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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Ok, I'll wear my numbskulledness about electrical on my sleeve...

I started up the Chevelle Sunday and ran it up to temp for grins, because winter is DRAGGING...

After I shut it off, the horns start blaring continuosly. So I ran around and unplugged them. I popped the center cap off my steering wheel and I see one black wire hanging in front of a brown plate, looping into the center horn button spring. The brown plate is attached with 3 screws to the column. I wiggled the black wire a bit to see if there's a short or something and I hear a little buzzing coming from the voltage regulator(mounted on the core support). Next I tried looking for a horn relay and I can't find one!! I thought they were mounted by the brake booster? :confused:

After a few hours I tried hooking up the horns again, and they weren't blaring. Maybe the battery was dead? The battery was pretty weakly charged to begin with. So I left it like that, with the horns hooked up again.

So of course, came back to the car yesterday to play some more, and found the car totally dead.


I tried hooking up a battery charger and the regulator starts buzzing and grinding like crazy the moment I hooked it to the battery!!

So what do you guys think? The car was fine when I parked it in October!

1) Voltage regulator?
2) Horn relay? (I don't even know where this thing might be!)
3) Short in the horn button or column?
4) If it is the VR, am I able to totally do away with it with a new internally wired set up I've read about in the tech archives?

The VR is the only thing that seems to be making noise. I don't want to drop $50 on a new regulator if you guys don't think it's the culprit.

Thanks alot! Sorry for the long post, but I wanted to make sure I described what happened acurately. Patience for the novice, please!
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Originally posted by Dean:
sure the noise isn't comming from the horn relay?
It should be on the core support next to the voltage regulator
Pretty darn sure... I don't see any other junctions other than the regulator by the radiator, unless this thing IS the horn relay. It has 5 wires running to it, 3 black, 2 red. I could post a pic later this evening if necessary...
 

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You're looking at the horn relay. Did someone convert the car over to a single wire alternator? If they didn't, the regulator would be mounted directly below the horn relay. Sounds as though you have (had) a short in the column and the horn relay stayed energized. Even though you unplugged the horns, the relay is STILL drawing current.

NOW, a little advice here to everyone working on their own vehicles and who are electrically challenged. ;) Pick up a book on BASIC ELECTRICITY, which can be gotten at most book stores...even Radio Shack. The electrical system on these vehicles is VERY simple, and basic electrical theory can help you solve many of the everyday problems you might encounter. Buy a cheap volt/ohm meter (VOM) from Radio Shack or Sears and you're in business! It really isn't rocket science. ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Um, yeah... of course it's the horn relay!! :D Thanks for the pic 71, but mine must be upside down (LOL, kiddding).

Well fudge, I thought the car was externally regulated, but I didn't see a regulator mounted by the relay at at all. Just the relay hanging there. I'll have to do some more research. I thought I had someone run the part number on my alternator a while ago and it came back as an externally regulated one. I can't find that post though.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Ah, found my alternator post:

Here

Sounds like it's externally regulated.

Delco Model #321-164 = DN series

The previous owner must've hid the regulator somewhere. I know what to try and look for now, too. I found a pic of a VR. Not a bad price, I might add, compared to the $50 that NAPA quoted me.

Anyway, I'll check the horn and the door switches first, and move on to a new HORN RELAY :D

Thanks again guys! I'll try and post back later for some closure.
 

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Originally posted by 70_Malibu:
Well I'll be... There's the regulator over by the driver's side headlight, hiding in the shadows


Lawd help me. At least my GF finds me handsome...
Like I said...mounted right below the horn relay. As my dad used to say.."if it was any bigger it would have jumped out and bit ya!" ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
OK. Figured it out. Bottom line is my steering wheel is a POS. The brown horn plate that makes contact to the steering wheel was wedged down on one of the three bolts, causing the horn to blow.
Simple enough fix.

No regulator, or relay required (yet), but I might have lost my key in ignition/door open buzzer :( . I'm charging up the battery to see if it comes back.
 
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