Horn contact ring

A question on the Samba about the “interchangeability” of horn contact rings made me get off my duff and fix a nagging problem of intermittent horn function on my ’86 Syncro. Someone in the past had made a fairly neat fix with copper wire to form a contact ring, but it only worked when steering wheel at a certain angle 🙂

I had a known good ring on the steering wheel of my ’82 Westy, so I whipped both wheels off, 24 mm socket (15/16″ also works) on nut, and swapped the contact rings. direct fit, no problems even though the steering wheels themselves are different. You just pry the ring out with a flat bladed screwdriver. Pics below show the two wheels and the home made contact ring. The larger of the two wheels is, of course, from the non power steering ’82.

  1. #1 by El Pedro on May 10, 2010 - 8:42 am

    Did you lubricate the ring in any way? Mine’s been making a bit of a rubbing noise as I turn the wheel, but I don’t want to foil the electrical properties by lubricating the ring if that’s not appropriate. Bentley wasn’t much help on this topic. But I did end up buying a nice new torque wrench to make sure I got that nut back on tight at 50 ft-lbs.

    • #2 by albell on May 10, 2010 - 8:50 am

      hi,
      the ring that I swapped in had a bit of grease still on it, looked like white lithium grease. I must have put that on originally years ago. I think a very small smear of silicone grease would be fine, oh heck probably any grease would do.
      But you might find that the noise is being made by a worn and ragged copper contact on the steering column. I believe its beryllium copper (a springier, harder, and very toxic copper alloy) and it does wear out (from lack of lube?). Have a look and see if you can’t fix that bit, bending carefully so a new contact surface is presented

      alistair

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