Make Some Noise
Installing Kleinn’s loudest train horns on a ’16 Chevrolet Colorado
STOCK HORNS on new trucks are adequate at best. Many of them aren’t even loud enough to get a person’s attention—especially if they are preoccupied with something else. Today’s vehicles have super-quiet interiors and numerous electronic distractions, so many drivers don’t even notice exterior noises like honking horns. If they do, few truly pay attention. So when a motorist’s failure to react to a warning honk from the blasé stock horn on our ’16 Chevrolet Colorado nearly resulted in disaster, we knew a change was necessary.
After consulting with a representative from Kleinn Air Horns about the company’s different horn systems, we opted for Kleinn’s Slimline kit for our midsize Colorado.
Upon examining the components in the large box that arrived weeks later, we discovered we received the HK9-Slimline Triple Train Horn kit, which is actually the biggest, loudest locomotive-horn setup Kleinn offers. While calling the horn package “slim” is a bit of a stretch in our opinion, there’s no denying it’s perfect for getting the attention of drivers, pedestrians, and anything else that needs to be aware of your presence. (And, in fairness to Kleinn, bolting this kit on trucks and SUVs smaller than fullsize pickups is exactly what developers had in mind when they named the system).
Now, with that being said, it’s important for you to understand that while train/ air horns are “cool,” they really should be used primarily as a warning or alert that will hopefully avert an accident or other malady. We would be remiss if we didn’t note that per the trainhorn.us website, installing and using such systems on passenger vehicles is illegal in various areas of the U.S. and may
result in fines or failed vehicle registration. Seriously, blaring any loud horn system irresponsibly—such as to startle senior citizens in crosswalks or awaken quiet neighborhoods in the wee hours of the morning—isn’t funny or cool at all.
Thankfully, shows and events held at venues where blasting train horns isn’t just condoned, it’s encouraged, are major elements of the diesel-truck scene (there may even be loudness competitions for the accessories). All we want to stress is that it’s important to use good judgment with your train horns, as not doing so could end up being embarrassing… and expensive… even hazardous.
While we acknowledge the rules, we still loaded everything into the back of the Colorado and took a drive to Gear Driven Automotive in Northridge, California, where Saul “The Surgeon” Gutierrez helped us install the big horns on the small truck. Given the size of the system, we knew it would not be a simple bolt-on procedure. But Saul made it happen, and our 2.8L Duramax-powered Colorado now packs 158.8-decibel train horns that, when used for our primary intention (as a warning signal), will hopefully avert potential disasters that could result from a stock horn that simply wasn’t heard.
“While calling the horn package “slim” is a bit of a stretch in our opinion, there’s no denying it’s perfect for getting the attention of drivers, pedestrians, and anything else that needs to be aware of your presence.”
Saul “The Surgeon” Gutierrez of Gear Driven Automotive mounts our ’16 Chevrolet Colorado on a twin-post hoist for easy access to the truck’s chassis, where Kleinn Air Horns’ train-horn system is being installed.
Getting a train-horn kit installed on a vehicle with limited space requires test-fitting the trumpets and air tank in a few different locations.
Kleinn’s HK9-Slimline Triple Train Horn Kit is laid out on the workbench to make sure all the needed parts are present. The HK9-Slimline setup is universal and includes the Demon Model 730 Triple Train Horn set, a high-performance air valve, 150-psi...
The midsize Colorado definitely does not have many clear-cut areas for mounting large XCR 2.0 spun-steel trumpets, an air tank, and compressor. The air-tank’s slim design offers more mounting options on small and midsize rigs.