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Discussion Starter #1
After having my second turn signal/horn switch break in a year, I've decided to try and add a horn relay instead. I will use the horn button to connect the ground for the relay to activate the horns. I'm using this hub for my aftermarket steering wheel.


My dilemma is how do I wire the horn button with a ground wire without the wire wrapping around the internals of the steering column/hub area while I'm driving the car? The two spring loaded contacts on the turn signal/horn switch are no good. One is broken completely off and the other is on its way. I figure I can connect the two wires for the horn together, but what about the ground wire and horn button?

Suggestions and/or ideas?
 

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Why not mount the relay near the horn. The wire that connects to the horn now gets connected to the + side on the relay coil and ground the - side of the relay coil. Run a fused line off the battery to the common terminal on the relay contact and the NO contact to the horns. Done.
 

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If you want the horn button on the steering wheel to activate the relay you must use one of the 2 spring loaded contacts in the turn signal switch. There's no way around it that I can see. Maybe you can "rebuild" at least one of the two contacts. Or buy an NOS Ford TSS that will last another 50 years.
 

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If you're breaking turn signal/horn switches twice in a year, it sounds like something isn't aligned properly. Most of these switches last 20 or 30 years. Are you using an aftermarket steering wheel? The horn system doesn't draw enough power to warrant a relay unless you've added multiple high-draw horns. Installing a relay is putting a patch on a problem without finding the cause of the problem.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Why not mount the relay near the horn. The wire that connects to the horn now gets connected to the + side on the relay coil and ground the - side of the relay coil. Run a fused line off the battery to the common terminal on the relay contact and the NO contact to the horns. Done.
I'm not seeing how this would work with my current situation with one contact broken off completely, and the other one about ready to go.
 

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The spec I found is that the horns draw 20 amps. That's a significant amount of power. The other issue is the small gauge and long run of wire that's going to have significant voltage drop in by itself.
 

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Plenty of folks can't get the a/m turn signal switches to last. As mentioned, get an oem.
 

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I'm about to do this myself on the 65. As mentioned, you need the spring contact or it isn't going to work. Check the contact ring in the hub for some kind of damage that would contribute to wrecking the contact spring, or anything else that might interfere like the cancelling pegs being in the wrong position. As far as wiring, I am going to start with using the stock +12 wiring in the column to go straight to the relay coil and ground the coil on the relay locally. Just less wiring to mess with. End result is the same. And in the event of a fault like a short in the column, you simply will not have horns instead of the horns being constantly on.
Got pictures of the damage?
 

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For a "wireless" option I wonder if you could adapt the pieces and parts from a wireless doorbell button and receiver to work???? Hmmmmn.
 

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Why not mount the relay near the horn. The wire that connects to the horn now gets connected to the + side on the relay coil and ground the - side of the relay coil. Run a fused line off the battery to the common terminal on the relay contact and the NO contact to the horns. Done.
This is exactly what i did, they are nice and loud now, i found a relay on amazon that had a built in fuse too. we will see how it holds up.
 

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I'm about to do this myself on the 65. As mentioned, you need the spring contact or it isn't going to work. Check the contact ring in the hub for some kind of damage that would contribute to wrecking the contact spring, or anything else that might interfere like the cancelling pegs being in the wrong position. As far as wiring, I am going to start with using the stock +12 wiring in the column to go straight to the relay coil and ground the coil on the relay locally. Just less wiring to mess with. End result is the same. And in the event of a fault like a short in the column, you simply will not have horns instead of the horns being constantly on.
Got pictures of the damage?
Try adding some white lithium grease to the contacts to smooth out the contact area.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
I'll post some pics when I get home tonight. The contact ring on the underside of the steering wheel hub is pretty chewed up. I'm thinking I probably have the steering column adjusted too far up against the hub and putting too much pressure on the spring contacts and they're digging into the ring.
 

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Lee:
It seems that you are like me, not bashful about using a horn! In one particularly dangerous situation, I laid on the horns until the moron in the car ahead realized that she was effectively a speed bump ( she had come to a complete stop for no apparent reason in 70 mph traffic) on the freeway. The next time I tried to use the horns, nothing. I checked the fuse and it was blown. Replaced the fuse and still nothing. Pulled the horns out and it turns out I melted them!! Seriously, the inside of the horns had gone molten.
 

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After having my second turn signal/horn switch break in a year, I've decided to try and add a horn relay instead. I will use the horn button to connect the ground for the relay to activate the horns. I'm using this hub for my aftermarket steering wheel.


My dilemma is how do I wire the horn button with a ground wire without the wire wrapping around the internals of the steering column/hub area while I'm driving the car? The two spring loaded contacts on the turn signal/horn switch are no good. One is broken completely off and the other is on its way. I figure I can connect the two wires for the horn together, but what about the ground wire and horn button?

Suggestions and/or ideas?
Lee,
Naive question: Is the reason that you had turn signal failure due to the circuit load, and therefore want to mount relays?
Is the horn circuit similar to the headlight circuits, where failure is due to inadequate wiring to support the current?

BTW, I had extreme wiring failure with my halogen headlights -- the switch melted and the insulation on the wiring from the dash to the left headlight was melted the whole distance (I have pix of this). So now my heightened worries about other similar wiring failures.
 

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No one seems to have touched on this- are you saying that you don't have an operating slip ring so the electrical contact for the horn can be made between the steering wheel and column? If that is so, and you don't want to correct that problem, then put the horn button elsewhere- not on the steering wheel.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Lee,
Naive question: Is the reason that you had turn signal failure due to the circuit load, and therefore want to mount relays?
Is the horn circuit similar to the headlight circuits, where failure is due to inadequate wiring to support the current?

BTW, I had extreme wiring failure with my halogen headlights -- the switch melted and the insulation on the wiring from the dash to the left headlight was melted the whole distance (I have pix of this). So now my heightened worries about other similar wiring failures.
No, the reason for the Turn Signal Switch (TSS) failure is due to the spring contacts being broken off. The last TSS had both contacts broken off and finally maneuvered their way around where the live one was intermittently grounding and providing an interesting light show at times. This TSS has one spring contact completely broken off and the other is bent. I have thought about this a bit and I believe I am the culprit for having the steering column adjusted too tightly against the hub for the aftermarket steering wheel. I was thinking of going with a horn relay to bypass the spring contact assembly but haven't figured a way to wire the horn button without the new wiring becoming entangled inside the steering column.

I have halogen lights on my 65, but never suffered any meltdowns with them. I now have relays for the high and low beams.
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Lee:
It seems that you are like me, not bashful about using a horn! In one particularly dangerous situation, I laid on the horns until the moron in the car ahead realized that she was effectively a speed bump ( she had come to a complete stop for no apparent reason in 70 mph traffic) on the freeway. The next time I tried to use the horns, nothing. I checked the fuse and it was blown. Replaced the fuse and still nothing. Pulled the horns out and it turns out I melted them!! Seriously, the inside of the horns had gone molten.
I'm not bashful about using my horns as this area seems to have a higher percentage of idiots who do stupid stuff while driving without any regard to anyone else around them. I don't go crazy with them, but they are a necessary function to have.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
No one seems to have touched on this- are you saying that you don't have an operating slip ring so the electrical contact for the horn can be made between the steering wheel and column? If that is so, and you don't want to correct that problem, then put the horn button elsewhere- not on the steering wheel.
From what I've seen of the contact rings on the underside of the hub for the steering wheel, they look fairly chewed up. If I decide to buy another TSS, I'll have to replace the hub also because of the condition of the rings. I also have to ease up on the pressure of having adjusted the steering column towards the steering wheel to close the gap. I have thought about putting a switch somewhere else to activate the horn, but after driving over 40 years, I don't think I'll be able to break the habit of pushing the center of the steering wheel to honk the horn, especially in an emergency.
 

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Lee:
It seems that you are like me, not bashful about using a horn! In one particularly dangerous situation, I laid on the horns until the moron in the car ahead realized that she was effectively a speed bump ( she had come to a complete stop for no apparent reason in 70 mph traffic) on the freeway. The next time I tried to use the horns, nothing. I checked the fuse and it was blown. Replaced the fuse and still nothing. Pulled the horns out and it turns out I melted them!! Seriously, the inside of the horns had gone molten.
Guessing it wasn't an early Mustang.... the horn circuit isn't fused... it's fed through the headlamp switch with an internal 15a breaker.
 
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