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50 Deluxe horn
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 65
The horn on the driver side stopped working. Passenger side horn is ok. Several questions: can the horn be opened up? repaired? are kits available? Comments welcome.

Posted on: 7/15 23:07:18
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Just popping in
Joined:
4/17 14:44:18
From Calgary, Canada
Posts: 10
There are several vendors who rebuild them. Horns are not difficult to disassemble and there isn't much inside them. Just rivets and bolts. I repaired a similar horn on an Olsmobile by swapping the guts with a functional but rusty used one. I made up new gaskets from sheet stock. Also be sure to verify that the issue is with the horn itself and not the wiring.

Posted on: 7/19 9:57:30
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15835
The usual causes of horn failure is with the electrical contacts or diaphragm. Water or debris can get inside the horn causing rust or a bind of the diaphragm so it cannot vibrate or else arcing, corrosion or wear on the contact points has resulted in their being open as the horn just sits. A poor or no contact point problem is the more likely issue. If the points are open or have a high resistance they cannot pass current to the magnet so it cannot move the diaphragm and start the vibration and tone.

You can check the horn contacts by disconnecting the wire at the horn and using an ohmmeter between the horn terminal and ground. There should be reading of almost a direct short as the horn just sits. If there is no reading or one that shows a lot of resistance then two possibilities. One is the contacts are not making a good contact. The other is if the car has been converted to 12v and horns are the original 6v units it is possible the horn winding has burned open.

Relays have also been known to fail but since only one of your horns is affected that is unlikely to be your issue. If it does turn out to be a relay with burned contacts not passing enough current to operate two horns, universal replacements are readily available. All wire about the same with typical terminal markings of B for battery, S for horn button and H for horns.

All the postwar horns operate electrically the same way and come apart in a similar manner but there are differences in the physical look and mountings between years. Here is a bit from the 55-6 manual with a decent photo of the interior. It mentions where the 55-6 slot will be. The slot may be in a different spot on yours but there is something similar that will allow you to pry the cover off. Just take note of where it is positioned so it can go back in the same spot when replacing the cover.

Attach file:



jpg  Horn.jpg (451.36 KB)
209_5f1485f6518c0.jpg 1244X1520 px

Posted on: 7/19 10:42:16
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Howard
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 65
Thanks for your response. I popped the covers off - first time ever, but nothing obvious revealed itself as the cause for the malfunction. The points appeared to be closed/in contact on both the working and non-working horn. Is that the normal position? When tested separately, the “non-working” horn actually made a very quiet “cough,” as opposed to a bark by the other horn. By any chance does that indicate the horn is still viable and that an adjustment, rather than a parts replacement, might do the trick? I hesitated to make any adjustment so far out of concern for altering the proper tone of the horn, in the event I get it working again. I also was wary of damaging the rather stiff looking material of the piece that looked like it would have to flex in order to adjust the point gap. BTW, the electrical system is still 6 volts, positive ground.

Posted on: 7/20 0:35:48
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Home away from home
Joined:
2013/5/23 12:44
From Tampa Bay, Florida
Posts: 177
Try cleaning the points, worked for me.

Posted on: 7/20 7:00:09
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 65
Thanks. I’ll try that. Should there normally be a gap? If so, how much of a gap?

Posted on: 7/20 9:04:33
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Forum Ambassador
Joined:
2007/4/20 17:54
From Fresno CA
Posts: 15835
No gap on the points. They must be clean and tightly closed when the horn is idle so when the horn first gets voltage the magnet can attract the diaphragm or armature as the written description calls it.

As soon as the magnet pulls the armature toward it the points will open and as they open the magnetic field collapses and armature releases from the magnet to close the points again. That cycle repeats until the voltage is removed.

The frequency of the open/close cycle is determined by the adjusting screw controlling the distance the armature is from the magnet at rest. If you screw the adjustment down and get the armature so close to the magnet that the points are opened the horn will not work.

Posted on: 7/20 9:35:49
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Howard
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 65
Thanks. Sounds like a good rainy day project. It just so happens it’s raining today.

Posted on: 7/20 9:44:16
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Re: 50 Deluxe horn
Just can't stay away
Joined:
2010/10/2 23:19
From Kansas City, MO
Posts: 65
Cleaned up the points and the horn works again. And the rain stopped. It’s a good day. Thanks for the help!

Posted on: 7/20 12:59:14
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