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Re: Audi '86 CGT Horn

>I just posted the question of why both my coupes do this now.  I feel
>alot better that I'm not the only one.  I sincerely believe neither of
>my cars did this before I disassembled the column.  I think the fact
>that both myself and Rich "discovered" this after reassembling the
>column is just too coincidental.  I'm pretty sure I have pressed on the
>wheel before, and it didn't honk the horn.  Would someone who's car
>hasn't been messed with please push on the wheel and see if the horn

The reason this occurs is because the steering column was once taken
apart and not re-installed correctly.  My father's '82 Coupe had no
steering wheel movement.  After he replaced the ignition switch, he
could sound the horn by pressing on the steering wheel.  My '85 Coupe
steering wheel would move back and forth, but not sound the horn.  After
I took the steering column apart to replace my ignition switch, I
found out why.

The steering column is really two pieces.  The upper piece and lower
piece are not physically bolted together, but have two studs that
slide into sleeves on the overlapping mating pieces.  (Sorry, it is
difficult to explain...just stick your head under your dash.)  The upper
partion is then held tight against the lower portion by a compressed
spring at the TOP of the steering column, under the steering wheel.
The spring is "attached" to the steering column by two dished washers
(Allan knows this), and applies constant pressure out towards the driver.
The "bottom" side of the spring presses against the steering column 
bearing (?) in the metal frame supporting the dash/steering paraphernalia.

If the spring is not FULLY compressed, the upper steering column can be
pushed down.  The amount that you can push the wheel depends on how 
much space the spring has left before it is fully compressed.  When you
let off the steering wheel, the spring causes the wheel to rebound to 
the proper position.

When reinstalling the upper steering column, there are two ways in which
you can create this gap in the spring.  First, by not fully clamping
the upper and lower steering wheel together when reinstalling the
spring and dished washers.  If there is a little gap between the mating
flanges, this will be reflected in the spring after you assemble the
steering column.  The second way of causing a spring gap is by not
FULLY compressing the spring when installing the dished washers onto
the upper steering shaft.  Any gap in the spring will be the amount that
you can push down on the steering wheel.  If you put the steering shaft
together without tightly clamping the upper and lower portions together,
AND you do not fully compress the spring, you will get a much larger gap
than either event individually.

It is really very easy to ensure that the upper steering column is
installed tightly.  I believe you can even check it just by removing your
steering wheel.  This would give you access to the dished washers and
the spring, so you can ensure that it is fully compressed.

I do not think having a small gap is detrimental or dangerous.  I drove
for many years like this (although I could not honk my horn).  My father
has driven his Coupe like this for several years. 

This is all from memory, so please go easy on any mistakes I made.

'85 Coupe GT
Eric J. Fluhr                                Email:  ejfluhr@austin.ibm.com
630FP Logic/Circuit Design                   Phone:  (512) 838-7589
IBM Microelectronics Div.                    Austin, TX