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post #1 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 11:34 AM Thread Starter
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Problem with new horns

I replaced my stock horns with a set of welo? "maxi sound horns" from harbor freight this week-end. It was an easy hook-up and bolt on (used stock mounting location and connectors). Tested the horns and they sounded fine. This morning when I started up the bike and let it idle while I was getting my helmet on, the horns suddenly started blowing. I switched off the bike and restarted it, about 30 seconds after starting, again the horns started blowing. I tried to jiggle the horn button thinking that it might be stuck but no luck. I cycled the keyswitch once more and the horns came on as soon as I put the key in the on position. I swapped back to the stock horns and they work fine. I had to get to work so I couldn't really troubleshoot. Any ideas on what could cause this?
- Phillip
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post #2 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 12:25 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

Phillip,

I also have wolos from harbor freight and have had no problem (well at least not the problem you describe but that's another story). My first thought is you may have just gotten a bad set of horns -- do they both blow or just one? Maybe you could try them on your car or something and see if they do the same thing.

The other thought is whether the wires are polarized? If you plugged them the wrong way, it might cause what you're describing. But I don;t think they are.

The fact that it didn't do it right away makes me wonder if it has something to do with charge building while it idles. After sitting all day today, be interesting to see if it does the same thing tonight.

Not necessarily a solution, but if you installed a relay in line might make the problem go away.

Vince Hancock "Dago"
Pilot Mountain NC
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post #3 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 01:43 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

I looked at the wiring diagram in my Kaw service manual. Voltage is applied to one side of the horns when the ignition switch is turned on, and the horn switch applies ground to the other side when it is activated. Look for one of the wires touching ground.

I have the same horns, mounted on each side of the steering head covers, and use the horn switch to activate a relay.

I think Vince mounted his in the same place.

I have never had a problem with mine.
2001 with 16,000 miles.

Dennis in Maryland
AKA - The Krusty Old Phart
Still turnin' burnin' and lurnin'
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post #4 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 01:53 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

Quote:
Originally Posted by dennisinmd
I have the same horns, mounted on each side of the steering head covers, and use the horn switch to activate a relay.
Dennis,

Where did you mount your relay? I still need to add ther elay to mine. If it's easy with little bike disassembly I would like to do it 4 going to KL.

TIA

Vince Hancock "Dago"
Pilot Mountain NC
VROC #10808
NCVulcan #223A
TNVROC (Hon) #49
'03 Vulcan 750, "Temptress"
degoated,V&H CruZers
W&M SB745 Grey Thunder bags
Kury ISO grips and offset hiway pegs;
KAW F&S Engine Guard;
ProTac backrest; PF3 Shield;
Kaw extended backrest & luggage rack
Leather appointments from
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post #5 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 02:32 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

Vince,
I used a relay from Radio Shack. I don't have the part number as I threw away the packaging after I did the install. I believe it was 10 or 20 or 30 amp automotive type, less than $5.00. It has a mounting tab which I used to mount under the bottom bolt of the wire loom that is under the front of the left side steering head cover. It is a snug fit, but it will go. I had to enlarge the mounting hole in the relay mounting tab, but it is plastic, so not difficult to do. I have a tapered reamer that works well for this kind of stuff. The right horn wires are a bit longer that the left horn wires, so I used those the operate the relay. I grounded one side of the horns to the frame, and ran a 16 gauge wire from the 12 volt source in the headlight shell to the source side of the relay, and 2, 16 gauge wires from the load side of the relay to the horns. They are noticably louder than when using the horn switch to operate them. Took a couple of hours to get it all done.
Like you, I fed the wires to the horns through holes drilled in the side covers, and a bit of universal black touch up paint on the exposed connections makes them hardly noticable.
Hope this helps.

Dennis in Maryland
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post #6 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 02:44 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

OK, bear with me...I'm an idjit, remember.

So the relay doesn't splice in line using the existing wires? Doesn't the Bk/W from the horns ground them now? Could I not run the brown power wire (before it splits to the two horns) in place of the 12 ga wire from the headlight bucket? I'm presuming the brown wire is power, right? Could I place the relay where the brown wire splits, with single wire attached to the source side, and the split wires attached to the load side?

Vince Hancock "Dago"
Pilot Mountain NC
VROC #10808
NCVulcan #223A
TNVROC (Hon) #49
'03 Vulcan 750, "Temptress"
degoated,V&H CruZers
W&M SB745 Grey Thunder bags
Kury ISO grips and offset hiway pegs;
KAW F&S Engine Guard;
ProTac backrest; PF3 Shield;
Kaw extended backrest & luggage rack
Leather appointments from
timberwolf
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post #7 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 03:22 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

No more idjit than I. I learn as I go, and it usually takes a couple of mistakes(SP?) on my part before it all comes together and works like I want it to.
The brown wire is switched 12V from the ignition switch. I wanted a more direct power source to the horns. I used the blue/white accessory lead in the headlight shell to feed 12V to the relay input. It is always hot, and fused in the junction box with its own 10 amp fuse. The connectors that went to the horns plug onto the connectors on the relay with no cutting or splicing. I folded the other pair up and tie them wrapped somewhere under the left cover.
I wanted heavier wires to feed the horns, as they draw more amps than the stock horns. I used 16 gauge automotive wire that I picked up in an auto parts store. You could probably use the brown wire as a power source to drive the horns. I did not want to dig any deeper into the wiring harness than I had to, and I wasn't sure how far back in the harness the split was made.
Black/yellow is common ground, and feeds one side of the horn switch. The black/white from the horn switch feeds ground to one of the black pair that went to the horns, but now to the ground side of the relay.

Dennis in Maryland
AKA - The Krusty Old Phart
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post #8 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 09:00 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Problem with new horns

I had mounted mine facing forward using brackets that ended up grounding out on the connections and that was causing the circuit to complete. Couple of questions: It looks like yours were mounted in the stock location facing outwards, if so, any problems with the sound projecting forward? Also, Dennis, are your's mounted in the same location as Uncle G's. Last question, for a while anyway, does anyone have an idea of how much more power these draw? It seems like (unless you're laying down on the horn for a while) that the stock wires would handle the load, but I am a serious electmo, so I could be wrong. Thanks.
Phillip
Oh yea, what the heck is the repution link for?
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post #9 of 10 (permalink) Old 08-23-2004, 11:50 PM
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Re: Problem with new horns

http://photos.yahoo.com/krustyoldphart
The vn750 album shows the way my horns are mounted. There is a metal bracket inside to help hold them a bit more solidly. Wires have been rerouted inside the covers since the pics were taken.

My guess is they probably draw about twice as much. I first hooked mine up with the OEM wiring, then rewired later with a relay. To my uncalibrated ear, they are louder using a relay with heavier wire .

It probably is the capacity of the switch as much as the size of the wires.

Dennis in Maryland
AKA - The Krusty Old Phart
Still turnin' burnin' and lurnin'
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post #10 of 10 (permalink) Old 09-01-2004, 04:20 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Problem with new horns

The problem was the bracket was grounding out the horns. I modified (bent) the brackets a bit and wrapped inner-tube around them to insulate them in case they "flexed" while riding to keep them from grounding again. So far so good although I will probably install a relay and power them from another source at some point.

- Phillip
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