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The Honda CA95 / Benly 150 Restoration The little brother to the CA160 in our family of Hondas

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  #1  
Unread 06-02-2012, 07:39 AM
safetyjon safetyjon is offline
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Default horn woes

i'm just getting my 66 benly wrapped up and ready for inspection, working on one last little problem...the horn.

you can hear the horn make a really small squeak as you let go of the button, happens every time. all other electronics are working great.

here's what i've done:
-took the horn off and tested it direct to the battery and it sounded off perfectly
-took apart and cleaned the switch
-pulled the battery, air filter, etc, and got into the harness to check for any bad wiring. while it wasn't the most pretty wiring, there weren't any major no-nos
-checked the connection on the coil, connection to the stop switch, wiring behind the headlight

i did the steps above one after the other and, after fiddling around behind the headlight, i decided to button her back up and see what happened. WHOA, the horn worked just fine! the bike kicked right over and i was blasting away on the horn for a good few minutes...so proud of myself.

then i realized the the headlight wasn't on. i thought i must have knocked something loose inside the headlight bucket, so i opened it back up and, sure enough, the green cable to the headlight had been disconnected. buttoned her back up, kicked right over, headlight back to normal...back to the abnormal with the horn!

so, with the headlight off, the horn was perfect. with the headlight on, barely a squeak.

thoughts?
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  #2  
Unread 06-02-2012, 10:31 AM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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No Problem.

Remove the shell cover on the horn. Press the horn button and adjust the nut at the center of the electrical unit. Adjust till you hear good sound.
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  #3  
Unread 06-02-2012, 01:33 PM
safetyjon safetyjon is offline
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...but the horn sounds great if I pull it and run it straight to the battery. It was also working with the headlight wiring undone. I'll give it a shot, though!
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  #4  
Unread 06-02-2012, 04:34 PM
Jetblackchemist Jetblackchemist is offline
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I have a question for you, does the horn sound with the key in the headlight off position?
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  #5  
Unread 06-02-2012, 05:02 PM
safetyjon safetyjon is offline
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Nope, it only sounded when I had the headlight disconnected or when it was off the bike and tested straight to the battery. I pulled the headlight wiring today, just as it was when I forgot to wire it yesterday, and it didn't sound in either of the two on positions...confounding! So I pulled the harness from the headlight bucket to the horn/light switch and redid some electrical taping, but there was nothing else weird happening with the harness. All contacts have been sprayed and cleaned.

As I was mucking around with it today, I noticed the neutral light dimming as I was pressing the horn button. I've got the battery on a charger overnight, hoping that it just needs a good, solid charge to keep that horn working. Kind of a stretch, but we'll see tomorrow morning. I'm fixing this goddamn horn tomorrow, all day if necessary
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  #6  
Unread 06-02-2012, 06:41 PM
Jetblackchemist Jetblackchemist is offline
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I have a feeling that's going to do the trick for you. The battery only gets charged by the generator at certain rpm's, and a small 6V leaves much to be desired in the way of powering the electronics. If I stayed with the stock 6V; I'd leave the ignition switch in headlight off position for the first mile or so, then turn it to the on position at a stop light or sign...this way it has some time to get the system up and charging, I'd also suggest using the kick starter; the cranking amp load to start it with the starter takes a good toll on the little system.

I don't enjoy little quirks or tricks like the above for things to work, I just like things to work. That's why I researched and did the 12v conversion...my 12v gmat battery has been on charge once over 10 months ago; and that was when it first came in the mail.
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  #7  
Unread 06-02-2012, 07:19 PM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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I have built or rebuilt Two CA95's, Two CA160's and I am working on a 3rd. Not to brag but to make a point.

I also busted my tail trying to figure out why the horn works with raw power, but when it's on-line it does not work...and dims lights and such.

Under the horn shell is a 10mm nut. The horn works kinda like points. You hit the button, the horn "points" close and you get sound. When the horn competes with the other electrical componants and is out of adjustment, there is not enough juice to vibrate the horn diaphram.

So before going through too much folly, take the horn shell off (no need to remove it) turn the ignition "on" (don't leave it on too long) and have someone depress the horn button while you adjust the contact nut. Give it a try.

Don't expect a loud horn. On one of my builds I used a new 6V aftermarket horn that was louder than stock.

Actually, I would like a nice compressed gas horn. The horn on the little Honda is close to useless.
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  #8  
Unread 06-02-2012, 09:57 PM
comp_wiz101 comp_wiz101 is offline
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I'm having a different sort of problem - mine doesn't fit. I picked up an aftermarket horn (since mine was missing), but they are all a different mounting center than on the frame. Were the earlier horns a little different?
Either way, looks like I need to fab a bracket.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
I have built or rebuilt Two CA95's, Two CA160's and I am working on a 3rd. Not to brag but to make a point.

I also busted my tail trying to figure out why the horn works with raw power, but when it's on-line it does not work...and dims lights and such.

Under the horn shell is a 10mm nut. The horn works kinda like points. You hit the button, the horn "points" close and you get sound. When the horn competes with the other electrical componants and is out of adjustment, there is not enough juice to vibrate the horn diaphram.

So before going through too much folly, take the horn shell off (no need to remove it) turn the ignition "on" (don't leave it on too long) and have someone depress the horn button while you adjust the contact nut. Give it a try.

Don't expect a loud horn. On one of my builds I used a new 6V aftermarket horn that was louder than stock.

Actually, I would like a nice compressed gas horn. The horn on the little Honda is close to useless.
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  #9  
Unread 06-03-2012, 03:55 AM
Spokes Spokes is offline
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I'm not sure if there was a difference in horn mounts between the CA or C models between countries. I do know that the CA95 & CA160 horn mount is the same.

I modified the aftermarket horn mount to fit my earlier CA95. I may have to do it again on my CA160.
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  #10  
Unread 06-03-2012, 08:11 AM
safetyjon safetyjon is offline
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it was the battery. fully charged, into the bike, kicked right over...horn is loud and happy. i'll be taking jetblack's advice and kicking it every start, then waiting to flip the lights on after it's revved a bit.

thanks everyone!
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  #11  
Unread 06-06-2012, 04:16 PM
Jetblackchemist Jetblackchemist is offline
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Nice, since you said you were getting pretty happy with the horn when you got it working; I figured the battery probably got drained in between all your work and fun.
Cheers!
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  #12  
Unread 06-08-2012, 10:45 PM
comp_wiz101 comp_wiz101 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
I'm not sure if there was a difference in horn mounts between the CA or C models between countries. I do know that the CA95 & CA160 horn mount is the same.

I modified the aftermarket horn mount to fit my earlier CA95. I may have to do it again on my CA160.
I live up here in Canada, but I have a CA95 from Washington state. Maybe if I ever see a C95 up here I'll bring a ruler....
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  #13  
Unread 06-09-2012, 05:28 AM
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Puzzleparadise Puzzleparadise is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by comp_wiz101 View Post
I live up here in Canada, but I have a CA95 from Washington state. Maybe if I ever see a C95 up here I'll bring a ruler....
I wonder how many C95 models are here versus the CA95 that get imported from the US..which reminds me I need to check on my neighbor's to compare models as I just recently found out he has one, quite the coincidence!
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  #14  
Unread 06-17-2012, 02:29 PM
safetyjon safetyjon is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spokes View Post
I have built or rebuilt Two CA95's, Two CA160's and I am working on a 3rd. Not to brag but to make a point.

I also busted my tail trying to figure out why the horn works with raw power, but when it's on-line it does not work...and dims lights and such.

Under the horn shell is a 10mm nut. The horn works kinda like points. You hit the button, the horn "points" close and you get sound. When the horn competes with the other electrical componants and is out of adjustment, there is not enough juice to vibrate the horn diaphram.

So before going through too much folly, take the horn shell off (no need to remove it) turn the ignition "on" (don't leave it on too long) and have someone depress the horn button while you adjust the contact nut. Give it a try.

Don't expect a loud horn. On one of my builds I used a new 6V aftermarket horn that was louder than stock.

Actually, I would like a nice compressed gas horn. The horn on the little Honda is close to useless.
I finally had some time to take Spokes' advice and fiddle with the nut inside the horn. After some tweaking it sounded a bit better, but not full enough. Smart me then decided to blow some contact cleaner onto the internal wiring and that totally worked. Thanks to Spokes for the motivation.

I decided to take the bike to the eastsideclassicaustin.com show this afternoon, right after I had gotten the horn to work properly. I rode the couple of blocks there, happily tooting the horn for my own amusement, parked the bike and hung out and chatted for a couple of hours. As I fired her up to head out, the clutch cable snapped at the lever. Started her up in neutral, slammed it into first and made my way home

If ain't one thing, it's another...eh?
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  #15  
Unread 06-17-2012, 05:01 PM
Grunt Grunt is offline
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That sux Safetyjon! Better there than on the road in traffic I suppose. If you haven't replaced cables on these bikes, beware of NOS cables. They may be in as bad or worse shape than the original (ie-dry rotted, and/or chrome pitted). In the case of my replacement front brake cable the rubber boot near the drum end had melted into the other cables in the set.
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