Dashboard Diary, Chapter 6 -- It starts! - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat
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1992-1999 Series I L27 (1992-1994 SE,SLE, SSE) & Series II L36 (1995-1999 SE, SSE, SLE) and common problems for the Series I and II L67 (all supercharged models 92-99) Including Olds 88's, Olds LSS's and Buick Lesabres Please use General Chat for non-mechanical issues, and Performance and Brainstorming for improvements.

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Old 04-14-2003, 03:51 PM   #1
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Default Dashboard Diary, Chapter 6 -- It starts!

At this point we've completed all the hookups for the BulldogSecurity RS-102 remote starter, and the time has come to push the button.



Okay, that went well.

Let'* think about this for a while.

First of all, calling BulldogSecurity Tech Support has proven a complete waste of time in the past: three emails and two voicemails for various questions over the past few months have been completely ignored, so we won't bother them any more.

Second, we can see that the car is unlocking, the ignition is activated, but the starter is not cranking. After our failed starting attempts, the Security light is solidly lit, and the car will not crank using the key either, until we wait three minutes for the Security interlock to reset. Therefore the bypass module must be set to the wrong resistance value, the car thinks it'* being hotwired, and is killing its fuel-pump relays and starter cranking in defense.

We spend more time staring at the VATS bypass module installation manual and squinting at the resistance settings. We know which value of key we have from the VATS Interrogator at the Ace Hardware store. We have 15 DIP switches to set inside the bypass module in order to dial up the correct resistance setting, which in turn will fool the car into thinking the correct key is in the ignition. After comparing the right row of settings in the table for our key with what you had punched into the switches of the bypass module, we find one DIP switch flipped the wrong way. Son of a gun.



WooHoo! It runs! By itself!

Watching this was a new experience, because I am the only one who drives my car, so I've never been standing outside of it when a 3.8-litre supercharged engine comes to life. I can now tell you how it sounds. It sounds _cool_.

After a few seconds, the parking lights come on. Oh, yeah, forgot to program the controller for Tach mode, so parking light confirmation is not showing until the controller detects the voltage surge from a running engine. A few seconds of reprogramming according to the manual, and we soon have the controller listening to its Tach input. This results in a much shorter starter cranking time, and the parking lights go on immediately as soon as the controller gets the Tach input signal.

One weirdness remains to be fixed. Per instructions, the controller'* factory alarm shutdown wire was connected to the Unlock lead wire from the key cylinder in the driver'* door. This grounds the Unlock wire to prevent the car'* security system from going off, as intended, but in actual fact on the Bonneville this seems to be not only unnecessary but also ends up unlocking the car, since that Unlock lead does double-duty: it does disarm the factory alarm, but also signals the central locking system to unlock the whole car, including a loud clunk from the gas filler door. So this is not exactly the discreet, slick self-starting procedure we had intended, plus of course you have to press another button to relock the car if you want to leave it unattended. When time permits, I'm going to disconnect the factory alarm shutdown wire since I don't think the Bonneville needs it. (I'll have to try locking the car, reaching in through an open window and seeing if the engine will start that way.)

(P.*. from Andy on 8/18/2003: The shutdown wire _is_ needed after all; disconnecting it will cause the alarm to go off whenever the car starts...)

A more serious problem appeared as well. The Lock/Unlock buttons are wired to the interior lock switch of the driver'* door. Although they operate the locks just fine, the factory Security system is not being set unless the driver'* door is open at the time, because the car thinks the locks are being operated by someone who'* still in the car. (If the driver'* door is _open_ when the locks are set, the alarm will be armed since the driver is assumed to be getting out of the car.)

I'm going to reroute the Lock/Unlock wires so that they're connected to the exterior key lock cylinder wires (yellow and light green respectively) instead of the interior rocker switch. This way the locks will still operate as before, but the alarm will be armed when the car is locked, since the signal is coming from the exterior (key) lock instead of the interior lock switch.

So, basically it all works. To improve the distance from which the key-ring transmitter can operate the car, I spliced in an extension to the antenna wire, ran it up the A-pillar and across the roof above the windshield, pressing it under the front edge of the headliner, then spent some time securing the various relays, boxes and wiring under the dash, and getting all the various interior dash panels put back on.

It'* a way-cool addition to the car, and although it took a lot of time and work to install (I worked on it off-and-on for most of a weekend and several evenings after that), the results were definitely worth it.
-- Andy Green
'93 SSEi
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