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Author Topic: Air Horns  (Read 4896 times)
DavidInWilmNC
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« on: November 15, 2007, 11:37:14 AM »

My MC-8 still has the 'Cadillac style' electric horns.  They're loud, but not loud enough!  I've ordered one of these http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=290181087460.  It's certainly cheap enough, and, while not particularly attractive, it should be fine mounted down in the spare tire bay.  It's not something I'd want roof-mounted, although if painted, it probably wouldn't be too bad.  It has a 24 volt solenoid valve, so it should be an easy install, once I find where to tap into the air supply.  The seller has several of these, if others are interested (I am not associated in any way with this seller but am just passing on the info, in case it'll help another busnut).

I'm thinking that I can follow the lines from the air wipers to wherever they connect to the air system and hook in there.  What sort of air line and fittings should I use?  I'm almost tempted to use some regular air hose, like what's used for a home compressor, that's rated up over 200 PSI.  Would this be risky, or would it be ok for something like an air horn in a location where heat won't be an issue?

David
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« Reply #1 on: November 15, 2007, 12:51:57 PM »

However or wherever you hook it up, use either a quick release fitting or a valve so you can cut it out in case of problem-it will prevent you a stranding possibly.  Good Luck, TomC
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Tom & Donna Christman. '77 AMGeneral 10240B; 8V-71TATAIC V730.
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« Reply #2 on: November 15, 2007, 01:35:52 PM »

However or wherever you hook it up, use either a quick release fitting or a valve so you can cut it out in case of problem-it will prevent you a stranding possibly.  Good Luck, TomC

That, and from those folks who think it's funny to blow the horn while one's working on a vehicle.  I'd be quite pissed if somebody blew the air horn while I was working in the spare tire compartment!

David
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« Reply #3 on: November 15, 2007, 03:12:56 PM »

David,

I recently installed a set of Grover 1601 air horns on my coach. Since I had removed the air operated jack knife skoolie doors a while back, I controlled the loss of air from that black DOT air line by folding it over and clamping a small set of vise grips on it.
When I installed the Grovers, I clipped that black DOT air line off square, then went to ACE Hardware and bought some 1/4 inch clear air line rated for 130 lbs, the required fittings to connect to the black DOT line, and the electric/air solenoid to the clear air line from ACE in my coach electric access. Then it was a simple run up to the horns.
Not wanting to spend much on an air horn button, I bought a $2 door bell switch which works great, until I get my new panel built.
I like having the option of twin electric horns, or LOUD air horns! Just gotta remember to NEVER blow them with the window open...OUCH!

Jay
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« Reply #4 on: November 15, 2007, 03:25:18 PM »

Are these horns metal or plasitic? Have your heard them?

Fred. Mc  GM PD4106
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DavidInWilmNC
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« Reply #5 on: November 15, 2007, 03:46:13 PM »

Are these horns metal or plasitic? Have your heard them?

Fred. Mc  GM PD4106

Fred, here's the info I received from the seller:
Quote
yes it is metal...I believe that it is steel...there is some sort of mounting bracket, screws on the back...it is about 14 inches long and about 4-5 inches wide and a couple of inches thick....hope this helps...

He also says they are loud.  I'm sure they're not as loud (nor as attractive) as TomCat's Grovers or the big Hadleys, but they are cheap.  I'll hook 'em up to my air compressor and check the loudness when they arrive.  If nothing else, they'll be an improvement over the stock horns 'til I get the BIG horns... or maybe a train horn.   Wink

David
 
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« Reply #6 on: November 15, 2007, 05:29:50 PM »

As soon as you get them, please post or send me an email. I am looking to do the exact same things as you. I want to mount them in the spot of the old horn and will wait for your endorsement.


Grant
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Grant Goold
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« Reply #7 on: November 15, 2007, 07:12:00 PM »

Here's a photo of Davids horns and a photo of what they look like installed in a military vehicle

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« Reply #8 on: November 15, 2007, 07:47:50 PM »

I bought a set of Ebay air horns that were similar to what David posted.  Maybe $90 bucks shipped and with a separate electric air control valve. Supposedly used on a Mil Hummer.  I doubt it, but they work fine.   Had to buy a solenoid to control the things.  Came out of Texas if I remember.
Used 1/4" DOT tubing for power.  Very loud.  Sound just like a truck. 
If your 8 is like my 9, on the RH upper frame about 2' back from the front, there's a "block" with air fittings on it.  A couple ports are blocked off.  The air was supplying the door cylinders.  If you have such a junction block...good place to tie in.  Be careful when removing air plugs or lines.  If any air on the bus.... Shocked
120 lbs will blow the horns.  1/4" DOT hose is what most truck horns use.
I mounted mine beneath the tool compartment floor.  When the bus is aired up, they are not likely to hit anything...if they get hit, the horns will be the least of my worries. 
I wired the solenoid into the old horn wires. 
The horns are protected from most road spray and trash since they are essentially behind the bumper.   Two years and still going!
David, where you gonna mount the horns?  They'll be just as loud as any other truck horn.
I'd get them outside the spare tire compartment.   Someone's gonna pee in your co-pilot seat if you honk those things and they are inside the spare tire comparment.  Also really nulls out the outside sound.  I tried that and ended up moving them below the window wash tank.  They were mega-noisy inside the spare tire compartment.  Terri would get PO'ed every time I blew the horns.  You gotta check'em occasionally!  Grin
JR



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« Reply #9 on: November 15, 2007, 08:52:45 PM »

Hhmmmm let me thimk here for a second........ ah yes that's right the new dually has an on-board air compressor for the air-ride ..... Ah huh! Yep sure enough! Thanks for the idea on a new toy David! Whoop, whoop! Grin  BK  Grin
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« Reply #10 on: November 15, 2007, 09:12:37 PM »

semi wrecking yards are a killer place to find a set of air horns. you can get shiney Hadleys for about $55 a piece, give or take.

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« Reply #11 on: November 15, 2007, 09:14:38 PM »

So, do I need a pressure regulator to keep from blowing the horns when I blow the horns?  I was wondering if the bus pressure might be a bit too high.  As for mounting them, maybe I'll just spray 'em some other color and mount 'em on the roof, like everybody else does with their air horns.  I'll play around with them and see where they look ok and sound loud... on the outside, anyway.  Maybe I need to get one of those cheap air horn compressors and put another set in my Toyota.  I'm sure other drivers would look around for the truck when I blow it!

David
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« Reply #12 on: November 16, 2007, 06:22:39 AM »

You should not need a pressure regulator. These horns are designed for a vehicle that has an air compressor.  All vehicle air compressors (that I know of) pump up to about 125 PSI.  We installed 2 pair of air horns (one set has a very low tone similar to a boat, the other has a  higher tone similar to a truck) in the tool compartment under the driver's seat in addition to the OEM electric horns.  Each set of horns have a separate switch. The horn buttons in the steering wheel are now labeled EMERGENCY ONLY. Hitting this switch activates all 6 horns. If I need even more sound, I can pull up on the valve for my train whistle.  Jack
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« Reply #13 on: November 16, 2007, 11:28:27 PM »

Air horns are so worth it! I rank them up there higher than Jakes. My trip out this spring I had an a-hole cut in front of me and did a quick stop. All I had was my electric horn to blow because my air horns where still sitting in the bay where the PO had left them. I decided then I needed to change that. I hooked my compressor to the horns and not much. Well that explains why they where disconnected. I took them apart, cleaned them, and gave them a tune up. Boy are they loud! On the GM they are mounted forward the drivers steer tire up in a small cavity. I thought that it was a odd place for them until I tried them. In their mount they blast at an angle toward the ground only to have the blast bounce up off the pavement right at the perfect height for cars (No joke, they will hurt your ears). My second trip out (now with the air horns working) it was dark and I was on an unfamiliar busy street. I was traveling down the far right side of the road when I found out that I had one block to be two lanes over in the far left. First lane change went OK, but as I was starting my second, a lady in a convertible top down Saab decided to ignore my turn signals and dash in beside me. What a b***h! Angry Well I couldn’t make my turn and we both were stopped parallel at the light, so I lay onto my beautiful air horns that were right beside her head. I think she saw Jesus. I’m still LMAO at the thought of the “mookey stink” (South park episode 110) she must have left on the seat of her car. Priceless!


South park episode 110 link; Mr. Hankey, The Christmas Poo, a true classic:

http://www.southparkzone.com/episodes/110/Mr.-Hankey-The-Christmas-Poo.html
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« Reply #14 on: November 17, 2007, 05:36:33 AM »

My experience with train horns was problematic. They dumped the entire air supply on the KW and set the brakes for low air in about 3 seconds! I disassembled the horns from the air rail, (Hacksaw if I remember right). I put air to each of the horns and picked 2 off the rail I liked. They still will dump the air tanks real fast though.
Truck horns are cheap, come in round or square to match your headlites and you can turn the bell in or out to change the sound to your liking.
Older trucks have a mechanical activator, (pull switch to release air to the horns). If a truck horn has been inactive for a while you will have to put some air through it for a while before the tone will stabilize.
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« Reply #15 on: November 18, 2007, 12:45:17 AM »

"They still will dump the air tanks real fast though."

Should be an accessory rail somewhere to feed the horns. That way the brake protection valve will prevent the brake tanks from being drained below 65psi
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Songman
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« Reply #16 on: November 18, 2007, 06:30:11 PM »

I bought a couple of long chrome air horns from a guy down the street a few weeks ago. This guy is always having yard sales and comes up with some odd stuff. He had these air horns and he offered them to me for $10 each! They don't have any mounting brackets or anything but I figured the price was cheap enough. He stuck his compressor hose in one of them and blew it and that sucker was loud! I can imagine what two would sound like.

By the time I get to that point on the bus, I may decide not to use these. I really like the ones with the rectangular bell with covers. These are round. I figure finding mounting hardware and whatever valves you need to hook them up couldn't be that difficult since so many semis have them.
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captain ron
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« Reply #17 on: November 18, 2007, 07:29:10 PM »

Ed Skiba in Jersey has the coolest horns I've seen or heard. I think there is six or eight horns and it is frickin loud. They go all the way across his front cap.
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« Reply #18 on: November 18, 2007, 08:22:18 PM »

Guys,

I went at this a little bit different than most.  I intended to mount the horns under my coach so aesthetics was of no importance.  Also, LOUD was my only consideration for the horn but “cheap” always screams at me.  I went to Harbor Freight and bought their plastic (no rust) horns on sale for $9.  Got a couple kits ($18) and that gave me 6 horns to play with.  As well, I purchased that little air regulator with the filter and oil injector for another $9.  I mounted a old propane bottle under the coach upside down to use as an air tank.  To this system I added my oil less 115V compressor that was wired in and available as part of my tire air-up system.  I already had a electrically operated air valve from a previous project.

I guess anybody can see how this went together without any further explanation....except.  The compressor was left on while underway so I could recharge the tank from the drivers seat by starting the generator. The horns were mounted on the right side of the coach and out the front as my chief concern was that I often found myself having trouble getting over to the right and I cruise on the right and move left to pass only.  Those horns run on 30 lbs of air and I had the regulator set for 60 pounds.

 I only blew them while stopped to demo them to friends.  Maybe 6 times.  The only comment I can print was one I heard a few times.  “You are going to hurt someone with those”.  Yeah, they were loud.  Used them only three times in traffic....yes, it was funny.  And, yes they moved.  A mistake with the regulator subjected them to 95 psi and they only chirped....for their last sound and death knell.

Got new horns!

John
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« Reply #19 on: November 18, 2007, 08:35:00 PM »

OK guys, you got me all juiced up to install some old Hadleys that I had from a prior project. 

Only problem is, I can't identify the treads into the horn.  It is not pipe thread or any type of compression thread that I have in my parts bin.

It looks like they used a bulkhead type fitting so that it would be a part of the mounting.  The Hadley site is not much help.

My best guess is that it is a 7/16-20 o-ring system, but I ran out of time to check that out tonight.  Anyone know the tread type for the Hadley horn off the top of their head?

Thanks, Jim
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« Reply #20 on: November 19, 2007, 04:03:04 PM »

As soon as you get them, please post or send me an email. I am looking to do the exact same things as you. I want to mount them in the spot of the old horn and will wait for your endorsement.


Grant
Citrus Heights

OK, the horn(s) arrived today.  I didn't really get them hooked up, but I did unscrew the solenoid valve and hook my blow gun to the air input.  I had in ear plugs and held the horn at arms length.  They are LOUD.  I don't have anything to really compare them to in terms of loudness.  I can't imagine needing anything louder... 'cept maybe to have fun with!  Grin  They seem to be well made and there's a label indicating that they're made by Hadley (or at least the valve is).  The only thing I don't like is that the terminals for the solenoid are some sort of posts instead of normal terminals, but it's nothing I can't handle.  For a shipped price of around $23, I think they're a deal

David
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« Reply #21 on: November 20, 2007, 06:03:59 PM »

OK guys, you got me all juiced up to install some old Hadleys that I had from a prior project. 

Only problem is, I can't identify the treads into the horn.  It is not pipe thread or any type of compression thread that I have in my parts bin.

It looks like they used a bulkhead type fitting so that it would be a part of the mounting.  The Hadley site is not much help.

My best guess is that it is a 7/16-20 o-ring system, but I ran out of time to check that out tonight.  Anyone know the tread type for the Hadley horn off the top of their head? Thanks, Jim

Could be metric.  Metric uses a 10mm straight thead with an "O" ring.  Often banjo bolts.
A cheap fix may be to disassemble the horns and tap the threaded area into a 1/4" pipe thread.  Then all sorts of US fittings will work.
JR

 
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JR Lynch , Charlotte, NC
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« Reply #22 on: November 22, 2007, 07:17:05 AM »

Hi JR  It turns out that it is a 7/16 20 fitting.  It is designed for an O-ring type seal.  They also use the 7/16 20 as a part of the mounting. 

I bought a bolt and drilled it out.  I am  using a long joining type nut (about 1.5 inches long - can't think of the official name).  Turns out that you can use a 1/8 pipe tap in that nut and it cleans out pretty good.  I have not mounted it yet, but I did test it and it seems to work OK.  Should mount it next week.

Can't wait to use it for those idiots that cut in front of you just in time to dart off the exit ramp - that probably has not happened to any of you folks Smiley Smiley

Jim
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Jim Shepherd
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« Reply #23 on: November 22, 2007, 08:22:41 AM »



Can't wait to use it for those idiots that cut in front of you just in time to dart off the exit ramp - that probably has not happened to any of you folks Smiley Smiley

Jim
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Be careful, When I hit my horns, they come to a dead stop. I guess it really scares the  $#!T out of them. Shocked
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« Reply #24 on: November 22, 2007, 01:40:41 PM »

Be carefull in Washington State.

http://seattlepi.nwsource.com/local/329092_honk27.html
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« Reply #25 on: November 22, 2007, 07:37:47 PM »

Safety reasons, I can think of a thousand in two seconds. There are a lot of rules on the books that are not enforced. I would take my chances, the horns make for a very effective communication tool. Watching a-holes fill their britches would make it worth paying the fine in that state.
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« Reply #26 on: May 04, 2009, 10:18:02 AM »

I found this one on ebay for about $100.00   Sounds nice although its no train horn.

There is a video on the link, so you can hear what it sounds like.


http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/FREIGHTLINER-KENWORTH-KW-PETERBILT-RV-TRUCK-AIR-HORN_W0QQcmdZViewItemQQ_trkparmsZ66Q3a2Q7c65Q3a3Q7c39Q3a1Q7c240Q3a1318Q7c301Q3a0Q7c293Q3a1Q7c294Q3a50QQ_trksidZp3286Q2ec0Q2em14QQhashZitem5acedba7ceQQitemZ390017558478QQptZMotorsQ5fCarQ5fTruckQ5fPartsQ5fAccessories#ht_4215wt_1217
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« Reply #27 on: May 04, 2009, 05:13:41 PM »

Took a 7,000 mile trip last summer. There were only two instances of road rage directed at me and the bus. One was in Arkansas where a bob-tailer got upset he could not pass me in the right lane as I was passing one slow 18 wheeler. When he merged in behind me and then passed he diliberately made a swerving manuever as if trying to run me off the road. The wife said he must have lost the load at the casino we had just gone by! The second incident was in Portland Oregon on I-5. There was a wreck on the bridge between Oregon and Washington. We needed to get off I-5 at the Jantzen Beach exit, last one in Oregon. Needless to say traffic was unbearable. I had let several cagers merge in front of me and was then trying to edge over into the lane that was empty and led to the exit I needed. Some redneck in a Ford F150 pickup just refused to let me merge right. He got close enough that he reached out and slammed his fist against the side of the bus. Now the side of my bus is fluted stainless steel. I only hope he broke some of the small bones in his hand. I thought everyone up there in the great Northwest was supposed to be so laid back and friendly - not!

Those two incidents made me think I needed something more stout than the two air hones on the roof. I may just look into getting some train horns, hey I am a train fan so why not!

Later ..
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« Reply #28 on: May 04, 2009, 05:16:24 PM »



Well, if you're going to get a ticket for honking, you might as well make it worthwhile.  Go for the train horn!
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« Reply #29 on: May 08, 2009, 10:19:48 AM »

Hey Songman, those horns sound like they came of an old Crown Super Coach, 1952-60'ish. Just a thought for your mounts. All the Best, M&C
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« Reply #30 on: May 08, 2009, 10:23:27 AM »

Hey Songman, those horns sound like they came of an old Crown Super Coach, 1952-60'ish. Just a thought for your mounts. All the Best, M&C

FWIW Dale (songman) isn't here anymore. It was too bad that we lost him.

God bless,

John
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« Reply #31 on: May 08, 2009, 12:08:59 PM »

Thank for the up-date John.M&C Sad
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« Reply #32 on: May 11, 2009, 10:28:38 PM »

Don Fairchild and Songman have parted ways.
I have 3 different horns on my bus.  One is the normal two tone electric.  Then I have two sets of twins on the roof.  One is the normal 17" and 19" the other is the same but cut down to 13" and 15".  Each has its' own pull chain so I can either blow the high one, the low one or all four at the same time.  Then my final one is the Buell truck 4 chime train horn mounted in front of my front door behind the bumper facing down to the pavement.  That will get anyone's attention.  Good Luck, TomC
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