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Jimmydreams
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Sat Jun 04, 2011 11:44 am

I replaced my Leaf horn yesterday. A VERY easy mod, and one I'm very glad I did. Now, the horn actually gets attention instead of laughs. :mrgreen:
JimmyD
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Randy
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:03 pm

I finished installing my Stebel Compact air horn today. As many others have done, I did the install from the top. I removed the black plastic trim piece at the top and the water bottle. I had to replace the stock bracket because it moved too much due to the weight of the horn. So I put in a stout L-bracket and it worked much better. The wiring kit I purchased from Amazon was indeed a plug and play thing, with no additional wiring or spade lugs, etc. needed. Below are some audio samples...It is a much nicer louder horn....Look out for my car now!!!!

Sound of stock Leaf Horn before mod...

Sound of new Stebel Compact Nautilus Horn after mod...

I couldn't get a very photo of the horn installed, but at least here is how I mounted the power relay (on the side of positive battery connection with 3m double-faced tape)...

Image

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turbo2ltr
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Sat Jun 04, 2011 7:06 pm

You didn't connect any grounds directly to the battery post did you? The service manual says not to. I assume it's because of the current loop on the ground side. You'll need to connect the wire to the terminal on the non-battery side of the current loop.
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gasmiser1
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Mon Jun 06, 2011 2:46 pm

OrientExpress wrote:UPDATE - added instructions for access from under the car.

............ recommendation of several of my Leaf owner friends, I decided to try the FIAMM 74100 El Grande - Twin Horns. At $16.60, they are a real value, they sound like my old 68 Buick, blast at 110db, and have a real tone of refinement. These horns are PnP, and don't need a relay to operate.




Image




Image

Accessing the horn from under the car - Thanks to Tony Williams for use of his underside photos

This requires you to crawl under the car to remove the front underbody panel. This is probably best done by driving the car up on ramps, putting the car on jack stands, or on a lift. Use extreme car when working under the car, make sure that the parking brake is set, and that your lifting method is secure. Proceed at your own risk.

Image


After you get the cover removed, the horn is accessible. Note from this view you can see the bottom of the coolant overflow tank.

Image


The stock horn is held on a short bracket that is bolted to the center brace with a 12mm bolt. Take out the horn and bracket, and disconnect the power and ground leads.

The new horn assembly had to brackets to hold them apart, bolt the brackets and a ground lug to the horns securely. A good idea is to add a drop of Loctite to the horn bolts. Make sure that when you install your horns, that they are pointing DOWN, so they don't collect water.

Image

To wire up the new horns to the existing wiring, I made a short pigtail for the power lead. The stock ground line goes to the ground lug that is bolted to the horn bracket.

Image

Make sure that that the single power lug (which plugs into the existing horn power connector) is a male blade and not a female like what I have on this photo (Duh!)

Now you are ready to install the new horn assembly. The two horns and their brackets get bolted to the original horn bracket, and that in-turn gets bolted to the car's center brace. Connect your power and ground wires to the power pigtail and to the ground lug respectively. (Don't mix them up! The ground wire is the LONGER wire.) I stuck a piece of shrink tubing over the power connector to pigtail connection, just to make sure there was no chance of shorting. I would highly recommend this.

Image

Image

Give your new horns a try, and if they work, ........you are done!
............For me this was the best $16.50 and hour of my time that I have spent all week!

They sound great. Get a pair and see for yourself!
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Thanks for the excellent pics-quite helpful. I found access from underneath was best for me. It was an easy installation.

Only modification I did was use the original horn ground tab and bend the original Leaf horn mounting bar into a "C" shape to angle the horns to the front in a 45 degree position.

Then I covered the entire horn and aluminum AC grill with a window screen (all under the bumper and front grill assembly out of view) and fastened it with zip ties. This will keep bugs from damaging the aluminum cooling grill.

These horns command attention from lane drifters 8-)

*****While I was under there, I sprayed liquid silicon spray on the CV boots, steering boots, and strut boots to keep them supple. I did this on my 2001 Insight every 3,000 miles and they lasted over 287,000 miles. Sold the car with the original boots :) *****
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aqn
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Mon Jun 06, 2011 8:29 pm

gasmiser1 wrote:Then I covered the entire horn and aluminum AC grill with a window screen (all under the bumper and front grill assembly out of view) and fastened it with zip ties. This will keep bugs from damaging the aluminum cooling grill.
You might want to keep an eye on that screen; I wonder if its mesh might be too fine and thus clog up quickly with debris. I suppose it's a fine line between that and having the radiator's fins smashed & bent by gravel and such.
gasmiser1 wrote:*****While I was under there, I sprayed liquid silicon spray on the CV boots, steering boots, and strut boots to keep them supple. I did this on my 2001 Insight every 3,000 miles and they lasted over 287,000 miles. Sold the car with the original boots :) *****
Good tip. What brand of silicone spray did you use? Gunk?
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gasmiser1
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Tue Jun 07, 2011 7:11 am

aqn wrote:
gasmiser1 wrote:Then I covered the entire horn and aluminum AC grill with a window screen (all under the bumper and front grill assembly out of view) and fastened it with zip ties. This will keep bugs from damaging the aluminum cooling grill.
You might want to keep an eye on that screen; I wonder if its mesh might be too fine and thus clog up quickly with debris. I suppose it's a fine line between that and having the radiator's fins smashed & bent by gravel and such.
gasmiser1 wrote:*****While I was under there, I sprayed liquid silicon spray on the CV boots, steering boots, and strut boots to keep them supple. I did this on my 2001 Insight every 3,000 miles and they lasted over 287,000 miles. Sold the car with the original boots :) *****
Good tip. What brand of silicone spray did you use? Gunk?
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Window Screen- I've been using nylon screen from HomeDepot for years without any clogging issues.


Silicone Spray- I've been using Pyroil Silicone Spray (by Valvoline) which is a non-oily, non-staining polymer film safe for rubber and leaves no residue for dirt to attach. It goes on wet and drys in a few minutes. I get it at "O'Reilys (formally Kragen), but it's also available on Amazon.

I think Permatex Silicon Spray would work too. It has similar properties.
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davewill
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:01 am

Do you think the silicone spray would be a good choice for protecting the J1772 cable? I've been wondering how hard sun and parking lot grime is going to be on it.
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LTLFTcomposite
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:06 am

gasmiser1 wrote: *****While I was under there, I sprayed liquid silicon spray on the CV boots, steering boots, and strut boots to keep them supple. I did this on my 2001 Insight every 3,000 miles and they lasted over 287,000 miles. Sold the car with the original boots :) *****
I don't feel like I've ever gotten a good answer on whether preservatives and conditioners prolong the life of rubber and plastic parts. Some have told me things like Armorall actually eats away at material.

For reference I have a 2001 Honda also with the original boots. Only half the miles as you though, although rubber parts seem to me to go more with time than miles.
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gasmiser1
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Tue Jun 07, 2011 9:25 am

LTLFTcomposite wrote:
gasmiser1 wrote: *****While I was under there, I sprayed liquid silicon spray on the CV boots, steering boots, and strut boots to keep them supple. I did this on my 2001 Insight every 3,000 miles and they lasted over 287,000 miles. Sold the car with the original boots :) *****
I don't feel like I've ever gotten a good answer on whether preservatives and conditioners prolong the life of rubber and plastic parts. Some have told me things like Armorall actually eats away at material.

For reference I have a 2001 Honda also with the original boots. Only half the miles as you though, although rubber parts seem to me to go more with time than miles.
--------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
ArmorAll-Absolutely Do Not Use It!

When I was working at a gas station in 1979, my boss used silicon spray religiously on all rubber parts and suspension/sway bar bushings under the car to preserve the rubber from drying out and oxidation.
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(1st Leaf, 3/29/11, leased until 5/4/14, 45,000 miles)
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GroundLoop
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Re: DIY Horn Upgrade Mod - Updated

Tue Jun 07, 2011 11:06 am

gasmiser1 wrote: When I was working at a gas station in 1979, my boss used silicon spray religiously on all rubber parts and suspension/sway bar bushings under the car to preserve the rubber from drying out and oxidation.
At least we don't have to worry about ruining the O2 sensors. :D

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