1954 Buick Horns and Relay

Two Delco-Remy electrically operated vibrator type horns are mounted in front of the radiator. Both 1954 Buick horns are operated simultaneously by a horn relay which is controlled by the horn button on steering wheel. The left hand horn is high pitched (380-400 cycles) and the right hand horn is low pitched (302-323 cycles), so that together they produce a pleasing blended tone.

The 1954 Buick horn relay is an electrical switch which closes the circuit between the battery and the horns when the horn button is pressed, and opens the circuit when the button is released. The relay permits control of the horns with a small amount of current passing through the horn button contacts. The high current required by the horns would cause arcing and burning of these contacts.

When the 1954 Buick horn button contacts are closed, a small amount of current flows through the relay winding to ground at the horn button. This magnetizes the relay core, which attracts the flat steel relay armature. The armature has a contact point which makes contact with a stationary point to close the horn circuit. When 1954 Buick horn button is released, current stops flowing through relay winding so that the core loses its magnetism; the armature spring then causes contact points to be separated.

1954 Buick Horn Buttons

The 1954 Buick horn button used with the flexible spoke steering wheel includes an operating ring and a contact plate mounted in the steering wheel cap base. When the operating ring is pressed it touches the contact plate to close the circuit to ground, thus completing the relay circuit and causing the horns to operate.

The monogram and bezel assembly is held in the steering wheel cap base by three springs. The assembly may be removed by inserting a small screw driver in a notch provided in the cap base and prying against the bezel. When the monogram and bezel assembly are removed, the operating ring and wheel base assembly may be removed by removing the three screws which attach the wheel base to the steering wheel hub.

The 1954 Buick horn button used with the solid spoke steering wheel has a cap with a rubber retainer in its rim which snaps over the rim of a contact cup mounted in the wheel hub. The cap may be pried out with a thin bladed tool and the contact cup and other parts may then be removed by removing the three attaching screws and insulating spacer bushings.

Adjustment of 1954 Buick Horns

When 1954 Buick horns fail to blow .first check wiring circuit (par. 10-12, c) before attempting to adjust horns. If horns are at fault, or tone is poor, adjust each horn for specified current draw as follows:

  1. Remove 1954 Buick horn from car and remove the back shell, which is crimped over the collar at four points.
  2. Inspect air gap between armature and core for steel burrs or other foreign matter; clean out if present. This may correct the trouble. If it does not, proceed as follows:
  3. Connect an ammeter in series with the horn and a fully charged 12-volt battery to measure the current draw when horn blows. Current draw should be as follows:
  • Left (high note) horn: 9.5 Amps. min.
  • Right (low note) horn: 10.5 Amps. min.
  1. Adjust to specified current draw, if necessary, by loosening lock nut and turning contact point adjusting nut clockwise to decrease or counter clockwise to increase current draw. See figure 10-75.
    1954 Buick Horn Contact Point Adjustment

    1954 Buick Horn Contact Point Adjustment

    This adjustment is very sensitive, and adjusting nut should not be moved more than one-tenth turn at a time, then locked with nut each time before trying the horn.

Increasing the current draw increases the horn volume. Too much current will produce a high cut-in voltage, which will cause a sputtering sound and may cause horn to stick in cold weather.

  1. After each 1954 Buick horn has been adjusted individually, sound both horns together to check for proper blend of tone.
  2. After horn adjustment is completed install the back shell. Make sure that back shell is seated against horn collar all around, then crimp tangs of shell over collar at four points.
  3. When horns are reinstalled, connect a voltmeter between each horn terminal and ground to check voltage when horns are blown. This should be at least 7 volts.



Three checks and adjustments are required on the 1954 Buick horn relay: air gap, point opening, and closing voltage. These should be made in the following order:

  1. Remove 1954 Buick horn relay from car then remove relay cover.
  2. Push relay armature down until contact points just touch, then check air gap between armature and end of core using feeler gauges. Air gap should be .014″. Adjust gap to .014″, if necessary, by bending the lower point support. See figure 10-76.