Rover SD1 Tips 'n Tricks - #9 - Temporarily Locating some New Horns

(After my "Ickle Squeak Horns" finally Frogged Off and Croaked)

Rover SD1 horns hide behind the deep chin spoiler.

The horns on the Rover SD1 Vitesse and all other versions of the SD1 are mounted low down behind the front spoiler. On most models they can awkwardly be seen and accessed via the side of the front grill. If lucky, one can just about fiddle with the connections but to remove or replace them requires removal of the belly pan and the bumper iron retaining bolts to which the horn brackets are attached. On cars with the deep chin spoiler access for any reason is literally impossible until the spoiler is removed. A right pain in the ass.

Despite being located as described, seemingly protected, they are still unduly exposed to all the turbulent road-side contaminents than an English winter can throw at them, longevity of the electric connections is quite poor and after a relatively short life, most SD1's suffer what's become known as "Ickle Squeak Horns".

Not immediately critical, of course, until much later, when severe corrosion eats away at the wiring and they fail completely. In the meantime, decidely effeminate for such a butch car.

In 2010, on my Rover SD1 Twin Plenum Vitesse with it's deep chin front spoiler, my "Ickle Squeak Horns" finally frogged off and croaked. Add to this my aversion to lying on cold, winter concrete, something temporary was called for, so I bought a pair of new Lucas horns off Ebay and decided that behind the N/S headlamp would be a very convenient and cosy short term location.

The images show how both horns are joined with brackets as purchased and two extra holes drilled to make up a solid sub-assembly, using regular nuts and bolts and shakeproof washers.

Oriented so that the horn connectors are opposite each other, the Red and Black wiring was added as seen, using conventional crimped and protected spade terminals, terminated in a flying tail for convenient connection to the main circuit.

The original Black and Purple/Black horn wiring in the nearby loom was winkled out, cut and re-terminated in the blue spades, as seen here, and connected to the new Red and Black horn wires. The other ends of the cut loom are also fitted with (male) spades for easy future re-connection .

Seen here, the final position for the completed assembly is moved about three inches towards the N/S, hard up against the inner wing panel and subsequently secured to the adjacent Air Can Bracket with a couple of cable ties.

Intended only as a short term solution, fixed as described into this location between the headlamp wiring loom and the existing Efi Air Can bracket, takes advantage of the fall of gravity, some foam pads and cable ties to prevent any unwanted vibration and lateral movement. An elegant solution and I recommend it to the house!

A pair of horns joined securely with brackets
Pair of Rover SD1 horns wire together and connected to loom.
Temorary location for Rover SD1 horns behind N/S headlamp

As mentioned earlier the horn location behind the deep chin spoiler gives zero access to the vulnerable wiring to perform any meaningful maintenance, but when the opportunity arises and the deep chin front spoiler has to be removed, it's a relatively simple job to reconnect the two cut loom wires and mount the new replacement horns into their correct locations.In the meantime, the horns on my Rover SD1 Twin Plenum Vitesse have never sounded so loud, being quite a bit nearer to the cabin, or course, plus the sound from the trumpets is reflected and reverberates inside the engine bay making the most of their new-found decibels.

No longer can pressing the horn button be described as "Ickle Squeak"

Temorary location for Rover SD1 horns behind N/S headlamp

Stop Press

A Major Review of Rover SD1 V8 Electronic Ignition System

Description & Analysis Here:

Components & Testing Here

But (Thinks!!) --- Does it really have to be Temporary.

Having mentioned the longer term intention of re-locating the new horns into their original position when the opportunity arises, in actualitiarre, there is no reason why this new location or somewhere very close-by (taking advantage of the proximity of the horn wiring loom) should not be made permanent, seeking a little more imagination to construct a suitable bracket to fit the sub-assembly to the inner wing using the existing fixings for the Efi Air Can bracket.Thus, the idea becomes a useful summer project to improve the overall quality of the job and convert it into a permanent modification, long after the prospect of having to fix the original problem of the missing horns function in mid-winter, and a biting cold wind made life under the bonnet decidedly uncomfortable for old geezers!You know you want to have a go, so why not do it and report back how things worked out? I will too!

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