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Thread: DIY Horn Upgrade

  1. #1
    Zoom Zoom Baby! KnurledNut's Avatar


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    DIY Horn Upgrade

    First, I want to thank Wheelie for showing us an easier way to replace our anemic horns.

    I just completed the horn upgrade on my 2013 CX-5 GT. Total time was about an hour including a beer and smoke break.

    After removing the plastic panels I realized why our horns are so weak. There is only ONE horn located on the drivers side!



    I replaced the OEM horn with a set of PIAA Sports Horns 400/500hz.

    The installation is fairly straightforward. Take your time.







    These plastic pins are removed by pushing the center in first, then removing with a small bladed driver.


    Drill out the aluminum rivets with a 1/8" bit. Be careful not to overheat the rivet or you will melt the plastic creating a larger hole. I used 9/64" aluminum rivets when reattaching the panels.





    As I said, there was no passenger side horn. But there was a bracket with a ground wire.





    After I cut off the drivers side horn connector I noticed it only had one wire. The horn was self-grounded to the bracket. Not to take any chances with a faulty ground, I ran the new horn ground over to the existing ground on the passenger side.


    The PIAA horns came with two pre-made grounding straps and excellent instructions for 2 Horn/2 Wire, 2 Horn/1 Wire, and 1 Horn/1 Wire systems. Another plus with the PIAA horns is that they were Made in Japan. A nice bonus in my opinion.



  2. #2
    Registered Member nXt's Avatar

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    You know after watching/listening to your video, I like the stock better.

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    Quote Originally Posted by nXt View Post
    You know after watching/listening to your video, I like the stock better.
    WOW! That's an interesting reaction. The stock horn has a pecularly flat tone while the replacements are genuinly melodic. I'm considering this mod now and I really hadn't before this post. Nice job OP, and the audio quality on your little video is great! Thanks for the write-up. BTW, it's not at all uncommon for Japanese makers (especially Mazda) to use only one horn. BTW again: they're $45.38 incl. shipping on Amazon!
    Update: There is an alternative 500/600hz setup with a slightly higher tone which Amazon reviewers say is more distinctive and Euro-like. I ordered that unit-$50 delivered.
    Last edited by paris1; 05-21-2013 at 07:56 PM.

  4. #4
    Registered Member nXt's Avatar

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    There's a reverb/echo/vibration sound to it that sounds weird to me.
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  5. #5
    !@#$%^&*()_+ mixmasterlove's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nXt View Post
    There's a reverb/echo/vibration sound to it that sounds weird to me.
    Ditto. I think I'm gonna replace mine with the same 1 in my CX-9, I think it sounds better.

  6. #6
    Registered Member CCR76's Avatar

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    I suspect the echo/tremolo effect was an artifact of the recording and would not be heard live. But I thought it sounded kinda cool. Like an opera singer. Like Pavarotti singing "get ouuut of my WAAAAA-AAAYYYYYY"

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    Zoom Zoom Baby! KnurledNut's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by CCR76 View Post
    I suspect the echo/tremolo effect was an artifact of the recording and would not be heard live. But I thought it sounded kinda cool. Like an opera singer. Like Pavarotti singing "get ouuut of my WAAAAA-AAAYYYYYY"
    I could hear the difference distinctly between the different set-ups.

    The OEM single horn was just a low tone made by Knight:


  8. #8
    Registered Member Gio26NJ's Avatar

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    I'm surprised old MikeM hasn't hijacked this thread talking about how much time Mazda spent on engineering the Skyactive horn and how there is no advantage of using an aftermarket one

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    Shame on Mazda for cheaping out in such an obvious manner. They could at least have had their supplier delete the word "low" from the casting so that it wouldn't be quite so obvious that they didn't install the "high" to go with it!

  10. #10
    Registered Member Gio26NJ's Avatar

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    But I don't get why they didn't just install the same horn they use for the new 6 on the CX-5. The horn on the new 6 has a lot more bass to it.
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    Is Hella or PIAA better?
    I'm planning to change mine as well.

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    Did you replace the fuse with 20amp? I contacted WOLO Bad Boy about the one I'm going to install and he said to use the 20amp fuse.
    Thanks for all the pictures. Will do the rill screens at the same time. :-)
    David Horn
    Fulltime RVer, 2014 Phaeton 40ft motornome
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    (2014 CX-5 succumbed to hail storm)
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  13. #13
    Zoom Zoom Baby! KnurledNut's Avatar


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    Quote Originally Posted by jeremy44 View Post
    Is Hella or PIAA better?
    I'm planning to change mine as well.
    They're both good horns. It's all about what sound you want.

    Quote Originally Posted by dshogman View Post
    Did you replace the fuse with 20amp? I contacted WOLO Bad Boy about the one I'm going to install and he said to use the 20amp fuse.
    Thanks for all the pictures. Will do the rill screens at the same time. :-)
    The Wolo is a completely different animal. I had one in my Tacoma and it required a relay. I would not install a air horn, even the Wolo, without a relay.

  14. #14
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    [QUOTE=KnurledNut;6167252]They're both good horns. It's all about what sound you want.


    PIAA sports horn 400-500hz vs Hella twin tones red (can't seem to find black)

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    Whoa; back the truck up KnurledNut!

    Went to install the PIAA 500/600 hz horns I received from Amazon just now following your instructions and quickly realized you had left out a couple of critical points. Aside from there being a few more screws and clips that needed removing (no big deal) how in the world do you get the plastic shroud out from behind the top of the grill. There seems to be some kind of lip that positions the shroud on the back side of the grill. And, once you do, how do you then get it to clear the hood release handle that runs over it? Pls answer asap as I am stuck in the middle of this project.

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