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Premium Member
1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
AWESOME upgrade on factory horn

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The latest and greatest on getting rid of the anemic factory ML horn is an air horn produced by the Italian company STEBEL. This is a one-piece unit that is a simple two-wire hookup using the factory leads.

This horn is called the NAUTILUS and it is LOUD!!! Virtually no lag time that is usually associated with electric air horns that have the compressor hooked to the horns via a length of tubing. The Stebel website will give you an idea of their sound/pitch, but the sound clip doesn't do them justice.....

I found them online for about $40.00 shipped and they are simply amazing!

Next time someone cuts you off or wanders into your lane while on their cell phone, a quick dose of this baby will get their attention.....

http://www.stebel.it/stebel/index.htm
 

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2000-ML430
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13 Posts
I used to have them on my Vespa Scooter (Quadrophenia - if anybody knows the movie...) and was able to scare the shit out of people !!!!!! There really nice and you can give people a heart attack...
 

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2000 ML320
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181 Posts
I remember that there are two "punny" horns on my ML. I'm embarrased to use the horn. People look at you like there is something really wrong with you and your vehicle. Did you put in two of these new horns or just one? What supplier did you use?
Thanks
Mark
 

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99ML320 (retired) C230 530xi 911-C4
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2,229 Posts
Please read THIS publication on horn upgrade.

AN EXCELLENT MOD in my opinion and very well written:

http://www.benzworld.org/publications/pub.asp?id=277
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #8 ·
This is the site I bought mine at.......best price I could find. He has sold 100's of the Stebel Nautilus to bikers and has received nothing but compliments on them.....very compact and did I mention LOUD !!!!

http://www.casporttouring.com/store/merchant.mvc?Screen=PROD&Product_Code=Stebel11135&Category_Code=horn

roadsession......I'm sure the 55's horns are much better than the factory ML horns but I don't think they will really compare with the Stebel....plus I bet the Nautilus is cheaper...

One tip.........you CAN use the factory power/switch lead in addition with the factory ground wire.....

however.....for maximum benefit, use the factory leads to trip a relay and run seperate leads for a hot wire directly to the battery and battery ground. If you have driving lights/auxilary fog lights you are probably familiar with benefits of a relay to supply full power to an accessory and use the factory wires just to trip the relay....

Here is a site describing the benefits of relays for headlights but it also applies to horns/electric fans/etc......


http://www.madelectrical.com/electricaltech/brighter-headlights2.shtml

I would suggest hooking up the horn using the factory wiring (no brainer) and if satisfied (you will be!!) you're done.....If you are like me and want maximum output....upgrade wiring with a relay..
 

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2005 ML350 SE (current); 05 ML350 SE & 99 ML320 (former)
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685 Posts
Springerfever, did you install one or two of these Nautilus horn? Can you post a photo of your install? Thanks.
 

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Mercedes "M32"
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961 Posts
That sounds great! I want to get on of these... as asked above, did you only get one or two?? how about the alarm horn atached to the firewall?? did you switch that one out as well??
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Only one is needed and I used the leads on the drivers side wheel well. On the other side I just removed the horn all together and taped the leads.

Two would be overkill, but you got me thinking. With two, I believe the actual sound waves might keep'm in their own lane!

The alarm horn up under the hood remains the same old beep...beep. You COULD run leads from the alarm wiring to the new horn (or just splice in where convenient) if you wanted the Stebel activated as the alarm horn

I'll add some pictures later this afternoon
 

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Premium Member
1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Here are a couple of pictures of my installation. My 99 ML has one of the factory light bars on the front.
There was a good location on part of the support underneath in the wheel well that made an excellent mount for the horn. I simply removed one of the bolts and replaced it with a grade eight that was the same size as the horn mount bolt. Flat washer along with a nylon lock nut finished off the install. Took maybe ten minutes.

You could possibly use the original horn mount but it would require a little modification to insure that the Stebel compressor is in an upright position.If you look around enough just under the front bumper you should be able to find a suitable location where it is somewhat protected from the weather.
 

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99 ML430 / 92 190E Sportline
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508 Posts
MADSLEG - 4/2/2006 1:51 PM

I want louder horn too
But i dint want to deal with too much install

i bought 2 pairs of HELLA Horns.
http://www.performanceproducts.com/productpage.aspx?pid=103265&name=Hella+Twin+Supertone+Horns

and install 1 relay for each pair. it is really loud and sounds good too....
 

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Mercedes "M32"
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961 Posts
Thanks for the pics... I think I may have to mount mine higher though. I dont think the stebel will like being fully submerged on a regular basis. LOL.
 

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1999 ML430 and 2003 ML55
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2,274 Posts
Discussion Starter · #18 ·
ML Offroad

Actually that's pretty funny........brings to mind a horn that is gargling !!

The Stebel comes with a horn relay, the mounting hardware, and a small snap-in piece that fits into the airway for the horn with a male end for a piece of plastic tubing. So you see..this horn is perfect for your fording streams, chasing down alligators ,whatever, because it has a provision for a snorkel !!

BTW...........you might need a magnifying glass with the skimpy instructions that come with the Stebel's. Plus, those wacky Italians like to use generic pictures for worldwide distribution of their products. Basically....supply 12 volts to horn, mount in upright position and try to protect from wheel spray. It also gives you a few diagrams to hook up the horn in conjuction with the regular horn so you can choose between the two. Pretty entertaining just figuring out what the pictures are trying to tell you !!
 

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Brabus ML 270CDI
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1,904 Posts
springerfever,

show us some pics of the mounting (brackets, bolts ,e tc...).

i.e some pics of the rear, or where the horn is mounted!.

thanks!. Seems the best horn without going for those trumpets! Liked the preview sounds on the web site!.
 

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2000 ML430, 2008 GL550, 2008 Ford F250 Superduty
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815 Posts
hey spring... could you tell if there was a db increase or decrease by adding the relay? i can understand being able to tell the diff with lights but for something like a horn where it's momentary, i'm wondering if i should go through the hassle of relaying it.

in case there is, what guage wire did you use?

thanks...
 
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