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MG TD TF 1500 - Horn button

Me again. I am strongly considering putting my horn button where it belongs, in the middle of the steering wheel (under the MG medallion). It is an easy-peazy job and the wire can run down the steering tube. I have the dash off while laminating a nice birdseye maple on it and am looking for an enamelist to "do" the instrument panel. I am considering moving the key/light switch to between the speedo and left edge. This will free up two perfectly good gauge spots for the supercharger that I am shopping for at the same time.
John Redman

John - Before you get too carried with the easy job of putting the horn push where it belongs, How will you be getting the wires out of the steering column in the engine compartment? Normally when one runs wires down the steering column, there is a slip ring arrangement at the bottom of the column to get the wire out of the column that rotates back and forth and to the horn (such a slip ring arrangement is used on the Y type cars) or there is a stator at the top of the column that remains stationary as the steering wheel rotates. This stator contains the horn and turn signal wires, which are carried down the length of the steering column in a concentric tube and out the end of steering column that protrudes from the opposit side of the steering rack. Such an arrangement is used in the Magnettes. The TD has neither of these arrangements and therefore something will have to be designed to take the horn signal from the wire that goes down the column and transfer it to the horn. I am sure that it can be done, but it is a job that I don't think I would want to tackle.
Good luck - Dave
David DuBois

John, maybe look at some period photos, or attend a GOF (two weeks to Palm Coast!) to see what others did with the extra gauges. I think I have seen two fitted to the left side of the dash at an angle. Many years ago Moss had a steering wheel horn kit that was flimsy and did not work very well- it had what David said- a slip ring and contact at the base of the column. Very difficult to engineer!
George Butz

The horn button belongs where it belongs. It does not 'belong' on the steering wheel. If you want to customize your car, ok. I run a blower and all my center dash instruments are where they Belong. As you are doing a non-standard dash, it is simple to fit the vac guage along side the speedo/tach and the edge of the scuttle, (rhd v,. lhd = right or left side). Combo horn/dimmer, water temp/oil pressure, amp are sufficient for most uses. I race and other than a some day fit of the oil temp I picked up years ago, the above do quite well.
Safety Fast
Paul Gaynor

I have installed an oil temp gauge and a combo vac/press gauge for my supercharger on the outboard side of all the intruments. It fits very well and is visible to the driver. I was not able to illuminate the gauges due to the thickness of the two layers of wood of the instrument panel. Otherwise, I am quite satisfied.
Jim Merz

David DuBois is addressing a problem I am currently trying to solve. Instead of putting the horn button in the center of the steering wheel, I had Phil Gross of L.A., who manufactures beautiful steering wheels in wood, make one so that the spokes are electrically insulated from the center hub.

Hence, with a ring, if I touch two spokes, I make an electric contact. I planned to have the horn of the r.h.s., flashing headlights on the left, plus also the direction lights - a touch would turn on a relay on both sides. I have extra accessories for the spokes running vertically to the bottom.

So I need six wires, because I have 2 inner spokes of each group of 4 insulated and the 2 outer ones grounded. But, as David remarks, I have yet to figure out a way to get the six wires down the column to "turn" as the wheel turns. Sure, I could use cords that wrap/unwrap like those of phone horns, but I wonder if anyone had a better idea.

Incidentally, John, my system would solve your problems, you'd have an original wheel but the horn at your fingertips!

Thanks for any suggestions,

Denis L. Baggi

I need to throw my comments in here. A PO of my '51 had moved both the ignintion/light switch and the horn/dimmer switch to the left hand side of the dashboard, just to the outside of the steering wheel. While this looks ugly, I have to admit that the positioning of the Horn/dimmer switch makes an easy move with the left hand while driving. The holes in the center were filled with an aftermarket (black face) Amp gauge and a Jaeger oil temp guage. (he also removed the Speedo, leaving only the Tach) One day I will return all to original, but am content now with the operation of my 'rolling restoration'.
Walter Thompson

I stand by my easy-peazy description of the solution. A slip ring located right where the inner column passes through the felt bushing holder and secured to one of the two screws holding the two parts of the bushing holder together is was accomplished in less than 40 minutes with materials at hand (which included a failed blower motor from my '95 Eagle Summit, the brushes of which were perfectly good, and a strip of 20 Ga copper). Only one slip ring is necessary since the other side is ground. Whether the horn button Belongs somewhere is a matter for the judges (if one goes for that side of it - I am not so inclined). I am an engineer and an (ex)Patent Examiner/(current)Patent Agent and I love elegant solutions, even when I devise them. As for the high-tech solution offered by Denis, sounds great but I would have to rebuild my wheel and then wear a ring on both hands. Of course one could use this system to make it (the car) somewhat theft proof. Hmmm.
I moved my ignition/light switch this afternoon to the left side and I am thrilled as I am with my 1st verniering job, a plentitude of birdseyes in maple. My rare wood dealer here in Atlanta let me use his 1920s verniering press and was that ever easy.
Walter, what fills the space of the speedo?

John Redman

Probably an easy-peazy elegant solution to the problem of a hole, where an original proper part of the car is missing.
Paul Gaynor

John, any photos available of your installlation? I cant quite visualize your slip ring set up.
Jim Merz

To Jim,
My step-son has the digital camera in Prague right now -will be back in two weeks.
To Paul, I told you, I'm not trying for concours or anything like it. Its my car to do with as I wish. I hanker for gages with gages, the horn where I'm used to it, the lights on the left and a really pretty dash board that I don't have to pay $450 for (my birdseye vernier cost $20 and I have enough left to do one for someone else). I live on the CT shoreline (Clinton) part of the year and will have the car there this summer. If my supercharger isn't installed yet you can sniff about my holes then and whup my ass on the road, too, I don't care. But if you ride a bicycle, I'll have yours and we can laugh about that, too. Maybe you drink Bass. I do
John Redman

The PO in his '76 'restoration' had recovered the dashboard in vinyl and covered over the Speedo hole, leaving only the Tach. I believe he was interesting in racing which only required focusing on the Tach. Go figure.
The overall result is a really ugly dash..
Walter Thompson

Sounds like he (what does PO stand for?)can just cut the vinyl and replace the speedo whenever he wants. Not so bad.
John Redman


PO stands for Previous Owner, usually as in DPO, Dreaded Previous Owner ( the Mythical Beast on whom we blame all the faults of our newly aquired T-cars on>)
Don Harmer

This thread was discussed between 12/04/2004 and 18/04/2004

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