Horn-ary Stent Surgery

Tubular structures break. Especially if they are attachments of a line which extends from a fixed structure: something’s got to give sometimes! When it happens, it usually renders the part useless. And THIS backyard mechanic hates to be victim to “designed obsolescence” at the hand of some corporate engineer with no grease under his nails! That’s why, when I found that my Westfield’s dual air horns were now a hollow, single-toned, weak whimper, I was angered to find that the air feed nipple on one horn body was broken off near the base. Out of that frustrating reality comes the documentation of the simple ‘fix’ I offer here.

From my medical background, it was easy to apply a simple STENT principle to this little disaster. I sized up the inner diameter of the broken feed-nipple, and found a spare piece of aluminum thin-wall tubing I had lying around with its OUTER diameter in the general range, and cut a piece long enough to fill about 1/2 inch of the damaged nipple’s central lumen. (Perhaps a slight amount of boring to size without further endangering the feeble strength of the compromised nipple will be required.) After being certain the length did not extend too far down into the horn body, and that the two broken ends fit together snuggly, I applied a small amount of metallic epoxy cement to one end of the stent and the main body side of the fracture site and set the stent in place. A small amount of the same cement on the remaining, exposed stent segment allowed the external, detached nipple segment to be gently eased into place.

Allowing the cement to set to a firm clay-like consistency before trimming any excess cement allows the newly repaired nipple to retain its former outer diameter with a renewed, or superior, inner strength. In this case, since the substance transported through the nipple is air, placing a same-sized stent in the undamaged horn’s nipple allows a similar airflow appropriately-shared flow and audio volume for each of the horns.

The Westfield’s obnoxious, protectively intrusive harmonic blast has been restored! What started as a small, frustrating but deflating piece of damage, has now bolstered not only the weak point of that vital safety system on any small car, but the pride and confident ingenuity of its owner/driver/mechanic! I hope this little technical ‘trick’ may give a ‘leg up’ to others in similar situations, and save a few more parts from the cast-off pile!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *