View Full Version : Horn Wire Dilema

04-27-2005, 08:39 AM
Just the facts:
'63 Champ 1/2 ton V8
Routine State Inspection.
Went in to get my state inspection done on one of the Champs. The technician asked me to drive as he said he wasn't comfortable with "those old "3-on-the-tree" shifters. Everything was in good order except that the horn wouldn't sound off. I swear it was working yesterday!! Anyway, I took the horn button off to make sure the wire hadn't slipped loos there. Sure enough it was still connected, but there was no fire. When I went to look under the hood, the technician pulled the darned wire up out of the steering column. Well, I found the connection that had come loose, but now can't get the wire back inside the column. Woe is me!!! Is there a trick? Where does the wire exit? How do i feed it back in?

steve blake

04-27-2005, 10:38 AM

I thought a '63 Champ should have a solid steering column shaft like a Lark, in which case there is a plastic disc with a brass ring on the underside of it, which makes contact with a brush inside the signal switch housing.

If the technician pulled a LONG wire up out of the column (for which he should be reprimanded, IMHO), then your truck has the older horn arrangement, where the wire exits through a hole in the bottom of the steering box. The disc which plugs the large hole in the bottom of the box has about a 12" length of small-diameter steel tubing incorporated into it, so as the top end of this tube is above the level of lube in the box. It can be hard to feed a wire DOWN the column, because it hangs up on the top of this inner tube.

Some people have had success with using compressed air to blow a string down the column. Once the string is out the bottom, you can tape it to the wire end, and use the string to pull it down.

Alternatively, try using a speedometer cable core, fed down from the top. Often you can wiggle it a bit to make it feed into the inner tubing. Then tape the other end to the terminal on the end of the wire.

Third alternative is to push a length of wire (or speedo cable) UP the column from the bottom.

The wire inside the column should have a male bullet connector on the bottom, and the nearby harness should have a short lead on it with a matching female connector.

FWIW, I'm currently working on a Jeep, and I used the third option, which was easy, because I had the steering box and column in the vise.

Gord Richmond, within Weasel range of the Alberta Badlands

04-27-2005, 10:46 AM
[:I]Thanks Gord. I told the guy that the hole was in the bottom of the steering box, but he said it's impossible. Dang these inspections!!! Anyway, I'll head back down there and reiterate my point.

steve blake

04-27-2005, 02:38 PM

My 63 Champ has the horn wire coming out the end of the steering box. Never tried compressed air. I'll have to try that on my wife's 62 Hawk. Using the speedometer cable core, with one end filed till its rounded is usually the way I go.

Good luck,


Laisez le bon temps roulez avec un Studebaker

04-27-2005, 06:43 PM
Well, i'm too fat to get under the hood much anymore, so when the state inspection guy yanked the horn wire completely out of the steering column on the '63 Champ, Marla showed her farm gal upbringing once again. She had a new wire installed in a jiffy.......my job was to crimp on new ends and then sit in the driver's seat waiting for the new wire to emerge and be captured !!!
The proof is in the pictures in the link above

steve blake

04-29-2005, 04:19 PM
Boy! Remind me never to move to Arkansas! [:0] If my vehicles had to be inspected I'd be in trouble!![:I] Thanks for the posting Mr. Blake!:D My own Champ has been driving me nuts on this problem for quite a while.[V]

Lotsa Larks!
A.K.A: out2lunch

04-29-2005, 05:25 PM
Arkie WISHES he was in Arkansas. He lives in Amarillo TX currently. I'm glad California did away with that vehicle inspection crap years ago.[xx(]

Miscreant at large.

04-29-2005, 07:16 PM
[:I]Mr.Biggs is right. But in another couple of years, I'll be back to the Ozarks for good....a couple acres on the side of a nice little wooded hill....simple little house with a 40X80 car barn out back!!! And yeah, sometimes those little puffs of smoke ARE stills !!

steve blake