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View Full Version : TR2/3/3A '61 TR3 Horns repair vs replace



Kleykamp
07-08-2014, 08:37 PM
This is a three part question maybe four. I'm trying to decide the best method to get usable horns on my tr3. Not overly concerned about being original, just functional. I have power at the horn wiring.
1) I have the original horns but they are rusty inside and try to work but fail. Sounds like a gassy elephant. Is there anybody out there that refurbishes original wind tone horns?
2) There are a lot of aftermarket dual tone horns available, but will they work with positive ground?
3) anybody had any experience with aftermarkets that sound similar to the original wind tones. It looks like the repros sold by the usual suppliers have to have wires spliced. If I'm going to splice, I might as well do it for $20.00 horns vs $100.00 horns that are basically the same thing.
Appreciated any input to help me decide. Obviously I would like to keep the original as my first choice.

NutmegCT
07-08-2014, 08:47 PM
Unless it's fried, you can probably repair the windtone horn. Take a look:

https://www.vintagemg.com/articlepdfs/thorns1-2.pdf

Tom

PatGalvin
07-08-2014, 08:51 PM
I had to use a ton of penetrating oil on the little pin that is attached to the diaphragm. After several days I was able to break loose the pin and the diaphragm could move up and down, allowing the horns to work. One works well. The other may need another treatment and then a lot of exercise to free it up and regain that nice tone. They are pretty darn loud. And look great in the car.

Pat

TR3driver
07-08-2014, 10:30 PM
Interesting article. Curious that the currents it gives are so much lower than those in the TR3 workshop manual; anyone know why? I think there is at least one other misprint, I'm practically certain that the shunt resistor is not 0.068 ohms for 6 volt horns.

Most horns do not care about ground polarity. In fact, most aftermarket horns don't even have a direct connection to ground, because so many cars (like the TR3) put the contacts between the horn unit and ground. This saves having to run another wire to the steering wheel (and in most cars, have a slip ring for it).

All of the aftermarket horns that I have tried don't sound the same as the originals.

Worth noting perhaps, that I fought with horn problems on my TR3A for many years before I finally figured out the issue. The 4-way bullet sleeve between the wire through the stator tube and the horns was actually broken inside! The wires seemed to snap into place alright, but were not reliably connected inside. The result was horns that would usually work if I had the hood up, but not when I needed them.

In retrospect, I'm not sure if the horn relay that I added was necessary or not, but it did seem to help. The contacts inside the control head were pretty badly burnt from years of use.

TR3driver
07-08-2014, 11:52 PM
It looks like the repros sold by the usual suppliers have to have wires spliced.
Why do you say that? One of the connections should be under the cover, as original, but I've never heard of having to splice wires to install a repro horn.

Kleykamp
07-09-2014, 06:54 AM
Why do you say that? One of the connections should be under the cover, as original, but I've never heard of having to splice wires to install a repro horn.

Randall, In the Moss catalog it shows the repro horn with a black and a red pigtail coming out of it. My assumption was that it was pre soldered to the contacts under the lid and that you would either need to re-solder the original harness in place of the two wires or splice the wire in, either way having to cut off the bullet connector from the original wiring harness. Thats on the ones that have to "original" appearance. The aftermarkets mostly have spade connectors, again requiring changing the bullet connector. Maybe splice was the wrong term. Actually, all 4 of my connections are under the cover for the two horns. Black/Brn and GRN/BRN to each horn are plug in bullet connections. May be a mute point as I got the low tone working on the bench and the high tone is close, but I don't have a wrench small enough to adj the points, so I'm going to get one today. I have continuity through the horn wire in the column harness...which is also on the bench. All I need it the brass ground contact inside the control head, which I have on the way, thanks to another BCF'r. The horn turned out not directly related to the signal issue in the previous post. Should have two more things working by next week. Then on to the wipers.

mgedit
07-09-2014, 07:02 AM
The pin that connects to the horn diaphragm is the key. If you can get that to loosen up there is a good chance they will work. Did the trick with mine and I love the sound of those horns. I added a relay to the circuit as well. Cheers, Mike

33836

Tinkerman
07-09-2014, 08:06 AM
Somehow I ended up with 4 horns, I was able to make 2 working horns out of the four. They are quite easy to work on. There is even a booklet out that tells all about the windtone horns. I did have the fellow that painted my car put the blacik on the horn domes. I wasted a couple of gloss black rattle CANS on the domes before I gave up. I figurted that the horn domes are out there in front of god and every body else so I got a first class finish on them.
Good luck Joe! Dick

CJD
07-09-2014, 08:56 AM
I just restored 2 horns that were baby boat anchors with rust. There are only 2 things that can go wrong.

1) The pin that transfers the motion from the solenoid to the diaphram gets corroded and sticks. For that, pull it out, clean it and the hole, and reinstall. 2 screws is all that takes. I actually had to make one new pin from welding rod...even that was simple.

2) The coil can short or go open. This will take you out of business...but if yours is making any noise at all, the coil is fine.

There is an adjustment to make at the horn solenoid. Adjustment is spelled out in detail in the service manual. The goal is to adjust the air gap at the solenoid so the horn gets the max resonance with the least current draw. A few minutes with a car battery and a jumper wires gets the horns singing perfectly! Personally, I wouldn't even consider wasting money on new horns unless the coil is bad.

sp53
07-09-2014, 09:44 AM
nice stuff

TR3driver
07-09-2014, 11:01 AM
Randall, In the Moss catalog it shows the repro horn with a black and a red pigtail coming out of it.
Ah, I see what you mean. Thanks for the education!


Actually, all 4 of my connections are under the cover for the two horns. Black/Brn and GRN/BRN to each horn are plug in bullet connections.
On my horns, the NB wire is soldered under the cover, but only runs 8 or 10" to a bullet sleeve on the outside. But possibly I soldered them under the cover long ago and forgot about it.

Kleykamp
07-09-2014, 12:59 PM
Randall, That's one for me and 1000's for you. There is a short "jumper" wire that plugs into the horn under the cover and goes to the sleeve on the main harness. I guess they put the bullet connector on both ends to give you twice the change of it coming loose. I just spent 1/2 looking for that wire because if fell off when I took the horn off. I found it under the generator. It has a single sleeve on the rt side and double on the left to handle the control wire( which I guess would be switch on a LHD ). The horns are now working by jumping the ground for the horn button, so once I get the control head fixed it should work. I'm still impressed with what people on here know and how willing everyone is to share knowledge.
ps the good new is, now I will be able to get people's attention so they can see my hand signals.:encouragement:

PatGalvin
07-09-2014, 02:32 PM
I just restored 2 horns that were baby boat anchors with rust. There are only 2 things that can go wrong.

1) The pin that transfers the motion from the solenoid to the diaphram gets corroded and sticks. For that, pull it out, clean it and the hole, and reinstall. 2 screws is all that takes. I actually had to make one new pin from welding rod...even that was simple.

2) The coil can short or go open. This will take you out of business...but if yours is making any noise at all, the coil is fine.

There is an adjustment to make at the horn solenoid. Adjustment is spelled out in detail in the service manual. The goal is to adjust the air gap at the solenoid so the horn gets the max resonance with the least current draw. A few minutes with a car battery and a jumper wires gets the horns singing perfectly! Personally, I wouldn't even consider wasting money on new horns unless the coil is bad.
Thanks for this info John. I was able to "shake" loose the pins in my horns and they work OK. But I didn't know you could remove them and clean them up. I will definitely do this. Much appreciated.
Pat

NutmegCT
07-09-2014, 02:45 PM
Pat - that removal and cleaning is covered in the pdf I posted. .

Tom

PatGalvin
07-09-2014, 07:05 PM
Pat - that removal and cleaning is covered in the pdf I posted. .

Tom

Thanks Tom. I had referred to this document when I worked on my horns, but never had the courage for disassembly. I see that it is covered in detail. Much appreciated.

Pat

Kleykamp
07-09-2014, 07:46 PM
Just have to be sure to keep track of the order the stacked pieces come off in, so they go back in reverse. some are insulated from others.