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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
This will cover my installation of new horns, relay and fuse without front bumper removal. There are already several threads that cover this. After reading through them, I still found the wiring of the relay unclear. Here, I'll spell out what worked for me.



I chose to remove the grille only, leaving the bumper facade in place. Although bumper removal would have created more room to work, I had no problems.


Six plastic fasteners and four screws hold it on. In the photo I put the silver screws back on to show their locations. Blue tape highlights two of them.



The two screws at the bottom were a little tricky to reach. To keep them from falling, I stuck a strong magnet to the screwdriver.




I removed these two plastic things too.



Here's one of the stock horns.



It has a slide-on connector, but you'll need to press the "button" as shown by the tip of the screwdriver. While pressing the button, pull the wire off. You can do it with your fingers, I used the screwdriver in the photo for visual clarity.



There's a second horn. The arrows point to it, X marks the horn.



A 10mm bolt is used here. This is the most cramped area of the job. With this install method you can leave this one in place if you want. I left a horn wired here but I switched it for the other stock horn which had a lower tone that I preferred. In the unlikely event that the aftermarket relay fails, this horn will still sound.



I spent some time deciding where to put the relay and fuse. I settled on the protected area shown near the battery. Two plastic fasteners come off then the shroud can be removed--be careful, it's some sort of fiber material which bends easily. The blue tape/arrows point to two bolts that will become the mount points for the relay.



To hold the relay and power fuse, I used a piece of metal strap which I bent as shown. (Hardware store, electrical/plumbing aisles)



Electrical tape wrapped below relay to avoid a short. The four arrows point to notches that I cut to keep zip ties in place.



The bracket is held in place two mount-point bolts (a couple photos back). I also had to loosen a screw in front of the bolts. The bracket slips between the metal where those two bolts go. The relay is mounted with the prongs facing the rear of the car. The fuse is zip tied under the bracket. (Instructons said to mount the relay with the prongs down but I chose this instead)



Power comes from the positive battery post using a ring connector. It goes through the fuse to the relay. Because I connected the power directly to the battery, I had to trim the red plastic shroud that covers the positive post as shown.



Heres a clear wiring diagram that I got from Google images. Be sure to check the wiring diagram that comes with your kit. The following applies to my relay and setup. Verify before you assume it applies to yours.

Because the bracket that I made is well grounded, I ran #85 to the bracket with a short wire. #30 went to one end of the fuse, the other side of the fuse went to the positive battery post. Each horn has two spades. Both horns ground to their mount points with a short wire from from one their spades. The other spade on each horn gets wired to #87 .

I connected the wire from the center stock horn to #86 . Relay post #86 was the part that was unclear to me. I kept trying to figure out how to splice directly into the wires from the horn button. I finally figured out that I just needed to use the stock horn wire from the horn itself. When that wire is activated by the horn button, it activates the aftermarket relay and horns.



I mounted the horns to some existing holes as far to the sides as possible. I had to trim some metal and plastic because I wanted the brackets to hang straight down.

I used dielectric grease and shrink tubing at all connections, wrapped the wires in conduit loom and zip tied the loom out of sight. I'm not detailing the actual mounting of the horns because there are so many ways to do it. (Just Google images for lots of ideas)



I repainted the red horn grilles black so that they're nearly invisible.

I didn't make a before/after audio recording, those can be found elsewhere.

This project took me the better part of a day to complete, largely due to struggling with how to wire relay #86, deciding where to put the relay then making the bracket. It turned out clean and solid and I'm happy with the results.

If you're considering a horn upgrade, I hope this helps your decision.
 

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2007 Forester Sports XT
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190 Posts
Thanks for the detailed instructions!! Just curious if you were able to reinstall the factory air dam intact? Many people have said they cannot use the air dam with the Hella Supertones.
 

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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
Greetings fellow Forester enthusiasts,

I apologize for the delay, but I have revived my original photos in this thread. I don't know if it will be a permanent fix, but it seems to be working as of this post.

-Sean-
 

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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
Thank you taki and Kevin.

@fotomatt I'm sorry that I'm answering your question 11 months late. All factory parts were reused, including the air dam. Small amounts of metal and plastic were trimmed with a dremel, but that's just because I'm particular. Others have done this without any trimming.

-Sean-
 

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2018 Forester Limited
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12 Posts
How do you remove just the grille? I had a hell of a time removing the entire bumper assy - I have to go back in and fix a wire, I'd love to not go through the entire process again.
 

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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
@VE3MVC mine is a 2015, I'm not familiar with any other style. See the 2nd photo in my original post. There are FOUR small Phillips screws and SIX plastic fasteners that must first be removed. If you use a flashlight, you'll find them all. AFTER you've removed the fasteners, you can "pop" it out. There are a few "guides" holding it in place. The picture of the stubby screwdriver shows a magnet stuck to it, without that detail, you're very likely to drop the lowest screws into a tight and nearly inaccessible spot. (The magnet stuck to the screwdriver magnetizes it, that way the screws remain attached to the screwdriver)

-Sean-
 

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2014 Forester CVT
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195 Posts
I got to say, you have a definite talent for documenting! These are probably the clearest how-to procedures I've seen in a long time, congrats - and thank you!
 

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2020 Sport
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62 Posts
Nice write up. Did you make your own wiring or use a pre-made harness?
 

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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #11
@molsen thank you. I didn't use an aftermarket wiring harness, I had automotive electrical wire on hand. The three paragraphs following the wiring diagram image detail how I set it up. There are many ways you could wire your horns, this is just how I chose to do it. For example, the bracket that I made was very well grounded and made of metal, meaning I was able to wire relay #85 directly to the bracket with a very short piece of wire. If you mount your relay elsewhere or just tuck it into a crevace somewhere, you may have to ground it entirely differently.

I hope this helps you, good luck with your install, the dramatic volume increase will make it all worthwhile

-Sean-
 

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2020 Sport
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62 Posts
Thanks Sean. I've tried several different methods with intermittent results. First, following a forum member's directions I used simple wiring to hook up my hellas to the stock wiring. A terminal into stock terminal from old horn, then split into two wires to go to each horn. then I grounded each horn. I noticed that I wasn't getting the full sound from the hellas and at times it sounded like they weren't working at all and I was only hearing the one stock horn in the fender that was still hooked up.
So I purchased a relayed premade harness, figuring maybe it would be better. However same results, sometimes if I lean on the horn for a couple of seconds the hellas will kick.
So I'm figuring maybe I'll just scrap everything, start from scratch following your example.
I appreciate the response and will let you know how I make out.... granted spring gets here soon in NY.
 

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2016 2.5i Premium CVT
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105 Posts
@molsen thank you. I didn't use an aftermarket wiring harness, I had automotive electrical wire on hand. The three paragraphs following the wiring diagram image detail how I set it up. There are many ways you could wire your horns, this is just how I chose to do it. For example, the bracket that I made was very well grounded and made of metal, meaning I was able to wire relay #85 directly to the bracket with a very short piece of wire. If you mount your relay elsewhere or just tuck it into a crevace somewhere, you may have to ground it entirely differently.

I hope this helps you, good luck with your install, the dramatic volume increase will make it all worthwhile

-Sean-

@Poseidon For some reason, your picture above the following caption was removed for violating Photobucket ToS. "There's a second horn. The arrows point to it, X marks the horn."
(Photobucket)
 

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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #14
Hey there Jasonn,

I just can't convey how much I dislike Photobucket. I'll try to get that link repaired.
In the meantime, as I recall, that photo depicted the horn that's behind and below the passenger-side headlight. It's down in a barely-accessible space. With a flashlight, you'll see it, flat black and just larger than an Oreo.

-Sean-
 

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2018 Forester XT Touring
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5 Posts
Has the new horn set up interfered or block air into the turbo? I am considering this for my 18 xt and it I cant tell of the bracket and horns are mounted where the air inlet is for the turbo.
 

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2015 Forester XT, Touring Auto
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76 Posts
Discussion Starter #16
Hey Avsfan, no blockage of airflow. I did trim some metal where I mounted the horns to get them as far to the outside edges of the grille as possible. I didn't detail the trimmed areas because it's not really a necessary step, and the decision to trim at all is very subjective. If you were sufficiently motivated/skilled, you could mount the horns such that they wouldn't be in the path of airflow at all.

-Sean-
 

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18' 2.5 Premium 6MT
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170 Posts
Nice work and while I agree the stock horn needs an upgrade I swapped in a single unit Wolo horn in 15 minutes start to finish. Reason for the dual setup?
 

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2015 Forester XT Touring Stock Cooler/Heater Hardlines Deleted Custom 19 Row Cooler with -6AN Lines Directly Ported to CVT
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396 Posts
Well thoses installation points look "Hella" familiar!

Nicely done write up. One thing though. Did you remove the lower horn?
I am really glad you used the relay that is provided with the horns.
I have attempted to explain why you should use a relay way too many times on this forum...

 

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2018 Forester XT Premium
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37 Posts
Hi all,

I recently picked up the Hella Sharptones...

Originally I installed them with the Grimmspeed harness to the stock wiring. Worked fine but I was afraid I'd blow a fuse... so on the advice here I installed with the accompanied Hella relay and the extra wiring as outlined in this thread.

Everything works fine and the horns are definitely louder with the relay than the harness only. However, the use of the horn when locking the vehicle is significantly quieter with this sequence as well.

Might I have done something incorrectly or is this normal?
 
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