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I need a new horn.

 

I need a really LOUD new horn.

 

My "bomb around car" is an 18-year old Miata.  Fun, quick enough (although not nearly as fast as it looks like it thinks it is), nimble, and surprisingly comfortable.

 

But that "nimble" trait is the only reason it - and I - are still alive.  Many times I've zipped out of the way of much larger vehicles piloted by inattentive drivers, often while pressing the button for the ridiculous excuse of a horn.  It literally sounds like the Road Runner of Warner Brothers fame.  "Meep Meep" just doesn't cut it.

 

So, with that, I need a new horn that is both LOUD yet small enough to mount in a very small space.

 

Any suggestions?  :)

 

 

** Back in '84 I bought a new Ford Ranger.  It came with one tiny tinny horn, the Ford equivalent of the Miata's.  I immediately visited a wrecking yard and liberated a compressor and set of air horns out of some much larger vehicle - cleaned 'em up and installed under the hood of the li'l pickup.  Wired a Ford starter solenoid to the horn button to power the compressor directly from the battery, and it's volume was quite noteworthy.

 

Driving to work one morning in heavy but fast traffic (Vallejo to San Francisco) I came to a curve in the freeway.  Woman in a Buick to the right of me was busily applying her lipstick, having re-purposed her rear-view mirror, and totally focused on the job.  When the roadway curved to the right, she continued straight, and a collision with my Ranger was imminent.  Without hesitation, I mashed the horn button. 

 

"HAAAWWNNKKKKK!!"

 

She cranked her wheel to the right (and nearly creamed some poor soul on THAT side of her) and swiveled her head toward me. I will never forget the look... eyes and mouth all huge, perfect "O's" (or maybe zeroes!), and a bright crimson lightning bolt from the corner of her lips to just above her right ear.  :lol:

 

  • Haha 8

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I had a 1959 Ford Anglia in the late '60's.  Factory horn was a squeaker.  So I installed an "ah-ooh-gah" horn from J.C. Whitney; really woke up anyone in the way.  

 

Several listed on the Internet.

 

https://www.dearbornclassics.com/ah-ooh-gaa-horn-modern-style-12-volt.html

 

http://www.aaaparts.cwmax.com/fordhorn.htm

 

LL

 

Sounds like this:

 

 

 

Edited by Loophole LaRue, SASS #51438
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Define small space. I may have something.

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Wolo 719 nautilus air horn. It's a 30 amp electrically driven air horn. You need to install a relay circuit but they'll get some bodies attention. Put one on my 1100 shadow.

 

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You can buy some very loud aftermarket 12 horns. The key is mounting them as close to the ourside of the car as you can.  Right behind the grill or inside the front fender wells.

 

As a general rule air horns are the loudest. Don't bother with any that don't use a charged accumulator. The time it takes for the sir pump to come up to pressure makes these rather ineffective when you need sound NOW.

 

You want a setup that has an air reservoir that is always full and the flow of air to the horns is controlled by either a manual or electrically controlled valve. You generally find these on Fire trucks and 18 wheelers. The loudest use air pressures in excess of 200 psi and are marketed as locomotive or train horns. These can cause hearing damage and are painful to nearby pedestrians.

If you go this route I recommend that you leave your existing horn connected and wire this one in parallel with a switch on the dash so that it will not be activated as part of a vehicle inspection. Many states have laws regulating the loudness of automobile horns.

 

For all electric horns stick with dual tone setups. These have some good reviews. You can read more here. Especially the bottom article about what is allowed in many states like the PRoK

HELLA 3AG 003 399-801 Supertone 12V High Tone/Low Tone Twin Horn Kit

Piaa 85115 dual tone horn 

 

 

Edited by Sedalia Dave
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54 minutes ago, Utah Bob #35998 said:

Define small space. I may have something.

 

Small space ~  I'd say roughly cigar box size.  Might go a mite larger if I become innovative with fabricating brackets and mounts - access is tight on that rascal... they even put the undersized battery under the trunk floor, sorta inside the right rear fender.  :huh:

 

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I have been considering a louder horn for my Miata as well. 

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I worked in an industrial plant for 25 years - one day we found a HUGE locomotive air horn in the scrap pile. This thing was three or four feet long. The welding shop mounted it under the hood of one of the work pickups, rigged a valve back under the dash, and built a new front bumper/air tank with a valve & Chicago coupling for quick refills anywhere in the plant. HOLY CRAP, was that thing ever loud. There was enough residual noise everywhere in the plant that you could roll right up behind someone unnoticed... throw the valve open and they'd go through the roof! Good times. :lol:

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  • Haha 3

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I remember working across from the Pier (Bay Street, San Francisco) when I heard a cruise liner blow its horn.
Now THAT was a horn!

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Thanks, all!

 

Think I might've found something ~ I need to do some measuring to see if I can shoehorn the thing in (pun unintentional! ^_^ ).  Intended for motorcycle use, the horns are 8" and 6 1/2".  Maybe... maybe I can tuck 'em into the nose...

 

At 125 dB, t's a bit louder than legal - but I'll take my chances, when it's me in the Miata against a semi driven by some character with his window-bulging Bose speakers cranked up to eleven.

 

If you open the link you can click on the "Play Horn Sound" button.  :)  

 

Viking Motorcycle Horn

 

 

                                  Dual Chrome Trumpets Motorcycle Air Horn

 

 

 

 

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Would a horn from a F150 truck fit under the hood?

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I worked an ambulance horn into my son's Colorado. Very effective! I laid on it next to a texter. I'm sure her rim and tire were repairable after she nailed the curb.

  • Haha 3

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No, for that little bugmobile Miata, you should find some of the electric horns from a gut truck!

 

"La Cucaracha, La Cucaracha

, ... He's got tiny little eyes! ..."

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15 hours ago, Hardpan Curmudgeon SASS #8967 said:

Thanks, all!

 

Think I might've found something ~ I need to do some measuring to see if I can shoehorn the thing in (pun unintentional! ^_^ ).  Intended for motorcycle use, the horns are 8" and 6 1/2".  Maybe... maybe I can tuck 'em into the nose...

 

At 125 dB, t's a bit louder than legal - but I'll take my chances, when it's me in the Miata against a semi driven by some character with his window-bulging Bose speakers cranked up to eleven.

 

If you open the link you can click on the "Play Horn Sound" button.  :)  

 

Viking Motorcycle Horn

 

 

                                  Dual Chrome Trumpets Motorcycle Air Horn

 

 

 

 

Thanks Hardpan. These sound appropriate too. I say that because if you have a horn that sounds like a Cadillac horn of old (for example),  people kind of expect to see a Cadillac. It won’t register that a Miata with a Cadillac horn is the car that might be blowing the horn. 
 

An example of this for me is the horns Honda installs on their Gold Wing. It sounds like a car horn, almost like an old Caddy horn. Several people I have talked to that own Gold Wings have said that the horn gets people’s attention but confuses them and often the person proceeds with what they were doing that warranted the Horn in the first place. 
 

 

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