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Old 08-04-2002, 11:13 PM   #1
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Air Horns aren't working

Remember I don't know much when it comes to the mechanics of the Airstream Motorhome. I have on top 2 horns. When I try and honk my horns on the steering wheel I hear a fant muffle sound. I was at Camping World the other day and saw their horn system. I was surprised what came with the whole system. It looked like a small compressor, holding tank and the horns. Are my horns on my 84' MH setup the same way. Are all of these components hidden somewhere on my AS body? Do you think I need a whole new system or just the horns. Stupid question I know, seeing the problem could be a number of things. Has anyone experience any problems similar to mine and if so what's the best way to attack this project. Is there a system most recomended my serious RV'ers?

Any help on this would be appreciated, I'd really like to hear those horns blow.....

Thanks
Ken
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Old 08-05-2002, 05:41 AM   #2
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The funny thing about stupid questions is that usually other people have those same question.......ME! I'll be watching the responses.

My hunch is that the whole assembly sits up top. On my 345, behind the horns is a box the size of a baseball and I think electrical wires going into the coach. Someone installed a musical horn in my coach and we were playing and writing them down while returning this weekend. 78 tunes in all.
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Old 08-05-2002, 07:03 AM   #3
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I was poking around the underbelly of my MH and found near the step what looks like could be a small compressor with a tank coming off of it. I'm guessing this might be for the horns. It doesn't look like it has anything to do with the step. If that's the case and it all functions maybe it's just my horns that need replacing. Someone once told me the horns are proned to freezing up, but I'm not sure what that really means.
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Old 08-05-2002, 09:28 AM   #4
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Wink Spiders...!!!!

Speaking of AIR HORNS....Sorry I can't help U on this one, but I'll tell U a little story instead...
Many years ago, I used to buy and sell OLD cars, NOTHING special, just small sellable well used little bread and butter cars....My pal and I, used to use this old Guy, who did the welding and tinkering in his workshop, and generaly check-out the cars b4 we sold them on, ALL cars were LEGAL...and ROADWORTHY with an M O T ....
Sat in one corner of his workshop was an old '30s Lagonda, mounted on the side was a HUGE HORN, the type U have to manually HONK....well, it was that little boy in me that just HAD to have a squeeze..." HONK...HONK...HONK...", to say it was LOUD was an understatement....my ears rang for many days afterwards...LOL..., but the funniest thing about it was the spider who LIVED in the HORN...He came out of the horn, looking like a octupus learning to ice skate, legs crossed, folded, and all of his tiny eyes still rolling about in their sockets...his little mouth was this shape ~ and he had the meanest look I have ever seen in a spider, he turned around and staggered back towards his web, inside the horn, we named him DEAFLEGS, and although it was quite amusing at the time, we did NOT honk that horn again...
The lagonda was sold on, and has been restored, I STILL see it from time 2 time at the local CLASSIC shows, and YES the HORN is STILL on the vehicle....HONK...HONK...HONK...Chris.....
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Old 08-05-2002, 04:31 PM   #5
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Ken,
the system is easier to troubleshoot, when you understand the components.
There is
the horns
the pressure line to the tank
the tank
the compressor
the pressure regulator (which turns the compressor
off when a certain pressure is reached)
and a pressure relief switch

When you push on your horn button, the pressure relief switch opens and blows your airhorns.
That is assuming that there is pressure in the tank.
First thing I would do, is find the tank and look at the bottom for a moisture drain plug or screw.
Let all the pressure out of the tank, close the plug and have someone turn the ignition on. The compressor should come on fill the tank and shut off.
If this checks out ok, find the pressure relief valve (it should be inline between the tank and the air horns and has one or two wires running to it. You could safely remove the airhose from the AIRHORN SIDE of the switch and have someone push the horn button while you watch for air pressure coming out of the switch.
If this checks out ok, you can use an air blow nozzle attached to an aircompressor set at 100PSI and stick it on the end of the detached hose.
If this does not honk your horns, you know what to replace.
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Old 08-05-2002, 06:20 PM   #6
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Sounds like fun....thanks for the info. Do you think the tank is what I'm seeing under the MH by the entry step?
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Old 08-05-2002, 07:20 PM   #7
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don't know, Ken. I found 4 tanks on my rig.
Stick your head under there while someone is pushing the horn button. You should hear something.
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Old 10-05-2003, 07:24 PM   #8
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what about eletric horns?

Has anyone ever delt with Sparton electric horns? I have dual trumpets each with two wires going into them. They are made by Sparton Mfg. Co, Flora IL. (the same company made my remote control spotlight).

I removed them today to see if I can get them working again. They are pretty plugged up with road gunk and one has an old bees nest in the trumpet. The sun has also taken its toll as the covers are falling apart.

I could use some parts but can't find them online. Does anyone know the story on these? Were they OE? Can I replace them with something that will blow the paint off those toyotas and hondas that keep cutting in front of me?

I guess I could run air up there and put some "real" horns on....any tips or advice?
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Old 10-05-2003, 08:31 PM   #9
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sorry the horns are not air horns. get a step ladder and put it on the side of the unit provide padding at the top (do not put ladder on the coach window glass) so not to scratch your skin. take a large screw driver and hit in front of the plastic cover and the horn will make a noise. it is electric and it is stuck. not much of a horn.that is the horn that came on 1984 units
mine is at present in need of a beating , going to give it a beating tomorrow. need a horn to wake the old folks at the six region rally this week.
one of the post called hydrolic jacks compressor a air compressor. kzener 40 i think.
if you got what i got that is what you got. peter dont that make sence. lol
al
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Old 10-06-2003, 07:12 AM   #10
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Electric horn on e-bay

Electric Horn
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:12 AM   #11
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airhorns

My 85/86 345 had Hadley air horns, the air supply came from the rear susp air tank, thru a solenoid in the drivers side wheelwell. I had to replace the solenoid to get them to work.
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Old 10-06-2003, 08:23 AM   #12
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Air Horns?

Neal:

My 86/87 only has the electric trumpet mounted on the roof. Does your unit have the air line running inside the wall, or did they run it internally or externally?

Thanks
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Old 10-06-2003, 11:16 AM   #13
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Cleaning them did the trick

Dennis & Al,
Sounds like we all have the same horns. I removed mine, pulled the trumpets off the horn, cleaned everything out with soap and water re-assermbled and they are both working fine now. I'll chrome spray paint and re-install them this week.

It'll be nice to hear more than a muffled buzz when the next guy cuts in front of me.
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Old 10-06-2003, 12:10 PM   #14
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airhorns

Dennis,
I've traded for a trailer, and don't remember how the line was run. I think it was just run along the frame rails. I had a dpdt "spring return to center" toggle switch on the arm rest where the seat controls are for the horns. One way did the air horns, and the other did the regular horns. The horn button was also wired to the regular horns, thru a relay, I believe. I replaced the original elec horns with a set of Fiaam elec horns. Rocking the toggle switch back and forth would make some noise.
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Old 10-06-2003, 05:03 PM   #15
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well i beat the heck out of those horns . not a sound. checked the fuse it is ok. when they worked i called it noise.
will probably get a new set of something to make some noise. like i said lol
al
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Old 10-06-2003, 05:40 PM   #16
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Re: Air Horns

I have a 1985 325 A/S M.H.

The Horns did not work when I bought it. Took a
while to track it down. The Horns were just plain no good. They were Sparton Electric Horns.
They were mostley plastic....

The fuse was blown so when I replaced that then went topside with a volt gage and when the wife
pushed the horn button I regestered 9 plus volts.

I went to one of the Nation wide Boating supply stores and got a set of dual horns looked identical and base
was transferable to new horns. Payed about $80.00 for the set. I do believe they are a much
better quality also. and they are stainless.

Helps this helps someone.
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Old 10-06-2003, 09:18 PM   #17
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I repaired a set of electric horns a few yrs ago for a friend and remember the fuse was good and I finally found a contact between the horns that was corroaded. Cleaned the contact and they worked fine. Don't remember the brand but they were dual horns and VERY load.

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Old 07-25-2004, 09:36 AM   #18
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Unhappy

Before we went to the International at Lansing someone stated that their airhorns were just for "decoration", mine were too until I took the time to take the covers off and cleaned out about 6 inches of bugs, dust, leaves and other detritus that had accumulated over 19 years of travel. Now I have screening over the mouth of the trumpets. Wondered why the newer "Hadley's" had covers on them. It takes about 32 psi air to make them work. By the way, be careful when you open the gas cap cover after a period of outside parking---I had a nest of yellowjackets in there once.
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Old 08-03-2004, 02:06 PM   #19
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Air horns...

I realize this is a pretty old post...but I thought I'd throw my 3 cents in (yeah, three). I am VERY VERY new to the motorhome thing, infact the horns on my 74 Argosy MH do not work either. Looking at them from the ground it APPEARS that they are electric... (two wires out of each).

As far as air horns work I have a LITTLE more experience...When I was 18 I decided that I was sick of people (local high school kids mostly) walking in front of my car while I had a green light...I couldn't hit them...the PA system I had installed in my 84 Honda Civic didn't seem to get their attention anymore...what better choice than some Air Horns?!?!!! I went to an auto wrecker "pick'n pull" type place and found myself most of a horn setup (both diaframs, one trumpet, some tubing and the pull switch). I eventually found another trumpet at another place and I was ready... I got a 7 Gal air tank with guage and put it in the trunk...I wired a 12V emergency tire pump to it via a switch mounted in the dash...when I my air got low I simply pump it up a little...it was good times. This is all to say that when I actually got the horns they sounded VERY weak. I took them apart and there was all kinds of junk and kinda rusty and all that. A toothbrush, some WD40, some elbow grease and several hours later they were echoing off the houses accross the valley like noones business. It was by far one of the best modifications I ever did to that car... (if anyone would like to hear more I'd be glad to blabber)

Well that's about all I had...I was just going to suggest a REALLY GOOD cleaning.
Now I need to figure out why MY horns dont work....

-Logan
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Old 08-05-2004, 07:25 AM   #20
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Angry Air Horns don't work

My air horns were for decoration when I got the A/S. Several years later i decided to find out why????? Took the covers off and found about 6" of bugs, bees (even a Yellow Jacket nest) leaves, feathers, dirt and other dentritus. It takes about 32 psi air to make the horn work. I have a screen over the trumpets now to slow down the accumulation. The "Hadley" horns have a cover that is not just for looks. By the way, when Yellow Jackets are active, be careful when opening the flap over the gas cap. I had a Yellow Jacket nest in there once---nasty things!!!
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