Asking for some words of wisdom!

General topics, not covered elsewhere, of all things Packard.
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51Packman300
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:12 pm

Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by 51Packman300 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:16 pm

Hello I'm 21 and just acquired my grandpa's 51 Packard 300. I have some main things on the checklist to focus on getting started with this project.
- Cooling System
- Steering / Suspension
- Brakes
PROBLEM
As I go to turn my steering wheel the horn is going off. I not sure if it's a short of if wires are getting caught in the steering? I would like to know if anyone else has had this happen to them!
Any advice would be greatly appreciated

Howard56
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by Howard56 » Fri Jan 25, 2019 4:36 pm

On the horn a couple of possibilities. The wire goes down the center of the steering shaft and exits the steering box thru the end. Frequently grease and heat affects the old insulation so it hardens and cracks or breaks off. There could be a bare spot in the wire just at the position where the wire exits the box and is shorting to the metal as the shaft turns and moves the wire. At the top, there is a fiber insulating washer at the end of the shaft which holds the contact piece the horn ring assy touches from shorting to the shaft. The washer could be cracked or deformed and with movement allowing the contact to touch the shaft or the insulation could also be a problem at that end. There is also a chance one of the plastic insulating washers around a screw holding the various metal contact parts together has deteriorated and movement is allowing the parts of the horn ring contact assy to shift and touch. The distance separating the pieces is minimal so it wouldn't take much movement for them to touch.

Here are a couple of illustrations from earlier models showing the horn wire and ring. Your car used a similar steering box and while the electric path is the same thru the horn ring, the cosmetics and mounting method differed slightly on your car. On your car the plastic emblem removes with slight downward pressure and a small counter clockwise twist to release the locking tabs. After the emblem is removed the horn ring assy mounting screws are accessible from the top. Nothing is on the bottom of the steering wheel as the illustration shows for this model.
Attachments
steering box.jpg
horn ring electrical path.jpg

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Tinman_70
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Location: Tampa Bay, Florida

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by Tinman_70 » Sat Jan 26, 2019 7:40 am

"At the top, there is a fiber insulating washer at the end of the shaft which holds the contact piece the horn ring assy touches from shorting to the shaft."

This is the contact piece that Howard was talking about. The horn wire attaches this brass piece and goes down the steering shaft and connects to the horn relay. I soldered a new wire on this piece. There is also the insulating fiber washer in this area. You don't have to remove the steering wheel to repair. Removing the plastic hub at the center of the steering wheel may be difficult. On my '49, whatever was used as a "spring" was gummed-up and held the hub on. This is a fairly easy fix.
Horn Wire.jpg
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Adam
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Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:15 am
Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by Adam » Sun Jan 27, 2019 6:07 am

And welcome to the forum!!

Hope you get it sorted out soon. Why not post some pics of the car too. We like pictures!

Adam..
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

51Packman300
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:12 pm

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by 51Packman300 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:06 pm

Howard56.
On the Horn the insulated washer looks fine. On the black and white image of the wire where is that located. Is it on the steering column?
20190130_201632-1105x448.jpg
Here she is
20190130_201632-1105x448.jpg
Here she is

Howard56
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by Howard56 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:47 pm

The steering shaft is hollow and the horn wire runs down the length of the shaft and thru the steering box to exit in the engine compartment via a small hole at the end of the steering box. There is about a 6-8" wire pigtail with a terminal on the end sticking out the hole in the box.

Via an inline connector the wire pigtail joins another wire in the main loom that goes on to the horn relay. That inline connector is a black piece of plastic and generally winds up somewhere in the area behind the generator and fairly close to the oil pressure sender. If the insulating washer is OK give the wire a good close look right where it exits the steering box. Sometimes heat and grease make the insulation fail and if the insulation is missing the bare wire could move when the wheel turns and touch the end of the steering box making the horn blow.

If the insulation is OK then the next most likely area is a broken insulating washer in the horn ring components or possibly something is loose or bent. There is only a few thousandths of an inch between the parts of the horn ring that move and touch to make the connection so anything that would mess with that distance could cause the intermittent horn blowing as the wheel is turned.

51Packman300
Posts: 4
Joined: Sun Jan 20, 2019 7:12 pm

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by 51Packman300 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 4:54 pm

Is there like a diagram/image of the steering shaft that you may have?

Howard56
Posts: 1117
Joined: Mon Dec 24, 2012 11:35 am

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by Howard56 » Sun Mar 03, 2019 5:23 pm

I don't have any photos of a 51 assy but here are some of a 47 bare shaft. Packard used the same basic steering box assy and shaft from 40-55 with the only differences being cosmetic in the shroud design that covers the shaft and the components inside the steering box that changed ratios or the length of the shaft. The shroud and turn signal switch on the 47 shown in the photo is different from yours but the shaft and the way the horn wire goes thru and exits the steering box is the same. The steering box is bolted to the frame at the bottom of the steering column in the engine compartment. The black and white (top illustration) provided in the post above is a cutaway of the steering box and shows how the wire goes straight thru and exits a hole at the end of the box. The bare shaft is at the extreme right of the illustration and is identified as part 15.329. It just continues up the 4 or so feet until it reaches the top of the shroud where it ends with threads and steering wheel. You can see how they illustrated the wire going thru the shaft.
Attachments
IMG_0512.jpg
IMG_0580.jpg
IMG_1185.jpg
Last edited by Howard56 on Mon Mar 04, 2019 7:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

Adam
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Joined: Fri Sep 04, 2009 4:15 am
Location: lincolnshire, uk

Re: Asking for some words of wisdom!

Post by Adam » Mon Mar 04, 2019 6:37 am

Nice looking car!! I hope you have lots of fun with it.
"Do not underestimate the English cousin.....they are not as stupid as they look!" - Signor Altabani in The Italian Job.

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