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Fixing Morgan Horn Button

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Fixing Morgan Horn Button
#1
  This topic is about my 1953 Morgan Plus 4 (+4)
wsb1960tr3a Avatar
wsb1960tr3a Bill Brewer
Tehachapi, CA, USA   USA
So I put in a tested & working Lucas High Windtone horn in my flat rad +4. I wired it with a combination of original wiring and new wiring. I came straight off of an always hot wire with an inline fuse, then to the horn and then I tied in to the original wiring to the button and from there it went to a ground. It worked great, about 5 times and then nothing. I traced the power and I have power through the horn and it still works. I tested the ground and it is still good. I tried to disassemble the horn button in the center of the dash and couldn't get it apart. What is the trick? I even pulled the horn button out of my next restoration project Morgan and couldn't disassemble that one either. I took out the two screws on the side and the two screws out of the back and the little nut in the center. Still couldn't get it apart. I might be too gentle with it because it is 67 years old and the cream colored buttons both have hairline cracks in them. What is the trick to getting these things apart?
I see that Morgan spares has new horn buttons. Does anyone know if that is the complete assembly or just the knob? I'll ask next time I order.
I may cut the wires and just install a doorbell button to make sure that the problem is the switch.
Thanks,

-Bill Brewer

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GoMoG Avatar
GoMoG Lorne G
Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador   ECU
In reply to # 13701 by wsb1960tr3a So I put in a tested & working Lucas High Windtone horn in my flat rad +4. I wired it with a combination of original wiring and new wiring. I came straight off of an always hot wire with an inline fuse, then to the horn and then I tied in to the original wiring to the button and from there it went to a ground. It worked great, about 5 times and then nothing. I traced the power and I have power through the horn and it still works. I tested the ground and it is still good. I tried to disassemble the horn button in the center of the dash and couldn't get it apart. What is the trick? I even pulled the horn button out of my next restoration project Morgan and couldn't disassemble that one either. I took out the two screws on the side and the two screws out of the back and the little nut in the center. Still couldn't get it apart. I might be too gentle with it because it is 67 years old and the cream colored buttons both have hairline cracks in them. What is the trick to getting these things apart?
I see that Morgan spares has new horn buttons. Does anyone know if that is the complete assembly or just the knob? I'll ask next time I order.
I may cut the wires and just install a doorbell button to make sure that the problem is the switch.
Thanks, -Bill Brewer

My uneducated guess is that you burned out the wire from the switch (aka the horn button) or even the button itself. If I am right, you will burn out whatever is sent to you with your existing wiring. . And I am idly wondering whether the car was once positive and then switched to negative Looking for more details. Am I correct that there is no relay between the power and the horn?

I ran into the same thing 15 years ago when I installed a new dash with a toggle switch for front spot lamps. The lamps would work a few times and then de nada. I flipped in another and presto, same thing! Of course, the toggle switches were not enclosed as your button is and on examination I saw the wire connections had melted. I had not used a relay between the switch and the lights to protect the switch. The lights are rated for 15 amps and the switch was rated for 5 amps! Problem with me is, I dislike putting in any more components than required to run the car. So rather than putting in a relay, I bought yet another identical looking toggle switch, but this one was made for a fuel pump switchover (15 amps). They are used when you have two fuel pumps servicing two tanks. I used that instead, one side wiring nothing and the other the spot lamps. Haven't had a problem with that switch failing in 16 years. Sorry for the lecture, but understanding prevents the same thing happening with anything else.

Lucas horn buttons are rated to 5 amps. Their horns are rated to 15 amps. Waiting on you to confirm the absence of a relay.

gmg

P.S. I gather it is the Lucas bakelite button you have? (though it won't change much) Plenty available in black. Melvyn paints the repros cream as well, unless he is picking them up from Hedwig Rodyn. Are you aware of Hedwig (aka Belmog)? He is pretty much the instrument king of your era of Morgan.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2019-01-06 02:35 PM by GoMoG.

wsb1960tr3a Avatar
wsb1960tr3a Bill Brewer
Tehachapi, CA, USA   USA
Thanks for the response.
No on the relay. I think that the Windtone horns are about 8 amps each according to my TR3 handbook where it describes tuning them based on amperage. I have a 20 amp fuse because that is what came with the inline fuse. I guess that it is time for a relay and a new horn button...
The car was positive ground but is now negative ground. Could that be affecting it?
The car was previously wired without a relay so I assumed that it was okay. I also don't have a relay in my TR3 with a high & low Windtone, but the horn contacts may be a lot more robust.
Any idea on how to get the horn button apart to see what it looks like inside? I actually have a second horn button that I may use, but want to inspect both switches first.

-Bill Brewer

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GoMoG Avatar
GoMoG Lorne G
Cuenca, Azuay, Ecuador   ECU
You are a wise man. smiling smiley Yes I continue looking sometimes, after I respond. MY archives and the internet often come up with more stuff. One is rarely the first with any problem. This is from a '61 Lotus fella with the same misery. I also have the Original Lucas Horn Handbook. Would you like that as well? But my best guess is that it comes from the days of thick high quality wiring, when even fuses were from wimps. The Bakelite horn pushes are repros, fror a more current and wimpier era. eye rolling smiley So relays became necessary to accommodate modern notions of profit and thinner wiring.
Lorne

P.S. You can make a black Bakelight cream using nail polish. Also a great touchup trick.


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