A car train horn is an exciting accessory to add to your vehicle. It will operate via a compressor and air horn to give you some LOUD sound. Why get angry when you can blast a train horn and deliver a shock bad drivers will never forget? Train horns are sold as kits that are easy to attach to your car without the help of a mechanic. Here are some of the best kits available.
Most modern cars do not have a stock installation option for train horns. Fortunately, modern train horn manufacturers now dispense their products as ready-made kits, designed to be installed in a few hours with a minimum of drilling, soldering, and other light handiwork. Most kits require nothing that a dedicated mechanic wouldn’t already have, and those who do a lot of work on their own vehicles will find installation quick, easy, and well worth the effort. Each kit includes everything that is needed, and there are generally excellent instructions as well.
Viking Horns V101C-3
With the V101C-3 train air horn kit you get great performance for a very reasonable price. You could even say it’s a real bargain. The horn puts out 149 dB of sound from a 12-volt compressor running at only 16 amps. It includes a 1.5 gallon 150 PSI air tank and a three-trumpet design. The trumpets are metallic and chrome-plated to minimize corrosion. The size of the horn is roughly 15 x 11 x 4.5 inches.
The whole kit is fairly light-weight, weighing only 23 pounds. But you’ll find everything you need right in the box. This includes the solenoid air valve, over 8′ of 1/4″ high-pressure air hose, a max 240 PSI pressure gauge, 120/150 PSI pressure switch, mounting hardware, fittings, the horn switch/button, and a helpful instruction manual with full wiring diagram to make installation a breeze. You even get some Teflon thread tape included.
The air tank is fairly compact at 15 x 7 x 5 inches, but provides you five ports, one for the compressor’s 1/4″ hose and four more at 1/8″ for operating other air-powered tools and devices. It’s a small tank for that much utility hook-up, but it’s nice to have the options.
The one issue, if you can call it that, is that some users report that the horn kit arrives without the wire. If that’s the case, you will need about 50 feet of 12AWG so you have some extra, just in case. A 100′ roll should be around twenty-five dollars or so. As far as the V101C-3’s quality and performance, negative feedback is hard to find.
Viking Horns’ V101C-3 produces a very realistic train horn sound for this price range. It’s also surprisingly loud for a system rated at 149 dB where similar products can be disappointing. It will get everyone’s attention!
At a very attractive price, the V101C-3 is easy to install and delivers exactly as promised, if not more so.
Hornblasters Bandit 228V
The Bandit 228V train horn kit is a little more toward the higher end of the price spectrum, but also delivers a lot. Though designed for personal vehicles specifically, at a shipping weight of 30 pounds it’s a heavy-duty product utilizing the Viair 20005 compressor system to produce startling horn blasts of up to seven seconds and 150 PSI from a two-gallon tank. The tank can be recharged in as little as 35 seconds.
However, Hornblasters lists this at about 140 dB, so it may not be the loudest horn for the price but is still impressive inside a 100-foot range, and audible up to two miles away.
The triple horn trumpets are made from FRP (fiber-reinforced plastic) for high durability and painted black. The trumpet flair is about 5″ in diameter, and the horn assembly measures about 11 x 12 inches and weighs only 4.5 pounds, The trumpets are removable so you can rearrange them if desired to fit where you need them..
The Bandit 228V kit comes with all the expected components, including 10′ of D.O.T.-approved 1/2″ air hose, 18′ of 10 gauge wire, installation instructions, and a wiring & plumbing kit with all the fittings and connectors you’ll need.
There are several issues for some buyers. The tank only has the one 1/2″ port, so you’ll have to connect it to a “T” fitting to run auxiliary tools or equipment from it. And while all the parts of the system seem to be high quality, the sound produced is a little high-pitched for a realistic train sound.
Be aware that there is a four-trumpet versions of the 228V horn. The Bandit 228V is a three-trumpet model. It’s easy to install and still plenty loud, especially if you’re new to air horns. At a reasonable cost the Bandit gives you one of the best and most reliable compressor systems around in a quality, compact, and heavy-duty product.
Vixen Horns VXO8530
The VXO8530 quad horn kit is a solid mid-priced product providing 149 dB (decibels) of rich train quality sound from its 4 trumpets. It comes with a 150 PSI-max compressor and a 1.5 gallon air tank. Vixen has provided the mounting hardware, 0 to 140 PSI air pressure gauge, a 95/125 PSI pressure switch, 30A fuse holder, brass fittings including a drain plug for the tank, electric solenoid air valve, and 6 feet of 1/4″ air hose. The shipping weight for the entire kit is about 23 pounds.
Quality components start with the no-rust metallic, chromed trumpets to withstand weather and road conditions. The 12V compressor hooks up to any car’s wiring system. The overall dimensions of the horn itself are roughly 12 x 14 x 4.5 inches so you’ll need to find some room to install it. It also includes an automatic shut-off should the temperature exceed 176 degrees Fahrenheit, but works again as soon as it cools to 158 degrees. The welded mounting brackets include a powdered coating to resist corrosion.
One drawback is that it doesn’t come with the actual wiring. You can buy 12-gauge automotive wire almost anywhere, but it would have been nice if it was already in the kit. It might also be a good idea to purchase a better quality switch and a few connectors for quick disconnects. Some thread tape for the air hose fittings might help, as well.
However, the Vixen VXO8530 horn is easy to install once you have everything you need. You can either leave the compressor attached to the tank or move it elsewhere. If you have any experience with automotive wiring, installation is very straightforward, and the end result delivers strong sound when you want it. At full charge, there’s enough pressure in the 1.5 gallon tank to use for your compressed-air tools, for a few minutes at least.
The horn itself looks and feels very solidly made. In fact, the entire system seems surprisingly heavy-duty considering the reasonable price. If you want a rugged and reliable train horn for your car, the Vixen VXO8530 is a safe bet.
Wolo Siberian Express
The Wolo 847-858 Siberian Express Pro Train Horn is on the pricey end, but extremely loud at 152 dB. The size of the horn itself is fairly compact, at around 15 x 6 x 6 inches, though the 2.5 gallon air tank at approximately 17 x 7 x 8 inches will take up a little more room.
Shipping weight for the entire kit comes to about 33.5 pounds, and includes the mounting hardware, 10′ of flexible, stainless steel high-pressure air hose and 20′ feet of standard 1/4″ filler hose, with all the required brass fittings. It also comes with stainless steel mounting hardware.
The Wolo 847-858 is triple-trumpet horn that delivers great train horn sound through reinforced ABS plastic trumpets. The advantages to ABS horns are a lighter weight and no worries about corrosion or denting as with metal horns. The Siberian Express horns also utilize 4 heavy rubber bushings for minimal vibration, a long useful life, and consistent quality of sound. The trumpets themselves are painted a semi-gloss black while the horn base is painted silver.
The compressor also has a washable air filter to keep out road dust and debris, and includes a shutoff feature to prevent overheating. The tank has a built in 80/100 PSI pressure switch, safety release valve, and manual Petcock drain. You’ll get everything you need for an install, including wiring and fuse. Even a novice should be able to hook this up inside of 2 hours at the most.
Although using plastic horns may seem like cheap construction, they do have their advantages, and the design choice does nothing to lower the volume and quality of the Siberian Express train sound. You could actually spend much more on a product that delivers this much in terms of hardware and performance. It looks good, sounds great, and you don’t have to worry about air leaks with the parts you get right out of the box. The tank maintains its pressure surprisingly well even if you use the horn a lot.
If you’re willing to spend a little more, the Wolo 847-858 is a very loud train horn that doesn’t disappoint in any way.