JBugs Video Series

1968-69 Beetle Wiring Harness Installation - Part 6:

Video Overview:

Getting the horn to operate can be tricky in VW Beetles. Follow along with us as we show you how to troubleshoot and fix the horn circuit on 1968 through 1970 Beetles. With the horn now working, all of our electrical systems have now been completely re-wired with our Wiring Works 1968 to 1969 VW Beetle Complete Wiring Harness.

Video Tips:

Tools you will need:

Flathead Screwdriver
Phillips Screwdriver
Wire Stripping Pliers
1/2" Ratchet
6" long 1/2" Extension
27mm Socket
220 Grit Sandpaper
Soldering Iron & Solder

Click here for the previous video in our re-wiring series.

Video Transcript:

With all the wiring on our beetle done, except for the horn, we will start troubleshooting that. We start by removing the steering wheel, and attentive eyes will notice that we've swapped out the steering wheel which we did cover in our steering wheel installation video.


Being through in this video we will start by removing the center cap or horn button so we can access the steering wheel nut. Most buttons will pop out of the steering wheel. Some aftermarket steering wheels will have a bolt on button. Regardless with the horn button removed, we can now loosen the steering wheel nut. It is standard threaded so with the appropriate sized socket remove the nut.


Our beetle has a locking steering column which makes it easier to loosen the nut, as we can just rotate the wheel to engage the lock. Then loosen the nut. With the nut and washer removed and set aside, as we will be reusing them, we can now pull the steering wheel off. Most of the time a good, firm tug on the wheel along with tapping on the back side, will be enough to get the steering wheel off. If not a steering wheel puller will have to be used.


With the steering wheel removed we've pulled the four screws holding the turn signal switch in place and pulled it up and off of the shaft. Removed the C clip below the spline, and removed the snap ring that holds the upper steering column bearing shell in place. We pulled the steering column bearing sleeve and plastic shell up and out to discover that the wire was only attached with two strands.


Further testing showed that the steering column isn't conducting through the sleeve bearing and shell to the wire. When you press the button, the ground wire coming up from the column carries the ground to the column, the ground continues through the inner earing sleeve to the column bearing and from there the ground continues through the wire, up into the trunk and out of the horn turning the horn on.


We've run a red piece of wire here to test that wire and bearing are good, which they are. So we clean the steering column shaft, where the bearing sits, with some fine grit sandpaper and also clean the bearing and sleeve. Now we can test that the connection is good, which it is.


Now it is time to repair the wire connection to the bearing, by soldering on a new wire. The wire is now attached as it should be. We slide the sleeve in place, follow it with the bearing and its shell with the wire attached. We test that the cleaning and repair has worked, and it does. So we can route the bearing wire following the turn signal wires through the column, over the steering column and through the grommet at the bottom of the dash. The red wire can be pushed out of the way as it is no longer needed. Pop the original snap ring back in place below the spline area.


Install the bearing snap ring in place to hold the steering column bearing, and the turn signal switch can be put back in place. This involves making sure the wiring isn't getting caught in place at the top side along with pulling the wires gently out at the bottom of the column. With the turn signal switch in place, we can install the screws and tighten them down but not too tight, as that can cause the cancellation mechanism to bind up.


We can reinstall the steering wheel, making sure that the front wheels are straight. Unlock the steering column, install the washer and column nut, and tighten them down. Reattach the column wire to the horn ring, after reattaching the column bearing wire in the trunk to the front left harness, the horn ring works.


We can pop the horn button in place. Now all the wiring in our beetle, from front to back and top to bottom, works just like new. Thanks for sticking with us in this long video series We hope it's been helpful and we hope you guys at home rewire your beetle regardless of the year as most of the beetle wiring, early all the way up to the late models, is going to be similar in layout and operation. Feel free to stop by JBugs.com for any other tech tips, questions and of course, all of your Volkswagen parts and accessories.