Hella Supertone Install Write-Up + Selfish 2011 WRX and El Camino Update Photos
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This is a discussion on Hella Supertone Install Write-Up + Selfish 2011 WRX and El Camino Update Photos within the Exterior & Appearance forums, part of the Tech & Modifying & General Repairs category; Hey folks! I haven't been around in a while but I've had a couple requests for information on installing Hellas ...

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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Hella Supertone Install Write-Up + Selfish 2011 WRX and El Camino Update Photos

    Hey folks! I haven't been around in a while but I've had a couple requests for information on installing Hellas since I posted on another thread that I had done the install. Full disclosure: my dad was an Electronic Materials Officer in the Navy for 30 years so I had quality help on my side which made this much easier for me. Hopefully I can give you guys some helpful information.

    But first...update photos of my Subie! I don't think I've posted since I tinted and added my only sticker so....

    my initials

    Dirt!

    And Also I don't think I've ever posted pictures of my other baby so, while I'm being a show off...



    Someday I'll get the two cars together for a photoshoot...the problem is that I never let anybody else drive either of my cars

    Ok...for what most of you reading this post probably want. The install was a pain for a few reasons, but in general is a pretty intermediate job. I wish I had taken pictures during the install, but instead all I have is a bunch of crappy iPhone photos in a dark garage using an LED lamp as a flash. If anyone wants to see anything more clearly I can try to get some pictures in daylight, but work makes that tough. More info on the install can be found here: Installing Hella Supertones in a WRX

    I bought my horns on amazon for something like $55 with mounting brackets (but not hardware) and the relay included. The purpose of the relay is just to allow you to use your stock horn wiring to trigger the horn while also being able to run heavier wire directly from the battery to supply the horns with more power.


    This is how the horns look mounted (again, sorry for the crap photos) on a 2011. You can see them extremely well in normal lighting conditions and definitely give the front end a meaner look. This is essentially a visual mod that I think goes pretty well with the "RA-R" pinstriping I did as well.

    The first thing you should do is remove the grille. Some prefer to remove the entire front bumper which is entirely fine as well. It would probably give you more space, but I was paranoid of scratches and the such, so I chose to just remove the grille. This is accomplished by removing the plastic clips along the top of the grille along with four small screws on the backside of the grille. Watch this video for more information on the removal of the grille: YouTube - How To Remove Grill Subaru Impreza 2008, 2009, 2010

    Once the grille is off, go ahead and remove the old horn. The wire for the stock horn is going to run to your relay once you mount it.

    In this photo the black wire running "up" from the relay is going to the battery ground and the red wire running "up" from the relay is going to the positive battery terminal. You can see the wires on the battery in this photo:

    The wires are tie-wrapped tightly, but you can see the thin red wire running to the positive terminal and the thin black wire running to the ground.

    The black wire going "down" from the relay is running to the stock horn wiring (and ultimately to the horn button in your steering wheel), and the red wire running "down" from the relay is headed to the horns.

    There aren't very many places to mount the relay, and I had a hell of time especially finding a spot that also offered a sufficient ground. I ended up mounting the relay just in front of the battery and ran a ground from the relay to the battery. If you can find a better spot to mount it that offers a sufficient ground, go ahead and put it there.

    So, now that the relay is mounted and we know where the wires are running, we can set up the Hellas. I had a rough time trying to get photos in the dark with the grille on, but they should illustrate everything clearly enough. I would strongly recommend getting the horns wired up before mounting them, as there is VERY little room between the back of the horns and the radiator.

    Remember the red wire running from the relay to the horns we showed earlier? As you may have guessed, we are going to need to splice that wire into two wires to run to the two horns (genius, eh?). I just exposed a section of the red wire, wrapped and soldered a new section of red wire to it, and wrapped the whole thing up tightly with some electrical tape. Now the single red wire running from the relay has split into two wires, with each end running to one of your horns. Pictures:

    This photo is taken through the opening in the bumper below the grille. You can see at the very left of this picture the beginning electrical tape where I spliced the red wires. The electrical tape in the middle section is actually factory installed for the factory horn wires, and is connected to that thin black wire that loops around, is tie wrapped, and eventually runs to the relay (remember the thin black wire running from the stock horn wiring to the relay?) This all actually tucks almost entirely out of view in the bumper. I just pulled it up and out for the purpose of taking the photos.

    In this photo you can see the (now spliced) red wires running up the radiator support and splitting off to the two horns. Note that both horns are grounded to the center bolt on the radiator support.


    This photo shows the left (driver's side) horn mounted. The right (passenger side) horn is in the foreground. The bolt showing on the left is the center bolt on the radiator support whereas the furthest right bolt is where the driver's side horn bracket is mounted. The supplied mounting bracket is nothing more than a flat piece of metal with a hole in one end. There is already a threaded hole with a bolt in it on the driver's side of the radiator support as well. Mounting the left horn is as easy as running this existing bolt through the bracket and tightening. Then, as the photo shows, run a ground from the horn to the pre-existing bolt at the center of the radiator support.

    Almost done! Now all that's left is mounting the right (passenger side) horn, which happens to be the biggest PITA of this install. There is a hole on the passenger side of the radiator support, but you'll find that the hole is not threaded and does not come with bolt. I mounted the horn using a bolt, nut, and lock-washer I happened to have laying around. If you don't have such hardware laying around, you're probably going to need to make a trip to the hardware store.

    Once you have the hardware, you'll find the difficult part is actually getting the nut and washer on the bolt. There is VERY little room between the radiator support and the radiator, and it is very easy to bend and flatten the radiator. The best solution I found was to get a wrench on the bolt and then screw the bolt into it from the front with another wrench. It's very tedious work and chances are you'll slightly bend the radiator in a few places, but the horn will at least cover it up so you won't see it.

    This is a photo of the passenger side horn after it has been mounted. Again, note that both horns are grounded to the center bolt on the radiator support.



    So there you have it! My Official Hella Supertones Install on a 2011 WRX thread. Apologies for the grammar; I'll try to do better next time I post a 6 page write-up. I'll also try to get some better pictures of how the horns look in the next couple of days. We've just had awful weather in SoCal the last month (i know...i know...we're a bunch of babies who cry every time it sprinkles) and I've had almost no time in the daylight hours to take photos.

    By no means do I claim to be an electronics expert, but feel free to ask any questions you have in this thread and I'll do my best to answer them.
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
    Devout Practicalist

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    Registered User dbya rx's Avatar
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    nice writeup. i think the supertones are pretty far down my list of mods, but i will make sure to keep the link in case i get around to it.

    im diggin the analog sticker. i have some family in the newport area, and im up there from time to time. if i see you around, i'll make sure to honk!
    Stink-eye Mob #814004
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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by dbya rx View Post
    nice writeup. i think the supertones are pretty far down my list of mods, but i will make sure to keep the link in case i get around to it.

    im diggin the analog sticker. i have some family in the newport area, and im up there from time to time. if i see you around, i'll make sure to honk!
    Hah...I have a season pass at Mt. High and board a lot but mostly have the sticker because it's my initials They do make outstanding outerwear though.

    I'll be sure to honk back...don't be surprised if it's VERY loud
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
    Devout Practicalist

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    Master Baiter EJ257's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElVerde

    Dirt!
    Your car isn't even dirty
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    Thank you so much.Everything I was looking for.I was contemplating whether or not to use the brackets that came with the horn.But I wanted to know how far they would stick out from behind the badge.There was no way of knowing this without taking the grille off .Thanks to your photo I think that I'll get a longer bracket so that the horns stick out a bit more.I was also scratching my head as to where to mount the relay.That seems like a good spot.I have to take off the bumper anyway since I'm installing a fog light kit as well.

    Thank you so much for the write up.You ARE a man of ur word.Sick El Camino,I can imagine why you don't let anyone drive her.
    Last edited by rage-wrx; 01-04-2011 at 06:50 AM.
    T0ny
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    If you are running this wired straight to the battery, I would really have a fuse in line of it somewhere. I don't know how much power those horns pull, but at least get a delayed blow fuse or something inline. That way if your power wire ever shorts out (More prone overtime than you realize probably... electric tape always seems to fail at the worst place/time), it doesn't short your battery out for long.

    Also, if you feel like going above and beyond, I'd get some shrink wrap on that splice or just use a wire nut and shrink wrap it. Just my $.02 from dealing with things like car audio connections. That horn wiring might see a good bit of tough weather.

    Good write up. Thanks =).
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    ^^^
    I got an inline 20 amp fuse,also I plan on running the wiring through loom.Yes and + on the shrink wrap.
    T0ny
    2011 WRX
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    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User anxiouz's Avatar
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    Nice writeup!
    Steve // 2010 Cadillac CTS-V // 2011 WRX hatchback (SOLD)

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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by EJ257 View Post
    Your car isn't even dirty
    This is because I'm very very smart. I snapped some photos on top of the dirt mound while she was still pretty and clean. THEN I got some donuts in...but really the dirt wasn't nearly as good as it looks in the pictures...very rocky and chopped up.
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    If you are running this wired straight to the battery, I would really have a fuse in line of it somewhere. I don't know how much power those horns pull, but at least get a delayed blow fuse or something inline. That way if your power wire ever shorts out (More prone overtime than you realize probably... electric tape always seems to fail at the worst place/time), it doesn't short your battery out for long.

    Also, if you feel like going above and beyond, I'd get some shrink wrap on that splice or just use a wire nut and shrink wrap it. Just my $.02 from dealing with things like car audio connections. That horn wiring might see a good bit of tough weather.



    Good write up. Thanks =).
    Thank you for mentioning this. I forgot to mention this when I did the write-up, but I would absolutely recommend putting a fuse in the line. I didn't have one when I wired it up, but I will be adding one. The horns pull enough power that it's worth worrying about.

    +1 on the making the splice connection as weather-proof as possible as well. You can never be too careful.

    Thanks for the input!
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
    Devout Practicalist

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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rage-wrx View Post
    Thank you so much.Everything I was looking for.I was contemplating whether or not to use the brackets that came with the horn.But I wanted to know how far they would stick out from behind the badge.There was no way of knowing this without taking the grille off .Thanks to your photo I think that I'll get a longer bracket so that the horns stick out a bit more.I was also scratching my head as to where to mount the relay.That seems like a good spot.I have to take off the bumper anyway since I'm installing a fog light kit as well.

    Thank you so much for the write up.You ARE a man of ur word.Sick El Camino,I can imagine why you don't let anyone drive her.
    Yeah, when I got them I strongly considered making a new bracket, but really didn't mind the way they look. I'm sure you'll like them either way.

    Taking the bumper off may very well be the best way to do it...I'd imagine you'll have much more room to work than I did.

    Glad I could help everybody!
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
    Devout Practicalist

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    Registered User Heide264's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ElVerde View Post
    The horns pull enough power that it's worth worrying about.
    Not the horns pulling power I'm worried about, its if your power lead touches any car ground due to weather damage or a bump or whatnot. That is the main reason you always inline fuse as close to the battery as possible... it minimizes the chances of a short between the battery and ground without a fuse. Otherwise, say you fused at say your amplifier in your trunk, and your wire got cut or damaged passing under your back seat somehow over time, you wouldn't be protected from a complete short (battery to car ground).

    Just put an inline fuse as close to the battery as you can and life will be good =).
    Quote Originally Posted by Trainrex
    He was throwing balloons filled with sulfuric acid and shrapnel at the swat team. They finally had to take him down with rubber bullets.
    2011 STi Build Log
    -Part 1 - Reading, Data Logging, and Analyzing Data
    -Part 2 - Turbocharger 101 & Basic Boost Control
    -Part 3 - EcuFlash, Experimental Defintions, and a Drive By Wire Intro

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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Heide264 View Post
    Not the horns pulling power I'm worried about, its if your power lead touches any car ground due to weather damage or a bump or whatnot. That is the main reason you always inline fuse as close to the battery as possible... it minimizes the chances of a short between the battery and ground without a fuse. Otherwise, say you fused at say your amplifier in your trunk, and your wire got cut or damaged passing under your back seat somehow over time, you wouldn't be protected from a complete short (battery to car ground).

    Just put an inline fuse as close to the battery as you can and life will be good =).
    Agreed...bottom line is that a fuse is something you *should* do.
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
    Devout Practicalist

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    Moderator rage-wrx's Avatar
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    @ ElVerde
    You mentioned that "The black wire going down from the relay is running to the stock horn wiring".Does this mean that I can just disconnect the stock horn and plug that wire into the Hella relay?
    T0ny
    2011 WRX
    2012 FXT

    The Big 2011/2012 Mod Thread


    Ooh,hang on. That is the throb of a turbocharged flat four engine. A sound which,all over the world,heralds the imminent arrival of a moron - JC.

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    Registered User ElVerde's Avatar
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    From memory...I don't believe the stock horn wiring is long enough to reach the point where I mounted my relay. If it were long enough, however, you would be able to essentially "plug" it straight into the relay.

    The point of the relay is basically just to allow you to trigger your horn with the stock wiring while allowing you to run power straight from the battery to the horns.
    ~ADAM
    70 El Camino SS clone
    2011 WRX Sedan in Satin White Cobb Stage 1+AEM Cold Air Intake
    Click here for my Progress Thread
    Installing HellaSupertones? Click here.
    N.E.R.D. #4
    Devout Practicalist

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