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Need A New Horn


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Except for really base models that only have one horn (and thus one tone), most vehicles have either two or four horns. Most have two -- one high and one low. Without a sound clip it's impossible to describe the difference, but if you ever hear a vehicle with a single-tone horn, you'll immediately know the difference between it and a dual-tone horn.

 

First step to knowing what you need is to figure out what you've got -- or what you're supposed to have. Most MJs and XJs had two horns, mounted to the lower radiator cross brace. One is the high tone and the other is the low tone. I've never tried to figure out which goes on which side. If you have to replace both horns, it doesn't matter -- you'll need one of each and it doesn't make any difference which one goes where. MJ horns are one-wire -- they ground through their attachment to the chassis.

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Here is a good example. The first sound is a low tone, the other sound is both a low and high together.

 

http://youtu.be/rYYTPZlmGB4?t=4m40s

 

I currently have only a single low tone (my truck started life as a a base model, only came with one horn) and it makes about the least threatening sound possible. Sounds a lot like the Road Runner, to be honest. As Eagle said you'll want both.

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To throw in my 2¢

 

Like all electrical things, you need power in and power out. With a two-wire horn, you've got one wire for power and one for ground. A one-wire horn grounds through the mount and the 12V goes in through the single wire. Most American vehicles, in my experience at least, are single wire.

 

Horns are fairly universal. You can pull one from just about any vehicle at a wrecking yard for real cheap. If you grab a two-wire unit, just run a wire to ground off one of terminals. You can also pick up cheap universal ones at your favourite local parts stores. If you're concerned with originality, you can pull one from an XJ or something. Otherwise pick a sound you like and grab it. As an example, Cadillacs have sets of four horns for a nice, loud, train-like chord, and the extra connectors can be spliced in easily.

If you're buying new and only want one tone, like Minuit said, go for the low tone because the high tone is kinda feeble. If you're going for a two-tone horn, then get both the high and low. The wiring exists for two horns, which are mounted directly underneath the headlights, more or less behind the bumper on either side. The wires will go to both locations, whether or not each location has one, although the unused (but still completely functional) connector may require a little bit of hunting. Just make sure the connector's clean, and plug it in to your new horn.

 

Also worth pointing out, the horn not working may be due to an issue with the wiring. It's pretty easily confirmed though with a test light in the connector.

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When I did the waggy clip on my 87 2.5, I added dual horns. I didnt know that the truck was already wired for two horns with the other horn connector just not plugged up, till after I wired 2 horns to the original horn spot. They are wired originally to have one on each side of the radiator. I think the original single horn was on the driver side and the second horn on the pass side. If you look over there for the wire you should find it. I agree too, to make sure you don't have a wiring issue before replacing the horn. As was said, have a buddy press the horn button, while you have a test light to ground checking for power at the connector. If thats good, replace the horn, if not, then.....

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horn started working again. that leads me to believe that it's a contact problem in the button. am I correct in assuming that?

Maybe ... or maybe not.

 

Could be a bad relay, or more likely a bad ground at the horn.

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