1972 Skylark Custom horn issues

Discussion in 'Wrenchin' Secrets' started by CCM, Sep 25, 2019.

  1. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Well, as some of you saw in the 'wet behind the ears' forum, I am the proud new owner of a 72 Skylark Custom!

    I have my first issue I need to troubleshoot and any advice is much appreciated.

    The horn wasn't working and I took a look under the hood and noticed the wires were not connected to the actual horns. I was hoping that they somehow just worked themselves loose and would be a simple fix, so I re-connected them and the horn starts blaring and won't stop. I jumped about a mile as I was in the garage with the door closed... those horns are loud! Ha!

    Would the most likely culprit be the horn buttons on the steering wheel or the relay?

    Attached is a picture of my steering wheel for reference.

    Thanks!

    1972-interior.jpg
     
  2. gsx455-4ever

    gsx455-4ever Gold Level Contributor

    Disconnect the turn signal switch at the middle of the steering column and see if the horns still are blasting all the time. If they stop blowing with it disconnected then the horn wire is grounding out in either the column or at the wheel .
     
  3. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member


    Thanks! I probably won't be able to work on this until the weekend. I've never pulled a steering wheel or done this kind of work, should be an adventure!
     
  4. gsx455-4ever

    gsx455-4ever Gold Level Contributor

    To test as I posted you don't have to remove the wheel . Just unplug the Turn Signal switch and see if they are still blowing all the time . If they are silent after unplugging then you will have to look in the column
     
  5. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Ok cool, I'll take a look at it this weekend. Thanks again!
     
  6. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    I snapped a few pictures of my steering column. I'm not sure where I would disconnect the turn signal switch? I'm definitely new to this, so forgive my ignorance

    . IMG_20190925_172742.jpg

    IMG_20190925_172732.jpg
     
  7. gsx455-4ever

    gsx455-4ever Gold Level Contributor

    Your steering wheel looks like it has too much of a space above your turn signal switch . The plug I was talking about is where the steering column enters the dash area . the lower half of the dash has to be unscrewed and removed to see the plug . It will be about 3 inches long with about 10-12 wires attached to the side of the steering column
     
  8. hwprouty

    hwprouty Platinum Level Contributor

    I agree with gsx455, theres something goofed up in the steering wheel mounting...
    You can actually see the horn 'contact' area.. This is what you're seeing in that gap... https://www.rockauto.com/en/catalog...trical-switch+&+relay,turn+signal+switch,4832
    That white part of the switch is what you see in the gap. You can get a cheap steering wheel puller from most auto parts store, they tend to be stuck on there pretty good.
    Being new , we've all been there! Sounds like you've got the right attitude!
     
  9. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Well, I unplugged the wiring harness as suggested and the horn stopped, so it looks like I will be getting a steering wheel puller and digging in.

    Thanks for the help so far!
     
  10. steve covington

    steve covington Well-Known Member

    Everybody has to start somewhere, at least you found a good reference resource and PLENTY of help. One small recommendation: post your location in your profile. You may be next door to a valuable knowledgeable source.
     
  11. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Profile has been updated, I'm in Pittsburgh, PA.

    Thanks!
     
  12. gstewart

    gstewart Well-Known Member

    A failing horn relay causes the same problem. experienced that situation and had to replace the horn relay.
     
  13. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Ok, it's been awhile since I had a chance to deal with my horn. It doesn't seem to be an issue in the column from what I could tell. So I picked up a new relay. Question is, what is the easiest way to get to it? Can I go up thru the glove box or do I need to take more of the dash out?
     
  14. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Well... found the relay and replaced it and it did not fix the problem. I must have missed something in the steering column. Back to square one!
     
  15. gsx455-4ever

    gsx455-4ever Gold Level Contributor

    Well you said you unplugged the Turn signal switch at the column and the horn stopped blowing so it means the horn wire is grounded some where in the column . Plus you need to figure out why the steering wheel has a gap to the column .
     
  16. CCM

    CCM Well-Known Member

    Been a while since I updated this. Not being a mechanic I took the Skylark to a local garage to have them give it a good once over and it ended up needing front brakes, the shoes were cracked. This is where the adventure begins...

    As part of their inspection they also pointed out how badly rusted and corroded my battery tray was... the rot was into the inner fender well and core support and the battery was not secure at all. I had an oil leak that I thought was coming from the re-tapped oil pan, but turned out to be leaking from the fuel pump and the carb needed rebuilt.

    They also suggested some suspension upgrades, the old rear air shocks were leaking and the springs all around were in bad shape. They said they would also look at the horn for me. They said the body bushings were in bad shape and they would replace the ones that they could while doing the brake upgrade, but wouldn't replace them all at this time to save me some cost on this go around.

    We came up with a plan and I started ordering parts:
    Front disc conversion kit from Summit
    Belltech Performance handling kit.. shocks, springs and sway bars
    New front RH inner fender well
    Core support rust repair panel kit from OPGI
    New battery tray, clamp and bolt
    New fuel pump
    Upper and lower ball joints
    Body bushing kit
    Electric vacuum pump
    Throttle cable

    Everything went relatively smooth, the only real issue was that I didn't have enough vacuum for the new brakes... combination of the cam that I have and some vacuum leaks that they fixed. I ended up ordering an electric vacuum pump and had them put it in and now the brakes are working great.

    They found an issue with the throttle cable, said it was dangerous and likely to fail, so they replaced that as well.

    Now, for my original horn issue... They said the wiring was a mess and whoever did the work before pretty much butchered it. The wires going to the original horn relay behind the glove box had been cut and re-wired to a new, incorrect relay near the fuse box. They replaced the wiring in the steering column and put in the correct relay and now the horn works.

    They had the car for 5 weeks, I just picked it up last Thursday and we had some beautiful weather here in Pittsburgh last Saturday, so I was able to take it for a quick ride and wash it before putting it in the garage for the rest of the winter. She should be ready for spring at this point, looking forward to my first summer with the car!


    Future upgrades they suggested:
    Switching to fuel injection - They said they did the best they could with the current carb. Not sure I want FI... I think I want to stick with a carb, so I may get a new intake and carb at some point instead of fuel injection. I need to recoup from this latest bill before putting any more significant money into the car, so I will be running with the old carb for a while. The only real issue is cold starting, once it gets warmed up it runs great.

    Replacing all remaining body bushings - not sure how big of a job this is or what the cost will be, I need to get an estimate.


    That's it for now!
     
    tubecatgs likes this.
  17. RoadDawg

    RoadDawg Well-Known Member

    That's how it starts. Went to stop a small trans fluid leak behind my torque converter and ended up putting a 6.0 LS and 4L80E in instead.

    Money pits.
     
  18. efogs400

    efogs400 Well-Known Member

    Yup - I picked up what appeared to be a good deal on a Skylark Convert on Craigslist a while back and ended up with about the same task list you have.....you could chase something on these cars forever. The trick is to try and get it as close to satisfactory as possible and enjoy it.
     
  19. Red Skylark

    Red Skylark Well-Known Member

    Looking at this, my car is causing the horns to go off when I turn the steering wheel. I have them disconnected but I can still hear the relay clicking. So do I have a grounding issue in my column.
     

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