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mdelapp
07-29-2006, 05:11 PM
i have a 53 commander hardtop converted to 12 v. It has one horn (low) and it is wired without relay mounted under the hood on the fender well. I realize these go uner the grille behind the bumper I want to get a high horn. I can not find on the existing horn whether it is 6v or 12v. It honks even though it honks with a button on the dash and not the horn ring (another little project} Can earlier( 51,51 etc horns work?) do I need to get 12v and wire through relay? What does the relay do? Is it necessary? Will 6v horns burn out with 12v ?
Mike

Mike DeLapp

KGlowacky
07-29-2006, 05:50 PM
I have a 55 t-bird that I converted to 12 volt last summer. I left the 6 volt horns on the car. Boy when you blow the horn the next city will here you. They are extremely loud. I asked some so called experts about burning them out and they just laughed. They said you hearing will go first. Also this was a pos ground 6 volt that went to a 12v neg ground.Good luck.

DilloCrafter
07-29-2006, 06:00 PM
Mike,

The relay serves to keep the majority of the current flowing only where it is needed, i.e., from the battery positive terminal (or negative terminal if your car is positive ground) to the horn, without putting all that current through the wiring to the horn switch. Same thing for headlight relays, when people install them on their vehicles. Also, since all the current flows to the horn, you get more power there (this matters more with headlights, as you want them as bright as they can be).

Anyway, the Radio Shack 12v relay only requires 6v to energize it, and you can get one for $7.00. It's a little black cube with 4 terminals. One goes to ground, one to the switch (horn button), one to the power in source (battery terminal) and one to the horn(s).

If you have two horns, you run them in parallel. That is, you run the power wire to the first horn, and splice in another wire to that same terminal, and run it to the other horn. I am pretty sure the original horns complete their circuit by being grounded to the body of the car (my truck came without a horn, so I added a pair of aftermarket horns - my truck is already converted to 12v, so I don't know if that helps your situation).

Addendum: I should have noticed before that you said the '53 is already converted to 12v. Oh, well, the extra info I gave may help someone who has opted to keep their car at 6v pos. ground.

As to whether a relay is necessary - the previous owner of my truck had wired in an aftermarket horn button (made in China - YIKES! on a Studebaker?!!) and connected one wire to the accessory switch and the other to a Volkswagen horn he found lying around (he is into VWs, and has a really cool 1944 German war vehicle that looks exactly like a VW bug but with a split rear window and four wheel drive!)

Anyway, the other contact from the horn went to body (chassis) ground, completing the circuit when the button was pressed. It worked fine. Maybe the older horns drew so much current that a relay was recommended or required by the engineering department. I notice the truck wiring diagrams show a relay with the horn.

Bottom line for my two cents: if you get an aftermarket horn or two, try it without a relay, but put a 5 or 10 amp fuse in line and see if you blow it when honking for a prolonged period. If the 10 amp fuse blows, maybe you should consider a relay, or at least use comfortably heavy gauge wiring (and an appropriate fuse or circuit breaker).


http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
[i]The Red-Headed Amazon
Deep in the heart of Texas

mdelapp
07-29-2006, 08:58 PM
quote:Originally posted by KGlowacky

I have a 55 t-bird that I converted to 12 volt last summer. I left the 6 volt horns on the car. Boy when you blow the horn the next city will here you. They are extremely loud. I asked some so called experts about burning them out and they just laughed. They said you hearing will go first. Also this was a pos ground 6 volt that went to a 12v neg ground.Good luck.


Mike DeLapp

studegary
07-30-2006, 02:33 PM
When I used to travel the LIE and TSP on a regular basis, I installed a six volt horn in a 12 volt car. The relay was the weak link. I never had a problem with the horn itself. A six volt horn on 12 volts is nice and loud. People on the expressway used to move over and then look for the truck (that wasn't there).

Gary L.
Wappinger, NY
1954 Commander Starliner (restomod)
1959 DeLuxe pickup (restomod)

DilloCrafter
07-30-2006, 02:51 PM
quote:Originally posted by studegary

When I used to travel the LIE and TSP on a regular basis, ...
Gary, I don't know if I would admit to everyone here that I used to LIE on a regular basis. ;)

http://rocketdillo.com/studebaker/misc/images/Current_Avacar.gif[/img=left] - DilloCrafter

1955 1/2 Ton Pickup
[i]The Red-Headed Amazon
Deep in the heart of Texas

bams50
07-31-2006, 06:43 AM
As a friend I have from NYC would say, it's the expressway to "Lawn-gyland" :D

Robert K. Andrews Owner- IoMT (Island of Misfit Toys!)
Parish, central NY 13131
http://www.cardomain.com/ride/2358680/1