oct 20, 2009 7:56 am

I agree with Digger. 90% of the time, electrical issues in a VW can be traced to a grounding problem or a bad fuse.

Here's a couple ideas. Get the assembly to look the way it does in picture 6 ("And here's the horn ring and button..."). Do not attatch the wire @ the ten position. Turn the key.

If the horn doesn't sound...
Try touching the wire to the 10 spot and see if it beeps. If it does, I suspect the problem is the screws (with the plastic washers and springs behind them) are your problem. One or all of them are grounding out. It doesn't make much sense to me that there are plastic washers on the back side of that unit but not on the front.

If the horn does sound without the wire in the ten position...
Refer to picture four ("Onto this, goes a plastic disk with a copper rim"). Make sure the wire connector plugged into that plastic ring isn't making contact with any metal part of the steering wheel hub when it is assembled.

Other than that, I would suspect the relay or a stripped wire as Digger says.

Here is a link to the ghia
Wiring diagram
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Post by 71Ghia on Tue Oct 20, 2009 9:19 pm

Hey, thanks guys. Will check out those suggestions over the weekend and will post back with news!

Cheers,

Joanna
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Post by 71Ghia on Sun Oct 25, 2009 4:35 pm

Horn is fixed - hoorah!

So its seems that we had too many parts and that was the problem. My mate Jim (currently restoring a Torino) and I put our heads together this afternoon on it. The metal piece that was originally on the back of the steering wheel is now obsolete and the plastic ring with the copper edge on it was sanded down around its middle so that it would sit flush with the back of the wheel. That meant that we weren't forcing the two copper prongs on the column back which was grounding out the connection originally.

Then we took the wire through the wheel and connected it to the horn button. Hey presto, we have a fully functioning horn.

Let's just say that it was probably more of Jim's head that solved the problem but all your help helped so thanks guys!

Toot toot.
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Post by DiggerD on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:24 am

Glad to hear that you found the problem!! Cool Good job, I think everybody needs a horn if they plan to drive around the ATL very much! Razz
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Post by Bugman114 on Mon Oct 26, 2009 12:23 pm

I've been wanting to install some of those super loud semi truck horns on my bug. but just can't seem to find any good deals Twisted Evil
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