Original Horn Help?

R

rpolcin

Guest
I've got an original that I am trying to get working again. It appears
that the horn pulls together when a charge is applied but does not
release which is what I believe is supposed to happen. Can anyone
explain how these work so that it can be trouble shot as well as any
other tips such as gaps to the contacts etc.. that might help in
restoring it? It is possible someone once took it apart and that its
not back together correctly as well. So any pictures would als help.

Thanks in advance!
 
B

Bill Connelly

Guest
Dear "rpilcin":

If memory serves, on an original horn, once it's removed from the
cowling and chrome faceplate, is a sort of adjustment screw that one can
often fiddle with adjusting it in and out to get a "hoop" from the
thing. The way the horn works is that a sort of sprung piece of steel
inside the horn (called a resonator, I think?) vibrates kind of like a
school bell clapper against the face of the horn, which is sort of like
a little metal drumhead: dih...dih...dih...dih... (and so on...rather
like the sounds I make when I think noone's looking), but it does this
so fast that instead of a crazy guy in the cereal aisle of the
supermarket, it sounds like a single tone to the human ear (except for
Dave the Wave's of course, for whom it sounds oddly like a duck with a
headcold).

If fiddling with the resonator adjustment screw doesn't get you any
"quack", your resonator's "springyness" is possibly really all tuckered
out--not unusual if it's just been sitting at full pull (rest) for
years, with no chance to stretch its molecular legs. Such was the case
with my original horn, which had sat unsounded for at least 14 years.
Cheap impoverished bastard that I am, I managed to coax another half
decade or so of service out of my original horn by opening up the horn
casing (easy) and "washering up" the resonator arm just a bit from the
faceplate, and then playing with the adjuster screw. Or, you might just
get a new horn, which isn't that expensive at all.

Whatever the situation may be with your honker, you'll want to take a
look at the section on the horn in the Amphicar Service Manual, which
is available in the Members Only Area of the Club website, in a superb
enhanced CD format from Cap'n John of Rocky Mountain Amphicar (see Club
Classifieds), or as a very decent photocopy from Gordon Imports (see
www.gordonimports.com). If you don't have one already, you'll want it
in any case.

One thing worth metioning: be particularly careful with the wiring of
the horn, in view of its proximity to the gas tank and the gas tank vent
to the outside. I have heard apocryphal reports of explosions and other
mayhem in the past as a result of rotten or half-ass wiring shorting out
and sparking in this area of the car. So take care, and don't bodge or
rush it...especially here. Disconnect the battery, or at least make
sure any loose or bare wiring during the fix (and after) is well
insulated with good quality black electrical tape.

Good Luck!
Bilgey

On Mon, 6 Aug 2007 1:35 pm, rpolcin wrote:
> I've got an original that I am trying to get working again. It appears
> that the horn pulls together when a charge is applied but does not
> release which is what I believe is supposed to happen. Can anyone
> explain how these work so that it can be trouble shot as well as any
> other tips such as gaps to the contacts etc.. that might help in
> restoring it? It is possible someone once took it apart and that its
> not back together correctly as well. So any pictures would als help.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
 
J

John Friese

Guest
Hello,

Neither of the horns on my Amphicars worked when I got them. When I
opened one of them up I found the contacts behind the diaphram were
coated with some sort of whiteish mineral type stuff. When I scraped
that off the horn worked. The other horn was way out of adjustment
and I was never really able to make it work well but it does work. I
find these aparently simple devices to be rather mysterious in
operation and I'm still learning about their operation. Give that
cleaning idea a try and if the front disk isn't rusted away perhaps
you can get it to work.

For those of you who have given up on their original horns, I would
like to get a few of them to continue my research into just how to get
these things to work well.

John Friese
805-570-4778 jfriese(at)mindspring.com




--- In amphicar-lovers@yahoogroups.com, "rpolcin" <rpolcin@...> wrote:
>
> I've got an original that I am trying to get working again. It appears
> that the horn pulls together when a charge is applied but does not
> release which is what I believe is supposed to happen. Can anyone
> explain how these work so that it can be trouble shot as well as any
> other tips such as gaps to the contacts etc.. that might help in
> restoring it? It is possible someone once took it apart and that its
> not back together correctly as well. So any pictures would als help.
>
> Thanks in advance!
>
 
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