When steering wheel is the horn problem

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May 14, 2015
Oceanside, CA, USA
When I got my HJ47, the horn didn't really work on one of the three steering wheel "prongs." The other two worked intermittently and only if I held it down for a few seconds (and in reality, I probably was pushing a little more during that time). Six years later, I decided to do something about it because it can be dangerous to not have a horn when you really need it to warn the other driver before he sideswipes you, so I unscrewed the steering wheel and took off the top from the bottom. The back of the top is in the first photo.
So when you push on the black horn thing, it pushes the brass-looking piece with the round metal dot in the center of each circled piece (second photo with my thumb showing it clearly) so that it comes in contct with the copper-looking metal in the third photo. If the contact doesn't happen, it doesn't honk (assuming your actual horn is good and hooked up). Over time, that round metal piece in the second photo probably gets worn down a little and the contact isn't good. In my case, the side that didn't work at all wasn't because of the metal wearing; it was because that particular prong of the top of the steering wheel had become pushed out for some reason.
Here below you can see the white wire bringing the juice to the copper-looking metal contact. I unscrewed all three to clean them up.
Then I took all the parts apart and cleaned all the contacts, cleaned both sides of the inside of the steering wheel, etc. This was not the main issue, though.
Then, addressing what the main issue was, I pried up the copper-looking piece so that the contact between it and the small round metal piece shown in the first two photos could make good contact. This photo shows the one that had the plastic top part of the steering wheel that had been pushed up so I really had to make a pretty good pry to get it to make good contact with the round metal piece in the upper half of the steering wheel casing. I pried the other two up a little as well but not nearly as much. You can compare it to the picture that follows, which shows how all 3 copper-looking metal parts were before I pried them up--pressed right against the black plastic under the copper-looking metal. After I got it all put together, the horn worked perfectly--except one of the three sides that I had to push it a second or two to get it to honk. The problem was I hadn't pryed the metal piece up high enough to make easy contact. I'll do that tomorrow. All in all, this is an easy fix and it's ridiculous that I waited 6 years to do it.
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