1969-1975 Corvette Horn Button Switch Replacement

by John Pfanstiehl

If the horn sounds only intermittently when the horn button is pressed or only when the button is pressed in a certain spot, the likely culprit is a rusty horn button switch, also called a Horn Button Stand / Contact. This was a common problem for C2 and C3 Corvettes even when they were relatively new. One reason is that the early generation Corvettes were never known for being very watertight. It only took a little dampness to make the switch contacts corrode.

The following shows the steps necessary for installation of the horn button switch and related parts on a C3 Corvette but it also applies to other generations.

Step 1

01: Open the hood and unplug the green wire from the horn (or horns). This is not essential but it can prevent irritating a spouse or the neighbors when working on the horn button switch.

Step 2

02: Unplug the single small black wire from the horn relay which is located on the inner fender in the engine compartment. This will prevent the possibility of receiving a minor shock when removing or installing the horn switch parts. The voltage pulse occurs when the the relay coil circuit is interrupted.

Step 3

03: Grasp the horn button in one place and pull it from the steering wheel to get to the switch. This is a good time to replace the horn button emblem or replace or repaint the horn button housing.

Step 4

04: The components of the horn button are held together by three rivets on its backside. Zip Corvette offers all the components in a kit: 1968 & 1969-1975 w/o T&T Horn Button Assembly. The kit comes unassembled to allow painting the bezel to match the car. Then it’s easily assembled by peening over the aluminum rivets.

Step 5

05: Light surface rust like this is common on early Corvette horn button switches. Remove the three round head screws to take the switch off. These switch contacts are not enclosed in a protective case like most other switches.

Step 6

06: One option is to disassemble the switch by tapping the plastic rivet shaft (insert) back through the rivet. A screw driver and then an ice pick will suffice for removal if a small punch isn’t available.

Step 7

07: Zip Corvette has a set of the three plastic rivets in case the old ones are damaged or broken: 1956-1982 Horn Button Stand/Contact Repair Rivets.

Step 8

08: The contact areas of the metal parts of the switch can be cleaned with fine sandpaper, 400 grit for example. Note the location of the notch on the bottom plate when reassembling the switch.

Step 9

09: Installing a new switch is an easier alternative. For this car it was a 1969-1975 w/o T&T Horn Button Stand/Contact.

Step 10

10: When ordering a new switch, note the year and whether it’s for a tilt telescopic steering column. The contact arm on the rear varies on difference switches.

Step 11

11: The three screws that attach the switch are also available as a set: 1956-1982 (exc 67-82 w/T&T) Horn Button Stand/Contact Screws.

Step 12

12: Although not necessary for replacing the horn parts, it takes only six screws to remove the steering wheel in case it’s time for a replacement. Zip Corvette offers many types of steering wheels including reproduction, wood and leather in different sizes and colors.

Step 13

13: A set of six new countersunk screws are available, 1963-1982 Steering Wheel Mount Screws, for mounting the steering wheel to the steering column hub.

Step 14

14: Another component of the horn circuit is the spring loaded contact in the hub. Its aluminum pin pushes against the leg of the horn switch. Note that the hub is undercut near the two lower screws to accommodate the lower spoke of the original steering wheel.

Step 15

15: Remove the spring loaded contact by pressing down the aluminum contact pin and then turning the plastic lock that surrounds it several degrees counterclockwise.

Step 16

16: These parts are also available as reproductions: 1967-1982 Horn Button Contact (Spring Loaded). This includes the plastic locking insulator, spring and aluminum contact pin. The original brass spring was in good shape so I decided to reuse it instead of the steel reproduction spring.

Step 17

17: The spring contacts the brass ring on the plastic part located behind the hub. The notched plastic cylinder goes into the hub. It holds the locking insulator, spring and pin and is visible on this 1969-1976 STD Turn Signal Cancelling Cam.

Step 18

18: It’s necessary to remove the hub to replace the turn signal cancelling cam. After removing the shaft nut, note the thin stamped lines on both the shaft and hub. They are alignment marks to make sure the shaft and hub have the same alignment when put back together.

Step 19

19: Tip: steering wheel puller sets are available as loaners from many auto part stores. The Corvette hub has coarse threads but many people mistake these as fine threads and strip either the threads on the puller bolts or in the hub.

Step 20

20: Install the horn switch screws before tightening the steering wheel screws to make sure there will be no interference with the steering wheel. Also, if the backside of an aftermarket steering wheel does not contact the hub at the lower two screws, fully tighten the upper four steering wheel screws first before tightening the lower two screws.

Step 21

21: There were two thin shims under this horn button switch. These shims are often used with tilt telescopic columns. One of the reasons for using these is to move the horn button away from the steering wheel sufficiently so that the contacts will close when horn button is pushed. This part is available individually: 1967-1982 Horn Button Stand / Contact Shim.

Step 22

22: The shims were needed in this case to prevent the lower plate of the horn switch from shorting out (and blowing the horn) because it touched the steering wheel hub nut.

Step 23

23: Install the horn button switch and shims if needed. Plug the wire back onto the horn or horn relay. If the wire wasn’t disconnected, hopefully the horn didn’t cause too much disturbance.

Step 24

24: Align the horn button and push it back onto the switch assembly. Push on the horn button in several places to make sure the horn blows every time. Now that the horn repair is complete, use it with discretion.

1969-1975 Corvette Horn Button Switch Replacement

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

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