Tracing the steering column


Now that I have the wiring in the body tub figured out I need to clean up the steering column.  Lucky for me Brad Lange over at the JCCA put together this fabulous set of diagrams.  I printed out the turn signal diagram and started checking the connections.  In the picture above I am testing the connection between the pink wire (power to the hazard light switch) and the brown wire (brake lights).  Just like it is supposed to it has continuity only when the hazard light switch is on.

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I continued through the wiring.  Everything was good until I got to the front turn signals.  There is no continuity between the white wire (power to the turn signals via to the flasher) and the front turn signal wires (yellow and black).  Looks like I will have to pull the steering wheel and see if the switch is bad or these wires are just damaged.  Not a big deal because I have to troubleshoot the horn wire anyway.


The first step is to get the horn button off.  This little divot in the cap looks promising.


It was!  Look at that.  At least I can check the horn wire out.  First I took those three screws out and pulled the horn button off.

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Now I can easily get at the horn wire. No continuity.  So the wire is damaged somewhere. Time to pull the steering wheel.


Taking the nut off was easy.  The next step is to put a puller on the wheel using the two threaded holes circled in red.  I hit a real snag here.  The holes are fine-threaded and I don’t have a single fine-thread bolt the right size.  And the hardware store is closed.  To add insult to injury the steering wheel broke.  That whole chunk circled in green just fell off in my hand.  The wheel is a steel core covered in either hard rubber or some plastic (vinyl?).  Anyway it is not nearly as flexible as it used to be.  I super-glued the broken bit back on then put this on hold until I can get those bolts for the puller.


I decided to test the horn switch.  It is not making good contact at all.  Probably dirt or maybe rust in there.


The switch is two stamped soft steel parts.  One is mounted on the ring of phenolic board.  The other is kept separated from the board by springs trapped under those three metal cylinders.   All the steel is plated with some shiny metal (probably nickel).  The whole thing is held together by those three tabs on the inside of the phenolic ring.  So bending those a little should cause the whole thing to come apart.


Yup!  The nickel plating is a little oxidized and quite a bit of it is just gone and the steel is rusting.  I cleaned it up with steel wool and smeared some contact cleaner/lubricant on the two rings.


I put the switch back together and now we get good contact through the switch.  That is enough for tonight.


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