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Air Horns...

Discussion in 'The Garage' started by pvfjr, Sep 15, 2004.

  1. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    I'll soon have onboard air, and my current horn doesn't work, so I'm thinking I should make another trip out to the old semi wrecking yard. Anyone know how these things work or what I'll need to grab? I am hoping it will be something obvious like an air fitting and a wire terminal, but I don't know. Are they electric solenoid actuated, or is there some kind of a spring valve? What kind of psi do they operate off of?
     
  2. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Not even a single speculation to throw out there? Some one at least toss me some BS. /forums/images/graemlins/tongue.gif
     
  3. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    I would have to say some kind of a spring valve. In a semi to use the horn you just pull on a cord and it will sound the horn, let go and it springs back. It is not electrically activated because the farther you pull the cord, the louder it will get. It would work good to get the valve from a semi, even if you don't mount it on the ceiling of your truck. A friend of mine has "train horns" on his semi. He just tapped into the air tank and ran a line into the cab into a ball valve (like the ones used for natural gas shut-off valves in your house) and then to the horns. The more the valve opens the louder it will be. It works good like this because you can start quiet and then get loud, just like trains. The regular air horn valve in the truck works this way also, but without as much control. Trucks operate on around 125 to 140 psi, I don't think that the horn is regulated, so it should operate at the same pressure. While at the wrecking yard, check out the type of air hose used along the frame rails for the suspension and brakes(on the frame, not from the frame to the brake chambers). I think that it will work good for plumbing an OBA system. It's easy to work with, just cut the hose and stick it into the fitting. It works kind of like chinese handcuffs. To remove the hose just pull back on a small collar and remove the hose. Semi's seldomly have leaks on these lines. In some magazines I have seen electric air horn kits. These are for if you don't have an air supply, which most vehicles don't.
     
  4. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    Air horns are not legal replacemtn for a non functioning electric horn... all vehicle must have an electric horn..
     
  5. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    Air horns are not legal replacemtn for a non functioning electric horn... all vehicle must have an electric horn..

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Says who???????????????????? /forums/images/graemlins/confused.gif Pennsylvania?

    I can name two states right now that say absolutely nothing about a vehicle requiring an electric horn and their statutes are almost identical in wording, which would lead me to believe that most states don't 'require' a so-called electric horn. Besides, all the air horns that I know of, and the one that I have on my truck require electricity to run.
     
  6. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    well, he did ask for BS, but i thought i was spouting truth... i will explore... brb /forums/images/graemlins/thinking.gif
     
  7. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    and why would an air horn need DC to run... besides activating the clutch on the compressor?
     
  8. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    ok, i just talked to my pop, who has been failed for having no electric horn on his last mack..

    the code reads as follows...
    [ QUOTE ]
    (3) Check the horn and reject if any of the following apply:

    (i) There is no horn or other acceptable audible warning device.

    (ii) The horn or other warning device is not audible under normal conditions for distances of not less than 200 feet.

    (iii) The vehicle is equipped with a siren, bell, whistle or device emitting harsh or unreasonably loud sound, except for emergency vehicles and vehicles equipped with an anti-theft device.



    [/ QUOTE ]

    and the only things that would back my argument up are if:
    a vehicle's horn must work when the vehicle is first started, or maybe an air horn is considered to harsh,
     
  9. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    I was guessing that since the old pull cord hasn't changed since the beginning, that they all started off with that gradual spring valve. I would imagine that they have since made advances that mimick the original. That seems to be the way of the automotive industry. All I have found in the way of new horns are all "air solenoid actuated". So I could probably find different ones, depending on how old of a truck I look in.

    I would guess that the laws all depend on the state, but I know Oregon rarely cares about anything. WA is a little worse, but who nows. All I can recall is that you have to have a horn, and why would a truck be allowed to have a louder one? It's not like they're an emergency vehicle. Their size already demand enough presence already, we all see them there. Why the loud horns for them and not us.

    I think I should be able to have one, cause I'm cammo and people might not see me./forums/images/graemlins/grin.gif
     
  10. blazd88

    blazd88 1/2 ton status

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    you should get a air horn from a train /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gifmy buddy has one and it is insanely loud but very entertaining when someone pulls out in front of you. /forums/images/graemlins/histerical.gif
     
  11. ugly_blazer

    ugly_blazer 1/2 ton status

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    The truck that I drive now is a 2004 Freighliner Columbia class day cab (with an air ride steer axle and Mercedes engine /forums/images/graemlins/peace.gif) and if I am real careful pulling the valve the horn will barely sound. Basically all you need is an air supply, valve, and horn. Even if you had a new set that came with an electric air pump (the kit for pick-ups and cars) you could still use just the horns with your air supply, as long as the horns are rated for the psi that you are using. The horns don't care where they get the air from, an electric pump or engine driven pump, they still work the same.
     
  12. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    I had enough trouble finding a semi junkyard. Trains would be even harder. /forums/images/graemlins/crazy.gif

    Where would I find something like that? Would it be cheap?

    That's the reason I'm doing this anyway. I wouldn't want to spend too much money on something that's partly a joke anyway.
     
  13. Bubba Ray Boudreaux

    Bubba Ray Boudreaux 1 ton status

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    [ QUOTE ]
    and why would an air horn need DC to run... besides activating the clutch on the compressor?

    [/ QUOTE ]

    To run the compressor that the horn is hooked up to.

    [ QUOTE ]
    a vehicle's horn must work when the vehicle is first started, or maybe an air horn is considered to harsh,

    [/ QUOTE ]

    Mine works whenever I want it to, it's hooked straight into the battery.

    As for unreasonably loud, I can see that on a Mack truck. While my horn is louder than a stock horn, it's not unreasonably loud. But then again after having to slow down for dumbfawks who can't check their mirrors while I'm running Code 3, I think anything short of a nuke blast would be reasonable and prudent volume for a horn.
     
  14. woody9

    woody9 1/2 ton status

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    added electric air pump on mind.. so an air horn was logical extension to that! /forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif Mine has a tank on it, and added the solonid to activate the horns, but wired it thru a switch so i can use regular horn OR a combo via flipping a switch. ANother switch to turn the pump on and bring the tank pressure (elec gauge too) to pressure (130-ish)....
    Seemed to be a tad 'delayed' so i added a relay to the setup and seems to work fine now! /forums/images/graemlins/waytogo.gif
    Sure works for getting that rice outta the way!
     
  15. TorkDSR

    TorkDSR 1/2 ton status

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    i was referring to the air horns on trucks, not on cars.
    trucks need to build up pressure at a bit of volume, so they have to idle for about 2-3 min before you'd get sound outta them, thats where i wsa thinking the problem lied, that maybe that couple of minutes was considered "normal operation" and the horns would have to run, when in fact, they wont have enough pressure.
     
  16. duece21

    duece21 1/2 ton status

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    For simplicity you only have to run 1/4 air line from tank to spring loaded valve, then run 1/4 air line from valve to horn. Most common setup on rigs is spring loaded valve, but many companies offer the electric vlaves. You will need one horn, the most common name is Grover most truck yards will have them and a single spring valve. I'm assuming your running a tank w/ the on-board air setup? You can get a 1/4 fitting that runs from pipe to quick connect 1/4 air (quick connects are easiest to use) plug that into your tank then run the line to your valve (mounted wherever you like) then run a line to your horn. You will need another fitting for the horn as well. It should be 1/4 pipe by 1/4 air. Some valves have 3/8 supply line running to them, but that is mostly for dual air horn setups that also have a line running to their seat. I doubt you need two air horns though.
     
  17. pvfjr

    pvfjr 1/2 ton status

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    Thanks for the info. Gives me something to go on.
     

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