Over the years of use, the horn rings either break or they become bent to the extent that the horn ring hits the steering wheel spokes before it makes its internal electrical contact and turns on the horn. A broken horn ring can be replaced with one of the nice repro units being made. For bent rings there is an easy fix which can be done in about an hour.
What is done is that the horn ring is removed and reinstalled with 3 spacers under its mounting plate. These spacers could be washers for 3 small nuts like the 1/4″-20 size which you probable have in your parts bin (or they can be bought at the hardware store).
To remove the horn ring. first take off the padded center of the steering wheel. This padded wheel center is a press fit into the telescope adjustor ring. If you look around its edge, you will notice a small notch on one spot of its chrome. A thin bladed screwdriver can fit into this notch to pry out this padded wheel center.
Under this wheel center will be a bolt head with a washer under it. Remove this bolt with a 1/2″ wrench and then you will be able to wiggle off the steering wheel height adjustment ring.
With the adjustor ring off, you will see the metal center of the horn. There will be three screws, they may be Phillips head or regular slotted, which held the horn ring assembly to the black plastic hub. It’s under these three screws that we will put the spacers.
Remove the three screws and have somebody hold the ring in place as you prepare to put in the spacers. The reason to hold the ring is that there is a wire attached to the hom ring which goes through the steering wheel hub and onto a slip ring. This wire can get pulled off its spade connection on the slip ring if the hom ring is pulled away from the steering wheel (Don’t worry if this happens. Just remove the three screws which hold on the bottom of the black steering column cover and reattach the wire to the spade connection on the brass slip ring).
The only annoying part of trying to put the spacers under the 3 screws holes of the horn ring is that they will want to fall out of place as you reassemble everything. The last time I did this job, I used a model maker’s trick and tacked the three spacers into position on the metal horn ring with a few drops of Crazy Glue.
While you have the horn ring out of the wheel, you may also want to adjust the sensitivity of the switch so that you don’t have to push it to too far an angle before it honks. To adjust this, first notice that there are three small studs attached to one part of the horn ring. On these studs are springs, and plastic electrical insulating washers, with self locking nuts. The springs hold apart the two metal parts of the horn ring and when those two pieces touch – the horn blows. By tightening up the three self locking nuts so that a smaller air gap exists between the metal plate. You might use a match or thin piece of cardboard as a spacer to help gauge the gap.
When you reassemble, notice that first there is a thin copper or brass colored spring which sits against the big nut which holds the steering wheel in place (small end goes down). On some cars, you will see a small white nylon piece of plastic which holds the steering wheel adjustor shaft from falling into the steering column. If this steering wheel adjustor shaft falls down the middle of the steering column, then telescope the steering wheel down toward the dash, grab the center steering wheel adjustor shaft, and pull it back up. Put on the rest of the pans in the reverse order that came off and hopefully your Clear Hooter horns will be back in action.