Highest Rated Train Horn Kits
|HornBlasters Conductor's Special 540|
|Viking Horns 101C3|
|HornBlasters Outlaw 127|
When it was delivered, the MPC M1 Train Horn kit set had all the needed and stated parts for installation. Upon opening the box, everything seemed very well packaged. The triple air horn unit is very compact, measuring just 13 3/4 inches long by 7 inches wide and only 6 1/2 inches high. An all-in-one 110 PSI rated air compressor with an integrated three liter air tank measures just 15 1/2 long by 5 1/4 wide by 6 inches high. The train horn kit also included a push-button activation switch, a 85 PSI on/105 PSI off compressor switch and 12 feet of 1/4-inch air line. The supplied wiring kit included 12 feet of 10-gauge wire, 15 feet of 20-gauge wire, a 20 amp fuse with holder, assorted wire crimp fasteners, wire connectors and zip-type wire ties.
While the installation instructions are clear, it is highly recommended that you take a few minutes to completely familiarize yourself with the instructions before you begin installation. Carefully plan the layout on where you want to place the horns and compressor and carefully measure out the distance for the wires and air line with a piece of wire or fish tape.
I installed the horn kit in my 2007 GMC Sierra. On my truck, there really wasn’t room under the hood to mount the horn assembly. So, after considering several different mounting locations, including the frame rail beneath the passenger-side door, I mounted the horn unit behind the front bumper, with the horns running lengthwise. However, if you have the room, mount the horns facing forward, preferable through the vehicle’s grill, so as not to lose any volume by the sound being muffled by having to pass through solid objects.
I installed the air compressor/tank unit behind my truck’s rear seat. While I can hear the compressor running, it isn’t very noticeable. It is extremely important to note that it is critical that the air compressor/tank unit be mounted only in a clean and dry location, where it will be protected from the elements, or failure of the unit will result from moisture and road grime working its way into the unit. After reading other reviews and thoroughly examining the supplied plastic air line, I was a little suspicious of the longevity of the airline supplied with the kit. I decided to go ahead and upgrade to 1/4-inch metal brake line at .63 per foot from the auto parts store, for a total of $8.19.
I choose to tie the air valve into my vehicles’ horn harness, leaving the factory horn in place. This allowed the new horn to “chirp” when I use the key fob to lock the truck. I used the supplied 10 gauge wire for the compressor power supply and everything worked great and the horn was extremely loud. I was so happy with this horn kit I ordered a second one for my boat and is exactly what I needed for alerting other boaters.
For my boat install, because of the constant exposure to water, I put the compressor inside the cabin under one of the seats of the dinette and have had no problems since installation. The included 12 feet of airline was not long enough to reach from the fly bridge to the compressor, so I replaced the airline included with the kit with 25 feet of 1/4-inch metal brake line.
I wired the trigger assembly directly to the steering column and the power lines through the steering console. Due to the marine application, I upgraded the hot wire to 16 gauge wire and larger wire connectors. I also applied some poly Loctite to the fasteners and some marine grade lubricant to the connectors for protection from saltwater and air exposure.
Overall, the horn and compressor seem to work great on both my truck and boat. When completely empty, the air tank fills in less than a minute. The tank supplies enough air for about a five-second continuous burst, or up to about 10 seconds with shorter bursts. While the sound is true to the horn’s name, I personally think this horn sounds more like a passenger train than a freight train (think Amtrak, not Burlington Northern). The kit specifications indicate that the compressor will shut itself off at 108 PSI, however I noticed the compressor doesn’t actually shut down until it reaches 125 PSI. When the air tank is full there is almost no delay between activation and sound production.
All in all this kit seems like a great bang for the buck, especially when compared to other similar all-in-one kits that cost over $100 more. While this horn kit is very compact, it still packs a punch, and it did surprise me a little the first time I set it off, it is very loud with a nice low-pitched tone. The horns are rated at 148.7 decibels and have a warning sticker indicating the horns can cause hear loss. The horns are completely metal, with no plastic parts. The compressor fits nicely under a seat and is pretty quiet, as while you can, barely, hear it running, it is not loud enough to be distracting from conversations or playing the radio.
The only drawback to this horn kit may be the airline. As other reviews point out, the supplied airline can be prone to failure. This is easily remedied by replacing the supplied air line with a length of 1/4-inch metal truck air-brake line that can be obtained very inexpensively from any local auto parts store or online.
For any applications that will be experiencing a lot of vibrations, like diesel trucks or hard driven 4x4s, you may want to upgrade to larger bolts, so you can torque the nuts down tighter so the fasteners will have less of a chance of vibrating lose.