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Unread 05-01-2013, 09:40 AM   #16
sgull
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Update: Keep forgetting to bring my meter/tester home from work so haven't been able to do meter checks yet as KoreaZJ described. I will though.
Meanwhile, I upon careful close examination of the horn wire where it goes through the wheel, I don't see anything obvious such as a break in the insulation or such. Hvacdude, from what I can tell, the horn wire comes in through the wheel at the top middle hole above the steering wheel nut (12 o'clock), then just drops down and splits off to enter the openings in the wheel toward the horn switches (at about the 5 and 7 o'clock positions), so I'm not clear about your mention of the 6 o'clock position wire pass. Regardless, even at those passes I'm not seeing any break in the insulation or such.
Perhaps worth mentioning again is that along with issue of the horn starting/stopping to sounding randomly depending on steering wheel positions, I noticed that pressing the horn buttons does/did not sound the horn. Not sure if these malfunctions are separate or related to eachother.

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Unread 05-02-2013, 09:53 AM   #17
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Quote:
Remove the clock spring connector (white/natural)
Using an ohmmeter, check for continuity between Clockspring Pin#5 (GY/OR on connector side) and chassis ground.
There should be no continuity without a horn button pushed.
I used a paper clip clipped on the alligator clip of one of the ends of my meter leads and stuck it into the #5 pin receptacle. Here's a couple pictures of that:



The other lead I clipped onto this bolt down by the gas pedal; don't really know if this is an acceptable "chassis ground".
Doing as I described, I didn't get any readout indicating continuity. I had the battery disconnected during the test. Should I have had the battery connected? I'm rather clueless when it comes to testing electrical stuff on cars.

Quote:
You can also pull the horn switch spade lug connection apart, then test the switches/wiring separately from the clockspring/wiring. Check for damaged/bare horn wires on both ends where they run close to the metal framework.
Quote:
Nothing should be grounded with the meter checks.
I'll try to move on to the above quoted next tests after I'm fairly certain I've done the first one right.
Any more comments/advice appreciated.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 08:01 AM   #18
KoreaZJ
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Do not measure from the white 5-pin connector where you have the paper clip.

Instead, measure from Pin#5 on the actual clockspring (where the white 5-pin connector plugs into). I only mentioned (GY/OR on connector side) to help you find Pin#5 on the clockspring.

If you still don't get a meter reading, try some different ground points. Should be several bare metal areas/screws in the area.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 08:57 AM   #19
sgull
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While looking for a reading when connected from Pin#5 on the clockspring and chassis ground, shouldn't I also be trying to turn the steering wheel back and forth (to try to replicate the issue where the horn will sound without the horn button pressed)? Hopefully not, because it's not easy turning the wheel when parked.
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Unread 05-03-2013, 03:45 PM   #20
KoreaZJ
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Rotate the wheel, bang on the wheel, move the wires, etc. to isolate the ground location.

To rotate the wheel easier... lift the wheels off the ground or disconnect the Coupler Shaft under the hood (one bolt). Or if you have the wheel puller now, could just remove the clockspring and test it by itself.

Also, you should get a ground reading with either horn button pushed. If not, then sounds more like a bad clockspring.
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Unread 05-04-2013, 10:56 AM   #21
sgull
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Another thing I failed to mention previously is that I noticed unusual noise coming from the area of the clockspring when turning the steering wheel in either direction -- could be described as a light grinding noise. From what I've been reading, that, along with my horn issue, seems like fairly strong indicators without further testing that my clockspring is bad. On this particular Jeep, which is a "beater" anyway, I don't want to spend the money for a replacement clockspring if I can avoid it. There's no junkyards here and no parts vehicles from which I can salvage a working one, and the cheapest I've seen is on Ebay for 40 bucks plus 15 for shipping, and I don't even want to have to spend that. I live in a small rural Alaskan community where there is not much public road. This vehicle steering wheel controls include the cruise control button, which I never use and don't care if it works or not. In regard to the airbag, similarly, I don't care if it works or not. In regard to the horn, I'd like to have it operational but it doesn't necessarily have to be from the button switches on the steering wheel; if possible I could just wire the horn to a different switch, maybe a toggle installed in the dash or something.
Can I just remove the clockspring and leave it out, or does it have to be in there for any other particular reason if I'm not worried about the airbag, the horn buttons working, and the cruise control button? Thanks for any further comments/advice.
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Unread 05-04-2013, 03:48 PM   #22
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Clockspring can be removed. People remove them when they install a different steering wheel.

If the clockspring is that bad, might be concerned about the airbag going off accidentally.

You could leave the clockspring in... unplug the airbag connector (cluster lamp might stay on, pull bulb) and even the cruise connector. Then use one of the cruise or airbag wires for the horn buttons. Use your ohmmeter to determine which clockspring wires still work.

Yakutat?
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Unread 05-05-2013, 10:37 AM   #23
sgull
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Quote:
Clockspring can be removed.
Quote:
You could leave the clockspring in... unplug the airbag connector (cluster lamp might stay on, pull bulb) and even the cruise connector. Then use one of the cruise or airbag wires for the horn buttons. Use your ohmmeter to determine which clockspring wires still work.
I guess the reason I was asking whether the clockspring can be removed and just left out is because then I wouldn't have to hear that light grinding noise I mentioned it is apparently making when the steering wheel is turned either way. Although, if leaving the bad clockspring in would enable me to use either the cruise or airbag wires for the horn buttons, I can live with the grinding noise. Could that really work though? Doesn't the cruise and airbag circuit have their own separate relays/fuses? I'm unclear on how I could get the horn buttons to sound the horn if using either the airbag or cruise wiring circuit.
Quote:
If the clockspring is that bad, might be concerned about the airbag going off accidentally.
I'm a little confused by what you mean by that. Do you mean if I was to continue to keep the airbag connected with the bad clockspring still installed? Also, if I do keep the bad clockspring installed and it's "that bad", does that mean it could prevent the possibility of using either the cruise or airbag wires for the horn? Doesn't the clockspring function as a conductor, and when it goes "bad" that's what is likely causing the horn malfunction and potential cruise control and airbag malfunction as well?
Quote:
Yakutat?
Sitka.
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Unread 05-05-2013, 03:35 PM   #24
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Yes, clockspring is basically several conductors with slip rings. Your clockspring is grinding and your horn is going on/off when it shouldn't be. If your horn is not working, that may simply be an open conductor. Since your horn is blowing when it shouldn't, then something is likely grounding out that shouldn't. No way to know what's going on inside the clockspring. Testing each conductor with a meter will show opens/intermittents while rotating the wheel.

Any of the clockspring conductors can be wired to do anything you want. Horn only requires one wire. The horn circuit stays the same, just move the horn wire in the white connector to a pin on the clockspring that works. Then change the wire inside the wheel. Everything is same, just using a different route through the clockspring.

If you find the clockspring horn conductor is bad, you could simply move that function to one of the cruise button conductors.
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Unread 05-05-2013, 09:57 PM   #25
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The only problem is you might end up with the same issue my wife had in her 95 Neon. The clockspring degraded further and further. First the airbag light came on. Then the horn stopped working. Then we actually had stringers of the contact rings coming out between the wheel and the column.

If the contact for the horn (or the cruise control) crosses over to the airbag contact, it could cause the airbag to deploy.

Even if it doesn't, transferring the horn over to another contact is just delaying the inevitable as once a clockspring starts to degrade, it doesn't stop there. It will keep degrading until complete failure.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 10:23 AM   #26
sgull
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Mickey_D View Post
transferring the horn over to another contact is just delaying the inevitable as once a clockspring starts to degrade, it doesn't stop there. It will keep degrading until complete failure.
Well if that's the case then perhaps a better option for me than transferring the horn over to another clockspring contact, and since I'm too cheap to buy a replacement clockspring, is to remove the bad clockspring and just leave it out, (leaving the airbag unplugged and the cruise control disconnected) and just rewire the horn wire to a different switch that I'd try to install elsewhere in the vicinity of the driver. Here's a picture of my bad clockspring:


So if I wanted to rewire the horn wire to a different switch as I mentioned above, would it just be a matter of cutting then connecting the gray/orange wire that goes into the number 5 clockspring pin connector (as shown in diagram in post #14 here) to one terminal on a (new separate) switch and connecting the other switch terminal to a ground?
Again, and further comments/advice appreciated!
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Unread 05-06-2013, 12:49 PM   #27
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You pretty much have it right.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 02:39 PM   #28
sgull
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Great.
Okay got rid of the bad clockspring. I pried it open just for the heck of it to see inside. All those little ribbon-like wires in there were all twisted up and tangled and frayed here and were just a birdsnest-like mess. I believe it could be described as toast. And I re-did the horn wiring to get the horn working now so it'll sound when I want/need it to.
Of course, now with the airbag disconnected I have the constant airbag light on in the dash. As KoreaZJ mentioned I could probably just remove the bulb if having the light on bothers me. Not sure off-hand how much disassembly of the dash that would require to get accomplished.
Also, I figured I'd go ahead and just reinstall the airbag module into the steering wheel, just to fill up the space there. Unless that's not a good idea and even though it's disconnected electrically it could still somehow activate and explode out by some freak circumstance. Any comment in that regard also would be appreciated. Thanks again for all the help with this issue.
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Unread 05-06-2013, 09:26 PM   #29
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With it disconnected the air bag is an expensive (to replace) place filler.
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