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#1 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 09:43 AM
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Tutorial: Replacing the factory horn

Yesterday a friend and I decided the stock horn on the smart fortwo just wouldn't cut it! In a traffic situation where I would need to use the horn to alert another driver of my presence I feared the stock horn was not loud enough and could not project over general road noise and vehicle music of other drivers.

So without even tearing into the smart to find the stock horn I decided to purchase a Compact Italian air horn to replace the factory horn.

I bought this product from Griot's Garage. The horn retails for $39.99.

From here it was time to get in the smart and locate the horn. As I assumed the horn is located under the front bonnet on the driver's side of the vehicle. It can be seen by locating the power and ground wire that connect and the small bracket that holds it on, but with out removing the body panels there is no way to clear get to it.

So we started removing the body panels. First the front bonnet, next the driver's side side-skirt, then the driver's side wheel arch, and last a few front clips. The trick we learned here is that the body is very pliable and only required loosening from the body and did not need to be entirely removed. From here we had a clean look at the factory Bosch horn.





After removing the two wires from the back of the stock horn, we next removed the bracket from the body of the vehicle. The bolt was secured but only required a basic ratchet wrench.

Once, the stock horn was off, we plugged in the new horn to test for power, and to verify the product was functional. It worked perfectly!

Next we had to see how we would mount the new horn. The important thing here is to make sure the air horn was facing in a good direction so after a few test ideas, we were able to fit it in perfectly while using the stock brackets. Not a single bit of bending or cutting required! As you will note in the next picture rather then bolting from the front side of the bracket we bolted from the backside where there was more room for the new horn.



After we plugged the new horn in and tested it once again, we began to button up the body panels. Once everything was backed together, I took the vehicle for a quick test drive down some empty roads and just gave the horn some freedom.

Results: The horn is very loud and will get the attention of everyone around you. It kinda makes you laugh when you here it but more importantly it gets the attention of the driver who's blind spot you are in and begins to switch lanes in to you! For anyone who has spent time commuting on motorcycles, you understand the safety that a horn loud enough to be heard can bring you and I feel this is a great modification for the smart fortwo.


Last edited by SMART; 03-17-2008 at 08:13 AM.
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#2 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 09:56 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SMART View Post
Yesterday a friend and I decided the stock horn on the smart fortwo just wouldn't cut it!

Video to come!
That is a great how-to write-up SMART. Can you confirm your install is the ultra-compact horn? Is the regular sized "red horn" able to fit into the space in your estimation and is it louder?
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#3 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 10:19 AM
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Yes, the red horn has a slightly different projection trumpet but has roughly the same dimensions. As for the space there is plenty of space for the red horn as well.

As for loudness, I believe the red and black Italian horns are the same in loudness.
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#4 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 11:50 AM
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Great information! Thanks for sharing your air horn installation.
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#5 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 11:57 AM
 
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Originally Posted by SMART View Post
Yes, the red horn has a slightly different projection trumpet but has roughly the same dimensions. As for the space there is plenty of space for the red horn as well.

As for loudness, I believe the red and black Italian horns are the same in loudness.

139db at 4 feet. That's gotta hurt!
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#6 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 12:05 PM
 
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Its good to know the horn isn't that loud. My friends and I want to mount semi-truck horns to mine, when I get it. It would be just for funny/joke/wierd reasons, but now replacing the horn seems needed anyway.
Hmmmm......
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#7 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 12:11 PM
 
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I have a friend who mounted a train horn to his truck. Now that would turn some heads
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#8 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 02:57 PM
 
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I bet, thats funny. Imagine that on a small fortwo
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#9 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 04:00 PM
 
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I have an air horn on the Sporty. He has a Howards Hogs horn on his UltraGlide. No doubt I'll soon upgrade the horn on the smart .... one day when I finally get it.
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#10 (permalink) Old 03-02-2008, 04:30 PM
 
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Thanks, I think I'll go for the truck horn. In for a penny, in for a pound. If I'm going to make a statement, I want it to be a STATEMENT.
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