Lotus Elan

Sprint horn push

PostPost by: John Larkin » Sun Nov 12, 2006 5:13 pm

The horn in my Sprint sounds if I apply pressure to the steering rim (sharp turn at parking speed, or accidentally elbowing when getting in or out). I took the assembly apart today and discovered that it is completely different from the pencil type horn switch in my S3. Essentially the switch comprises two concentric metal rings, one fixed and the other moveable. The moveable ring is attached to the underside of the horn push and is supported on three sprung and electrically insulated legs; this ring is live, power coming from an insluated circular brass contact on the steering colum which is rubbed by a sprung brass leaf on the back of the steering wheel. The other ring is electrically continuous with the steering column (to earth). The switch is closed when the moveable ring is pushed far enough to make contact with the fixed ring.

As far as I can make out the steering wheel itself seems to be flexible enough so that the two rings can make contact if sufficient pressure is applied.

My workshop manual does not describe this type of horn push, so I don't know if it is original, although it looks professional enough to be so.

Is this horn push familiar to any other Sprint owners? Has anybody else had this problem, and is there a solution?

John Larkin.
1967 S3SE FHC, 1974 Rover P6B, 1949 Lancia Aprilia
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PostPost by: Frank Howard » Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:07 pm

John,

Based on your description, you horn appears to be the same as the one that came on my Europa Special however on my car, it is disabled as the horn function is via pushing in on the left stalk toward the column.
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PostPost by: types26/36 » Sun Nov 12, 2006 6:27 pm

John Larkin wrote:My workshop manual does not describe this type of horn push, so I don't know if it is original, although it looks professional enough to be so.


John,
If your horn push is the same as this then it is original.
Attachments
sw 1.JPG and
sw2.JPG and
sw 3.JPG and
sw4.JPG and
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PostPost by: richardcox_lotus » Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:30 pm

On addition, a common fault is that the inner steering column, being telescopic, can sometimes shift down a fraction without realising it, thus completing the circuit. You need to check the clamp. You can spend a lot of time believeing the horn push end of the assembly is at fault whereas it is further down the chain.

Been there, done that. :oops:
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PostPost by: ppnelan » Sun Nov 12, 2006 8:43 pm

Also, check that the bullet connector on the end of the wire that passes through the steering wheel boss and pushes into the horn button assembly (visible poking out of the boss in Brian's photos) does not cantact the boss.

The usual cause is as RichardCox says - the inner column slips down. This typically results in the horn sounding around sharp bends, i.e. when the driver 'hangs on' to the steering wheel a bit. Most embarassing when rapidly negotiating traffic islands to close up on the car in front.... :oops:

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PostPost by: John Larkin » Sun Nov 12, 2006 9:07 pm

Thanks for all the replies!

The photos are exactly the same as my horn push.

I'll check if the inner column has moved.

It's embarrassing honking at when you don't mean to!

John Larkin.
1967 S3SE FHC, 1974 Rover P6B, 1949 Lancia Aprilia
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PostPost by: Graham Eccles » Mon Jul 22, 2019 8:57 pm

My horn has stopped working. I?ve traced the problem to the copper ring that sits in the underneath of the steering wheel. The raised outer part of the copper ring (it can be clearly seen in the first photograph in the earlier replies below) has broken off.

Does anyone know where I can get a replacement copper ring? SJ have the other copper ring it mates with , but not the steering wheel part.

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PostPost by: types26/36 » Tue Jul 23, 2019 6:51 am

Scroll down this thread which shows where a repair was made.
viewtopic.php?t=42607&p=302270
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PostPost by: nthSteve » Wed Jul 24, 2019 7:23 pm

My '72 Sprint had the horn push cover and concentric rings, but was missing all the electrical bits on the underside of the steering wheel. Older threads on the topic illustrated the OE-type bits, but my attempts to find replacements were unsuccessful. So I fabricated a "springy" copper contact etc. and it's been working fine. See http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/viewtopic.php?f=38&t=44175&p=314265#p314265

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