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Old 09-21-2020, 09:33 PM   #1
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Anyone have a Thomas with Air Horns?

I want to add a Grover Stuttertone (air horn off a fire truck) to one of my buses and I want to be able to switch it between the factory electric horn and the air horn. As I understand it, Thomas makes a switch made for such a setup with a red indicator light and I'd love to have a factory looking switch on my dash for this mod.

However I can't readily find this switch online and my dealer is having trouble tracking it down too because their lookup system relies upon the bus's factory build sheet. Air horns on school buses are very rare in Virginia so they're not having much luck.

If anyone has such a setup, preferably with a grey switch, on their Thomas bus, would you be willing to send me your VIN please so my dealer can track down this switch easier?
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:14 PM   #2
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Blue Birds have an air treadle for this that mounts to the left of the column...
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Old 09-21-2020, 10:30 PM   #3
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I got a rocker switch off Amazon that looks close to the other switches for my air horn. I know it’s not what you’re asking for but here’s a link. I tied the horn in to the air line from my old air powered door and this switch energizes the valve that used to open the door.

ESUPPORT Car Auto Bar 12V 20A Red LED Speaker Horn Light Push Button Toggle Switch... https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01DD9M6LA..._i9wAFbHYK18JS
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:16 PM   #4
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My factory air horn has a push valve on the floor. It's probably a Bendix valve - if you need its number I can look at my air schematic tomorrow and see if it's specified there.

Have you checked eBay for horn rocker switches by Cole-Hersee or Carling? I remember seeing a horn switch there a while ago, but then you'd also need a solenoid valve to actuate it electrically. A simple floor valve is easier to install and probably more reliable.

Even though my bus horn is LOUD, I have this devious notion of fitting something much louder, maybe a train horn (but they're not cheap for the real deal, and flimsy plastic replicas just don't cut it), maybe a ship's horn or even a whistle, maybe something industrial, who knows?

John
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:33 PM   #5
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Perhaps this will be useful.


Thomas Accessories Catalog.


Darn file limits!!!


Okay, here are the part numbers from the catalog:


52003117 Black
52003734 Grey
52006573 Grey without "Thomas" logo
52003179 Grey, curved


I will see if I can extract the pages individually and post them.
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Old 09-21-2020, 11:41 PM   #6
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Sorry, double post.
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Old 09-22-2020, 10:20 AM   #7
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Why not just an air valve with a chain for the air horn.. we just installed one this weekend on a friends bus. You have to run an air line up to the roof anyway if that’s where your horns are going. It was real easy to slap a valve in ahead of the horn.
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Old 09-22-2020, 11:15 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Why not just an air valve with a chain for the air horn.. we just installed one this weekend on a friends bus. You have to run an air line up to the roof anyway if thatís where your horns are going. It was real easy to slap a valve in ahead of the horn.
This is what my Bluebird has. Works great and is very straightforward.

I did find it odd that they used copper tubing for the part that ran inside the ceiling panels though.
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Old 09-22-2020, 02:40 PM   #9
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I have a dual air horn mounted behind the bumper connected to a foot button. I also have the corny electric horn activated by the steering wheel button. I have an air horn from a fire truck from my days in the local VFD that I want to connect into the steering horn and get rid of the electric horn.

I thought about connecting one of the air horns to the back-up alarm, that could be entertaining!!
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Old 09-22-2020, 07:47 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cadillackid View Post
Why not just an air valve with a chain for the air horn.. we just installed one this weekend on a friends bus. You have to run an air line up to the roof anyway if thatís where your horns are going. It was real easy to slap a valve in ahead of the horn.
Yeah I'll admit it's simpler, but this is the way I want to do it. It's more inline with what I normally work on and have experienced. I also want to mount the horn behind the bumper. It also means I don't have the polish up the horn I got or worry much about bugs being jammed down it.

Floor space is also a bit limited in the driving area of this particular bus and I've already noticed that I tend to rest my foot on the horn pedals of fire trucks.
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:35 PM   #11
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my retired firefighter loved to rest his foot on that airhorn button especially in the small town parade every year.
long story short about that fire truck?
he rolled the mack in the 50-60s cause someone ran out in front of him in an intersection going to a fire.
the city had it rebuilt years later in the 90s to be driven only in parades and such.
this year my dad had a full fire department funeral with roll call, bag pipes and all and he rode one more time on that old firetruck.
sorry i was born and raised by a firefighter/ems/911 family and i joined the marine corp instead.
i am about as deaf as a door knob but i know a scanner a siren and i can tell whether its police,ambulance or a fire truck.
sorry.
talking about horns off of a fire truck?
and you mentiond train horns.
my parents property has a train line through it and we always called them mad conductors but in there defense there is a crossing within a mile either direction.
either horn will get attention regardless.
now regarding one as a back up alarm?
the one on my work truck is loud enough i can here it over my radio? when i am on the job sight?
but i did have an isssue with it work truck so a horn as a back up alarm is better but does not meen the idiots driving are even paying attention
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Old 09-22-2020, 08:57 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Truthseeker4449 View Post
Yeah I'll admit it's simpler, but this is the way I want to do it. It's more inline with what I normally work on and have experienced. I also want to mount the horn behind the bumper. It also means I don't have the polish up the horn I got or worry much about bugs being jammed down it.

Floor space is also a bit limited in the driving area of this particular bus and I've already noticed that I tend to rest my foot on the horn pedals of fire trucks.
We acquired an air horn recently. We are planning on hooking it up to the standard horn button and mounting the horns in the engine compartment near the existing horns. I'll tap on the wires leading to the standard horns and use that to control the air into the newly acquired air horns. Of course, I am still working at using the bus as-is to haul stuff, so that project will be pushed off for a little bit.
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Old 09-23-2020, 05:31 AM   #13
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Originally Posted by WIbluebird View Post
This is what my Bluebird has. Works great and is very straightforward.

I did find it odd that they used copper tubing for the part that ran inside the ceiling panels though.
Bluebird uses a lot of copper tubing. When we were installing the horn we found they ran copper tube all the up to a supply manifold (RE bus) then used copper in the chase way all the way back for the rear stop sign..

For the horn we used nylon as it was easy to fish up through .

As for backup alarms I have a trash truck alarm on my red bus and that thing is mega loud...
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Old 09-23-2020, 07:03 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Native View Post
We acquired an air horn recently. We are planning on hooking it up to the standard horn button and mounting the horns in the engine compartment near the existing horns. I'll tap on the wires leading to the standard horns and use that to control the air into the newly acquired air horns. Of course, I am still working at using the bus as-is to haul stuff, so that project will be pushed off for a little bit.

put your horns in a visible place with a chain!! it makes you feel like you are #BigRiggin!!!
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Old 09-23-2020, 02:51 PM   #15
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I thought about connecting one of the air horns to the back-up alarm, that could be entertaining!!
Would likely bottom out your air pressure if in reverse for more than a minute... Those horns are extremely loud and take a bit of air pressure to operate. It's bad enough when in you're in tight quarters and having to modulate the brake pedal.
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Old 09-23-2020, 03:27 PM   #16
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Would likely bottom out your air pressure if in reverse for more than a minute... Those horns are extremely loud and take a bit of air pressure to operate. It's bad enough when in you're in tight quarters and having to modulate the brake pedal.
Ya, I wouldn't actually do it for several reasons. But it might be entertaining! Kinda like those youtube videos of the guy blasting the train horn on unsuspecting pedestrians! It's extremely rude, but quite entertaining!
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Old 09-23-2020, 04:59 PM   #17
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Would likely bottom out your air pressure if in reverse for more than a minute... Those horns are extremely loud and take a bit of air pressure to operate. It's bad enough when in you're in tight quarters and having to modulate the brake pedal.
Yup, this is especially a problem with fire trucks. The trucks I work on have dual horns and a dedicated reservoir tank to feed them. I've heard some departments will disable a horn if the firefighters have lead feet.

I agree that the idea sounds hilarious tho. If the trash truck backup alarm didn't get their attention, the horn should!
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Old 09-24-2020, 01:41 AM   #18
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Quote:
Originally Posted by CHEESE_WAGON View Post
Would likely bottom out your air pressure if in reverse for more than a minute... Those horns are extremely loud and take a bit of air pressure to operate. It's bad enough when in you're in tight quarters and having to modulate the brake pedal.
My horns came with a little 12V air pump. I do not know the volume it can produce, but it can not be much. Same with respect to pressure.
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Old 09-27-2020, 07:41 PM   #19
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Save yourself the headache. Install the foot switch for the stutter horn. My fire engine has two pedals for the stutter. Cheers
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