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 Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)

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Matt Trakker



Posts: 4875
Join date: 2009-07-30
Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:46 am

I did this last week and took pictures in case anyone else had the same problem, which is quite likely.  When I bought my '93 one button didn't work.  The second one collapsed soon afterward, and having no horn SUCKS.  It's bad enough the entire airbag area isn't the horn on our cars, this is the last thing anyone needs to happen.  I remember seeing a post someplace of someone doing this to their car, but I can't remember where it was.



This is all you'll need to do this silly (but quite rewarding) repair. I got the momentary-contact switches from Amazon.com, because I didn't feel like driving around looking for an Ace Hardware that didn't close at a ridiculously early time, or finding a Home Damage that didn't carry all the GB switches EXCEPT these ones. Under 10 bucks shipped and no sales tax.  Probably would have been 15 bucks with tax plus my gas and time looking for them otherwise. For example, I did see these at a Home Depot in Saugus I believe, but the Salem one didn't have them when I was there looking at something else.

This is the switch you need:


They have to be "Normally OFF" momentary contact switches, mind you,...or you could have a problem. Laughing

First you remove the airbag.  Disconnect your battery, then screw around for 5 minutes or so to be sure the juice is gone from the system.

Take the 4 Torx/star bolts out of the back of the airbag area of the steering wheel. I forget the size, but if you have a Torx set you'll have it.  Bag pulls forward, the rear trim falls back.  There is a yellow plastic connector that I believe powers both the airbag signal as well as the horns.  You have to pop out a blue plastic spike (don't lose it), then you can pull the yellow connector.





Original junk switch.  They were literally crumbling and falling apart inside the bag, springs and stuff fell out when I removed it.  
I feel this clip closely illustrates my opinion of these switches.



I guess horn button design was on the back burner when GM reintroduced airbags to the full-size cars after discontinuing them in 1977.  74-76 Olds and Buick full-size cars (as well as 100 or so '73 Impalas) offered airbags as an option.  Smile

Close-up of new switch:



Drill two holes here, and zip-tie the switch in place around the threaded section.  It's a little tricky and you have to position them so they aren't in there too tight (otherwise the vinyl horn button area could get too close and make the buttons stick on), or too loose, because then they just won't work.  Wasn't hard though.  I didn't have my smaller drill bits, but the tip of a bigger bit did the job.  The white stuff is actually pretty rubbery and hard to drill through.



Soldered and shrinkwrapped the wiring, but that probably wasn't even necessary.  




I taped them up afterward, it was probably fine but I didn't want to chance messing something up and having an airbag blow up in my face unannounced... Laughing



I don't have a pic, but don't forget to put the ground spring for the horn back into it's hole in the steering wheel near the center before you screw the airbag back together.  There is a black plastic sleeve on the wire that allows you to push the spring into the hole, then you turn it so a small "tit" (huh-huh-huh-huh) on the sleeve will fit into a little key/groove in the cylinder where the spring goes.  

I put some earplugs on when I reconnected the battery just in case I messed up the horn, or jammed one of the buttons or something.  Don't want the horn going off next to your head under the hood.

Anyway, I hope this comes in handy.  I still hate using my thumbs to blow the horn, but they work great!  I was doubting it would work but everything went well.


Last edited by Matt Trakker on Sun Aug 18, 2013 5:03 pm; edited 3 times in total
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:57 am

http://www.impalaforums.com/resource-center/240108-diy-caprice-two-button-horn-repair-for-1992-may-work-for-other-years.html

That's the other thread I saw, btw.
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toomanytoyz
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Location: East Hampstead, NH USA

PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:32 pm

Cool *honk* repair! I love it when *honk* someone actually takes the time to *honk* research and fix *honk* something instead of just replacing the whole *honk* thing. Good job and nice pics! Very Happy

(I just replaced my bag when the horn stopped working properly) Sad

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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 20, 2010 1:38 pm

HONK, HONK. Good thread. HONK, HONK. lol!

You have just been stickied. cheers
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Thu Jul 22, 2010 3:35 pm

Nice! Just noticed this... Cool


It still works excellent!

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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 05, 2011 5:35 am

nice job on the honk honk lol now is it the same for a 94 i have to litterally punch the wheel to make mine honk honk lol. im almost ready to just put a horn button in and put train horns lol will deafen anyones ears lol
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Matt Trakker



Posts: 4875
Join date: 2009-07-30
Age: 33
Location: Reading, MA

PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 12:23 pm

Hmm, not really sure since the horn on the later wheels is the airbag area itself, right? I suppose it's worth taking the bag off and examining what your options are, if the horn buttons are accessible, etc.

This fix still works, the only problem is if it's super cold out, I'm talking 5 degrees, the vinyl on the airbag and buttons gets so stiff, you can't push anywhere near hard enough to make the buttons work. But, I wouldn't be surprised if the factory ones didn't work either, and that's why people wound up breaking them. LOL
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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:23 pm

maybe another idea what different types of steering wheels from gm will fit our caprices?
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Ironfistdog



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Location: Warren, MA

PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:42 pm

the 94-96 steering wheels work on 91-93, i installed a 96 one on my brothers 92 wagon for inspection, i dont know if the air bag plugs in, i personally dont like the idea of 200mgh bag going off in my face at anytime, so the first thing i do when i get a b body is unplug it and pull the inf rest bulb. the horn on the 94-96 works way better. i also usually just yank the wheel and opt for a grant or apc wheel after i've had a car for a month or so. the wood grain ones look nice and you have a nice selection of horn buttons ( which also work as home base delete plugs...try the SS one) to choose from. the classic signature series ones look good on the old school B's,
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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 1:54 pm

if i switch it to a grant or similar do i need the air bag for inspection?
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 2:10 pm

nope, as long as the horn works, i have a black one i use to get the sticker and a 8" chain link one i use for everday use
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:32 pm

Ironfistdog wrote:
i have a black one i use to get the sticker and a 8" chain link one i use for everday use

http://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/stoner_cinema_03.jpg


geek
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sat Mar 12, 2011 5:38 pm

LMAO, exactly! Actually I think mine is way smaller than that. I know the cops around here don't like it.
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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Sun Mar 13, 2011 12:53 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
Ironfistdog wrote:
i have a black one i use to get the sticker and a 8" chain link one i use for everday use

http://theselvedgeyard.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/stoner_cinema_03.jpg


geek


"Dave's not here man"
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Cadet57



Posts: 4432
Join date: 2010-03-14
Age: 27
Location: Chicopee, MA

PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 12, 2011 9:37 am

Guess whose gonna do this mod now! Mad Twisted Evil Rolling Eyes Laughing

Lost my other button today while letting a soccer mom in a Pilot know she's #1 in my book.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 12, 2011 3:02 pm

Pilot owner huh? Did they have those god damn stick figure family stickers on the back window?

Let us know how it goes!
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1984twodoor



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Jul 12, 2011 5:13 pm

Matt Trakker wrote:
Pilot owner huh? Did they have those god damn stick figure family stickers on the back window?

Let us know how it goes!

I have so much hatred for people with those stickers! UGH! Whats the god damn point!
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MASShole9C1



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:19 am

1984twodoor wrote:
Matt Trakker wrote:
Pilot owner huh? Did they have those god damn stick figure family stickers on the back window?

Let us know how it goes!

I have so much hatred for people with those stickers! UGH! What. s the god damn point!
its so when they wreck while on the phone, the cops can take a little razor and scrape off the ones they killed. Atleast, that's what they should do...
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1984twodoor



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Wed Jul 13, 2011 3:57 am

MASShole9C1 wrote:
1984twodoor wrote:
Matt Trakker wrote:
Pilot owner huh? Did they have those god damn stick figure family stickers on the back window?

Let us know how it goes!

I have so much hatred for people with those stickers! UGH! What. s the god damn point!
its so when they wreck while on the phone, the cops can take a little razor and scrape off the ones they killed. Atleast, that's what they should do...

LOL Laughing
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Wed Jul 13, 2011 10:39 am

Matt Trakker wrote:
Pilot owner huh? Did they have those god damn stick figure family stickers on the back window?

Let us know how it goes!

She did! And I will, probably won't get to it yet. Either I'll replace the buttons or just put in the 94 wheel I have without connecting the airbag and pull out the airbag light for now. Laughing

1984twodoor wrote:
I have so much hatred for people with those stickers! UGH! Whats the god damn point!

To show how big of a tool they are. I was behind a Caravan with those once and it showed 7 (holy shit!) kids. I was so tempted to pull along side and ask whether the van or his wife was the clown car. Twisted Evil

MASShole9C1 wrote:
its so when they wreck while on the phone, the cops can take a little razor and scrape off the ones they killed. Atleast, that's what they should do...

Terrible..... Terribly funny! Laughing
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Mon Dec 19, 2011 8:15 am

Did this mod yesterday, took all of 5 minutes to wire it up, and hooked it all up this morning. Works perfect. Great fix Matt!
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:45 am

Cadet57 wrote:
Did this mod yesterday, took all of 5 minutes to wire it up, and hooked it all up this morning. Works perfect. Great fix Matt!

Sauce'm!

The only problem I ever experienced was when it was super cold, the vinyl was too stiff for me to get the horn buttons to work through the vinyl, but if I installed them a little closer I bet they'd be more sensitive? Mine still work!
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Mon Dec 19, 2011 11:53 am

Matt Trakker wrote:

The only problem I ever experienced was when it was super cold, the vinyl was too stiff for me to get the horn buttons to work through the vinyl, but if I installed them a little closer I bet they'd be more sensitive?

Idk, I got mine mounted flush with the inside of the vinyl and I still noticed that cold problem this am. Not a big deal, plus once the interior heated up it went away.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Mon Dec 19, 2011 6:50 pm

How much you wanna bet the factory ones did that too and that aided in people smashing them? Laughing
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mega



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Dec 20, 2011 12:08 am

mine are factory and do the same. aggrivates the hell outta me.
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Nov 27, 2012 7:06 am

Round two of this handy fix. Bro's car lost the buttons. Oddly enough, his are different than mine were. Maybe GM updated these at some point? Mine were a clear plastic cube with a spring. His were black and built completely different. Whatever GM did, it didn't work. Laughing
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:24 am

They were different because i already had replaced them from the broken clear ones. Arrow
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:25 am

Ironfistdog wrote:
They were different because i already had replaced them from the broken clear ones. Arrow

Laughing

That'd do it.

They made it another what, year? Stupid buttons. Evil or Very Mad
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Ironfistdog



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:27 am

Replace the wheel with a 94-96. Or better yet a grant or c/k wheel!
Doorbells work I guess. Lol
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Cadet57



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Nov 27, 2012 8:28 am

Ironfistdog wrote:
Replace the wheel with a 94-96. Or better yet a grant or c/k wheel!
Doorbells work I guess. Lol

I gave him a lumina sport wheel I had. But haven't ordered SEM for it.

Besides, $10 in buttons is a lot cheaper than a new wheel plus SEM, and the time it takes to swap them.
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Matt Trakker



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PostSubject: Re: Replacement of crappy 1991-93 factory hornbuttons with doorbells...(pics)   Tue Nov 27, 2012 9:26 am

Just do the damned doorbells! Laughing


Mine still work, used them the other day. The thing that sucks really is just the ergonomic design, any steering wheel in the history of the automotive world that does NOT use the whole center of the wheel as the horn, be it with a button in the middle of spokes or the middle of the airbag, sucks. If you go for the horn, are you going to have time to figure out where the button is (even if you drive it every day) and then oh-so-daintily press it with your thumb??? lol.

My dad's '85 Bronco had a dumb horn button too, it was a bar that went all the way across the wheel, and pressed in. You can't hit that with a fist...so what good was it? And call me crazy but I swear my mom's '67 Bonneville had 2 buttons like my '93 Caprice had, and no button in the middle, just what looked like a button, but more like an emblem that said "Energy Absorbing" under it. Smile

I will say, the 91-93 wheels are leaps and bounds above the 94-96 wheels in terms of quality and construction aside from the horn being crap. They hold up much better and clean up nicer too from what I've seen...


BTW, all my pictures are gone! WTF!
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