Novelty car horns are in high demand, and one of the most popular is the Dixie horn, made famous by the television show "Dukes of Hazard." Although the process requires some drilling and electrical wiring, anyone with a good awareness of the parts underneath their vehicle's hood can install a Dixie horn into their car.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Challenging
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Things you need
- Dixie horn kit
- Black paint (optional)
- Silver Sharpie marker
- Cordless drill
- Drill bit
- Wire kit (if necessary)
Open your Dixie horn kit and separate the different materials included. You should have purchased a kit that includes trumpet horns, a compressor that operates at about 12 volts, bolts and tubing. Some kits come with a mounting base on which the trumpet horns sit. Contact your Dixie horn's manufacturer if any of these pieces are missing. If you don't have a wire kit, purchase one from a home supply store.
Open your vehicle's hood and install the trumpet horns. Any surface that affords enough space for the trumpet horns to sit comfortably while horizontal will suffice. A popular choice for trumpet horn installation is the radiator support. Try to make sure that your trumpet horns are unobstructed in the front, which will maximise sound. When you've found a place where your trumpet horns can sit unobstructed, mark the screw holes for either the trumpet horns or the mounting base with your silver Sharpie marker. Drill through these markings using your cordless drill and drill bit. Secure the trumpet horns or mounting base with the bolts provided in your car horn kit.
Install the horn compressor inside the car bonnet. You should place the horn compressor no farther than 10 inches away from your trumpet horns. It's also important to keep the compressor removed from engine heat and exhaust. The grill support is a popular choice for mounting the horn compressor. Mark any holes to be drilled with your silver Sharpie, and drill them using your cordless drill and drill bit. Secure the compressor with the bolts provided.
Fit the plastic tubing over the corresponding holes from the compressor and trumpet horns. The compressor will have as many holes as trumpet horns, and each hole has a specific trumpet horn to be attached to. Read your car horn instructions to figure this out. Cut the tubing so that there's not too much slack, which will negatively impact the horn sound, but leave enough tubing to connect the compressor and trumpet horns properly. If you've cut your tubing too short, you can purchase more tubing from a plumbing supplier. Make sure you know the size of tubing you will need to purchase.
Attach the wiring used for the previous car horn to the compressor. The compressor will have both a positive terminal, where the electricity will enter and engage the car horn, and a negative terminal, which is used to conduct electricity away from the compressor. If the removal of your old car horn has left two free wires, transfer both of these wires to the compressor terminals. Guessing is fine; you can always return later and reverse your work if you were wrong. If only one wire remains from your previous car horn, attach it to the compressor's positive terminal. Using materials from your wire kit, run a grounding line of 16-gauge wire from the negative terminal to a bolt that should be free of rust and paint. You can use the ground connecting for the water pump to solve this problem. Keep electrical wiring away from any engine parts that will heat up, as this can cause the wire to melt and malfunction.
Close the bonnet and turn on your vehicle. Operate your newly installed Dixie horn by depressing your vehicle's horn switch. Again, if you used two wires from your previous car horn and your new Dixie horn won't sound, turn the car off and switch the wires on your compressor's terminals.
Tips and warnings
- Paint your Dixie horn trumpets black before installation. This will reduce the horn's visibility through your vehicle's grill.
- Aim your trumpet horns slightly downward during installation. This will reduce any damage caused by condensation or other excess water.
- Do not operate your car while attempting to install your Dixie horn.
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