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Discussion Starter #1
Here in Portugal we are under lockdown so opportunity to give the Spider a wash. It is a 1973 1600 Junior. All looks good now BUT horn started working whilst putting car back in the garage.The buttons on the steering wheel do not work now but the horn goes off by itself when manouvering the car. I noticed under the bonnet a wire goes inside the steering column. This wire can be pulled out a fair distance with no resistance. Am I to assume this wire should go inside the steering column and be connected somewhere to the horn push? If so how difficult is it to get inside the steering box to check what is happening inside? Many thanks.
 

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This is fairly common. The wire that goes up through the steering box and shaft is the ground. At some point the wire insulation wears away and the bare wire grounds to the shaft completing the circuit. I would just replace the entire wire. It is straightforward to run a new wire from the steering wheel, through the hollow shaft, out through the box, and back up to the relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
This is fairly common. The wire that goes up through the steering box and shaft is the ground. At some point the wire insulation wears away and the bare wire grounds to the shaft completing the circuit. I would just replace the entire wire. It is straightforward to run a new wire from the steering wheel, through the hollow shaft, out through the box, and back up to the relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Hi 65Sprint. Many thanks for such a speedy response. Typical Italian design! I guess this means taking the steering wheel "hub" centre off and feeding the new wire down the shaft. Is it then a question of undoing the top of the steering box to feed the new wire through the steering box hole?
Cheers
 

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No, you will need to feed the wire up from the bottom, not down from the top, there is no dismantling of the steering box needed, but depending on where the break is depends if the steering wheel has to come off. Take a look at the photo, pushing a wire up from the exit hole at the bottom of the steering box will be simple, then if the fracture is in that wire its simply means a new connector each end, job done. But I had an issue with the slip rings behind the steering wheel hub, for this the wheel needs to come off.
1620249
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Many thanks. Sounds like a plan. I might be being thick here so apologies but how is it possible to push a wire through the small hole in your photo. Surely the wire has travelled the full length of the steering column before getting to the small hole so guiding it through by pushing the wire from below looks an impossibility.
 

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Easy! you get your new wire and solder it to the bottom end of the old wire, dont make it too thick. As you pull the old wire out through the top you will drag the new wire in from the bottom!
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hey success!!! A couple of things. Firstly my steering wheel boss does not have the 3 tags keeping it in place. It just pushes on with a plastic sleeve keeping it in place. So easy to remove with a thin tool to lever it off carefully. Secondly the wire break was within the boss area where the wire going into a connector had broken. So quick and easy replacement of the connector and all is well.
Many thanks for all the helpful comments and advice. This forum is tremendous for the assistance people offer particularly to a dumb mechanic like me.
I guess the steering wheel boss must be different on some models as it is an original boss and steering wheel. So if the boss is able to be rotated, as mine was, it shows the absence of the 3 tags holding it in place.
Thanks again for all the advice provided.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Cheers and thanks again for helping. I was dreading solving this as it looked so complicated but worked out well in the end. Only had the Spider since February but already learning the quirks of ownership. Was really enjoying driving it on the quiet Portuguese roads until lock-down but hopefully the situation might be a bit better by the time summer arrives and I can take advantage of the driving experience. Thank you for your valuable help.
 
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