Land Rover Series 1 Horn Dipswitch Restoration

Kids are fascinated by steering wheels and I’ve been obsessed with this one. Let me tell you why

An obsession is usually not a healthy thing. I can confirm that it’s not healthy because the end result and the decisions I’ve got now are a big problem. It’s because of this obsession with the series 1 horn dipswitch steering column. But let me first explain how this whole story came about.

Series 1 Horn Dispswitch Restoration Parts

In the previous post I looked at putting together the steering box. But in this one I want to look at the central column (stator tube or control tube) that goes inside the middle of the steering column. And the series 1 horn dipswitch assembly which goes onto the top of that and sits on the steering wheel. This has been quite complicated to work out. The manual is not very specific about it. To get everything together has taken me a few months. The main part was the central series 1 horn dipswitch section which I had got from Charlesworth moldings in the UK.

You have the main hooter that looks similar to the other normal hooter except it’s got place for the dip switch. Both the series 1 hooter and dipswitch have a switching mechanism that needs to be assembled.

The Charlsworth website is quite good at describing how this is done. The assembly has a little spring that allows it to switch backward and forth. You need to ensure that the spring is in there on the little rod. That’s because it switches across from side to side, you’ll see once it’s fitted. The dipswitch goes in from the top and it’s got a little locating slot. So you push it all the way in and then when you turn it the dip is on and then when you switch it the other way it’s off. It is held in place with a small nut that I put a little bit of loctite on.

The Horn Dipswitch Assembly

The hooter itself has got the spring that sits on the top to give it tension and connect to the connecting plate. You’ve got an insulator which is where the connection goes on for the wire. The hooter wire is brown and green. Remember to put the hooter contact plate on before you put the wire on.

As for the rest of the wires blue goes on to the power and then the white is the dip while red is the brights . Watch the video below to see exactly how I connected all of this series 1 horn dispswitch assembly wiring.

The next part was to put the wiring loom through the control tube. It goes all the way down and eventually comes out at the bottom of the steering column. This then gets connected up to the junction box.

Using the posts on the control tube column you screw it onto the steering wheel and one of them is used for the hooter earth. There is not much space for the wires but they do all fit in.

After spending all those years outside the steering wheel was pretty tired. The outside had come off but the rest of it was in pretty good condition. I got it restored by Dave who works with Sharl who also did my firewall and chassis. They did a fantastic job restoring this wheel to new condition.

How the Early Series 1 Horn Dispswitch Works

The way the series 1 horn dipswitch assembly works on the early Land Rover Series 1 is that the hooter part is fixed and doesn’t move. The steering wheel just rotates around it.

It was immensely rewarding putting this Series 1 horn dipswitch assembly back together again. Then finally getting these wires through and looking and seeing what the finished product was going to look like. I couldn’t finish it off because there were still a couple of other things I needed to put onto the steering column before tightening it up.

The Steering Column Dilemma

After all of that I’ve got the steering column in and it’s all done. I’m so excited to get this thing going and so deciding which wheels to get. But that’s where the problem comes in because I had decided to put 7.50x16s on which is a very common size. They are fairly easily available and I can get decent tires at a decent price and I like the look of them. But this 107 should be fitted with 7.00×16 tires. Because of the gearing and because of the 2.0L engine that it came out with. Since I’ve fitted a 2.25L engine there should be no problem to power the bigger tyres.

But the problem then is this steering column that I’ve got which is the early worm and nut type. The bigger tryes will put more pressure on this already weak design steering box. This is because it doesn’t have as lower ratio as the later one has. So its not as strong as the later one.

I’ve spent a fortune fixing this thing and I’m so excited to put it on and keep it original. The reality is it’s just going to be a worry and concern. Only other option is to fit the 7.00×16 tyres but they’re not common, have poor selection and they are expensive.

I’m seriously considering both options. One of them is heartbreaking after spending all the time on the steering box and then I have to find a new steering box as well so that’s another story. Anyway, thats the way these things go so I now have a fully functional worm and nut steering box reconditioned and ready to use.

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