Ram 1500 - horn blose continuously

1998 Ram 1500 QC 5.9L V-8 2wd 101,500 mi.
Went to turn left into the Home Depot parking lot today and the horn began to blow continuously when I turned the steering wheel left and would not
stop.
Hit the horn-pad a couple times and it intermitantly stopped and then started blowing again.
Based on the fact that the horn stopped blowing momentarily when I hit the horn pad my first guess is the horn pad in the airbag assy is bad....Anyone else had this problem?
Is it the horn pad or the horn relay? IF it is the horn pad can it be replaced individually or am I in for a new airbag assy?
thanks- rich
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Your clockspring broke. You can replace just this assembly (it's a coil of wire that looks like an actual clockspring - hence the name. It connects the horn buttons and the cruise control switches to the steering column). You should know what you're doing to do this job yourself - you'll be working around the airbag, and setting that off accidentally will ruin your day.
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Tom- I didn't think about the clock spring....but I have heard about them breaking.....
I am aware of the airbags and what needs to be done to disarm them and work around them......though I appreaciate the heads-up........
How long a job are we looking at? Is the clock spring usually stocked at the dealer or something that has to be ordered? Any idea as to what the cost of the clock spring is?
thanks- rich

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It'll most likely have to be ordered... rare that something like this is in stock. Dealer MSRP looks around $60 - depending on your particular dealer, you may get it for less.
As for the job itself, it's not too difficult... but I wouldn't attempt it without a factory service manual. The manual talks about a lot of little things to be done to remove/install it without breaking plastic tabs, as well as some things to do to keep everything centered. Again, not difficult - just a little tedious. You'll also need a steering wheel puller, as the steering wheel has to come off.
There's three relevant pages, so if you need them, drop me an e-mail.
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r_scotto wrote:

This recall doesn't apply to your '98, but it may answer some questions. http://dodgeram.info/tsb/recalls/982.htm

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Also, I'd do a little troubleshooting to make sure it really was the clockspring. For instance, does your cruise control work? If so, it may indeed just be the horn switch, in which case you just need to replace the trim cover/horn switch assembly.
You can remove this from the steering wheel and test the continuity of the switch with a meter.
Lastly, if that all checks out, suspect a sticking horn relay, and replace it.
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Tom- I do have a shop manual and have read up on centering the clockspring and the other issues to consider...again...thanks for the heads up.....
Here's the rub....I did some troubleshooting this morning...... checked the horn switch assy with a meter and it is working properly....normally open circuit that closes when pressure is applied to the horn switch assy and I removed and tested the horn relay per the shop manual and it checked out fine.......so I am a little unsure as to what to do....
I don't think it's the horn relay because I said earlier....the horn just started blowing by itself when I turned the wheel left, so in my mind it is either the horn switch assy or clockspring assy.
I have been having intermittant trouble getting the cruise control activated/deactivated (green "Cruise" light to come on and go off) so maybe it is the clockspring....
thoughts?
thanks- rich

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That's what had me suspecting the clockspring... the fact that it happened as you were turning the wheel. I just didn't want you to go ahead and replace it without checking the other (simpler) causes first. Unfortunately, it sounds like the other possible causes have been ruled out by your troubleshooting.

Pretty safe bet at this point...
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Tom- Something struck me today after reading a TSB..... The TSB stated that if the clockspring was broken things like the airbag and cruise control would be inoperative leading me to believe that if the clockspring breaks it opens the circuits that it makes up......
In the case of my uncommanded continuously blowing horn that would require a closed circuit.....failure of the clockspring...from what I read....creates an open circuit.....even though I did the troubleshooting and it showed good.....should I look harder at the horn relay or the horn switch assy?
The ultra conservative route would be....replace the horn relay, clockspring and horn switch assy.....my new question is: Is the horn switch assy and airbag cover available as a separate part or am I in for a complete airbag assy.....
thoughts?
rich

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and
This would be correct to a point.

a
read....creates
Not when it comes to the horn. The horn button is used to complete the ground connection for the horn relay and a broken clock spring can do the same thing.

The horn relay is not going to magically activate itself although the switch assembly could be failing. The intermittent cruise control along with the horn problem does indicate a failing clock spring.

clockspring
It's not going to be the relay and it is unlikely that a bad cover would blow the horn just by turning the wheel.
--
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Stop pressing on the button.
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A blose by any other name.....
It's been awhile since I had a Chrysler steering column apart. But that sounds like the right thing to check. Look for a couple bolts behind the wheel which hold the horn pad on.
And, incidentally, a horn "blows", not blose.
--

Christopher A. Young
You can't shout down a troll.
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