Signal Cam 1

So, what *have* I been doing?

The actual answer, “experiencing defeat on several project fronts”, is a bit pessimistic sounding.  Let’s replace that with: “learning more than I thought I would about widely variant fields.”

First up:

The right-hand turn signal in my (old) car has never held itself in place when I move the signal stalk, requiring me to hold the signal stalk firmly upward preparatory to making the turn.  While not a terrible problem unto itself, the car has manual steering, requiring several turns of the wheel to make said turn.  As my right hand is not equipped with a 360 degree rotator cuff, I need to take my left hand off of the signal as I begin the turn, possibly confusing those behind me.  (Bonus points for needing to downshift at the same time.)

Let’s find out what is causing the problem.

All together now: first, disconnect the battery.

This is the much-weathered horn cover on the steering column.  Note: extremely fake woodgrain dash (factory!) and the extreme absence of airbag.  This latter is important, as I lack the gumption to muck about with airbag-equipped steering columns, preferring to keep my screwdrivers on the outside of my sinuses.

steering wheel trim ring

A bit of prying, and the cover’s spring clips give.

horn ring

Horn Ring

This is minimal corrosion for those of us in the land of salt and snow.   Any work you can do without a propane torch or extractors is almost blessed.

The protruding ring is the “horn ring”.  It moves in and out, and when it moves in, it makes contact and the horn sounds.  It is important to have disconnected the battery at this point, else you irritate the neighbors sounding the horn at intervals.  Disconnect the cable at center, and undo the three bolts that hold the steering wheel on.

Steering Column "Can"

Steering Column "Can"

The “can” is mostly a spacer, but is held on quite tightly.  Undo the nut (lots of force – it is a single point of failure for the steering wheel).  You will note that the can doesn’t come off.  This is because it is held on the column by a splined shaft under the nut.  This, too, is difficult to remove, without…

Steering Wheel Puller

Steering Wheel Puller

… this facehugger-looking implement.  It is basically a gear puller; the threaded shaft at middle pushes against the splined shaft that the nut was on, and it pulls the can off using the splined shaft as a hardpoint to push against.

Oops.  The threaded shaft is pointed and harder than the car.  Note divot in steering shaft.  Evidence of sloppy work, though not as sloppy as that done by whoever put all of the screwdriver gauges around the edge in the picture below.

Signal Cam

Signal Cam

Aaand there’s the problem.  The nylon assembly at left is in the “right turn” position.  The barbed bit in the red circle is supposed to catch on the greasy part behind it, but doesn’t.  The green arrow points at a crack in the nylon, about 1/32″ deep.  That’s all it takes.

I now need to find a replacement, and to figure out how to remove the original.

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