From Train to Truck: We install a Kleinn ProBlaster Complete Triple Train Horn Kit on a Dodge 2500 RAM
Behold, the Kleinn HK8 ProBlaster Triple Train Horn Kit

Behold, the Kleinn HK8 ProBlaster Triple Train Horn Kit

 

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To be honest, we could preach that we needed the Kleinn air horns for safety reasons. Having audible horns no matter the circumstances is far safer than the quiet stock units; and, of course, having an onboard air compressor system is also great for a multitude of reasons.

But the impetus for this story started as nothing more than a desire for horns so loud they’d rival those on a Union Pacific locomotive. Funny thing is, the project quickly turned into a lesson about wants and needs, as we discovered that our Kleinn HK8 Problaster Triple Train Horn Kit was far more than just a loud set of trumpets: it’s a complete air system made from seriously high-quality components.

WHAT TO LOOK FOR IN AN ONBOARD AIR SYSTEM

All onboard air systems are not created equal, starting with air compressor units. A key to selecting the right onboard air compressor is its duty cycle. As I’m sure you already know, not all air compressors are meant to continuously run. Instead, many units need to rest for a certain percentage of their operating time in order to cool down. Most compressors are rated on a 10-minute duty cycle, which means an air compressor with a 50-percent duty cycle can run for 5 minutes before it must cool down for another 5 minutes—failing to let the compressor properly cool can significantly cut its longevity.

“The HK8 system comes with the 6350 air compressor kit that utilizes a 150-psi compressor with a 100-percent duty cycle,” Martz explained. This means it can run at WOT without problems should you need to air-up multiple tires after some four-wheeling or simply inflate air mattresses and beach balls for a day at the lake.

But an effective onboard air system is much more than a capable air compressor: it’s the rest of the supporting system as well. “The size of the air tank, the lines and the quality of the components are all crucial to creating a durable performance air system,” Martz said.

Often forgotten components like quality safety check valves, pressure switches, drain cocks, compression fittings, quality electrical components and even the mounting hardware are all equally necessary for a quality kit—all of which can be found in Kleinn’s kits.

1. Although Kleinn sells horns of every shape, size, and material, from small handheld trumpets to these massive 17.5-, 15.5- and 11.5-inch units, we opted for these spun copper and chrome-plated trumpets. For those who live in harsh conditions, trumpets are available in ABS plastic or spun steel with a powdercoated finish.

1. Although Kleinn sells horns of every shape, size, and material, from small handheld trumpets to these massive 17.5-, 15.5- and 11.5-inch units, we opted for these spun copper and chrome-plated trumpets. For those who live in harsh conditions, trumpets are available in ABS plastic or spun steel with a powdercoated finish.

2. This kit is more than just loud horns: it's a complete onboard air system. Unlike many lessor units, the Kleinn 150-psi compact air compressor features a 100-percent duty cycle, so it can run a long time without requiring cooldown.

2. This kit is more than just loud horns: it’s a complete onboard air system. Unlike many lessor units, the Kleinn 150-psi compact air compressor features a 100-percent duty cycle, so it can run a long time without requiring cooldown.

3. One key to a solid onboard air system is a large air tank for plenty of system capacity. Thankfully, our Kleinn kit came with a 3-gallon tank that gave us plenty in reserve, while being small enough to mount underneath our 2006 Dodge 2500 Ram.

3. One key to a solid onboard air system is a large air tank for plenty of system capacity. Thankfully, our Kleinn kit came with a 3-gallon tank that gave us plenty in reserve, while being small enough to mount underneath our 2006 Dodge 2500 Ram.

PICKING THE RIGHT HORN SYSTEM FOR YOUR RIG

“Size constraints are something many don’t consider when buying horns since the larger kits feature sizeable trumpets along with a large compressor and air tank, which means they won’t fit on a smaller vehicle—just like a large truck wouldn’t look right with a compact HK1 that would be more at home on a car,” Martz said.

When it comes to air horns, the larger the trumpet, the deeper the tone, and the higher the air pressure, the louder the horn.

But it gets even more complicated when you start talking about the number of trumpets: “In order to get the traditional train-horn sound—which coincidentally is different by region since different states use different horns—usually takes three large trumpets,” Martz noted. That typical train sound is called a tri-tone, but some prefer a flatter bi-tone that can be equally loud, just of a different octave.

Beyond trumpet size and quantity, you have to consider the build material. Matz offers “spun copper and chrome, spun steel and powdercoated black of ABS plastic construction, since geographic differences and intended use help dictate the trumpet choice.”

4. No proper onboard air system is complete without quality electrical components. The Kleinn system comes with a relay, inline fuses and quality wires for a carefree connection-- the last thing you need is a flat tire and a shorted-out air compressor system.

4. No proper onboard air system is complete without quality electrical components. The Kleinn system comes with a relay, inline fuses and quality wires for a carefree connection– the last thing you need is a flat tire and a shorted-out air compressor system.

5. The Kleinn air system even comes with a 35-foot-long air hose to make inflating a buddy's flat tire a cinch.

5. The Kleinn air system even comes with a 35-foot-long air hose to make inflating a buddy’s flat tire a cinch.

6. As if the out-of-the-box 154.4 dB capacity wasn't enough already, Kleinn includes a BlastMaster Air Flow Upgrade Kit with each HK8 system that bumps that figure to 157 dBs.

6. As if the out-of-the-box 154.4 dB capacity wasn’t enough already, Kleinn includes a BlastMaster Air Flow Upgrade Kit with each HK8 system that bumps that figure to 157 dBs.

7. After careful consideration, we decided to mount the air tank to the outside of the driver's side frame rail, under the cab, out of harm's way.

7. After careful consideration, we decided to mount the air tank to the outside of the driver’s side frame rail, under the cab, out of harm’s way.

KLEINN HK8 PROBLASTER TRIPLE TRAIN HORN KIT

Welcome to the big leagues—that’s all we could think as we unboxed these beasts. According to Kleinn, this is the loudest and nastiest horn there is, plain and simple. It features three spun copper and chrome trumpets that measure 17.5-inches, 15.5-inches, and 11.5-inches.

When paired with the Vortex 4 12v electronic train horn solenoids, the 100-percent duty cycle, 150-psi air compressor, and the 3-gallon air tank, it makes for 154.4 dBs of train-horned music. If that’s not enough, the included BlastMaster valve upgrade kit pushes that up to 157 dBs (for reference, a COLT .45 rings in at only 155 dBs.

8. We chose to mount the Kleinn air compressor on the inboard side of the passenger's side frame rail, away from the exhaust heat and off-roading impact zones.

8. We chose to mount the Kleinn air compressor on the inboard side of the passenger’s side frame rail, away from the exhaust heat and off-roading impact zones.

9. Kleinn goes above and beyond with all of its kits, perfecting every little detail. Here's a nice feature: a replaceable air filter for the air compressor. If you run your truck off-road, consider this feature a must-have for keeping the compressor clean and healthy.

9. Kleinn goes above and beyond with all of its kits, perfecting every little detail. Here’s a nice feature: a replaceable air filter for the air compressor. If you run your truck off-road, consider this feature a must-have for keeping the compressor clean and healthy.

GET READY FOR BLAST-OFF

You’re probably wondering how it sounds. It’s insanely loud and sounds just as we hoped—like the Union pacific locomotive. But as nice as the horns are, it’s the onboard air compressor unit that really puts a smile on our faces.

In fact, within days of installing the unit, we’d already aired up the tires on several vehicles, run some small air tools and inflated an air mattress during a camping trip—hey, we ain’t sleeping on the hard ground!

If you’ve ever considered an onboard air system and a train horn for your truck, you’d be hard pressed to find a higher quality, more complete system than a Kleinn. Just do yourself a favor and mount the button out of reach of your passengers… don’t ask us how we know.

Read on as we take this Dodge from a lung-less wimp to a 157 dB monster! DW

10. The Kleinn kit comes with everything needed to get started. Be sure not to overtighten any of the fittings during the installation process.

10. The Kleinn kit comes with everything needed to get started. Be sure not to overtighten any of the fittings during the installation process.

11. Here's another nice feature: a bleeder screw so the system can be purged of all air and condensation. This needs to be mounted on the bottom side of the tank to allow the aforementioned condensation to drain.

11. Here’s another nice feature: a bleeder screw so the system can be purged of all air and condensation. This needs to be mounted on the bottom side of the tank to allow the aforementioned condensation to drain.

12. As they say, the devil's in the details-- and Kleinn has those details covered. The included Air Horn Juice should be applied to all fittings for a fast, airtight installation.

12. As they say, the devil’s in the details– and Kleinn has those details covered. The included Air Horn Juice should be applied to all fittings for a fast, airtight installation.

13. The live Kleinn tech line warned us that one of the most common installation mistakes is over-tightening the air pressure switch or safety check valve. Doing so will cause it to improperly function and-- in turn-- blow the inline fuse. Don't forget the Air Horn Juice on all the threaded components.

13. The live Kleinn tech line warned us that one of the most common installation mistakes is over-tightening the air pressure switch or safety check valve. Doing so will cause it to improperly function and– in turn– blow the inline fuse. Don’t forget the Air Horn Juice on all the threaded components.

14. We used the factory emergency brake cable hanger and routing locations to plumb the included Kleinn airline from the tank back to the air horns.

14. We used the factory emergency brake cable hanger and routing locations to plumb the included Kleinn airline from the tank back to the air horns.

15. Here's a shot of the air line leaving the tank before traveling rearward.

15. Here’s a shot of the air line leaving the tank before traveling rearward.

16. Boom! We've got some big plans for this Dodge 2500, so relocating the spare tire was already in the cards-- that left us plenty of room to hang the trio of beautiful trumpets on their factory mount. We safely secured them to the underside of the bed, up and out of the way.

16. Boom! We’ve got some big plans for this Dodge 2500, so relocating the spare tire was already in the cards– that left us plenty of room to hang the trio of beautiful trumpets on their factory mount. We safely secured them to the underside of the bed, up and out of the way.

17. In order for you to get a better look at all the quality fittings, here's a shot of the air lines on the horns while atop the workbench before we hid them in the spare-tire hole. Don't forget to double check that all the air lines and power wires are free of moving parts or sharp edges that could wear through the surfaces.

17. In order for you to get a better look at all the quality fittings, here’s a shot of the air lines on the horns while atop the workbench before we hid them in the spare-tire hole. Don’t forget to double check that all the air lines and power wires are free of moving parts or sharp edges that could wear through the surfaces.

18. Since Daniel, the owner of the 2500 Dodge, had two cigarette lighter plugs, he decided to sacrifice one for a hidden air horn button. The included button fit nicely in the hole and some quick modifications to the OEM cigarette lighter meant, with the cap on, nobody knew that nearly 160 decibels of train horn were lurking underneath.

18. Since Daniel, the owner of the 2500 Dodge, had two cigarette lighter plugs, he decided to sacrifice one for a hidden air horn button. The included button fit nicely in the hole and some quick modifications to the OEM cigarette lighter meant, with the cap on, nobody knew that nearly 160 decibels of train horn were lurking underneath.

19. Double-check that everything is plumbed correctly and then go ahead and cycle the system to check for leaks-- we fixed a few loose ends and then aired-up the tires on the truck with its own onboard air system. We don't know which is cooler: the killer horns or the onboard air.

19. Double-check that everything is plumbed correctly and then go ahead and cycle the system to check for leaks– we fixed a few loose ends and then aired-up the tires on the truck with its own onboard air system. We don’t know which is cooler: the killer horns or the onboard air.

SOURCE

KLEINN AUTOMOTIVE AIR HORNS

520-579-1531

Kleinn.com