Installing a Jeep Horn Button

Horn button partsThis photo by Tom Edwards shows the 1-1/4" diameter horn button in the center of most CJ-3B steering wheels. It's located inside the nut securing the steering wheel, and underneath a rubber cover. See also a photo showing the nut removed (40K JPEG), and a side view of the assembled unit on Lawrence Wade's 1955 CJ-3B (60K JPEG).

The rubber cover holds a dollar-sized metal disk called the cap contact, which is what completes the circuit through the steering column and makes the horn go "BEEP".

In the early 1960s, the wheel was changed slightly and the button enlarged to 2-3/8" diameter; the larger rubber cover covered most of the center of the wheel. It can be seen in a photo by Adam Charnok of a 1963 CJ-3B (60K JPEG).

Wiring the Button

The wire from the button to the horn, runs down through the steering column and the steering box.

Gary Keating describes a procedure for re-wiring the horn button after removing or rebuilding the steering column: "The horn wire exits the bottom of the steering box. There should be a small hole in the plug at the bottom of the box. This hole is actually a hollow pipe -- if I remember right is about 6-8 inches long -- that runs up the middle of the case and thus doesn't allow grease or oil to leak out. The factory service manual illustration (80K JPEG) calls it the 'cover and tube'.

"The round flat area around the hole is attached to this pipe and serves as the seal at the bottom. Use a very fine wire, run it up the column, and attach the horn wire to the wire. Gently pull the wire through column, pipe, and out the bottom of the box. Have done it twice and it does work."

Bart McNeil adds a caution for CJ-2A owners: "Be careful when fooling with the 2A horn wire in particular. Do not pull it out unless you know what you're doing. The 2A works quite differently and apparently is a doozy to replace, requiring dismantling of the steering column. In any case, get good counsel before trying."

Thanks to Gary, Tom and Bart. -- Derek Redmond

See also more details on Jeep Horns, and CJ-3B wiring diagrams on the Parts Illustrations page.

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Last updated 22 August 2002 by Derek Redmond redmond@cj3b.info
All content not credited and previously copyright, is copyright Derek Redmond