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Horn wire tube
05/19/19 at 18:52:09
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I'm sure like many others in the past tore my steering box down for a rebuild only to find the horn wire tube was broken. Since replacement tube are non-existent and I didn't want to rob one from a good steering box, I decided to make one.

I spent a few hours yesterday trying to figure out how to make the inside flare that acts as a stop for the freeze plug. I was considering finding a tube bead roller that was small enough to work with ~1/4" tubing, but felt that was a pretty limited use tool. After an hour or two of searching and looking at various bead rollers and flare tools, I found that such a thing exists as a GM fuel line flare die. Turns out that this would be almost perfect for the inside flare, unfortunately though they aren't made for 1/4" line, only 5/16" and 3/8". After a little measuring I found that a 5/16" line would easily still fit inside the worm shaft, so that was what I decided to do.

A quick order on Amazon for a Mastercool flaring tool (thank god for Amazon next day delivery!!!) and some 5/16" hard line from the local parts store, this is the process I used to make a new horn tube.

Here you can see the broken tube in the middle and another on top that I scavenged from another steering box.

The first step was to cut the existing flare and fittings off the hard line I picked up at the store.

The scavenged horn tube was about 8" long, but my broken one was a good bit shorter, so I went with the longer option.

This tubing is pretty easy to cut and deburr with a normal pipe cutter.

These are the dies used to make a GM fuel line flare. The die on the left holds the tubing and the right one squishes it all the flare it out.

After a few trial runs, I found that the dies don't play well with the coating that's on the tubing. Thankfully it easily sands off.

Line the tubing up with the end of the holding die.

Get it loading in the hydraulic flaring tool.

Load the other die and squish it.

Darn near perfect.

The existing hole in the freeze plug was a weird size and didn't fit the 5/16" tubing.

I first tried opening it up to 19/64", but that was a bit too tight, so I went to 5/16"

The last step was to flare the end to keep the freeze plug on and seal it.

The flaring tool isn't exactly designed to do this, but I found if I reversed the holding die, it made made the GM flare set against the die and allowed the use of the 45* flare to smash it.

Here's the 45* die

I found that the original holding die that I tried to use was too tall to allow the 45* to be used, so as you can see I switched to one of the other holding dies in the kit.

I'd say it came out pretty well.

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Rus Curtis
Flatfender Enthusiast


Posts: 151
Location: Alabama
Joined: 05/28/13
Gender: Male
Re: Horn wire tube
Reply #1 - 05/20/19 at 09:45:57
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This is excellent work!  Thanks for posting here too!

'54 CJ-3B "Green Gruntt"
Bantam T3-C
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