DIY: Aftermarket horn install

  1. itbedave

    itbedave Member

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    So I was finally able to replace the horn in my Civic EX Hatchback and decided to start with the single horn kit I purchased from CH Honda for $17 + shipping that comes with the OEM connector adapter. This adapter is $8.50 on it's own, so $17 for the horn and adapter isn't bad at all. You'll just have to decide if you like the sound of the horn or not. More on that later.

    First, some tips based on my experience with bumper removal. I hope they may help someone who's yet to tackle this project:

    - There's 2 GREAT videos on YT that explain how to remove the front bumper. There are several videos that do the same thing - but THESE particular ones goes through the whole process quickly. And the FIRST ONE makes a couple of important points that most of the others don't about hidden clips you must release instead of just pulling away on the bumper to get it loose. Trust me - I watched the second video first that didn't mention these other clips, and broke a couple in the process. Those clips are molded into the bumper frame and NOT replaceable! So BE CAREFUL! Where he says to just pull the bumper straight forward to pop it off... DON'T DO THAT. Refer to the first video and use a screwdriver or pry tool of some sort to release those hidden clips so you don't break them off! Luckily I didn't break more than 2, and it's not going to cause any problems that I can see. But avoid MY mistakes and WATCH BOTH VIDEOS FIRST - all the way through - BEFORE starting your removal to get familiar with what you'll be doing. THEN watch again as you're going through the steps, and you'll be fine.





    - Removing the top plastic clips/rivets/fasteners under hood is not at all difficult, as long as you have the right tool. A small, flat-blade screw driver works in a pinch, but is also a good way to crack/break those fasteners. The paint can opener someone suggested would be better. And the actual claw/pry tool they sell for removing them is even better. You can even get a kit with replacement fasteners AND the tool on Amazon for about $10 shipped with Prime. If you've not done this project yet, stop right now and go order it and the replacement fasteners you'll need if you break any. You'll thank me later! (I only broke 2 FWIW) ;) https://goo.gl/V1N6TR (there are several other options - this is just the first one I found when looking.)

    - AFTER you remove ALL of the clips on the top side, and after removing the plastic cover plate and rubber trim, put a couple clips back in the center - but not all the way. Don't push the inner part in completely. This will keep your bumper from falling after you pull off both sides. Then you can pull out the two clips while having your knee against it and a hand in position to hold and remove your bumper. ALSO - I suggest have a towel, piece of foam, cardboard, or SOMETHING to sit your bumper on instead of the ground while you are reaching down from each side to disconnect your fog lamps. The connector plug is one you just squeeze and pull the connector off. Feel for 3 lines on the connector - that's where you squeeze and pull. This is demonstrated in one of the videos I posted I believe.

    - Removing the ones on the bottom of the car will go MUCH easier/faster if you have the car on ramps, jack stands, or a lift so you can get under the front bumper! I REPEAT - USE RAMPS, JACK STANDS, OR A LIFT to access the fasteners under the front bumper! You'll save time, frustration, and your back! It's simply too shallow to move around and get much leverage, let alone see. You have to lie on the ground and do your best to reach and pry. So save yourself some trouble.

    - Although I didn't have them for my first attempt, I decided to invest in a set with the proper pry tools for this kind of work. Amazon offers several - but I picked up this one for about $10. These tools will help when releasing those hidden clips. https://goo.gl/BSBNU8

    If you get this kit, you will NOT need the tool that comes with the clips in the earlier Amazon link. You can just buy the clips, which will be about $5-$6 from several Amazon sources. The 2 part kind are 10mm clips and the 1 part kind are 8mm. Both are available on Amazon or eBay, etc.

    Again, I used the plug-n-play kit from CH Honda, so the actual replacement was pretty simple. I didn't even need to disconnect the battery. I found it easier to remove the whole bracket from the car and THEN to remove the horn AND the OEM bracket it's on (the new one is too large for the OEM bracket, so don't bother trying). Attach the new horn to it's new bracket and then the bracket to the OEM bracket assembly, attach the wiring harness to the new horn, and the whole assembly back to the car frame. Then simply plug the original connector into the adapter connector and GO TEST YOUR NEW HORN. TEST IT NOW, BEFORE REASSEMBLING YOUR BUMPER! Would suck to get it all back together and have it not work!

    BEFORE reassembling the bumper, MAKE SURE TO RECONNECT YOUR FOG LIGHTS! I only say this because I currently don't have connected fog lights! :oops:But I'll be correcting that shortly with bumper removal #2. :)

    What none of the videos show you is proper reassembly of your bumper - which seems like you'd just reverse the process - which is partially true. But there's a few caveats:

    - Make sure the inner wheel well guards underneath your fenders get tucked BEHIND the lip of your front bumper so that you can put the screws back in place properly. Otherwise, you'll have to release the clips on both sides under your side markers again so you can tuck them back in.

    - When re-inserting the plastic clips on the left and right undersides of the front bumper, you want to reach through the holes in the areas with a couple fingers and press that upper piece of the undershield down as you press the clip in from underneath so that it connects. BOTH pieces of that plastic undershield are flexible and simply connect to each other, and NOT any frame member on the car. So if you simply press the clip in, you will likely NOT get it connected through BOTH pieces and the clip will serve no purpose at all. So you have to press from behind the upper shield as you are pressing the clip through the lower shield to make sure they connect.

    All said and done, my installation took longer than I'd planned for because I didn't have access to my ramps. Which made getting to the underside clips take 5x longer at least. Knowing what I know now, I'm sure I could remove the whole bumper in 10-15 minutes. (Which I WILL be doing again for some other reasons.)

    The replacement horn sounds a whole lot louder than the stock MEEP MEEP horn. But I'm not totally sold on it yet. As my friend said, it kind of sounds like an old Chrysler! LOL! So since I've already got all of the parts and wiring to install the dual FIAMM horns, I'm going to try that next, as I can always go back to this easy replacement horn. Videos below of the original vs. the replacement from CH Honda. Hope this helps someone!



     
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  2. pwee08

    pwee08 Senior Member

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    came out great! I already got mine installed but I need to redo it so I locate them both in the center of the crash bar. great write up and video!
     
  3. sbi

    sbi New Member

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    OP and @ipbedave - great write-up. Thank you both.

    @OP - can you please elaborate on the removal of the side markers? Are you referring to the orange blinkers? How can you remove them?

    Thanks.
     
  4. OP
    OP
    Donuyen18

    Donuyen18 Senior Member

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    Yes, the Orange long rectangle blinker. Pull back on the fender liner just enough to peek inside. Use a screwdriver to press the orange tab. The blink will pop out and you just have to disconnect the wire
     
  5. sbi

    sbi New Member

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    #20 sbi, Jun 4, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 4, 2018
    What/where is the fender liner?!
     
  6. itbedave

    itbedave Member

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    #21 itbedave, Jul 8, 2018
    Last edited: Jul 8, 2018
    Update to my earlier post... Today I replaced the plug and play got horn I got in my last post and tutorial with the FIAMM El Grandes i purchased from Amazon, and I have to say, I am MUCH more pleased with the sound of this pair of horns! I went from an old Ford truck sound to a grown-up car horn with LOTS of volume!

    For anyone interested, here are the exact horns, $22 as of this post:

    https://smile.amazon.com/dp/B000DLBIGG/ref=cm_sw_r_cp_awdb_t1_kfOqBb4C5Z8NC

    I followed the tutorial done by the OP, purchasing the same harness he did on eBay and connecting it to the adapter that came with the horn from CH Honda. Had to adjust the placement and angle of my horns a bit differently as they were a little larger than the OP's. And I took off the red shells to allow more clearance (mine came ready to fall off anyway but they are only attached with a dab of hot glue.) These horns have one spade connector on the horn which is the positive. The ground attaches to a spade connector that came with the horns and attaches to the mounting bolt of each horn.

    20180708_153811.jpg

    And for the sound demo...

     
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  7. Doc777

    Doc777 Member

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    Nice work Dave. It looks like you ran a new wire with relay. The FIAMM El Grandes are rated at 12 amps. Did you run 12 or a little higher?
     
  8. midnightcivic

    midnightcivic Senior Member

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    Thanks for the write up, adding a pic to where I attached the relay.

    IMAG3247.jpg
     
  9. cobravap

    cobravap Member

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    #24 cobravap, Dec 25, 2019
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2019
    Here is what I did to get two hella horns into the car (civic SI 2017; without taking the entire bumper off.)
    I really didn’t want to drill the crash bar, and was hoping it would be a 20 min swap out but it wasn’t.

    I also ordered the college hills adapter and didn’t use a relay because I didn’t want to take the bumper off for pulling the wiring. (HID retrofit was annoying to do the wiring so learned my lesson).

    06B7A856-BC33-4D0B-ADF3-4CF11CBD88B1.jpeg

    ECF08E7F-0A37-4618-B5C4-4E9C8C4486EB.jpeg

    CDF1BDAB-BE30-42AA-9B13-9F8153BEC765.jpeg
     
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  10. TypeSiR

    TypeSiR Senior Member

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    Regarding the college hill adapter, do you need one or two to complete the hella horn installation? Does it come in a pair for an $8.50 order of the adapter?
     
  11. cobravap

    cobravap Member

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    Unfortunately You need to order two of them as the 8.50 is for 1 adapter. So that will set you back $17 plus the horns. I mean if it didn’t fit; I was just going to run with one horn (high would be hella and the low would be the stock 110db Honda which was loud also) use the other horn for my wife’s car (but since I ordered two I wanted to make sure i tried all options.)
     
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