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Alarming reaction



blog-0154503001447591830.jpgNow my car is worth something (it was always priceless to me) I figured I should probably add an alarm and immobiliser with remote locking. I am in two minds as to the effectiveness of alarms in a a lot of cases, particularly if a professional is targeting your car. That being said, most (potential) car thieves are opportunists who will look for the easiest target and may move on to easier pickings if confronted with difficulties. As the old joke goes, you do not need to out run the lion, only the other slowest person running.

I was mainly keen to get the benefit of remote door locking at the touch of a button. Mainly because this would increase security since I would be more likely to use it every time I left the car and both doors were sure to be locked. Prior to the rebuild my locks had felt a bit delicate (my wife broke a key in the door lock a number of years ago) - I had hoped to limit reliance on the key in the lock to minimise risk of this happening again. After stripping the doors, cleaning, lubricating and adjusting the locks, they once again popped up with the key just like new. By this point I had committed myself to the remote locking but it was not strictly necessary (apart from me being lazy).

Having installed a few car alarms in my teens semi-professionally, it was pretty straight forward. I deliberately chose a relatively simple model from a reputable local company since the electronics are not always the best and I wanted the support of a local firm if I needed to return anything. I chose a Rhino GTS alarm system and an add on Mongoose central door locking kit. The alarm is featured here:


I fitted the door lock motors first after reading several posts here at the FAQ and my2002tii.com I could see the easiest way of fitting the motors. I drilled the door shells and pop-riveted the mounting plates provided with the kits to the shell. The actuation rod was then bent to fit and secured using the provided clamp. With the door locked (rotate the locking clamp on the door to simulate it being shut) and the lock motor compressed, this then set the height to secure the motor to the mounting plate. My lock motor kit had actually come with 4 motors for a 4 door car. I carefully cut the rear door wiring from the loom (they had basically been spliced together with soldered joints) and insulated the bare ends with heat shrink. You can identify the rear door cables since they are longer than the front. The drivers side has 5 wires so that the lock sensing contact in the drivers door motor can sense the position of the lock and drive the other(s) to match when using the key. I cut opposing holes in the door shell and the A post door pillar using a stepped drill 'unibit'. Into these holes I installed grommets to protect the cabe where it passes through. The grommet in the pillar is sized to be a good fit on the cable and the one in the door the next size up to allow the cable to pass through as the door opens and closes.

I fished the door motor cables through the kick panels using a thin plastic fish tape before pushing the grommets into place. The system works using 'negative pulses' from the alarm via two wires to open and close the locks. The relay box has its own live feed and ground wire which were connected to a secondary 4-way fuse box that I added under the dash on a new 30A fused switched feed from the fuse box. I will add a new stereo head unit at some stage and will take my supply from this. The ground was the right hand side heater box stud.

The alarm wiring was pretty straight forward. Firstly there was a bunch of wires that I would not be using for various accessories. Sodd's law says that as soon as I cut them off flush, I will establish an immediate need for them so as long as I keep them viable, I will never need them. These had their ends insulated and were neatly bundled up out of the way using zip ties. The rest of the wiring was run into the vicinity of the ignition switch area to interface with the direction indicators (two wires), the feed from the ignition switch to the starter motor to kill cranking, the wire to the drivers side door contact and power /ground. There is a nice bright flashing LED which I installed into the padded top cover of the steering colum, just in front of the instruments. This is clearly visible from outside the car and probably provides 90% of the deterrent ( with the window sticker providing the rest).

The siren, which is battery backed, I installed in the heater plenum. It is reasonably protected from the elements here plus there is an existing hole been drilled by a PO for a clumsy spot light installation. They actually installed the relay behind the dash, spliced the relay operating coil into the wiring for the high beam at the switch and run the high current wire from the battery, around the engine compartment, through the firewall to the relay. The line was then run back again by the same path to go to bumper mounted spotlights. I have currently removed them but you can be sure that I will not be using a similar method to wire them.

All connections are either insulated crimp terminals (where wiring direct to a terminal) or soldered splices where I am tapping into an existing wire. Depending upon access under the dash and the amount of slack in the existing wire depends which splicing method I use. I will try not to cut the existing wire if I can help it ( so that if the soldered joint is 'dry' then it will not effect the underlying function and its reliability. If there is lots of slack and easy access, I will run a sharp blade around the insulation in two places approximately 1.5" and strip the insulation in between. The wire is then folded in half and a length of heat shrink passed over the top of the two wires. The wire to be added is then stripped and wrapped into the folded exposed wire from the existing wire. The wrapped wire is then soldered and then the heat shrink pulled over the top of the joint and shrunk into place with a heat gun. If there is less slack then I will not fold the wire, instead I will strip the existing wire in the same way, solder the new wire when wrapped around the exposed copper of the existing wire. This is then wrapped in good quality insulation tape and finished with a small zip tie to strain relieve the added wire and prevent the insulation tape from unravelling.

I have not quite finished the wiring and installation under dash. I am planning an interior refurb and when I do I will remove the dash and refit the centre console. When I do, I intend to mount the alarm box and relay box using double sided Velcro to the firewall (try and minimise drilling holes). The boxes are currently zip tied to the top of the steering column (which is what the manufacturer actually recommends). I also want to take the chance to wrap the wiring tidily in insulation tape along the whole loom to minimise the ease of tracing wiring. Again, this is not the most secure arrangement but it would be (literally) a headache to sit inside the car and try and unpick the wiring while the alarm is blaring. Once wrapped in this way you would need to be pretty familiar with the cars wiring to differentiate the alarm wiring from anything else. I will edit this blog to add pictures under the dash at a later date.

A further thing I tackled was the ignition lock. When I first got the car, somebody tried to break into it with a screwdriver into the door lock. Luckily for me (I guess) they only managed to break the drivers door lock barrel and departed empty handed. One of the first jobs that I did on the car was to fix this. At the time, pre- FAQ for me, the only replacement that I could find was a full set of door handles and ignition lock from Jaymic. Not cheap. I swapped out the door handles but left the ignition lock on the shelf for years as I could be bothered drilling out the security bolts and stripping the steering column. After doing some research on the FAQ, I worked out that I could remove just the lock barrel and replace it with minimal effort. The new lock assembly had the roll pin pulled out. I found a small self tapping screw and drove it in just enough to bite. I then gripped the screw with mole grips and then pulled the pin out by levering with a screw driver. The old lock, I basically just tapped the roll pin under the surface of the lock shroud and the barrel just pulled out. Put the new lock in its place and tapped the roll pin removed from the new lock assembly to secure it. Nice new, tight lock finishes the job ( plus one less key to carry around!).

Lock motor attached to the door.


Operating rod secured to the door lock.


Cable and grommets installed.


The end result


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Thanks again...


I just used you automatic door write up as a guide, it really helped.


I'll just add the following tip, for the wiring from car to door, to help others.


To pass the wire from the car to the door, I drilled two ¾” holes, 1 on the door, other on the a pillar.

I used a rubber grommet on the a-pillar and a plastic grommet on the door + a rubber hose for the wires to sit in.
The rubber grommet on the car (a-pillar) is smaller (in terms of inner diameter), so the rubber hose is snug (held in place), the plastic grommet on the door has a larger inner diameter so the rubber hose will be fed in to the door.




Final result:


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