Do they have a build date ???

Hi all
Just been getting my daily fix of k5la noises on youtube
Which has led to these questions
Do they have a build date stamped on them anywhere as ive just heard ones from the 80s/90s/2011 in the same vid and they all sound different
Shouldn’t they all sound the same or do you reckon seals an diaphrams inside may be worn at different stages causing them to sound different ???

There are different versions of K horns. They don’t have for say a “build date” but the manifolds have numbers that can be related to around when they were built. There are lots of variations raised letter, non raised letter, sandcast, pat,pat pending bells. There is a sight that us collectors use that goes in depth on all horns, that has a lot of great information on this hobby.
Be prepared for a wealth of information but i will tell you we are NOT horn blasting to scare people we simply love great sounding real train horns.


I’ve seen many K5 configurations over there. Some of them change the bells to different notes just to see how they sound.

Cheers guys
Ripped this from a thread overthere if it helps you guys who already have k5s etc

1977 - Screen Printed Big Tag, Cork Gaskets, Bored #2 bell, large bore and base restrictor #5, unmarked "A"s on the #3 & #4 Bells, Wide font 3O1O9, upright 30115L on the manifold

1978 - (This change probably happened in late 77), O-Ring Grooves, Stamped Tag. Cork Gaskets were still used usually. 2 bell doesn’t get bored down to the correct note and the 5 bell does not get a base restrictor.

1979 - No tag on manifold.

Early 1980s - Manifold part number ,30115L, turned upside down.

1983-1986 - The change from large bore to small bore then from unmarked As on the 3 & 4 bells to stamped A markings

1989 - Wide font 3O1O9 to the modern narrow font 30109.

1996 - Square Serial Number Tags

1997/98 - Change from Square to Round Serial tags, this happened in the 18,000 Serial Number range.

2001 - Confirmed 27K Number

2006 - Late 40Ks or 50Ks change to raised letter models.

2007 - Early 2007 55K confirmed.

2010 - 67K and 73K confirmed. Boring of #2 bell starts again

2012 - 85K confirmed.

So here ya go! This is the best way to date your K5LAs and any Nathan horn post 96… None of this is set in stone but just from hours of research …
by the guy over there

63 belair
Be prepared for a wealth of information but i will tell you we are NOT horn blasting to scare people we simply love great sounding real train horns

I dont quite know how to take this or am i reading too much into it ^

Mate, The term can of worms springs to mind, lol some of the guys on here are respectable collectors of Horns and dont use their Horns the same way some of us do. Though, I cant believe each & every one has not at some point given a little cheeky blast lol lol :wink: (jokes).
I’ve been on here for a few years now & I like having collectors on the forum, they can be very very helpful and point you in the right direction when a horn malfunctions or you need a specific bit of info on a particular Horn etc etc


I think maybe that was read into too much I did not mean any harm by anything that I said I was just letting you know that sometimes if you get on there and boastabout blasting people you may not get the information that you’re looking to get there that’s all sorry if anybody took it the wrong way

No worrys
If you never ask youll never know the answer

  • Ive got sweet FA to boast about at the mo still saving :frowning:

Start with a Shocker 540kit & then keep saving for the K3 0r K5’s, then just swap over the Horns when you get them.:smiley:

Any mormal person would say yep that’s a good plan :slight_smile:
But not for me in my head I’ve already bought a k5 turn key kit + 20 gallons of air storage an extra compressors to deal with it :smiley:
Can’t deviate from my plan bud :smiley:

uk-z28 I like the way you think!

I’m waaay too logical, but I’d rather save longer, get what I really want, and spend less money overall.

But I totally understand why some people start smaller and work their way up.

Thanks ear2ear
Too many times in my lifetime have i wanted something and then settled for somthing else but not this time and still on course for the end of the months monster purchase!!!:smiley:

Ok guys I have a ? I traded a guy for a “set” of k horns but no manifold I have all 5 bells with the modern 30109 and stamped “A”. I have taken them all apart and cleaned it all real good and flipped my diaphragms to the the brand new looking sides out. And the red gaskets look new. My ? Is how do i know if they are authentic? I bought a manifold with 30115L up right with no tags. I really want to powder coat them black will this hurt them as far as sound goes? Thanks

No painting/powder coating wont hurt them at all
Mine are black powder coated and sound sweeeeeeeet :smiley:

by the way for the early 80’s horns the 30115L upside down is not right. my manifold is like that but my bells don’t have the same traits the early 80’s would. idk i could be wrong i posted pictures of mine on there and they told me it is around the late 90’s they all sound different so whats it matter

if it says airchime they are real the only fakes out there are made from RC investment casting. they cost just as much and sound like trash. most likely who ever you got them from stole them from the sounds of it and i have not heard of trains buying RC investment casting horns

I was approached by RC about two yrs ago to sell & stock their products. However, I decided against doing so, coz I was happy enough with Also their prices are about the same as any of the K series Horns.

Either on here or the whistle board ive read something about rc ripoffs :frowning: