I’m trying to install a push button to the dash and a horn. I don’t want to use the original wires and the old horn is dead, and I don’t want to fix it so the steering wheel can sound the horn.
I bought a 2 terminal universal horn, a push button, and an inline fuse. Whenever I hook it up and touch the positive wire to the positive battery terminal, it honks. So that means the horn works, but I can’t get it hooked up where the horn doesn’t constantly sound.
It appears there isn’t much useful information available online, but this is the general consensus of the connection order:
(+ Battery side) to (inline fuse) to the (button), (button) to the (horn), (horn) to the (ground)
Still, whenever I try to connect the positive wire to the battery positive, the horn blares. What am I doing wrong? Ive tried a few other configurations to no avail
Is the push button you installed normally open, or normally closed?
…dang, I’m not sure. I bet that’s the culprit
It’s easy to tell.
Connect the battery, and while the horn is blaring, push the button.
If the horn shuts off, that’s a normally closed switch.
You want a normally open switch.
If you have an ohm meter, the switch should be open (high resistance) normally, and less than 2 ohms when pushed. If the push button switch didn’t come with the horn, unless it was designed for a horn circuit you may run into problems. The switch has to be designed to handle the amount of current the horn uses, otherwise you’ll have an early failure. i.e. the switch may be a normally open design, but the first time you pushed it, due to a current rating problem, the current might have welded the contacts together, making it an always closed switch. I’ve had that problem happen on custom switches before.
It is less than 2, I tried it before and after clicking the button.
As soon as I even touch the positive terminal, the horn honks, even after clicking the button and retrying several times
If the switch measures less than 2 ohms in both positions, that’s the problem. Faulty switch. Could be faulty for the reason mentioned above, not designed for that much current.
While the horn is blaring, push the button in and see if the horn stops.
Brand name and part number of this switch?
I highly doubt the OP has that information.
Everything sounds Jerry-Rigged to me.
But I don’t know what gives me that impression?
Wolo low tone universal horn 310-2t
Autocraft horn AC85929
why do you need a horn? i have used mine twice in the last yr. i think? i work next to large medical facility. there are 2 lanes on the side road. 1 is turn left, and the other is straight and right turn. yes there is no right turn lane. i go right. you see where this is going. the other day a group of 10 cars left the faciltity. and 1 car was in my lane and 9 were in the left turn lane. till idiot driver decided to get to crosswalk and turn on their left signal??? and i used my horn and idiot driver flipped me off.
That’s fun. I live in the country and there are always animals out, so we learned when we were 16 to slow down and honk to scare them away from the road. Also, for the people unaware of other vehicles on the road when they drift out of their lane
You’d think I was asking how to install douchebag light bars, truck nutz, and blinding LED headlights…
I have never seen a horn that wasn’t grounded through the mounting base. Ohm across the two male connectors on the horn and if there is no resistance the horn must be controlled with positive current directly through the switch or better through a relay.
I installed a push button horn switch on my 1950 Chevrolet pickup because the horn button in the steering column didn’t work. The horn operated through a relay. Pushing the horn button completed the ground for the relay coil and closed the relay contacts. Before I installed the push button for the horn I ran a single conductor wire from the coil side of the relay through the firewall. I would just touch the end of the wire to the dashboard to complete the circuit to ground and honk the horn.
I had a Ford Maverick that did not have a relay in the horn circuit. The switch shorted in the wee hours of the morning. The contacts would close, the horn would honk. The current through the switch would heat the contacts, the switch would open. The contacts would cool, the switch would close and the horn would honk.
I also had an Oldsmobile where the windshield washer pump was built into the wiper pump. The washer pump went bad. However, the wiper motor still would run the wipers. I bought a universal washer pump that fit in the reservoir. When I first connected the universal pump, it ran constantly. I got out my voltmeter and discovered that pushing the switch for the washer completed the path to ground. I was able to wire things so that the pump would only run when I pushed the button. However, it would not automatically turn on the wipers as it did with the original setup.
I once installed a windshield washer on my 1947 Pontiac that didn’t have a windshield washer. It was non electric. There was a rubber dome with a check valve. Stepping on the dome squirted fluid on the windshield. When the driver took his foot off the dome, the fluid was sucked into the dome for the next squirt. I mention this because a bulb horn works the same way. Squeeze the bulb and the horn toots. Release the bulb and it sucks in air for the next toot. If my horn ever gives trouble, I will install a simple non electric bulb horn. If my windshield washer quits functioning, I will install a non electric foot operated system. I don’t understand why manufacturers have to make things so complicated.
Many Fords operate directly with current to the horn button that is switched to the horn and the horn is grounded through the base. Only when a relay is used can the horn be triggered by grounding at the switch in any vehicle that I have ever worked on.
Even when the horn operates through a relay, I believe the horn itself is grounded through its base. I prefer a system that has a relay as opposed to the system on my Ford Maverick where the full current to activate the horn went through the horn switch. The horn switch in the Maverick completed the circuit on the ungrounded or positive side of the system. The horn switch on my Chevrolet pickup completed the coil circuit of the horn relay on the ground or negative side of the electrical system. (I have to be careful here because back in those days, some cars had the positive side of the battery attached to the frame of the car).
I think a “wolf whistle” horn that worked off manifold vacuum was the best system. There was a solenoid so that when the horn button was pushed, the solenoid opened the valve and allowed the engine vacuum to go through the horn. The wolf whistle horn was useful in that it allowed the driver to address a pretty girl on the street. Unfortunately, these wolf whistle horns were outlawed by many local codes.
There is a march by Henry Fillmore called “The Klaxon”. The Klaxon car horns were manufactured in my area of eastern Indiana.F. Fillmore actually scored car horns into his march, but the march unfortunately is played by bands today and the car horns aren’t used.
Good point about the relay. OP would have an easier job if they operated the horn via a relay rather than directly from the switch. Radio Shack has (or at least used to have) an inexpensive 30 amp 12 volt relay, 30 ohm field winding as I recall. I installed one in my Corolla so that the ignition switch wouldn’t have to handle the starter solenoid current during cranking. Most momentary switches will be able to handle 30 ohms, which would be a current of only 12/30 = 400 mA.
Edit: Now that I look at @TwinTurbo 's link above, it appears that horn kit includes a relay. Maybe it is just bad luck, the kit had a faulty horn button-switch from the get-go.