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  #1  
Old 07-31-2011, 08:45 AM
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Default Air Horn Installation

I purchased an air horn kit for my truck from Air Horns of Texas a couple of weeks ago (whom I would not buy from again) and finally bought everything I needed to install the system. The "kit" came with good quality components (Viair 380C compressor and chrome plated horns) but lacked enough plumbing and wiring to install the kit in my truck. The horn button was also missing.



Anyway, I decided to mount the two horns on the front of the truck as opposed to anywhere else underneath since I wanted the sound to be... well, up front. I chose a location between the two front body mounts, and mounted the horns on a piece of flat stock (after drilling all the holes I cleaned, primed and painted the piece to slow down the rust).







I mounted the horns both facing the same direction to minimize the air tubing runs; in hindsight, I should have mounted them in opposing directions to keep the flat stock from torquing when I bolted everything down. Doing my research I had also read that the tubing to the horns should all be the same length so the horns operate at the same time, but that was for train horns (chimes). Since these horns sound the same a split second lag in air to one wouldn't have mattered.

At first I planned on mounting the tank under the truck, but then I realized the line from the compressor is so short I'd either have to plumb it or mount the compressor under there too, so I decided to mount them both in the bed, Since the tank came with 4 ports on one side of the tank and no drain port (great design!) I wanted to mount the tank in a way that I could add a drain valve. Plus, I didn't want to carve up my BedRug so I could mount them on the floor of the truck. I had some 1" plywood in the garage, so I bought some slotted angle, trimmed the bottom and bent legs into it, them measured the length of the tank, added the compressor, and measured up so that I would hit the ribs in the bed. I mounted the relay on the board as well so the wiring (except for the solenoid) would be in one place, out of the weather. The four ports are air in, pressure switch, 3-way adapter with 1/4" plug, 25' air hose and moisture drain, and the last port is air out.



I routed the relay power, pressure switch power, and 3/8" OD air tubing along the outside of the frame rail on the passenger side (to avoid any heat from the exhaust). I mounted the control solenoid on the side of my Volant CAI; this part came with absolutely no way to secure or mount it, so I used two clamps on the tubing to hold it in place.



Power and momentary switch wiring are routed along the top of the firewall.

After the air leaves the solenoid there's a splitter down to two 1/2" lines for the horn; this stuff just sort of fell into place.



The kit supplier recommends connecting directly to the battery, but I didn't want the compressor running or the horn button being active when the truck was off so I tapped into the 20A trailer wiring on the fuse block.

Finally, I located the momentary switch on the dashboard in a spot where I can reach it easily but where it won't be hit accidentally.



After firing things up I discovered that 3 of the 4 tank fittings supplied with the kit are leaking slightly (even with Teflon tape on the threads) so I'll be looking for some type of pipe dope to try to seal them up.

My advice to anyone who wants to do a horn installation - skip the "kits" and buy the parts yourself. The tubing and fittings can be found at your local hardware store, and you can order the tank, horns, and compressor on line and probably still save over the cost of a kit.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:11 PM
Stangshcky12 Stangshcky12 is offline
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Looks great! How does it sound?
I second the advice on kits. I purchased the pieces of mine all seperatly since I cant afford a compressor yet. I just used a typical 5 gallon portable air tank, fittings and hose from my hardware store. In all I don't even have $75 dollars.
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Old 07-31-2011, 08:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Stangshcky12 View Post
Looks great! How does it sound?
I second the advice on kits. I purchased the pieces of mine all seperatly since I cant afford a compressor yet. I just used a typical 5 gallon portable air tank, fittings and hose from my hardware store. In all I don't even have $75 dollars.
Thanks. It sounds awesome, just like a fire engine... The whole kit thing is overrated, especially considering most of the "kit" they sent was the wrong size, too short, etc. I ended up having to buy air line to get from the bed to the engine compartment, new electrical connectors because the ones in the kit were for 18 gauge wire, and a momentary switch because they shipped my kit without one.
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Old 08-16-2011, 09:45 PM
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Oh, my.... exactly what I was looking for... I mean someone who has DIY the train-horn stuff... perfect! Thanks for the advices and recommendations... I won't ask how does it sound since I know it for sure... a real locomotive blast!

Hope you will not be ticketed for it LOL...
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Old 09-05-2011, 05:46 PM
nnjramspeed nnjramspeed is offline
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Very Nice setup...
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Old 10-03-2011, 01:19 PM
jastexas jastexas is offline
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Default air horn installation

hey gary, Nice install on the truck . You will want to replace the clear tubing with 3/8 DOT tubing. The clear tubing will fail in a short period. If you would like , i can send you some extra tubing. Next time you might want to contact me before you dog me out publically. I am generally always by a phone and can be phoned or emailed if you have any questions . Thanks Jason Owner of Air horns of Texas
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Old 10-11-2011, 01:40 AM
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what size air tank do you have? im lookin at either a 3 or 4 gallon pancake tank and woundering if it would be enough
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Old 10-11-2011, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by mr.lopar View Post
what size air tank do you have? im lookin at either a 3 or 4 gallon pancake tank and woundering if it would be enough
The tank is a 5 gallon. I don't see why a smaller tank wouldn't work, it just means the compressor will run more often. If you go with a smaller tank just make sure to go with a compressor with a higher duty rating so it can handle the run times.
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Old 10-11-2011, 11:43 AM
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thanks. yeah. if i do put a air horn system in, i wanna go with a pancake style air tank so hopefully itll fit under one of the seats, then i can put the compressor under the other seat so they wont get damaged
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Old 10-11-2011, 05:46 PM
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Originally Posted by mr.lopar View Post
thanks. yeah. if i do put a air horn system in, i wanna go with a pancake style air tank so hopefully itll fit under one of the seats, then i can put the compressor under the other seat so they wont get damaged
Just keep in mind these small oil-free compressors are fairly loud, I can hear mine when it's running in the bed. I can't imagine how loud it would be in the cab.
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