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  #1  
Old 12-04-2010, 10:30 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
Default The horn wouldn't stop on 2003 Montero Limited & How I fixed it

Hello, I'm new to this forum, and originally came in search of an answer of how to fix a constant horn honk that appears in the middle of the night and particularly in cold weather. It is not the alarm, nor a bad relay or fuse, much to my dismay, I learned that the horn pad within the steering assembly was the culprit, shorting on typically during sudden depression/cold changes as a result of pressure from the airbag on thin wearing contacts within the pad and the repair costs for replacing the entire air bag assembly was upwards of $1200 depending on where you were quoted.

This killed my battery the first time it happened and tortured my neighbors while I slept. I brought the vehicle into my garage and couldn't replicate it, but the moment I left it outside a cold snap had me running out to bring it back in, to stop the horn, a simple tap/punch to the steering wheel seemed to get it to stop briefly but until you disconnect the short this will continue unpredictably. I brought it into the dealer on a warmer night and they couldn't replicate the issue but gladly would sell me a new assembly for about $1300 installed. Unacceptable on a car nearly 8 years old with constantly failing components, I've had to replace O2 sensors nearly every other year, and wasn't about to start doing the same with airbags that have a $1 switch broken in them.

I with the assistance of my husband attempted to diagnose and repair the assembly based on a random thread I found for some montero/pajero users outside the US that were able to repair the contacts. Much to my dismay in attempting the repair it simply isn't possible and research with airbag repair folks in the US state it is NOT a serviceable part. No reputable repair guy will even try it. There are solid grommets holding the airbag in and I stopped after removing the ignition plate on the assembly that we really couldn't go much further forward.

Unwilling to pay a lot for a fix, I did find a text writeup of how a guy disconnected the horn wire to the wheel and routed a new switch elsewhere on a 2001 Montero Limited. I did this as well, and have provided more detail and photos that I hope will help others. I believe the wire harness is the same on the 2001-2006 when speaking of USDM Monteros (not sport). Its a bit of a workaround but at least I have the horn back, I'm no longer worried about passing safety inspection in Virginia, and I didn't have to put an airbag on my Christmas wish list. I love my Montero in the snow and beach, but the random failing electrical stuff on the aging SUV is just annoying.

This fix cost me about $10 total Parts included:
  1. Black 18 Gauge Wire (had some in stock)
  2. Red 18 Gauge Wire (had some in stock)
  3. 2 - Wire Tap in Squeeze connectors - $2.19
  4. 2 - Quick Disconnects - $2.49
  5. 1 - Momentary Switch - $2.99

Tools required:
  1. Flat Screwdriver
  2. Phillips Screwdriver
  3. Drill Bit, 1/2" bit and a few smaller for pilot holes
  4. Soldering iron and solder to attach wires to the switch
  5. Electrical Pliers/Strippers to crimp wires to connectors
  6. Addons if you like: Electrical tape/heat shrink wrapping for any additional coverage
  7. Line toner to verify horn wire if it doesn't match what is pictured


Here are the overall steps
  1. Disconnect battery
  2. Locate near the clock spring (where the steering wheel actually turns) and disconnect factory horn wire inside steering wheel (red wire with blue stripes) (**The wire from here to the airbag/hornpad is what is shorting)
  3. Remove service panel beneath steering wheel and locate factory horn wire (green with black longitudinal stripe)
  4. Remove blank panel near illumination control
  5. Clamp and drill panel hole for new button
  6. Solder 1 black and 1 red 18 gauge wires to horn switch of equal length
  7. Add additional electrical tape/heat shrink wrap to each wire if preferred
  8. Install button to drilled panel (i just used a tight friction fit)
  9. Crimp male sides of quick releases to new horn button wires
  10. Tap Red wire to Factory Horn wire
  11. Tap Black wire to Factory ground located in illumination control (solid black wire)
  12. Crimp other female sides of quick release disconnects to tapped leads
  13. Secure Quick Release disconnects
  14. Reassemble all trim.
  15. Reconnect Battery.

Here are my Supporting Pictures:
Locating bad horn switch wire:
Click the image to open in full size.

Locating Factory Harness Horn Wire:
Click the image to open in full size.

Locating Panel for new horn button:
Click the image to open in full size.

Where I grounded the switch:
Click the image to open in full size.

How to drill the panel:
Click the image to open in full size.

Drilled switch housing:
Click the image to open in full size.

Momentary Switch Used:
Click the image to open in full size.

Completed Horn switch panel:
Click the image to open in full size.

New Line tap to horn wire:
Click the image to open in full size.

Crimp Connections:
Click the image to open in full size.

Completed install:
Click the image to open in full size.
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Last edited by KarenV6; 12-09-2010 at 07:17 PM. Reason: Corrected applies to information based on user feedback from SoMaine
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  #2  
Old 12-05-2010, 03:55 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 216
Default

very nice, wish the mods would sticky or create a new sub forum for write ups, because support and aftermarket is few with our 3rd gens.

There are other nice write ups that just get lost as they get hold.

This is a great contribution for the 3rd gen Montero/Pajero community.

btw, i believe you mean 2001-2006 when speaking of USDM Monteros (not sport), your guide should apply to those years.
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  #3  
Old 12-05-2010, 07:35 AM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
Default you're right

Yes there is really very little information out there on our Montero's and its very frustrating. Thanks for the tip on what applies to I've corrected the post.
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  #4  
Old 12-06-2010, 02:16 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 216
Default

so you just press your new push button to sound the horn, its a very nice placement. very clean install.

All the reviews/and writeups I put up, I also post over on the 3rd gen pajero forum in AU

http://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/...isplay.php?f=8

MUCH more active, probably the MOST active 3rd gen forum.
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  #5  
Old 12-06-2010, 08:46 AM
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Join Date: Oct 2009
Posts: 35
Default

Nice Karen; so, tell me folks... is it just a matter of time and my '01 Monty is going to wake me up in the middle of the night? I'm at 156k, it's all good (i have the temp gauge w/ a mind of it's own). Should I do this fix and have done w/ it?
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  #6  
Old 12-06-2010, 09:19 AM
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Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rougesvp View Post
Nice Karen; so, tell me folks... is it just a matter of time and my '01 Monty is going to wake me up in the middle of the night? I'm at 156k, it's all good (i have the temp gauge w/ a mind of it's own). Should I do this fix and have done w/ it?
I honestly wouldn't.. if it isn't broken really no need, but I would at least take note of how it occurs (cold snaps/sudden barometric changes) and what to do to fix it immediately.. (push around on the horn pad on the wheel) and disable it by removing that horn wire under the wheel too. So much online how guys tried ripping out fuses, pulling batt cables, thought it was an alarm issue and it's really a simple problem.

It's crazy, we really don't drive ours much, its got less than 60K on it, but it is not garaged. That might be the difference here with yours. Yep, I too have that freaky temp gauge thing too Comes back on for a few days after i reconnect the batt, then disappears again..
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  #7  
Old 12-06-2010, 06:54 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 8
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by redturboeclipse View Post
so you just press your new push button to sound the horn, its a very nice placement. very clean install.

All the reviews/and writeups I put up, I also post over on the 3rd gen pajero forum in AU

http://www2.pajeroclub.com.au/forum/...isplay.php?f=8

MUCH more active, probably the MOST active 3rd gen forum.
Sounds good, especially as this gets older I'll want to keep a pulse on how to do more fixes ourselves, so I'll likely join that forum too.

Yep, its a very economical workaround for those that would rather not spend the $1K+ on the airbag.
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  #8  
Old 12-07-2010, 02:19 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 216
Default

My 02 just hit 60k. Also not garaged.

We may feel secluded and tendency to feel there are A LOT of problems with our vehicles..

but a way to see it is, look at the OTHER MANY Monteros out there. Today when there are problems people go on forums to complain or what not.

The lack of members and complaining on forums leads me to believe our vehicles are reliable AHhaah, such an optimistic view
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  #9  
Old 12-07-2010, 06:46 PM
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Dec 2010
Posts: 3
Smile 01 Montero Ltd horn problem

Quote:
Originally Posted by KarenV6 View Post
I honestly wouldn't.. if it isn't broken really no need, but I would at least take note of how it occurs (cold snaps/sudden barometric changes) and what to do to fix it immediately.. (push around on the horn pad on the wheel) and disable it by removing that horn wire under the wheel too. So much online how guys tried ripping out fuses, pulling batt cables, thought it was an alarm issue and it's really a simple problem.

It's crazy, we really don't drive ours much, its got less than 60K on it, but it is not garaged. That might be the difference here with yours. Yep, I too have that freaky temp gauge thing too Comes back on for a few days after i reconnect the batt, then disappears again..
Karen - thanks for this great fix. I recently moved back to Maine fr AZ. One night back in October this problem first occurred. Nothing would stop it so I disconnected the battery cable. I don't drive the vehicle often - only 55K mi. I just reconnected the cables today and four hours later, 4:30 PM (28 degrees - not garaged) the horn went of again. I just disconnected the baterry cable one more time, but want to get it fixed right. Could you email the pics to me directly with your instruction set.

Thank you. I am not that handy but should be able to find a helper to do it.
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  #10  
Old 12-08-2010, 02:47 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2009
Posts: 216
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by SoMaine View Post
Karen - thanks for this great fix. I recently moved back to Maine fr AZ. One night back in October this problem first occurred. Nothing would stop it so I disconnected the battery cable. I don't drive the vehicle often - only 55K mi. I just reconnected the cables today and four hours later, 4:30 PM (28 degrees - not garaged) the horn went of again. I just disconnected the baterry cable one more time, but want to get it fixed right. Could you email the pics to me directly with your instruction set.

Thank you. I am not that handy but should be able to find a helper to do it.
there are tools on this forum for ease of that.

click thread tools you can email it to you or show a printable version.
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Old 12-08-2010, 02:47 AM
 
 
 
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Tags
2001, 2003, alarm, brands, disconnect, honking, horn, inc, limited, mitsubishi, montero, montro, running, stuck, system


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