Lotus Elan

Elan Sprint Horn Push Bits

PostPost by: nthSteve » Sat Aug 18, 2018 8:12 pm

Greetings Elan Friends,

One issue with my recently acquired '72 Elan Sprint is: no Horn. Turns out the Relay, Compressor, and Trumpets all work. And the wiring is good carrying +12 from the Relay switch up to the round Slip Ring (pic 1) in the column.

Although obviously it was operational in the past, nothing remains (on the underside of the steering wheel) of the original components contacting the slip ring and going up to the horn push itself. Pics 2-5 show my wheel, attachments, and horn push, essentially the same as Brian's ("types26/36") in this 2006 thread.

http://www.lotuselan.net/forums/lotus-electrical-f38/sprint-horn-push-t13924.html

Presumably my "gone" components were like his original brass rubbing strip, support, lead and slug.

I'm hoping some people smarter than I have great suggestions for resolving this. I could fabricate something similar to Brian's, but I'm more enthusiastic about a small block of hardwood? to support a shortened version of the spring-loaded "pencil" brush/contact common in BMC cars and other Loti (pic 6).

Thanks!
-Steve

slipring.jpg and
Elan Sprint slip ring & steering column

hornpush_washers.jpg and
Elan Sprint Horn Push & washers

hornpushunderangle.jpg and
Elan Sprint Horn Push underside

wheel.jpg and
Elan Sprint steering wheel

wheelunderside.jpg and
Elan Sprint steering wheel underside

hornbrush.jpg and
Generic Horn Brush/Contact "Pencil"
-Steve, SoCal, '72 Sprint DHC
formerly Lotus 47, Lotus Cortina
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sat Aug 18, 2018 10:05 pm

Did you check the return via the steering column ? sometimes the little wire jumping the u-joint near the steering rack gets loose or torn away...
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PostPost by: nthSteve » Sat Aug 18, 2018 11:34 pm

Thanks.

As described in my first post, there are missing components between the horn push and the slip ring. Everything else is ok: the relay switch wiring is good from the relay to the slip ring, and the wheel hub, wheel, and shaft are grounded,

-Steve
-Steve, SoCal, '72 Sprint DHC
formerly Lotus 47, Lotus Cortina
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PostPost by: nmauduit » Sun Aug 19, 2018 10:54 am

I must say I read your post a bit quickly :oops: ...

As indeed your issue lies within the horn button mechanism (brass ring missing), I've seen a similar issue (brass ring broken) addressed previously on the forum

lotus-suspension-f42/steering-wheels-again-t34226.html

I you're determined to fit it and can't locate the part I guess an option would be to make the ring yourself, possibly soldering a brass or copper (hardened, not anealed) finger for the contact... a bit of work but the hardest would be to locate the material.
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PostPost by: RichardHawkins » Sun Aug 19, 2018 7:25 pm

Steve,

I think this assembly was lifted from 'Standard Triumph Spitfire' and lotus had their own badge made to replace the 'Spitfire' item. Might be worth checking a company such as Moss.

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PostPost by: Sking06 » Mon Aug 20, 2018 7:29 pm

Interesting, didn’t realize how different the sprint hub is from my ‘69 S4.
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PostPost by: RogerFrench » Tue Aug 21, 2018 4:03 pm

I'm not sure about your wiring. You say you have 12v to the slip ring? Normally these horns work by completing an earth, or ground. You can blow your horn by connecting the slip ring to the column, which is what the horn push does.
I think you're just missing the pencil, but you might want to check you don't have a dead short.
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PostPost by: nthSteve » Mon Sep 03, 2018 7:44 pm

I appreciate everyone's contributions. To clarify...

Elementary - One side of the horn relay "switch" or "trigger" is connected at the relay to +12V. The other side of course has the same +12V and needs to be grounded to complete the switch circuit, activate the solenoid, and thus send +12V to the horns. This "other" side/contact of the relay runs through the harness up within the steering column to the slip ring. Although this car is negative ground, I'm quite sure it's similar for all Elans. Then each of the various horn push mechanisms, when pushed, connect the relay switch/slip ring to the (grounded) steering shaft and complete the circuit. If I use a jumper to connect the slip ring to the shaft, the horns sound.

As the pics show, this Sprint steering boss has no "receptacle" to hold a springy pencil-type contact. Instead, as shown in the older thread that I referenced, a collar is mounted on/under the boss and supports a bent strip of copper or brass which rubs on the slip ring. A wire runs from the bent contact strip up through the holes to the (spring-loaded dual concentric ring) horn push. I have the horn push but am missing what goes between.

Apparently the collar/contact strip bits are no longer available. I contacted the Springalex people and have looked around on various websites with no luck. So I expect to either fabricate something per the prior paragraph, do some messing about with the boss to accommodate a springy pencil, install a pushbutton on the dash, or get another steering wheel.

Thanks!
-Steve, SoCal, '72 Sprint DHC
formerly Lotus 47, Lotus Cortina
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PostPost by: elanfan1 » Mon Sep 03, 2018 10:01 pm

Steve

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PostPost by: Bart Jan van der Ceelen » Tue Sep 04, 2018 10:27 am

Steve,

Assuming it is the part in this picture below that you need:
sw-1.jpg
sw-1.jpg (56.14 KiB) Viewed 361 times


I had the same issue, and ended up making a replacement part myself. Since I don't have the tools to make a circular cut in a brass disc, I ended up braiding brass wires. It was stiff enough to give a reasonable spring action. Then fixed it to an insulating support (rubber disc with plastic disc below):
dsc_0566.jpg and


Worked quite well for me.

I expect that if you want to use the pencil you may find that it's length is difficult to fit within the boss. The pencil would need to be quite close to the column, i,e, where the slip ring is located. There appears not be enough height, at least in my boss.

Cheers, Bart
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PostPost by: steponit » Tue Sep 04, 2018 7:54 pm

this is on ebay

https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Vintage-Clas ... %7Ciid%3A1

on the back of it may be what you need

or just put this in ebay search
SPRINGALEX STEERING WHEEL BOSS GENUINE NEW OLD STOCK FIAT 126 127 124 133 548
and it will have the plastic insulation bit you need

Steve
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PostPost by: steponit » Tue Sep 04, 2018 8:04 pm

this guy may have one

https://www.retro-uk.com/page026.htm

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PostPost by: nthSteve » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:55 am

Good responses!

steve/elanfan1 - In the ballpark but no go - I have the slip ring (column mounted); I have a pencil contact, but would need to shorten it (as Bart mentioned) and do some machine work to adapt the wheel boss for it.

Bart - that's a different and simpler approach than I was thinking, Cool! It looks promising. Obviously the "springiness" is assisted by gravity. It might be worhtwhile putting some insulation around a portion of the steering shaft to preclude an "on" horn if the brass wire braid droops. Also - what did you do to to connect your red wire to the outer concentric ring? I was thinking of curling the conductor though the hole, back to itself, and soldering it - as opposed to disassembling the horn push.

Steve/steponit 1 - Looks good! I'll contact the seller re shipping and probably bid on it.

Steve/steponit 2 - Good possibliities - I'll send an email.

Thank You All!
-Steve, SoCal, '72 Sprint DHC
formerly Lotus 47, Lotus Cortina
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PostPost by: Bart Jan van der Ceelen » Wed Sep 05, 2018 12:54 pm

Steve,

I can't really explain how the braided wires feel, actually it is quite rigid, gravity really does not affect it. At the same time, it is quite resistant to radial distortion, so I have never had the horn unintentionally sounding during use. Perhaps it depends a bit on the gauge of the wire and the tightness of the weave?

If however you are succesful in sourcing an original part at a reasonable price, I would be interested as well.

Good luck,

Bart
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PostPost by: Bart Jan van der Ceelen » Wed Sep 05, 2018 7:40 pm

Steve,

I forgot to reply to your question on the red wire connection. At the braided wire side I wrapped the stripped end of the red wire around the brass braided wires, and then a few times around itself. Then soldered it shut. On the other end, closest to the driver, I simply clamped the stripped end of the red wire between the metal disc and one of the three springs. Hope this helps,

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