It’s hard to imagine a time when our Spare Tire Delete Bracket (STDK) didn’t exist. As the go-to bracket for installing our popular Conductor’s Special Train Horn Kits in newer trucks, it has been such an integral part of many of our customers builds that some people ask how you would even install your kit without one. While our Spare Tire Delete Bracket certainly isn’t necessary to install your kit, it definitely makes life easier, allowing you to spend less time on install and more time honking your horns!
TIME TO SPARE
Everything you ever wanted to know about our Spare Tire Delete Kit!
Life Before the STDK
We are confident that ANYONE can install our train horn kits on their own. All you need is some basic hand tools and some 12-volt knowledge. That being said, for a full train horn kit, the installation process can be time-consuming when doing it on your own. If you are mounting everything directly to the vehicle, you have to figure out where everything is going to be mounted, drill holes for everything, mount your horns, tank and compressor and wire and plumb everything. Nothing that you would need any special tools or certifications for, but it really is no surprise that customers were asking for a simpler solution.
On top of that, it can be challenging to ensure that the components like your compressor are installed correctly. While many of the pros could install everything properly and have a clean professional look, your average Joe may only get everything on where he can find room and unfortunately a lot of installs could end up just looking thrown together. This entire process was done under the truck, so unless you have an air-conditioned garage you were doing your install out in the elements.
Searching for a Solution
It wasn’t long before people started looking into ways to make installation a little easier by either taking their vehicle to a shop to have it professionally installed and having them make custom brackets for their kits or putting something together themselves. While these two options definitely freed up time for the customer or made their kit look more professional, not everyone had the budget to pay for an 8+ hour install if they were making brackets as well and not everyone has welding skills.
The problem with custom brackets is they are custom made for that specific vehicle. If you wanted to upgrade your ride you had to get all new brackets made, having to go through the installation process all over again. As a company that takes pride in the fact that the majority of our kits are universal and fit most vehicles, we were determined to find a universal solution for customers installing our kits.
Spare No Details
Long before anyone was building brackets for our kits, customers had been using the room underneath their truck where their spare tire would be for years. That area tends to have to most room out of anywhere on most newer trucks, so naturally, when brackets were starting to be made, that was the most common spot to install your kit. It makes all the sense in the world because most truck guys ( like us) would quickly upgrade their tires to something bigger, rendering their spare tire useless. We knew that this would be the best spot for our bracket, but developing a universal bracket that bolts directly to the frame is impossible due to different style frame rails on different trucks.
Then we had the idea: What if you could crank up your entire kit, just like you did with the spare tire? We started researching how to make this work and we finally came up with the bracket you see before you today. Of course, there were challenges along the way. Some of our horns were way too large or heavy to be able to fit on a bracket that would crank up in place. Luckily, our flagship horns, the Shocker XL Train Horns, are incredibly light and mounted individually. It was almost as if our Shocker XL horns were made to go on our bracket. After testing a few different methods of fitting the compressor and tank with enough room for the bracket to lock in tightly against the Spare Tire rack rails, our Spare Tire Delete Bracket was ready to meet the world.
Changing the Game
With our Spare Tire Delete Bracket able to be hoisted just like a spare tire, this opened up a whole new world of possibilities. No more did you have to spend a full day in the sun under the truck figuring out where each component would fit. With the entire kit sitting atop the bracket, you could build it up from the comfort of your air conditioning, simply connecting your wiring and cranking it up after you got it built. Here is a great article from our friends at Diesel Tech Magazine walking you through the step-by-step process.
Being able to build the entire kit on the bracket took a lot of the guesswork out of installation and cut install time in half! This not only made life easier for those who choose to do the installation themselves but with half the install time, anyone that went to a professional installer would have to pay half as much for the same install! With how high some installation hourly rates are nowadays, our Spare Tire Delete Bracket not only pays for itself, it could potentially save you hundreds on install cost!
When you change vehicles, you used to have to pull everything off individually and have to redo the wiring and the plumbing. Many times it would be such a headache that people would just leave their old kits on the old vehicle and just buy a new kit for their ride. With the introduction of the Spare Tire Delete Bracket, you finally had a train horn kit that would last longer than the vehicle you install it on.
Of course, when you have a good thing, people will naturally want more of it. While our Spare Tire Delete Bracket was an instant hit with our customers, almost immediately people were wanting to get more air on to the bracket. Our most popular kits have a 2-gallon or 5-gallon variation, and while all of our premier 2-gallon kits would easily fit, getting a 5-gallon tank on there just wasn’t going to happen.
So we went back to the drawing board, determined to get more air on our Spare Tire Delete bracket. What we found is, while we couldn't get a 5-gallon tank to fit, we could get an extra 2-gallon tank if we moved around the compressor to the middle of the bracket. It definitely wasn't easy to get it all to fit, but with enough research and trial and error, we were able to do so and the Spare Tire Dual Delete Bracket was born.
Of course, in true HornBlasters fashion, we couldn’t just give you the bracket and leave you to figure out how to make it work. We made a point to include absolutely everything you would need to run dual tanks if you already have a kit. There is nothing more frustrating than getting a new toy and having to run to the parts store to complete your install. We have been there and that’s why we make sure all of our kits are complete and the Spare Tire Delete Bracket and the Spare Tire Dual Delete Bracket are no different. Even with our Spare Tire Dual Delete Bracket, you not only get the mounting hardware, we actually give you the tank and all the fittings needed to connect to your existing kit.
The Future of Mounting Brackets
As you already know, when the Spare Tire Delete Bracket first came out, it changed the way people approached mounting brackets for horn kits and raised the bar of what our customers should expect. Naturally, this has inspired us to look for new and innovative ways to mount various kits and inspiring fabricators to step up their game. Competition and innovation will always inspire new and exciting ideas. In fact, we have developed and released three new mounting brackets in just the past year! It’s that time again to change the game. Make sure to check out our other mounting solutions to learn more about our brand new Goliath Mount and Wrango Kit!