1957-1975 Corvette Horn Rebuild

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Posted June 27, 2012 by Zip Corvette in Corvette Technical Articles
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Does only one horn in your dual horn system work? Do your Corvette horns sound like a cow with a stomach ache? We all know what the solution is. Replace the horns. There is nothing wrong with this solution, but what if you want to keep your original Corvette horns? You know that they are date coded and you want the correct ones for your car. What do you do? The answer is, contact Zip Corvette Parts, 8067 Fast Lane, Mechanicsville, VA 23111, (800) 962-9632, and purchase their Corvette Horn Repair Kit. This Kit will allow you to rebuild one or both horns and keep the original horns with your car. The rebuild is simple and as long as the horn coil is not damaged, the rebuild will have the horns sounding like new. Our Project 73 had a dead horn so it was a prime candidate for a rebuild. Follow along as we bring our dead horn back to life.

Click on the images for expanded views – it’s much easier on the eyes. 
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Step 1

01: This is the complete Rebuild Kit: Two vibrating discs, two hammers and screws, four gaskets and assembly rivets. You will also need a center punch, #25 drill bit, a 1/8″ punch, a vise, gasket cement and some hand tools.
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Step 2

02: Start by removing the horns from the car. Remember to note their location. Look at each horn. They are marked high or low or they are marked with a note F, A, D, or C. Using a scribe, mark each half for re-alignment purposes.
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Step 3

03: Put the horn into a vise and using a pointed center punch mark the center of each outer rivet. Now using a #25 drill bit, drill the flat area off each rivet. Next use a 1/8″ punch. Drive the four outer rivets partially out. Then finish removing them by using a pair of pliers. NOTE: The two rivets at the opening of the bell of the horn do not go all the way through. These must not be totally drilled out or removed. Just remove the head and about 1/8″ of the shaft of the rivet.

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Step 4

04: Remove your Corvette’s original horn from the vise and separate the halves. Gently pry open the case and remove the vibrator disc.
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Step 5

05: The contact points should now be cleaned. 400 grit sandpaper works quite well.
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Step 6

06: The coil should be tested for continuity. This can be done by using a simple continuity meter. If the coil checks out OK, you are ready to reassemble. Use caution when working near the coil. Do not disturb the coating on the coil wire. Do not allow any solvent or abrasives to come into contact with the coil.
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Step 7

07: Install the new hammer onto the new vibrating disc using the allen head screw provided. Use Lock-Tite on the screw threads to secure it to the hammer.
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Step 8

08: Be sure to remove the fiber washer from the old vibrating hammer. This is very important and is not included with the new Kit.
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Step 9

09: Start the re-assembly by spraying each side of the new paper gaskets with gasket cement.
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Step 10

10: Place the gasket on the horn body. Now place the fiber washer onto the stem of the vibrator hammer. This washer will keep the hammer from making contact with the coil plate and allow the vibrating disc to vibrate. Place the other gasket onto the vibrating disc and then align the horn bell.
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Step 11

11: For testing purposes you can assemble the horn using #6 machine screws and nuts. To test the horn, place the mounting bracket against the negative post of a 12 volt battery. Now carefully run a wire with alligator clips attached to each end from the positive post of the same battery and quickly touch the contact spade on the horn with the other end of the wire. The horn should beep. If it does not, make sure you are making a good contact on the negative and positive posts. If you are, then you may have to adjust the vibrator plate. You will see an adjusting screw on the mounting bracket side of the horn. Lube the threads with some penetrating spray and slowly turn the screw about 1/4 of one turn in one direction. Try the horn again. If it starts to make a sound, turn it again 1/4 turn. This is the vibrating plate adjustment screw. Turning it causes the plate to vibrate more or less. Keep adjusting until you get the best tone possible. When this is done, remove one assembly screw and install one rivet at a time. Use a vise to compress each rivet head as desired. Compress each head squarely for a neat appearance.
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Step 12

12: The rivets in the bell portion of the horn will require the installation of a stub rivet since these rivets were not fully removed. Use side cutters to cut the two new rivets to approximately 1/4″ in length. Install them in the holes and compress them as you did with the others.
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Step 13

13: When you are done, you can refinish the horn using a semi-gloss or high gloss black spray as you desire. Here is our horn back from the dead and ready to beep again. Beep! Beep! Beep!
1957-1975 Corvette Horn Rebuild: Corvette Horn Repair

Source: Zip Corvette Parts
8067 Fast Lane | Mechanicsville, VA 23111 | (800) 962-9632


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