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Discussion Starter #1
Hello. Thank you in advance for any help. I've already checked all threads on the subject matter and posed this same question elsewhere, but it has gone unanswered for a while and I'm wondering if it's because it hasn't reached enough people. If I'm wrong, please forgive any breach in proper posting. Thanks to the advise received in that other post, I've found that the way to go when replacing the horn in a 2016 453 model is definitely through the driver side front wheel well. Once the wheel and the inner well cover are removed (no need to remove the whole well cover, just the front half screws and it can be easily folded out of the way), access to the horn is fairly easy. Yet, the first problem I encountered was that the factory plug has both wires connected into it and the plug does not fit into the connector on the replacement horn (Bolo Bad Boy.) Therefore, I had no choice but to cut the wires and install them separately. However, no matter where I connected each wire, the sound of the horn was not as loud as shown in videos. Somewhere else in that thread I read that it is not necessary to instal the square fuse that comes with the replacement horn. However, could this be the reason for the poor sound I get? Also, should I need to install the fuse, how do I install that big square fuse in the fuse box? It has four different prongs and I'm not quite sure how or where it would fit. I've found two separate fuse boxes, one under the hood and the other behind the glove compartment, yet I cannot find a way of fitting the square fuse that the replacement horn comes with anywhere therein, should it actually be necessary to install it. Am I missing another fuse box? Any advise will be appreciated. Thank you.
 

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Have someone that knows something about car electricals do the work for you. That "square fuse" is a relay and is essential.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Thanks for the advise. Yet, I was hoping to get an idea from someone that had tried installing one of these. Not because I wanted to save a buck or two (which would be undeniably nice), but because where I live it's difficult to find someone that actually knows what they're doing, as opposed to someone that's just trying to make a couple of bucks and ends up messing up the electrical system. On the other hand, going to the dealership is worthless, as they won't touch anything aftermarket. Nonetheless, I thank you for your suggestion.
 

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I assume you mean the Wolo bad boy horn, and there are relatively few 453's compared to the mass 451 and 450 models . That may be why you have not gotten a suitable reply. I have only owned the 451 model so I can't answer about installing, and you are posted in the general forum instead of the 453 section.

I would have to guess that the consensus of removing the wheel and front half of the wheel well may be a good way to get in for installation. the 451, is best to remove the front end and do the install. that I have done...
 

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Discussion Starter #5
Wolo Bad Boy horn installation

Hello, yes, it's the Wolo, not Bolo, my bad. Please note that I don't need help reaching and replacing the horn. That's already done. Also, I posted the question on the area you suggest, but didn't get any helpful answers there, other than the suggestion that I go through the wheel well to reach the factory horn and replace it. Having replaced the factory horn, the question is: do I need to use the relay? Also, besides the electrical problems that not using it could bring, could it cause the horn not to be as loud as advertised? Moreover, if I do have to use the relay that came with the Wolo, where/how do I install it? I've checked both fuse boxes (under the hood and behind the glove compartment) and I fail to see how to install it on either box. Maybe I'm missing something, hence my request for help from someone that had done it. Before this 453, I had a 2013 Smart Fortwo on which I installed a Wolo (not the Bad Boy) air horn (one of those with two red trumpets) and although it was a mission to get those to fit into such a confined space, it worked fine immediately, without the relay. Any ideas? Thanks
 

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In my case I have a 451 and the Wolo Big Bad Max (#619) horn... so I know very little about the wiring situation in the 453.

do I need to use the relay?
Yes! The wiring & fusing for the OEM horn is insufficient for the power demands of the Wolo.

could it cause the horn not to be as loud as advertised?
Yes! The existing wiring is too light of a gauge for the current draw of the new horn, resulting in a voltage drop, lower compressor speed, less airflow and reduced sound. I've measured a current draw of 16A for my Big Bad Max horn.

Moreover, if I do have to use the relay that came with the Wolo, where/how do I install it?
You should have received a wiring diagram with your new horn. If it is lost/missing, it is available on their website:
http://wolo-mfg.com/media/wysiwyg/pdfs/replacement_horns/419_english.pdf

If the 453 uses a single wire (ground to activate) for the horn, follow Figure C. If the 453 uses two wires to the horn, follow figure D.

In my case (451) I made a bracket to mount the horn and relay and used a fused adapter to tap into switched power from the SAM. You can mount the relay in a convenient spot with a wire tye, but I don't know enough about the 453's electrical system to suggest a spot to tap for power. Does the 453 have the battery under the 'hood'?

~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Hello guys, thank you very much for your input (especially toaster's) I will try to get to it this weekend and I will let you know the results.
Toaster: yes, the battery on the 453 is under the hood, which I guess makes it easier to run any necessary wires from the new horn to it. Any specific tips as to how/where to connect them, as well as what gauge wire I should use? Thank you
 

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Hello guys, thank you very much for your input (especially toaster's) I will try to get to it this weekend and I will let you know the results.
Toaster: yes, the battery on the 453 is under the hood, which I guess makes it easier to run any necessary wires from the new horn to it. Any specific tips as to how/where to connect them, as well as what gauge wire I should use? Thank you
The instructions state "no less than 16-gauge wire". This refers to the power wires from the battery - to the relay - to the horn - to ground. The relay coil wiring (terminals 85 & 86) should be fine with 18-gauge. All wiring should be stranded of course. I think I used 12 or 14 gauge for my power wires, but then they also had a bit longer run through the firewall to the SAM.

Your battery may have a nut on the positive post securing some ring lugs. If so, I'd use a ring lug to attach my wiring here. Note the need for an inline fuse (20 amp). DO NOT SKIP this item! Keep the wire between the fuse and battery short, as the fuse protects all the wiring downstream from it. You should be able to find something like this at your local auto parts store:



~toaster
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Hello guys, After two frustrating days of trying to get the replacement horn(s) to work properly, I'm sorry to say that I've failed. I followed the instructions (kindly provided by Toaster) and nothing, the same poor sound. I went further and bough not one, but two different horns: the 619 part number Max that you guys mentioned as louder than the Bad Boy and a two red trumped one similar to the one I had used in my old 2013 Smart. Nothing, same result, whether I used the relay or connected them directly to the original wires. It has to be an electrical or connection issue. Yet, at this point I fail to see where the problem is. As I said in my first post, my original wiring consisted of two wires (I guess a positive wires and a negative negative wire) hooked to a single connector that in turn connected to the factory horn. However, since the first Bad Boy had two separate connectors, I had to cut the wires and connect them separately. Maybe they were supposed to stay connected together? In the alternative, I connected a grounded negative to the Bad Boy as called for in the instructions. Could this be the problem? Frankly, not being a qualified electrician, I don't see why extra grounding would cause this problem. Or perhaps the original wires from the factory horn switch to the factory horn (which are the only wires I have not replaced) are not strong enough to provide the necessary power? Any ideas?
 

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Is the relay contact hooked to the +ve of the battery via a fuse and to the +ve connection at the horn? The relay coil should be connected to the factory horn wiring from the car. The -ve connection for the horn must be grounded.

If you electrocute yourself let us know.
 

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without seeing the details, I can only guess that maybe the horns themselves are in an area that is acoustically blocked and there is not a good path for the sound to escape from the front end(??)
 

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Discussion Starter #14
Thank you for your ideas. I haven't electrocuted myself, yet...I had transferred the horn to the space above the battery (on the passenger side under the hood) where there's plenty of space even to fit the two red trumpets, had I decided to use them. Therefore, acoustic interference does not seem to be the problem. Then, although the wires had all been faithfully connected following Wolo's instructions, I decided to switch wires around. The astonishing thing is that whether I connect the factory wires directly onto to horn (foregoing the relay) or switch them (positive to negative and viceversa) the poor sound remains. Frankly, I'm stumped at this point. Any more ideas (including some that may get me electrocuted)?
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Another curious detail is that as I lock the car, the horn doesn't beep, indicating that the car is locked as it used to with the factory horn. To my neophyte mind, this could be indicative of poor voltage reaching the horn but, of course, I could be wrong about this too....
 

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Test your horn(s) by connecting a wire to each of the horn's terminals and momentarily touching them to the battery's terminals. Note proper polarity on the horn, + to + and - to -

If you reverse the horn's leads it will produce minimal or no sound - the motor runs backwards and it sucks through the horn.

The no beep when setting the alarm is consistent with low voltage (or thin wires) to the horn - the motor can not get up to speed quickly enough to deliver any air during the short 'toot'.

~toaster
 

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link to my WOLO Bad Boy install in my 451. Mine is installed in front of the radiator and uses the existing horn wiring. Doing it this way does require removal of the front clip. This setup projects the sound very well.


 

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Discussion Starter #19
Thank you ManchVegas. What do you mean by removal of the front clip? What clip is that? A clip on the horn? Please advise. Thank you

Also, thank you Toaster and others for you recommendations. I will check the wiring connection again and let you know. Again, thanks to all. Your advises are appreciated even if I have not yet succeeded.
 

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Front clip is another term for the fenders and front panel, which are removed as one piece on the 451. Not sure how it comes off on the newer 453 model
 
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