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I'll never buy a TJ with an aftermarket alarm

Nimbley

TJ Enthusiast
Jun 21, 2018
138
Somewhere in the desert
The thing is thieves are good at what they do. No alarm is going to keep someone from taking your vehicle if they want it. Aftermarket alarms are all a waste of money. I had an 86 K10 stolen and it had a kill switch that I thought was completely hidden. My ex wife had our Durango stolen even with the factory passive anti theft armed.

I work in the auto industry and have been able to bypass any factory alarm on cars that came in on the hook. A new corvette, an A6 Audi, Nissan 300zx, and many more. With a little knowledge no alarm will keep you from starting and driving off in any vehicle. If you have a professional scan tool all you have to do is get the door open and I haven’t found a car yet that I can’t get open in less than 5 minutes. In Arizona car thieves are very good at what they do. A few years ago there were even thieves getting VIN numbers and going to the dealer to get new keys made, and got them. My K10 was never recovered. The Durango was recovered but totaled. The detective said it had 32 illegal immigrants in it when they finally caught them after a high speed, across the desert chase. All the seats were pulled and it was packed like a sardine can. The suspension was barely hanging. Down here they love vehicles that can cross the desert and hold a lot of people. It’s a serious problem. Almost everyone I know has had a car or two stolen. A guy I work with had his new F-350 taken in broad daylight. They caught the guy filling it up with fuel and it already had the seats out and packed with bottled water.

I remember back in the 90’s when Alpine alarms were popular. The local mockingbirds would copy the sound. Used to crack me up. Like Jerry said. If they really want it they’ll just pull it up onto the tow truck.
 

KCsTJ

TJ student
Supporting Member
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.
Jerry that suggests that your jeep was specifically targeted. Imo someone knew your 97 tj was well built and they had a plan and they knew what they were doing and specifically went after it.
Then either parted it out or hid it in a large box truck and took off, but somebody knew what mods it had and was too tempting.
 

Nimbley

TJ Enthusiast
Jun 21, 2018
138
Somewhere in the desert
Jerry that suggests that your jeep was specifically targeted. Imo someone knew your 97 tj was well built and they had a plan and they knew what they were doing and specifically went after it.
Then either parted it out or hid it in a large box truck and took off, somebody knew what mods it had and was too tempting.
Absolutely correct. Someone knew the value. That’s exactly why my K10 was stolen. I had over $15,000 invested and that was the late 90’s. It was a beautiful truck. The cop told me is was likely parted out in less than 12 hours.
 
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dudehitt

TJ Enthusiast
Feb 5, 2019
402
Phoenix
It really all depends on the install quality. My scion has one mainly for the remote start capability. I installed it myself 10-12 years ago. It doesn't do anything since the remote was destroyed a few years ago by a valet, but it doesn't cause any problems. Don't get anything installed at best buy or audio express or whatever you have. Do it yourself. If somebody wants the car the alarm isn't slowing them down. They can easily bypass the starter cutout. That's what i did to make it home from work when my remote died. Remote start to get the ac rolling 5 or 10 minutes before i left work when it's 118 degrees was worth it. Paying more for the one that keeps the clutch switch for the remote start was worth it. You couldn't get that from the factory back then.
 

Kiwi TJ

I don't suffer from insanity I enjoy every minute
Supporting Member
Ride of the Month Winner
May 3, 2016
4,226
Auckland New Zealand
Absolutely correct. Someone knew the value. That’s exactly why my K10 was stolen. I had over $15,000 invested and that was the late 90’s. It was a beautiful truck. The cop told me is was likely parted out in less than 12 hours.
I cant see you driving one of these....Why would anyone want to steal this K10 ;) 😁


Maruti-Alto-K10-Colors.jpg
 

psrivats

TJ Addict
Supporting Member
Jun 4, 2018
1,553
OR, USA
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.

View attachment 98397

Additional fuses found while lowering this spaghetti nest from under dash:
View attachment 98398

More fuses found after removing front dash plate under steering wheel:
View attachment 98399

I had a similar experience removing the Automate brand alarm the PO put in mine. I spent ~5 hours undoing that junk and it was very involved. It was not easy by any means as well. I installed a factory OEM skim module installed afterwards based on the info on the how-to section of this forum.

Good job removing that junk.
 
OP
I

indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
I got the alarm system removed. Some parts were installed proper with solder, but some only had twisted wire and electrical tape. The "vampire draw" went down from around .25 to .15 amps. Better, but still not acceptable.

Question. Mounted on the body sidewall under the driver side dash (to the left of driver legs) , there is a wire junction box with solenoid on the bracket next to it (see photo). When I connect the battery, that solenoid energizes, and remains energized until I disconnect the battery. Seems odd. I don't think that is correct behavior? It will always be drawing electricity.

I think that solenoid is responsible for all or part of the remaining vampire power draw. I wasn't able to find much info online about that solenoid. Does anyone know what that solenoid is for, and why it might be energizing?

Solenoid.jpg
 

dbbd1

go away...
Supporting Member
Jan 4, 2019
776
Oregon
That looks stock, weird. See if it remains energized when you close the doors (or pull fuse#4)
 
OP
I

indio

TJ Enthusiast
Apr 15, 2019
126
Chicagoland
That looks stock, weird. See if it remains energized when you close the doors (or pull fuse#4)
Yep I think it's a stock solenoid expected to be there, mounted to the stock bracket. I'll try the door thing and a few other tests.
 

AZ erik

New Member
May 29, 2019
17
Arizona
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.
View attachment 98675
Ahhh memories. 25 years ago I was upside down in many a car, truck, suv, tractor, boat etc nether regions either putting it in or taking it out. I thought being the owner would be easier, but when I had to crawl in and fix my installers installs I had to make some tough decisions. 1 was to send this *&%*&^ Camero over to a friend of mines shop for them to "fix it once and for all". Stupid remote start that refused to work 100%, and once it stopped the whole damn car would stop for several hours. If the remote start failed, the car wouldn't start with a key either. Remember those dumb ass chips in keys?? My friends shop spent 6 hours on it, thought it was fixed, 3 days later... nope! (In order for it to wok you actually hid a key in a box that would 'turn on' with the remote start, brilliant idea...) Then come to find out she trades the car into a local dealer, he sells it to someone, who gets the friggin receipt for the original install at my shop! Thankfully I had packed up and moved to Phoenix! F^&*n phantoms!! Watch out for a white 84 t top z28 in Tucson.

Funny thing was I nearly justified picking up a 04 Rubi with a AT because I could put in an autostart (totally needed in Phx) but then the pic of you under the dash sent stabbing pain in my kidneys lol
 
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AZ erik

New Member
May 29, 2019
17
Arizona
In my opinion a simple kill switch works so much better than an overpriced, over complicated and faulty alarm system.
That hidden magna switch is the key really. That works great. until the relay dies, but always carry a spare or two and know where that is.