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STEERING COLUMN HORN WIRE; Where does it come through the gear?
Topic Started: Nov 7 2017, 04:22 PM (275 Views)
Larry (TX)
Member
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Ken, Rus, Lawrence, or whoever may know: on a '53 3B, where/how in the heck does the horn wire come through the Ross steering gear? As many horn wires in jeep steering columns that I've run in the past, I cannot for the life of me remember how the wire was run on the 3B, or at least the early 3B.

Having allowed both my 3B and my '52 M38 sit idle for way too long (two years and eight years respectively), the old fuel did a real number on both tanks and lines so I replaced the tank in the B with a NOS tank (thanks to my buddy and former very nice 3B owner Dean LaChasse in CA), and had the tank in the M38 removed and thoroughly cleaned, added new steel fuel lines to both jeep and installed a new fuel pump in the B - about an hour and a half ago, when the last wrench was put back in its drawer, both vehicles are starting easily and running smoother'n a baby's behind. Oh, and I finally installed an original step (that I've had a set out back for probably 10 years) on the driver's side of the B, so I can now gain entry to the 'ol gal much easier - passenger side installation will have to wait 'til I rest up some.

While under the B running the new fuel line and knowing that there has not been a horn wire in the column since I bough this jeep a number of years ago, I decided to check the steering gear box for a hole in the lower end to run such a wire through (neighbor and I just did that job on his 3A a couple of months back and other'n having to clean that tube out, the wire passed through the hole easily), and there is no hole. If you fellows can assist my old memory with which direction I need to go with the wiring, I'd sincerely appreciate you doing so.
Larry Steed
Pearland, Texas
'53 Willys CJ3B
'52 Willys M38
'86 Chevy M1009 CUCV (K5 4x4 Military Blazer)
M100 1/4 ton jeep trailer
M416 1/4 ton jeep trailer (2 ea.)
M101 CDN 1/4 ton jeep trailer
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Rus Curtis
Member
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Larry,
As they say, "A picture speaks a thousand words." It's posted on Derek's article on the horn button tech page:
http://cj3b.info/Tech/HornButton.html

On that page, there's a link to the SM illustration copied here:
Posted Image

The part, #8 in the image, fits into the housing from the bottom and should have a hole in it. That hole is the shaft that runs up inside the cam tube, #12 in the image.

What you did on the other two jeeps should be exactly the same. It may be real cruddy there and a build-up may have to be cleaned off first. If after cleaning, you still don't see that hole then it may have been replaced with something similar to a freeze plug if someone had rebuilt it before you. Simply drilling a hole won't work as that could allow your lube to leak out.

Also, FWIW, after I rebuilt my steering, cleaned out all the bearing grease and used the correct lube, that plug didn't not seal at all. I had to take it apart again and seal it using permatex (similar to smearing around the housing of a yolk seal) and it is now sealed as it should be.

Added: I have a bad habit of not taking pictures "as I go" and forget that some things aren't already published. So, I went out and snapped this photo of the plug with the surrounding sealant showing the tube opening. It's as clean as it will ever be!

Cover And Tube Bottom of Steering Box
Posted Image
Rus Curtis
Alabama
'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C
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Larry (TX)
Member
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Thanks much Rus for the info. After having to use an extended length 3/16" drill bit on my neighbors 3A to clean the "tube" and remove old very hardened grease to allow clear passage for the new wire, I think that same problem has probably occurred in the gear of my 3B, and with my aging eyesight, I simply cannot see (or feel) that hole in the lower cover of the gear. Guess I'm going to have to use a small drift or center punch to see if I can locate the hole (I know, it should be in the center) and clean it out just as we did my neighbor's jeep.

A good friend and member of our military jeep club has helped me get these two jeeps up and running again (as well as my next door neighbor) and after looking over my 3B's tub (I've known for years that it was an after-market tub, but not quite sure from which manufacturer), he's 99% sure that it was a repro Philippines made tub for an M38, and then had the 4" cowl extension added later to adapt to 3B measurements. The fun part was marking and drilling the holes in the floor for the side steps as none were drilled in this tub when it was made. The newly installed step makes it so much easier to enter and exit the 'ol gal!
Larry Steed
Pearland, Texas
'53 Willys CJ3B
'52 Willys M38
'86 Chevy M1009 CUCV (K5 4x4 Military Blazer)
M100 1/4 ton jeep trailer
M416 1/4 ton jeep trailer (2 ea.)
M101 CDN 1/4 ton jeep trailer
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Rus Curtis
Member
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Larry,
I would suggest using a scraper/sand paper to remove the gunk. As you can see from the image, the tube is flanged in the hole of the plug and will be raised a bit. It is very possible someone took something like a freeze plug and popped that in long ago. Adding an indentation (possibly loosening the plug - or worse piercing it!) may make things worse. My jeep had a hole in the dash above the light switch where I added a push button to operate the horn until I got around to buying a horn button.

You could grab a helper who's closer to 20/20 eyesight and show them the picture. Maybe they will be able to help.

On measuring the floor holes for your step, I guess now wouldn't be a good time to mention there are instructions on how to mount.......
Rus Curtis
Alabama
'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C
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Larry (TX)
Member
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The "someone may have inserted a freeze plug" at some point is probably what occurred on this gear as the cap on the end of it is smoother'n a baby's bottom and has no hole whatsoever, nor even an indention as to where a hole may have been in the past. Drilling a new hole through the cap hoping the tube would still be in place would most likely be a futile attempt, and even if the tube was still inside, it'd no longer be permanently attached, thus resulting only in a new place for grease to leak out.

Guess I'll simply place the new rubber horn cap atop the new steering wheel nut so it'll at least look original. Thanks for refreshing my old mind on both issues as I didn't even think to search the files herein for instructions.

Have a great holiday weekend and please remember our Veteran's.......!
Larry Steed
Pearland, Texas
'53 Willys CJ3B
'52 Willys M38
'86 Chevy M1009 CUCV (K5 4x4 Military Blazer)
M100 1/4 ton jeep trailer
M416 1/4 ton jeep trailer (2 ea.)
M101 CDN 1/4 ton jeep trailer
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Bruce W
Member
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The MB/GPW and the CJ2-A up into 1947-48 had a hole in the outer column tube just above the top of the gearbox with a "brush" mounted over it that contacted a contact ring on the shaft that the wire was soldered to. They don't use the inside tube or have a hole in the bottom. Those gears have a shorter shaft/outer tube than the 3B, but replacements of the entire steering gear or any part/combination of parts is possible. Or, someone may have put a welch plug in there. :D
The tube is normally "riveted" into the hole in the plug, are usually loose, bent or both. No replacement parts are available and the tube is an odd size. BW
Bruce Walker
Northeast Colorado
'53 CJ3B "Nellybelle", '48 CJ2A "Uncle Lyndon", '47 CJ2A "Teddy", '47 CJ2A "Rusty", '47 CJ2A "Zak", '43 GPW "Sarge", '88 XJ "Pluto"
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Larry (TX)
Member
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Yeah Bruce, I've rebuilt a number of steering columns in the MB's and GPW's, also a couple of M38's (one being mine), but of course, those are all a complete different animal. The Ross gear on my five-three B is just an oddball as there's simply no hole whatsoever in the bottom cover to run the wire through. I've had a complete gear out of a M38A1, which is supposed to be a gear that makes steering much easier although the one in there has never been hard at all, so it might be time for me to think about installing that gear, or....forget about trying to bring it back to original and then much easier and quicker, simply place a horn button on the dash; (come to think about it, this jeep is not a daily driver).
Larry Steed
Pearland, Texas
'53 Willys CJ3B
'52 Willys M38
'86 Chevy M1009 CUCV (K5 4x4 Military Blazer)
M100 1/4 ton jeep trailer
M416 1/4 ton jeep trailer (2 ea.)
M101 CDN 1/4 ton jeep trailer
Offline Profile Quote Post Goto Top
 
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