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How to Fix the Horn on a 1965 Ford Mustang

The 1965 Mustang was based on Ford’s entry-level compact, the Falcon. Regardless of its heritage, Ford added features to the Mustang that were usually found on more expensive models, like dual horns. When the sporty chrome horn button is depressed on the steering wheel, both electric horns blow to produce a single tone. Over the years, the horns may stop working on your old Mustang, requiring repair to return the horns to service. The problem could lie in the horns themselves, the steering wheel connections or the wiring. Unlike many vehicles, the 1965 Mustang does not use a horn relay, minimizing your troubleshooting time.

Tools Used: Sandpaper, Socket set, Ratchet wrench, Jumper cables, Wrench set, Steering wheel puller, Grease, Torque wrench, Multimeter

Horns and Connections

Open the hood. Pull the wiring connectors straight off the terminals on each of the two horns mounted in between the grille and the radiator support. Clean any corrosion or residue from the horn terminals with sandpaper.

Remove the retaining bolt from each horn bracket with a socket and ratchet wrench. Remove the horns from the car. Use sandpaper to clean any corrosion or paint from the mounting surface on the radiator support and the horn bracket.

Connect the black alligator clip on a set of jumper cables to the negative terminal on the car battery. Connect the red clip to the positive terminal on the battery. Place the other end of the cables as far away from the battery as the length of the cables will allow. Connect the opposite black clip to the mounting bracket of one of the horns. Touch the metal end of the opposite end of the red clip on the jumper cables to the electrical terminal on the horn. The horn should honk immediately. Test the remaining horn in the same fashion. Replace one or both of the horns, if they fail to honk during this test.

Attach the horns to the radiator support and tighten the original retaining bolts with a socket and ratchet. Push each electrical connector onto the terminal on each horn until they are fully seated.

Test the horn.

Steering Wheel

Open the hood. Loosen the nut on the negative battery cable with a wrench. Lift the cable from the battery straight up and push it aside.

Push down on the center of the horn button with the heel of your hand. Rotate the horn button counterclockwise approximately a quarter-turn. Lift the button straight up and remove it -- and the spring underneath -- from the steering wheel.

Remove the large nut in the center of the steering wheel with a socket and ratchet wrench. Make a small mark on the steering wheel and a corresponding mark on the steering shaft at the center of the steering wheel.

Follow the directions for a steering wheel puller and use it to remove the steering wheel from the steering column.

Lightly sand the two spring-loaded horn contacts in the steering column and the metal rings on the underside of the steering wheel. Apply a light coating of grease to the metal ring on the steering wheel.

Line up the mark on the center of the steering wheel and the steering shaft and push the wheel into place on the steering shaft. Replace and tighten the center nut to between 25 and 35 foot-pounds with a torque wrench.

Place the spring onto the center of the steering wheel. Line up the plastic tabs on the underside of the horn button with the slots in the center of the steering wheel. Push down on the center of the button with the heel of your hand and twist the button in a clockwise direction until it stops. Release the button.

Replace and tighten the negative battery cable. 

Test the horn.


Remove the horn button and steering wheel using the instructions provided in Section 2. Test the continuity of horn wire from the battery to where it terminates at the contact in the steering column with a multimeter. Follow the meter directions to run a continuity test.

Test the continuity of the wire from the horn terminals to where it terminates in the remaining contact in the steering column in the same manner.

Replace any wiring that failed the continuity test with a length of wire with the same gauge, or thickness, of the original wiring.

Reinstall the steering wheel and horn button. Test the horn.

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