HORN problem

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HORN problem

Post by IRONHEAD on Tue May 17, 2011 11:42 am

I have a 1964 Beetle the horn is giving me problems. I installed a new wiring harness and turn signal switch when I ground the wire in the steering tube the horn does not blow unless I ground it to the steering column , when I install the spring and cancelation washer they ground out and cause the horn to blow. The horn is wired according to the diagram,hot wire from fuse block to horn,from horn to bottom of the steering column,ground wire from steering coupling to horn button. Am I missing something or just plain doing it wrong? A little help please. I have not been able to install the sterring wheel because of the horn problem.

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Re: HORN problem

Post by fluxcap on Tue May 17, 2011 12:40 pm

Sorry man, I got a little confused.

When you say steering "column" are you referring to the larger diameter tube that has the wire terminal riveted to the end.

And when you say steering "tube", are you referring to the smaller diameter steering shaft the wire actually goes up through.
Or are you using both of these terms to describe the same thing.

Also, you said you grounded the wire and it did not work unless you grounded it to the column. If by "column" you did mean the larger tube, then that is how it should work. What were you grounding it to when it didn't work?

Sounds like you have the wires correct, just want to make sure Iím on the same page with how you set it up and how you tested it.


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Re: HORN problem

Post by IRONHEAD on Tue May 17, 2011 1:44 pm

steering tube is the long hollow tube that the steering shaft fits in .
tried to not confuse anyone. Tried to describe it the best way I knew how.
Now that I have reread my post it does sound confusing,sorry.

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Re: HORN problem

Post by Damn-it Don on Tue May 17, 2011 1:54 pm

Fingers always work too!Shocked Unless that might be too Old School!

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Re: HORN problem

Post by fluxcap on Tue May 17, 2011 2:10 pm

IRONHEAD wrote:steering tube is the long hollow tube that the steering shaft fits in .
tried to not confuse anyone. Tried to describe it the best way I knew how.
Now that I have reread my post it does sound confusing,sorry.

Ok, so tube is outer piece, shaft is inner piece!

So your saying it only works when you touch the bare wire coming out of the shaft to the shaft itself, but not when you touch it to the outer tube. It should work when touched to the outer tube. Firstly, have you painted the outer tube recently. If so, do you have bare metal on the tube where you are testing the horn. It won't work if you touch the wire to a painted surface. I had to scrape the paint off the outer edge of the tube before I could get the ground to pass through.

You also said
"when I install the spring and cancelation washer they ground out and cause the horn to blow."

It sounds like you don't have the wheel/horn ring installed yet. Is the wire hooked to anything when this happens or just hanging there not touching anything?

Also if you have done any tests with the wheel/horn ring installed, are you using all the plastic insulators on the three screws that hold the horn ring on? Without these, the will horn will always be honking.



And like Don said, in the meantime, if you need to go anywhere, just disconnect the power wire to the horn and use the ol finger. Very Happy


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Re: HORN problem

Post by IRONHEAD on Tue May 17, 2011 2:55 pm

I have worn out my finger need to get a new one. :-)
I'v seen that guy before
If you don't mind call me 770-775-4750 if you do mind thats ok i'll just use my finger

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Re: HORN problem

Post by fluxcap on Tue May 17, 2011 3:06 pm

No problem man, at work right now, but I'll give you a call when I get home this evening.

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Re: HORN problem

Post by rpm750 on Tue May 17, 2011 4:44 pm

I've had horn problems..... always!

Anyway I recently took my car apart trying to find where the hell I was reading a short to ground through the column from the terminal on the column. It's not the column or the steering shaft. Turned out to be the rubber coupling. I took the steering wheel off, the turn signal switch, the upper bracket and finally the coupler. It has a metal band in it and when the rubber shrinks over time it makes contact with the bolts and makes a path to ground through the shaft to the steering box. I read about 750 - 980 ohms to ground from the terminal that is on the column to the steering box or ground/chassis. It's the rubber coupler.

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Re: HORN problem

Post by fluxcap on Tue May 17, 2011 6:15 pm

^That's a possibility too, though I just went out and tested my steering shaft, and it had a good enough ground to make my test light go off, but it never makes my horn go off.

Here's the pages from the Bentley I was looking at. I really don't know exactly how the shaft stays isolated from the column tube with the bearing and all, but maybe this will let you know if you are missing any parts.
.
.




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Re: HORN problem

Post by IRONHEAD on Thu May 19, 2011 11:34 am

now we are getting some where. Is Bently the car or is that the name of the book?
According to the diagram I am missing items # 2,6,7 and 8. Items 2 and 6 interest me guess i'll have to make them meanwhile i' have to get me that bumper sticker I saw (HORN BROKE WATCH FOR FINGER)
Thanks that diagram helps alot.

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Re: HORN problem

Post by fluxcap on Thu May 19, 2011 12:03 pm

Bentley is the name of the publisher who is reproducing the original workshop manual. Everybody just calls the workshop manual "Bentley".
http://www.amazon.com/Volkswagen-1200-Workshop-Manual-1961-1965/dp/0837603900/ref=pd_sim_b_12

There's actually a bootlegged pdf version here: mediafire.com ?2kq2xg00wzi
But it's 1364 pages and not the easiest thing to flip through on a computer.

If you do download it though, the sections you need to scroll to for the horn are V-9 (steering column) and E-9 (horn circuit)


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Re: HORN problem

Post by rpm750 on Thu May 19, 2011 12:31 pm

Well heres my .02 again.

All those parts, springs, spacers, washers, etc. are all metal and they have no insulating properties at all. This means that the steering "Ass'y" is all the same electrical potential, none of those parts are insulated from one another. The steering "Ass'y" which is the diagram that flux posted above, is "floating", seperated or Insulated from Ground. Ground being the chassis which is connected back to the negitive side of the battery, Ground. This is evident because the two wires that jump over to the column, one from the Horn and the other to Ground. That being said we go back to why they used a rubber connection between the chassis and the steering "Ass'y", a rubber cusion if you will on the strap at the top of the column and a rubber seal going through the firewall.

So the flow of current goes like this..... See Diagram below also.

From Key switch to Horn Positive
From Neg terminal on Horn to terminal on Steering column tube
Through the column tube up to the Steering Wheel
Openning between Steering Wheel and Horn Ring, if gap is closed, Horn Ring depressed, we continue
Horn Ring hooked to wire thru steering shaft connected to ground on the other end

We now have passed current through the entire circuit and the horn should be blowing.

So why does the horn blow without depressing the Horn Ring?
In the path described above the isolation of the steering "Ass'y" has been compromised and is allowing current to find ground pryer to the Horn Ring. Where is this happening? Well lets look at the current flow or path again.

From Key switch to Horn Positive----Short here would cause blowing fuses
From Neg terminal on Horn to terminal on Steering column tube----Shorted wire here will blow Horn
Through the column tube up to the Steering Wheel----Same potential wouldn't do anything
Now, If the rubber insulator is shorted, here is where the problems start. We now have a path going up the column, down the steering shaft and through the rubber insulator and to Ground. Horn is blowing like Hell and everyone around us is looking at us like we are stupid! The rest of the circuit has no effect because a ground has been established.
Openning between Steering Wheel and Horn Ring, if gap is closed, Horn Ring depressed, we continue
Horn Ring hooked to wire thru steering shaft connected to ground on the other end


Nice working circuit, everything is cool!
----12v----[Switch]------[Horn]-------[Steering Column, Steering Shaft]-------[Horn Ring]----Ground----

Norn Blowing folks looking, nothing is cool!
----12v---[Switch]-------[Horn]-------[Steering Column, Steering Shaft]-------[Horn Ring]----Ground----
...............................................^---------------------------------------^
.........................................Short/Grounded some where between these points

So what do we check?
~ On the Horn Ring there are three screws with springs under them. They have plastic washer inserts that need to be in place. If those are missing or broken then it's like the Horn Ring is being pressed all the time.
~ Check to see if you have continuity or a path across the rubber insulator between the Steering Shaft and the Steering Box. If ya do then your problem is there, if not move on the the other items listed.
~ The Wire from Horn to Column, check that it is not pinched, insulation rubbed off or grounded.
~ The Wire going down the steering shaft, check that it is not pinched, insulation rubbed off or grounded.
~ Norn Ring gap, make sure that there is an opening between the Horn Ring and Steering wheel. This is the switch that connects the Horn to ground.
~ Steering Column, double check that the column is floating or isolated from ground. Remember that if the rubber coupling at the steering box may be bad and it will be evident here. Use an Ohm meter, ground one lead to the chassis and put the other lead on the terminal on the column. The meter reading should be nothing but if it gives you a reading or the needle moves then there is someting there to look at. Sometimes you have to clean a spot to get a good connection with your meter leads.

I hope this helps.





Last edited by rpm750 on Thu May 19, 2011 1:32 pm; edited 2 times in total
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Re: HORN problem

Post by IRONHEAD on Thu May 19, 2011 1:09 pm

So I may have a short at the steering coupling or the rubber insolated gromets on the tube maybe shorting against the boby. it all makes scense. I'm not overly concerned about the horn but I would like to get it working because it is the last electrical problem I have before moving on to the interior.
Thanks guys all this has been very helpful

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Re: HORN problem

Post by rpm750 on Thu May 19, 2011 1:43 pm

Well if the Horn is Blowing all the time, you could turn the key on, Horn Blowing and pull the wire off the terminal at the steering box going up the steering shaft. If the Horn stops blowing then there is a problem with the wire going up the shaft, the Horn Ring or the hardware that holds the Horn Ring onto the Steering Wheel. If the Horn continues to sound then unplug the wire from the Horn to the column. If Horn stops then there is a problem from column down to that rubber coupling. If it continues to sound then the wire going to the neg terminal on the Horn is shorted.

I would have never guessed that my issue was with the coupler but as it turns out my coupler is bad.

Good luck with your issue.
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Re: HORN problem

Post by IRONHEAD on Thu May 19, 2011 3:10 pm

Well I dowloaded the Bently book , didn't take long. But I think i'll remove the entire steering column and start over paying attention to the rag joint and rubber isolaters for the tube.(MAKE IT RIGHT)
The new book says hook up computer and replace defective components
The old books says test/check and then repair component,LOVE THE OLD BOOKS,

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