How to Install the Air Horn on a Silverado Truckby Mike Frees
If you are not satisfied with the sound of the horn in your Chevy Silverado, replacing it with an air horn is not a difficult task. A variety of horns are available; some are one piece, with the horn and compressor assembled together. Most use a separate compressor and have two trumpets for a full, rich sound. Replacing the stock horn allows you to use the existing horn relay, which simplifies the installation job.
Locate the existing horn in your Silverado. Your truck will have one or two horns, depending on the year; newer models normally have a single horn. They are located at the front of the truck, just below the headlight assembly (a single horn is usually found on the driver's side).
Remove the stock horn. This may require removal of the headlight assembly, and perhaps the grill, to get access to the horn. The horn is held in place by one screw. Remove it and disconnect the electrical connection. On newer trucks, this is a circular connector that is unlikely to fit your air horn compressor, so you will need to cut the wires and remove the connector.
Mount the air horn compressor in the location where you removed the horn. The compressor should be mounted upright with the air outlet at the top. Attach the two wires to the compressor terminals. Test the polarity of the connection by temporarily attaching one of the horn trumpets to the compressor using the tubing provided with the air horn kit. Test the horn; if the compressor runs but the horn does not sound, reverse the two wires.
Find a location for the trumpets in an area near the compressor, free from rain or moisture splashed up from the road. Mount the trumpets facing downward so that moisture cannot collect in the horns. Trumpet mounting procedure depends on the model, but typically you drill a small hole and secure the trumpet with a bolt provided in the kit.
Cut the plastic tubing to the required length to extend from the compressor to the trumpets. A "T" connector will be provided to split the tubing to reach multiple trumpets. Push the tubing firmly onto the fittings. Replace the headlight assembly and the grill if they were removed for this job.
- Air horn manufacturers recommend removing the hose from the compressor, adding a few drops of light oil into the opening and running the compressor to lubricate it every six months.
Things You'll Need
- Air horn kit
- Electric drill and bits
- Check with local noise ordinances before installation an air horn to make sure they are legal in your area.
Mike Frees is an I.T. professional who was first published in the Apollo Computer corporate journal in the 1980s. He has since seen print in fiction magazines, local newspapers and nonprofit newsletters, and has been writing online articles for the past year. He has a bachelor's degree from San Jose State University and a master's degree from the College of Notre Dame.