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I'll never buy a TJ with an aftermarket alarm

indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
New rule. I will never, ever, EVER buy a TJ having a 3rd party alarm system.

I'm going to need back surgery after the time I've spent today laying under this dash. Is it normal to have all these extra fuses under the dash, not part of the standard fuse block? Are they stock fuses or added by previous owner?

I watched videos and read about how to remove an alarm system, but this mess does not seem to match what I saw and read.

P1100907.jpg


Additional fuses found while lowering this spaghetti nest from under dash:
P1100897.jpg


More fuses found after removing front dash plate under steering wheel:
P1100911.jpg
 
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indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
Wow, that is a disaster...
Every night I have to disconnect the battery cable, else the vampire draw of this system will cause a dead battery if vehicle is not driven for 3 days. What worries me are all these extra inline fuses and also the many thick wires involved, which indicates they might carry a lot of current. Why so many wires, relays and fuse ... I don't know.
 

KCsTJ

TJ student
Supporting Member
Research parasitic battery drain. I found a couple nice pieces on how to troueshoot and find parasitic drain. Not too hard but an extra pair of hands to assist will help.
You will need a basic multimeter.
 
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I

indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
Research parasitic battery drain. I found a couple nice pieces on how to troueshoot and find parasitic drain. Not too hard but an extra pair of hands to assist will help.
You will need a basic multimeter.
Yep a few weeks ago, my son helped as I tested battery drain with a multimeter.

This system includes various features including remote start, some kind of motion sensing aspect, and a few other things. And the system is known to draw amps, such that the recommendations I found online noted, in the event battery is draining too much, attach a trickle charger if the vehicle will be sitting several days. Well, there is no way I am attaching a trickle charger when parking this Jeep. My Jeep should start always, no matter how or where I park it.

I tried setting to the "valet" mode, but either that mode is not working, or it doesn't cut down on the amp draw. Honestly for me, reliability trumps everything else. And I've already had my son stuck in the Target parking lot, calling me for instructions on how to stop the alarm going off. I'm just not getting value out of this system that some other users might.
 
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indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
Unless it’s tied to the ignition in some way, you can just pull all the fuses that are part of the alarm system.
It has an ignition interlock solenoid. I found the location and will need to splice the original wire back together. Then maybe I could remove the 9 or so fuses scattered around the wiring. But I'm just not sold on this spaghetti nest, and might spend this evening in the garage yanking all of it. Currently I'm tagging all the wires, so I know where they go.
 

dudehitt

TJ Enthusiast
Feb 5, 2019
402
Phoenix
Find the brain, look up the installation instructions (try the12volt.com), work backwards. Good ones are complicated, it may take a while.
 
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indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
Is it normal on a TJ, for the turn signal to work, even when the vehicle is turned off with no key in the ignition?

On my TJ, if I flip the turn signal, the taillight starts blinking even with no key. (I tried my other Chevy vehicle as a sanity test, and the turn signal does not work without key turned on.)
 

Chapman4266

TJ Enthusiast
Mar 2, 2019
148
Snyder TX
Is it normal on a TJ, for the turn signal to work, even when the vehicle is turned off with no key in the ignition?

On my TJ, if I flip the turn signal, the taillight starts blinking even with no key. (I tried my other Chevy vehicle as a sanity test, and the turn signal does not work without key turned on.)
No. Not normal
 

Nimbley

TJ Enthusiast
Jun 21, 2018
138
Somewhere in the desert
Whoever installed that is an asshole that has no business working on vehicles. Sad part is it was probably installed by a “professional” audio shop. I’ve probably fixed hundreds of electrical problems over the years induced by people like that.
 

Chris

Administrator
Staff Member
Sep 28, 2015
38,128
Salem, Oregon
Having owned more used cars than anyone has a right to, I can tell you first hand that my biggest nightmare with used cars is aftermarket alarm systems. I've had to "de-rig" so many aftermarket alarms from so many vehicles I've owned it's not even funny. Each one is a different nightmare.

It blows my mind that people think these aftermarket alarms are actually theft deterrents. All they are is a waste of money. A good thief doesn't give a shit about your alarm and can easily work around it.

All these things do is create stupid wiring messes and cluster fucks of confusion (in my experience at least).
 

schmoupe

TJ Enthusiast
Mar 12, 2018
121
NJ, USA
Having owned more used cars than anyone has a right to, I can tell you first hand that my biggest nightmare with used cars is aftermarket alarm systems. I've had to "de-rig" so many aftermarket alarms from so many vehicles I've owned it's not even funny. Each one is a different nightmare.

It blows my mind that people think these aftermarket alarms are actually theft deterrents. All they are is a waste of money. A good thief doesn't give a shit about your alarm and can easily work around it.

All these things do is create stupid wiring messes and cluster fucks of confusion (in my experience at least).
In my opinion a simple kill switch works so much better than an overpriced, over complicated and faulty alarm system.
 
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tworley

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
May 23, 2018
2,271
Morrison, CO
I know the feeling. I thought it was a pretty cool feature when the PO told me about it but it caused nothing but issues. Take your time, mark the correct wires and again, take your time.
20160901_081104.jpg
 

g.hayduke

TJ Enthusiast
Feb 19, 2019
194
New Mexico
Here's the pile of shit I pulled out of my 2015 Tacoma:
20180120_140313.jpg


I just disconnected the battery, got under the dash and started removing every thing that was clearly not stock. It was all connected together so I really didn't need any documentation. It was obvious what was added and therefore what needed to be removed. It had remote start and all sorts of crap.

The hardest part was a small number of wires that had been cut close to their termination point which made it difficult to splice them back together.
 

S.McArthur

TJ Enthusiast
Supporting Member
May 31, 2018
626
Greenbrier, TN
Had to remove one out of mine as well, I hate electrical tape. It doesn't take that much longer to solder/heat shrink wires together for a nice clean install.
Here's the pile of shit
That looks exactly like the rats nest I pulled out of mine, all half-assed under the steering column. Damn alarm beep sounded like I was parking a ferrari and good luck getting out once you start the Jeep; damn thing would lock the doors and you couldn't get out until you shut the Jeep off. No amount of pressure or beating the shit out of the door would allow you to flip the switch over to unlock.
 

RangerRick

"A Jeep Rescue" Home for the abused & neglected.
Supporting Member
Aug 12, 2016
310
West Coast
4 of the 12 Jeeps I have had in the last 20 years have had all kinds of monkey business alarm crap on them. I may have some pictures of some of the alarm stuff I pulled from the latest TJ I have. It was crazy the mess and butt splices, those fold over and squeeze with pliers taps, blade connectors etc. All poor quality, miles of extra wires just zip tied and wadded on top of factory stuff...... Bizarre that an employer will pay a "installer" to hack up a customers vehicle to put some crappy alarm in it. These same installers usually put your car stereo in at auto accessory shops too so you can guess how well that job goes.

A favorite cut and splice point is always the main ignition start lead from the ignition key as a "starter disable" for the alarm to trigger some generic relay to allow your vehicle a start. They also like to tap into the lights so everything can flash or blink.

I wonder how many of these alarms will be installed on a Tesla or some other late vehicle?

Fortunately, these guys and alarms are going by the way of the Do-Do bird....... Eventual extinction.

Locking your soft-top Jeep is asking for your top to get knifed even though the thief or intruder could simply slide the zipper with their fingers.......

I've found the best deterrent is a fake alarm that's super simple to install in a couple places:
1. A blinky high intensity LED in the dash prominently placed where at night or in a parking structure you can see it flashing so it "looks" the part.
2. Activating the anti-theft lamp hole in the instrument cluster with another S-L-O-W blinking LED so when those would-be thieves look in the window at the dash they see it blinking there and think, hmmm.... this may take more time than I'm willing to spend disabling for the quick smash-&-grab. Basically buying you time that they may get noticed or caught peeping around.

That's it....

If someone wants your unsecured property badly enough, they will roll up with a trailer dolly, flatbed or box truck and it will disappear without a trace ALARM OR NO ALARM unless you have security servelance watching over, the Jeep is pinned in where they can't get to it easy enough or it would risk them getting caught and a good guard dog is on duty...

Remember the yard signs posted No Trespassing: (Never-mind the dog...... Beware of Owner! 🔫) ?

Too bad stealing a man's car wasn't tanamount to stealing his horse back in the day with a similar punishment.
 

Jerry Bransford

TJ Guru
Supporting Member
Nov 9, 2015
10,961
Escondido California
Personally I see two issues with aftermarket alarms. First, not many people do anything but cover their ears or ignore a car alarm when it goes off. Too many false alarms... "Crying Wolf" too many times will make people immune to such warnings and they'll ignore them all. Second, most are installed by minimum wage kids who barely can get a car stereo working but with absolutely terrible wiring practices. Wires that are just twisted together, often just barely covered with electrical tape ready to fall off when it gets hot, sometimes not even covered at all. Wires that are crimped together with a pair of pliers as the crimping tool, ready to fall out from a faulty crimp.

Good alarm systems are expensive, and good alarm systems aren't good at all when you have some high school kid trying to follow wiring instructions that make no sense to him due to no electrical/electronic education.

Factory alarm systems are pretty good, primarily because they're properly installed.

But alarm or no alarm system, many car thieves simply ignore the horn honking when it happens and drag/tow/carry the vehicle without even trying to hotwire/start it. That's what happened with my '97 TJ stolen nearly ten years ago. A witness said the thief backed a flatbed tow truck up to it and dragged it backwards up onto the truck bed and took off with it. He never even opened the door. The witness said he never dreamed it was being stolen, he thought it was being taken to a shop to fix it.