Steering shaft horn repair

I know this forum caters to the "leave it like it came from the factory" crowd and I left my '52 Buick stock for 33 years but it just can not keep up with traffic so I am installing a 425 nailhead in it. I decided to go with rack and pinion steering and that required me to modify my steering column. My '52 has power steering so I am not going to modify any of it. But my parts car has manual steering and the steering shaft is to long for my application so I need to shorten it. I can just saw off the end and machine the end for double "D" U-joint and I am good. But I need to move the horn contact up the steering shaft about 6 inches. The horn contact is brass and insulated from the steering shaft by a rubber insulator. Has anyone repaired one or is there a repair part that I can buy? I know I could buy a new fancy tilt column but it would look out of place. Thank you for any ideas.


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I have never done what you are asking about, but how thick is the insulator? I would hope to try to release it with heat, then clean it and try resetting it with something like silicone. Prep both the inside of the bushing and the column with a 40 grit or coarse paper. You may want to find some plastic spacers for keeping it nicely aligned while the silicon sets up.

Does that sound like a "maybe could work"?

My car is nostalgic, but hardly factory....:)
Bob that sounds like a good solution. The brass contact does not have to be perfectly centered because a spring loaded contact follows the brass contact at steering wheel speed. Just as long as the brass contact does not contact the steering shaft that would work. The brass contact is about 1 inch wide so would have to figure out how to feed silicone in one side and watch it push out other side to insure a complete fill. I believe the insulator is probably a small 1/8 inch thick. The edges of the brass contact are rolled on each end so it is hard to estimate how thick the insulator is. The shaft is 13/16 inch diameter so it will be hard to find anything that diameter to use for driving purposes. But the silicone is a great idea and I will have to give some thought to removing the insulator.
Try a propane torch to cook the insulator out. Once the brass contact is out, you can deal with cleaning it up. A glass bead cabinet would be handy.