Rebuilding a Horn

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Model T Ford Forum: Forum 2015: Rebuilding a Horn
Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 09:56 am:

Hi all,

My T came with some kind of non-original horn hung off the radiator rod and I plan on continuing to use it. It's a Klaxon-type horn with the data plate sanded smooth but after some internet searching I believe it was made by Sparton. I was actually surprised by how little antique horn information was gathered in any one place, I would have thought such neat items would have legions of collectors but I was wrong I guess.

Anyways I got the thing opened up, gaskets need replacement and after a bit of oil the motor turns when power is applied. I reassembled the whole works with clamps and just about woke up the neighbourhood late last night so I know at least the thing works. It's gaudy red right now so I'm going to paint it black and replace all the hardware plus of course make new gaskets, is there anything else I should do before I put it back together?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 09:59 am:

Here's the horn and its guts:


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Roger Karlsson, southern Sweden on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 10:06 am:

Looks good, just check so the coal brushes moves freely in their holders an that they have some length so they won't tilt / fall out after just a little more wear.

I suppose you've found you can adjust the sound of the A-HOO-GAAH a little bit with the red screw close to the end bearing.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Charlie B actually in Toms River N.J. on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 10:16 am:

Look down the horn. If there's a nut in the center of the diaphragm it's a sound adjustment. The stud will have a slot in it. Make sure that's free while you have it apart. In case.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 10:38 am:

Sorry Charlie, Star Kist. . .. Opps, wrong subject, but on this horn no adjustment at the diaphragm, it's the screw that sticks out the back, in red paint on the "guts" photo. You do have to orient the diaphragm to the wave plate that makes the noise. There's usually a small drain hole in it to show you which way to install it, matches a drain hole in the body & maybe the projector too.
I think that's actually an EA Labs made horn, but I could be wrong! Looks very good, should give you decades of good service as long as the motor brushes last. Keep the bearing felts lightly oiled (you can see one in the photo-it's green, the other is at the end of that "tube" by your finger in the photo, but with the back off, you can just oil it at the bearing itself.
The cover screw, if original, is a little unusual, so try not to lose it! :-) A plain screw works too, but not as well.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 11:17 am:

Thanks guys, I'll be sure the felt pads are oiled before closing it up and I'll keep a good eye on that cap retaining screw so it doesn't disappear. For parts assembly there's pretty well only one way it will all go together so some engineer has already idiot proofed it for me.

I'll have to look up EA Labs but the tiny bit of the data plate that can still be read has remnants of a word ending in "ON."

While I'm working on it I'd like to replace the two terminal screws, maybe with brass, but would I be better off leaving them be so as not to harm any brittle insulation on them?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Erik Johnson on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 12:48 pm:

Use a pencil eraser to rub the oxidation off the commutator. It's quick and easy to do and you have enough room there to do it without removing the armature.

Also, if you have any aerosol non-lubricating electronic contact cleaner like DeoxIT, CRC contact cleaner or the stuff you can get a Radio Shack, spray a little bit in a cup and then apply it to the commutator with a Q-Tip.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Howard D. Dennis Byron, Georgia on Friday, June 26, 2015 - 05:01 pm:

If the tag ends in "ON" it has to be a SPARTON horn.

Howard Dennis


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 09:57 am:

Roger, somewhere in translation there is an amusing transposition in a couple of your posts. The CARBON brush in the new timers and in the horn motor comes across as a COAL brush when translated. They are the same, yet different.

Is there a programme which allows you to write in Swedish and it translates to English? I have never had the need for such a thing.

Allan from down under.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By David Dewey, N. California on Saturday, June 27, 2015 - 12:20 pm:

Tim,
That ". . .ON" sound like a pretty good clue to Sparton. There sometimes are some numbers stamped on the plate, clues to the model number and sometimes clues to the manufacturing date. Check out Model A sites for horn info, they're pretty detailed. Model A horns, while looking alike were made by about 5 different manufactures (this is from memory, but I think the number was 5). E A Labs was one of them, and they're all pretty much alike, so many manufacturers made "Klaxon" horns, that's what makes it a bit harder to identify nowadays. SOME of these horns were 12 volt horns, for the few cars that were 12 volt, like the Dodge Brothers.
Judging by the looks of the inside parts, your horn wasn't left out in the weather for decades!
Allan, if you don't have such a program, how do you expect to get new Ole & Sven jokes?? :-)


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Tuesday, July 07, 2015 - 11:09 am:

Making slow but sure progress on the horn. Today at lunch time I'm going to make some new cardboard gaskets for the diaphragm. They'll be made from a Special K cereal box, which I suppose is more appropriate for a guy like Rob Heyen, but I couldn't find any Special T at the grocery store.

Pics to follow when I have something to show.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Daron - Brownsburg IN on Tuesday, July 07, 2015 - 07:54 pm:

Tim,I use, and have had good luck with ,the waxed Manila file folders.they are good horn gasket material.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Thomas Mullin on Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 10:52 am:

Is it OK to paint the diaphragms?


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Jack Daron - Brownsburg IN on Wednesday, July 08, 2015 - 11:11 am:

I have used gun blueing or Flat black to paint diaphrams.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Tim Eckensviller - Thunder Bay, ON on Thursday, July 09, 2015 - 12:10 am:

I hope it's okay to paint the diaphragm - I did! Seems to sound every bit as Klaxon-y as I expected but I can fine tune it still to get it just right.

I replaced the hardware with brass for that gaudy incorrect look and because for some reason I have a thing for polishing the stuff.


Here it is all put together save for the motor cover. It's not very accurate but I think it will look the part in my car.


Top of pagePrevious messageNext messageBottom of page Link to this message  By Allan Bennett - Australia on Thursday, July 09, 2015 - 04:31 am:

Tim, you have done a beautiful job on that horn. I would be a bit antsy about using brass bolts for the mounting bolts though. It would be a shame for them to give out and have your good work spoilt.

Allan from down under.


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