Dixie Horn queries

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Owent2005
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Dixie Horn queries

Post by Owent2005 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 8:44 pm

Evening all,
Now that I’ve located and fixed my factory horn I’m after fitting a Dixie horn. After looking at the forum I’m a little confused; can I replace the factory horn with the Dixie with the existing wiring (the positive and earth only) and not use the relay? Is the relay and the extra wiring purely if I’m adding the Dixie as an extra horn?
TIA,
Owen

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Andrew 2.8i
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:16 pm

Hi Owen,
When you say Dixie horn, do you mean the ones that play a tune or constant tone airhorns?
Either way, I'm pretty sure that airhorns draw more current than a standard horn, so a relay and wiring of the correct current is a must.
If you want to fit the musical horns, I would definitely fit them in addition to the standard horn, not as a replacement.

Andrew.
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CapriFreak
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by CapriFreak » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:30 pm

Hi Owen, I think you need the relay as Andrew says as they draw a bit of power. I've had Dixie Horns for years on my Escort mk3 and they have a relay and switch on the dash. The cheap ones i have you have to hold down the button for the whole cycle.. not sure if more expensive ones will complete the cycle on one push. Also, having a standard horn for MOT and so you dont get done by the Police is a must, the amount of times i've had MOT guys smile at me saying itll fail with them on etc.. :cool: Might get another tune for my Capri down the line so look forward to seeing where you mount them.

Owent2005
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by Owent2005 » Sun Dec 22, 2019 9:59 pm

Thanks for the tips guys,
looking at the picture you posted earlier Andrew I’m happy with the earth from the relay,
I’m guessing the ‘airhorns’ is to the live on the horn compressor and that the airhorns negative is also to earth.
‘Fused live’ is a wire I put in direct from the battery via a fuse
and ‘live from button’ is from the switch I put in again direct from the battery and earthed.
Hopefully that’s a little clearer than mud!
Owen
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Bug
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by Bug » Sun Dec 29, 2019 1:01 pm

As an aside to this, make sure the air pipes from the compressor to each horn are exactly the same length or you will not get the correct cadence to the tune.
I managed to fit all 5 horns on to a spare one of the angled brackets that hangs down behind the middle of the dash. Facing in different directions with all the closed ends near each other.
Then I managed to mount that bracket and the compressor in front of the radiator on the same side as the battery. The relay fitted in beside the front of the battery. All the wires were short and self-contained in that area. Then one long wire from the relay switched live terminal, tywrapped along the loom, through the bulkhead grommet and up to the dash. Mine was a Mk2 1600GL, so not all of the four square switches under the heater controls were used. I found an old rear windscreen wash switch (spring loaded off), carefully cleaned off all the white picture on it and replaced it with a horn decal which I got on a large sheet of assorted decals from vehicle wiring products. Connected the switched live wire from the relay to one side of the switch, and the other side tapped in to a live feed from under the steering column.
The end product looked like a factory installation.

A tip for getting wires through the bulkhead grommet. Shove the outer tube from a Bic pen through the grommet, pass the wire through that, then slide the pen of the wire. Much easier than trying to poke just the wire through.

Owent2005
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by Owent2005 » Sun Dec 29, 2019 3:33 pm

Hi,

I’ve installed the horns however when I wired it up per the diagram above it didn’t work. What I found was that If I removed the ‘switched from live horn’ wire completely, put a switch in the ‘fused live’ line and now it works, not real sure why unless I got something wrong initially.....

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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by nigecapri » Thu Jan 02, 2020 8:18 pm

My notes show the switched live which activates the relay internal heavy duty contacts to be 85 and its earth to be 86 but power either way will make it work. I have airhorns on two of my vehicles wired this way, I also wired a relay for a fuel switch-over system a couple of weeks back this way. All work fine. The idea of having a relay is to take the high amps wire away from the switching and dashboard. You will find that the horn button is just an earth switch hence you had two earths to the relay! Best to incorporate the relay as per its designed set-up.
My Capri install is heavy duty wire direct to battery +ve going down into the front of the radiator area, as short a tail as possible with an inline fuse then going to the relay 30 spade. Relay spade 87 goes to +ve on the compressor. Earth from compressor to bodywork.
The live factory wire to the horn then needs re-routing to the relay 85 and the other factory horn wire to 86 , pressing the horn button then makes the circuit in the relay to activate the heavy duty contacts.

Owent2005
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by Owent2005 » Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:15 pm

Thanks Nige that’s clearer, my horns are wired to an extra switch on the dash, can I confirm that one side of the switch goes to 85 and the other side is earthed and then blade 86 on the relay is also earthed?
I now understand the point of the relay but am struggling with my earthing!
TIA!

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Andrew 2.8i
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by Andrew 2.8i » Fri Jan 03, 2020 4:26 pm

Owent2005 wrote:
Fri Jan 03, 2020 2:15 pm
my horns are wired to an extra switch on the dash, can I confirm that one side of the switch goes to 85 and the other side is earthed and then blade 86 on the relay is also earthed?
No. One side of the switch goes to the pin on the relay, but the other side of the switch has to be wired to a live. This is so the current can flow through the switch when pushed to activate the contact in the relay.
If you want to be able to use the airhorns when the ignition is switched off, the live to the switch will have to be a permanent live.

If you're in any doubt about how to do it, I would get a vehicle electrician to wire it in. It won't take them long so shouldn't cost much.

:goodluck:

Andrew.
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Re: Dixie Horn queries

Post by 340truck » Fri Jan 03, 2020 6:44 pm

To be clear, the order is - battery positive.....fuse.....switch.....pin 85.
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