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MG MGB Technical - Colunm stalks

My 72 MGB has the headlight dip, and indicators on the left side of the steering wheel. It's got the center horn which is now broken. Also the stalk must be broken as he indicators won't stop working, God bless them !
I have heard that an earlier model column stalk with horn push is a good CHEAPER alternative. Any help please, wiring the horn and model year.
If i ever get the drivers side floor to stay down i'll be on the road this Summer !

G.L Lodge

GL Lodge,

Have you considered taking your column stalks apart? Drilling out the rivets, using small screws and nuts to reassemble things, bending and cleaning contacts, even adding the stray bit of plastic to a broken piece with a high quality two part epoxy can work wonders in resurrecting a failed multifunction switch.

The horn switch is a pretty simple affair under the center motif on the wheel. Have you carefully removed the decorative cowl on either side of the steering column, and do you have a good wiring diagram? I also find it helpful to have a Moss MGB catalog, as it has a good explanation (I think by John Twist) of the color codes for all the wiring circuits.

Oh, and the 70 MGB I am sometimes custodian of has the LH mounted horn button. I'm always firing off the RH mounted windscreen washer fluid instead... lol.

Just a thought...

Dave Braun


I just rebuilt my stalks a couple weekends ago and Dave is right in that it is pretty basic stuff. Both stalks were quite stiff but a bit of WD-40 stragetically placed solved that problem. The contacts on the wiper stalk were out of wack but I pushed them back in place and used a bit of plastic epoxy to hold them there.

The turn signal stalk was in good shape but wouldn't turn off all the time after make a left or right turn. I had to relocate the turn signal bumper on the column back to a centered location on the signal stalk...very easy to do.

There is a bit of play in my steering wheel so I have a new nylon top bearing coming. Because of that play my signals don't always turn off after a hard turn but hopefully the new bearing will solve that.

Once you have your plastic steering column cowling off all of this will become obvious. Plus you'll be able to see if the bumper on the column that deactivates the turn signal is doing what it should. You could also possibly have broken off or worn flex tabs on your stalk that keep it from turning off. If the signals are "never" turning off then you can look at the contacts as Dave said.

The horn center cowl should just pull straight up and off. On my 73 it's held on by spring clips. There is a spring loaded brush that you will then see (1/4" dia x about 2" long) that makes the contact when you push on the horn. This is about a $12 part from Moss if it's broken. It is the first place I'd look in a faulty horn situation. If it is not broken then you'll have to do a bit of wire tracing and voltage testing at the horn contacts in the front of the car. I also just went through that circuit when I did the stalks.

BH Davis
BH Davis


Where are you in Mass. I'm in northeast CT about 20 minutes south of Worcester, MA.

BH Davis

GL. Before tearing everything apart it may help if you supply a little more information about your signal light problems. Your description isn't clear about what is happening. Are all signal lights on all the time? Does ignition on/off change the conditions. Is it only the left or right lights that will not turn off? Do you mean they will not cancel with the steering wheel and you have to manually turn them off? Depending on what is happening the problem could be something other than the switch. Give us more information.

Regarding the horn, check the bottom fuse in the fuse box one side has brown wires the other has purple wires. There should be 12 volts on either side of the fuse, it's always there if the battery is hooked up. No 12 vols on the purple wire, change the fuse. 12 volts at the purple go to purple wires at the horn, check for 12 volts. If not there check the connectors near the grill for corrosion, clean or replace the connectors. I have had old double connectors crumble in my hand. 12 volts at the horns, go to the purple/black wires on the horn and apply a momentary ground to the spade, do the horns work? if yes go toward the horn button. If no there is a problem with the horns, usually not both horns. Again, the horn push may not be your problem, make the simple checks first.

Clifton Gordon

I should have checked the stalk before i came into work today, but to the best of my knowledge the indicator light comes on even when its off in the middle, not sure what side itis blinking on though, having said that the hazzards work fine, no bulb problems.
The horn push part in the steering wheel is broken its the small metal rod i believe.
BH, i'm North of Boston, in Billerica...
G.L Lodge

*If* the earlier column stalk with the horn push is cheaper then it is a relatively simple matter to change the indicator wires from the old switch to the new switch wire for wire, and move the horn wire from the wheel (which should be a wiper bearing on a slip-ring on the back of the wheel) and provide a ground to the new switch also. The multi-plugs for the two switches are different, if you buy a new switch you won't get its partner connector so you would have to get this from a scrap-yard, if not the switch as well. Failing that you will have to do a combination of cutting and shutting the connector from the old switch to the new, and hard-wiring in the horn wire(s).

All-in-all you would probably be better off seeing if you can repair your existing indicator switch, and then either doing the same with the horn 'pencil' (which is nothing more than a spring-loaded contact) or getting a new one of those which should be much cheaper than a new indicator switch.
Paul Hunt 2

PS. if the interior lights work the horn problem is not in the purple fuse, but could well be if neither work.
Paul Hunt 2


Billerican is over an hour away so were close.......but not that close!

Moss had the turn signal stalk on sale a few weeks ago so I bought one in case mine turned out to be bad. It's still in the box and I could send it on up to you if you needed it. I can return it to Moss but if you would like it I'll knock a few bucks off the price I paid and mail it on over to you.

(860) 923-2771
BH Davis

This thread was discussed between 06/07/2006 and 07/07/2006

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