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Username Post: Horn Wiring With 1 Wire Alternator        (Topic#349428)
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
01-31-18 09:07 AM - Post#2722849    

I'm trying to track down my horn issue on a 59 Impala.
I'm looking for a diagram (not a schematic) and maybe some pictures of how the horn wiring is supposed to be when using a 1 wire alternator.

I've read that the horn relay requires some connection modifications.

And to make things more interesting, this car had the manual steering converted to a 605 Power Steering setup.
So I'm not sure how the ground connections were supposed to be modified so the circuit completes when pressing the chrome horn ring on the steering wheel.

Any advice would be greatly appreciated.




 
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acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10981
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
01-31-18 09:22 AM - Post#2722857    
    In response to ozzie7

The horn relay originally had a red wire from the relay to the ""bat" terminal of the voltage regulator. With a one wire alternator, you need a 14 gauge wire from the output post on the alternator to the red wire terminal of the horn relay. That's it.
The steering shaft should get a ground connection to the frame through the rag joint.


Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-02-18 09:54 AM - Post#2723074    
    In response to acardon

Thanks Don.



 
Chair City 
Contributor
Posts: 457

Loc: Thomasville, NC USA
Reg: 01-24-04
02-02-18 02:40 PM - Post#2723105    
    In response to ozzie7

You might want to re-consider using a one wire alternator. See Link
Good information here. If one wire is simpler and less expensive to install wouldn't the factory have used it?

1960 Impala Spt. Cpe. Now in my son's garage


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-02-18 03:25 PM - Post#2723111    
    In response to Chair City

Thanks for posting... I have seen that Link.
But.. the car already has the 1 wire alternator.
And an aftermarket gauge to indicate charge or discharge (option 2 at the link).
Also the factory warning light can be connected into the circuit (option 1 at the link) which I think I will do.
Options 3 and 4 don't really apply (unless it fails out on the road.... then I'm screwed!).

59 Impala's didn't have any type of alternator as far as I know (at least I've never seen one).



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27372
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
02-02-18 07:20 PM - Post#2723149    
    In response to ozzie7

On the MAD page, option 1 says "yes" for three-wire and "no" for one-wire.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-02-18 09:43 PM - Post#2723160    
    In response to raycow

Ray.... here's the fix I found for option 1.

https://www.americanautowire.com/shop/11-volt-syst...



 
raycow 
Honored Member
Posts: 27372
raycow
Loc: San Francisco, CA
Reg: 11-26-02
02-03-18 12:35 AM - Post#2723166    
    In response to ozzie7

That's not exactly the way a real warning light works, but I suppose it might be effective enough from the driver point of view.

Ray

Those who choose an automatic transmission want transportation. Those who choose a manual transmission want to drive.


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-03-18 11:03 AM - Post#2723189    
    In response to raycow

I agree Ray.
Unfortunately the car came with the 1 wire alternator and a voltmeter.
I would rather have the 3 wire alternator but the wiring has also been upgraded to accommodate the additional charging amperage of the 105 amp 1 wire alternator.
There is also an unused 3rd row on the crank pulley that I'm guessing the previous owner was thinking of adding A/C which could have required more work from the alternator.
I don't really know... I'm mostly clueless on this setup... mostly.
At this time I am just wanting to get the darn horns working.





 
Jim Streib 
Senior Member
Posts: 452
Jim Streib
Loc: Saint Louis
Reg: 03-20-03
02-03-18 12:33 PM - Post#2723197    
    In response to ozzie7

  • ozzie7 Said:
At this time I am just wanting to get the darn horns working.





Seeing how the motor and things have been modified, is there even a horn relay already installed on the car or ???.

If you can, post some high quality pictures of an existing relay.

Also too, if there is not an existing relay, would you be willing to put in an aftermarket relay to get the horns working or would you prefer an original style relay ?.

Even with a new relay or figuring out the wiring on an existing one, you may have to do tests to make sure the horn(s) indeed work as well as making sure you are getting the proper signal from the horn button on the column.

The horn circuit is pretty basic in that the relay requires a constant 12V to it, a horn or horns connected to the relay as well as a third connection to the horn button on the steering column that activated the relay to make it send power to the horn(s).

Jim

1968 Chevy II Nova (Garage Find 2013)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/ albums...

https://www.youtube.com/user/StlNovas/videos

1973 Nova Custom
1974 Nova Spirit Of America


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-03-18 05:21 PM - Post#2723219    
    In response to Jim Streib

Jim,
I don't mind leaving the original (now unneeded) regulator there... it only serves as junction block now.
The horn relay looks like an original style that I can connect as Don described earlier.

In the pic it looks sorta like there's a black wire on the center terminal on the regulator... but it's not.

Also there are 2 wires that used to be connected to the regulator but are just hanging there.
1 goes into the wiring harness and the other goes to what looks like a radio noise suppressor.

The second pic is of the 60 Bel Air regulator and alternator setup.
I don't know much about it other than it works properly and the horn works.
I don't know for sure but I think the 60 originally had a generator.







 
Jim Streib 
Senior Member
Posts: 452
Jim Streib
Loc: Saint Louis
Reg: 03-20-03
02-03-18 07:40 PM - Post#2723239    
    In response to ozzie7

  • ozzie7 Said:
Jim,
I don't mind leaving the original (now unneeded) regulator there... it only serves as junction block now.
The horn relay looks like an original style that I can connect as Don described earlier.

In the pic it looks sorta like there's a black wire on the center terminal on the regulator... but it's not.

Also there are 2 wires that used to be connected to the regulator but are just hanging there.
1 goes into the wiring harness and the other goes to what looks like a radio noise suppressor.







Looking at what you have, in the above picture is some fork terminals under a screw terminal off of the voltage regulator.
This terminal should have power all of the time and it looks like one of the wires (possibly Red ?) goes down to the horn relay cube below the regulator and this is the main power to the horn relay.
On the horn relay it then looks like there is just one wire (green ?) off of the horn relays plug that goes into the wire loom.
It then looks like there are two wires going to one spot on the horn relay plug and these look to be maybe black ? and these too also go into the wire loom.

My question is, can you verify color wire is connected to the horn or horns ?.

Jim

1968 Chevy II Nova (Garage Find 2013)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/ albums...

https://www.youtube.com/user/StlNovas/videos

1973 Nova Custom
1974 Nova Spirit Of America


 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10981
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
02-03-18 08:10 PM - Post#2723241    
    In response to Jim Streib


The red wire on the horn relay is power from the alternator. The green wire goes to the steering column horn ring, each black wire goes to a horn.
The radio noise suppressor was for the contacts in the mechanical regulator and isn't needed with an alternator with an internal regulator.


Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-04-18 11:39 AM - Post#2723303    
    In response to acardon

Jim... the wires to the horns are black as Don mentioned.
Don... is that condenser / capacitor looking part actually a radio noise suppressor?



 
acardon 
Ultra Senior Member
Posts: 10981
acardon
Loc: DFW TEXAS
Reg: 03-25-05
02-04-18 12:01 PM - Post#2723307    
    In response to ozzie7

Yes: Link to radio noise suppressor.

Don
66 Corvair (driving)
57 2dr HT (driving)
56 2dr HT (waiting to be restored)


Edited by acardon on 02-04-18 12:02 PM. Reason for edit: No reason given.

 
Jim Streib 
Senior Member
Posts: 452
Jim Streib
Loc: Saint Louis
Reg: 03-20-03
02-04-18 12:24 PM - Post#2723310    
    In response to ozzie7

  • ozzie7 Said:
Jim... the wires to the horns are black as Don mentioned.




I found a diagram for the horn relay and related wiring and on yours, the double black wires go to two horns with the red as the main power into the relay and the green being the activation wire.

I'm mostly familiar with the late 60's into the 70's GM cars and the reason I was asking before I had found the diagram for your year is that on my Nova's, the green wire is to the horns and the black is the activation wire. I just wanted to clarify what you had as you never want to assume things.

Now that we know what is going to what and you showing the pictures of the horn relay being wired to main power on the old regulator, then you should be able to go further with getting the horns to work.

To do a simple test, do you hear the relay click when the horn button on the column is depressed ?.

If not, then at the relay, run a jumper test wire into the backside of the horn relay plug to where the one end of the test/jumper wire touches just the terminal crimped onto the green wire and then with the other end of the jumper wire, touch it to a ground such as the battery negative post or any clean bare metal spot under the hood. You could even touch it to the mounting screw or bracket on the horn relay if it is bolted down to the radiator support.

When this is done, if the relay is good and getting power from the battery, then the relay should click when the end of the test wire touches ground and the relay will click again once the yest wire end is removed from ground. If the relay does this but the horns do not sound, then chances are there are horn issues with either them being bad or they are not grounded well.

If the relay does not click, then it may not be getting power to it or the relay is bad.

To verify if you have voltage going to the horn relay on the red wire, you can use a test light or a volt meter. I've even rigged up my own test light using a 12V bulb with some wires off of it.

If there is a horn problem you can run a test wire from the terminal on the horn to the battery positive post and if the horn is good (as well as being grounded well), then it should sound.

Jim

1968 Chevy II Nova (Garage Find 2013)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/ albums...

https://www.youtube.com/user/StlNovas/videos

1973 Nova Custom
1974 Nova Spirit Of America


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-04-18 01:26 PM - Post#2723316    
    In response to Jim Streib

Thanks Guys.
Jim.. that testing procedure is very helpful.
Can't ask for anything easier except for maybe getting you to do it for me....LOL ... just kidding!



 
Jim Streib 
Senior Member
Posts: 452
Jim Streib
Loc: Saint Louis
Reg: 03-20-03
02-04-18 03:43 PM - Post#2723324    
    In response to ozzie7

  • ozzie7 Said:
Thanks Guys.
Jim.. that testing procedure is very helpful.
Can't ask for anything easier except for maybe getting you to do it for me....LOL ... just kidding!



The horn circuit is pretty basic but you are dealing with electricity that sometimes requires tools such as a test light, a meter, jumper test leads, and other things to help with issues.

It looks like you have solid connections on the horn relay plug as well as on all of the wires under the one screw on the voltage regulator but who's to say there is even power at that spot. Who's to say too that the relay even works or the horns. You just have to approach it logically.

I know when I bought a new horn relay that also contained a key buzzer circuit for my 68 Nova, it did not even work properly when I replaced the old one on the car but by going through some troubleshooting I found the issue and corrected it. Turns out it was a manufacturing defect that I could fix.

I get asked a lot of electrical questions sometimes at car shows or cruises and sometimes it's a simple fix to me but the person with the problem cannot figure it out. Now put an automatic transmission in front of me with issues in the valve body and I will be totally lost.

Jim

1968 Chevy II Nova (Garage Find 2013)

https://www.flickr.com/photos/121766713@N04/ albums...

https://www.youtube.com/user/StlNovas/videos

1973 Nova Custom
1974 Nova Spirit Of America


 
ozzie7 
Poster
Posts: 85
ozzie7
Loc: Central Ohio
Reg: 03-11-16
02-05-18 08:27 AM - Post#2723401    
    In response to Jim Streib

Jim... both horns work individually by applying 12v to the terminal on the horns.
Both horns work when jumping the red and 2 black wires going into the plug at the relay.
So that part of the wiring appears good.
Grounding the green wire terminal at the plug on the relay does nothing.
So it looks like I need a new horn relay.

I need to install a rebuild kit for the steering wheel horn ring to test things at that end.

The fun never ends with these old cars and their Gremlins.
Lovin every minute of it.... mostly.





 
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