Grant Products has been selling their Signature Series and similar steering wheels for decades. In fact, I installed a Grant steering wheel in my first car, a 1973 Mustang, back in 1992. After that installation, among my first DIY car projects, the turn signals never canceled and the horn sparked every time I pushed it. At the time I chalked it up to inexperience and a botched installation, so imagine my surprise when the 1968 Mustang I bought last year came with the same Grant Signature Series wheel installed by the previous owner, complete with malfunctioning turn signals and an electric light show with every beep of the horn. Better yet, the horn button occasionally and randomly pops off, which causes the horn to blare until you can fumble one of the wires loose from the wheel in 70 mph traffic. The last time that happened I was out of town and the car was in my driveway with the doors locked. I have no idea how long the horn blasted and I’m still amazed my neighbors didn’t set the car on fire in protest before someone had the wherewithal to disconnect the battery.
I finally got tired of my interior smelling like burnt hair every time I honked the horn and removed the steering wheel for a horn and turn signal repair. I bought a new Grant hub kit, part number 3294 – same as what was on the car, and replaced the existing worn hub and horn ring. I had also purchased a new turn signal cam, as broken plastic turn signal cam ears are a common reason for signals failing to cancel. As it turns out though, I wouldn’t need any of it.
With the horn ring, steering wheel, and hub removed it was obvious the pin on the rotating collar that is supposed to trip the turn signal cam ears did not line up with the hole in the hub. Somebody had clearly tried to make it work, but it just left the collar cockeyed. The Grant installation kit comes with a pair of roll pins that can be tapped into the bottom of the hub to act as cancel pins to address that very situation. A lot of people complain about these pins as a solution, but I found it to be simple. I removed the factory collar from the column shaft and tapped one pin into the bottom of the hub. A quick test fit confirmed the pin cancels the signals. One problem solved.
I continued the installation per Grant’s instructions, which is as simple as laying the column cap over the hub, installing the steering wheel, and layering on the horn contact pad and horn ring, torquing down bolts, connecting wires (make sure the battery is disconnected first), pressing on the horn button cap, and rocking on. Unfortunately, the car still threw sparks out from the horn when I beeped the horn.
I searched for a solution online and found hundreds of complaints spanning years, of people complaining about sparks and blown horn fuses following the installation of Grant steering wheels in classic Ford vehicles. A few guys in the Mustang forum suggested wiping dielectric grease on the horn ring contacts. I gave it a try, but it was more of a mess than a solution…still sparked. A few other guys claimed installing a relay in the horn circuit would minimize, but not solve the issue. That seemed to me like a lot of trouble to not solve the issue, and I couldn’t believe after all these years Grant had not come up with a better solution for an operable horn on old Fords. So I contacted Grant Products.
Grant recommended I replace my horn with part numbers 5646 and 5899. Grant part number 5646 is a billet aluminum horn button adaptor housing that bolts on top of the steering wheel in place of the horn contact plates used with the original spring loaded horn button. Part number 5899 is a simple horn button that snaps into the adaptor.
Installation is straightforward. With the old style horn contact plates removed you just need to bolt the adaptor housing to the steering hub through the steering wheel with the supplied allen head bolts. Then pop the horn button out of its ring, which you don’t need with the housing. Plug the wires into the terminals on the horn button, wrap them in electrical tape to prevent shorts, and snap the horn into the adaptor. The end result is a functioning horn with no sparks that will not pop off of your steering wheel. Problem solved!