I have seen quite a few posts asking whether or not they should do a remote start installation themselves. Here are my thoughts after going thru the process.
First, some background. My car is a 93 sse. I am a computer guy, never really been much of a car guy. Finally took interest in really becoming a car guy in the last 6 months. I have never touched anything electrical in my car before this project. The system i installed is
DEI Valet 554r
This system is about as advanced as you can get. It has everything.
To prep I did a LOT of reading. Reading to find what the best model out was, reading the manuals of each of the models to determine which would be easier to install. Reading to determine which features i wanted. I would suggest the boards on the12volt
. They are a great source of information. Searching for wiring diagrams, I found 3 different diagrams for my car, and I thought it was odd that they had different wires labled in different positions. This turned out to pay off, for example i found a Tach connection inside my car and did not need to route my tach wire thru the firewall. There were a few wires like this that some spots were easier to tap into than others.
I would say I did about 40 hours of research for this project. After I had all of the parts I needed, I spent about 2 hours going thru and labeling each wire where it would connect in my car, how they would interconnect etc. This step helped a LOT. Since they were labled, i tore off a label right before i connected it in. So i knew what was done, and what was left.
I had all of my documents printed out ahead of time and laid out. These included:
Installation manual for my remote start
Installation manual for the Bulldog vats bypass
Dash disassembly guide i found in the techinfo here
3 different wiring diagrams
chilton (wiring diagram in chiltons is worthless)
I had a buddy helping me, this made the process a lot easier because he did some of the long wiring processes, like routing the wires under the hood etc. This also made it better because it was someone to chat with as the process went. 20 hours solo i would have went insane.
One note, if you have the vats system (key with the pellet) i would deffinately suggest that you use the bulldog 791 vats bypass module. For bypassing vats, you have 2 options, make the relay yourself, or buy a module. the relay will cost you about $10 to make yourself, you have to figure out the resistances yourself, and you have to interrupt one of your vats wires. The bulldog vats bypass costs $25, figures out the resistance itself when you first turn your car on, connects to one of the wires, does not interrupt it, and works perfectly.
As you go thru the process, start with the wires you know, without a doubt, which ones they are. Test them with your multimeter so you see what kind of readings you are getting when it is activated etc. By doing this, it allowed me to find some wires that I wasnt positive about their location, it helped me find some better locations for the wires by tracing and testing, and it helped me figure out how to design my relay for my rear defrost input.
If you have any questions about any of the wires, post them. The group of people here were wonderful for my questions and very prompt. Special thanks to Andy Green, your advice and your posts of the dashboard diary made everything MUCH easier.
Lastly, if you are thinking about doing this, you should be a very patient person. 20 hours of work is a long time and when one little wire isnt connected right, tracing the problem thru 40 wires can be a daunting task. Also, make sure to have another vehicle available, I ended up making 3 trips to the store even after my extensive prep work. All in all it was a great experience and I understand my car'* electrical system soooo much better. I would deffinately suggest this project to any enthusiast with the drive to take it on.
I finished my remote start yesterday, and our first snow in Fargo is hitting the ground today. Talk about perfect timing!