Should you install your own remote start? - Page 2 - GM Forum - Buick, Cadillac, Chev, Olds, GMC & Pontiac chat


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Old 10-28-2003, 11:26 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOS95B
After reading this, I have kinda given up on installing Remote Start on the wife'* Astro. I was pretty interested in the $40 WalMart jobby myself. But I know myself well enough to know if it didn't work after a couple of hours, I'm liable to get fed up and do something dum.
The Wal-Mart jobby, the RS-82, is a standalone remote starter without Keyless Entry, so there'* a few less wires to have to install. How far did you get? Maybe we can help you out.
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Old 10-28-2003, 11:30 AM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by joe
it cant be that hard by a bulldog they even come with a video
*splorf*

I've seen that video. It'* horrible. It consists mainly of a guy basically reading the manual at you while they show some shots of an installation going into an Explorer or similar SUV. I suspect they picked an SUV because it'* so cramped under the dashboard of the average car that they couldn't get a decent camera shot of the wiring. I was no wiser after viewing the video than I was before it.

Don't get me wrong; I've installed three Bulldog systems so far and I'm not knocking the _product_, but that video is not likely to help anyone who can't figure out the manual or can't disassemble the parts of their car that they need to reach.
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Old 10-29-2003, 12:10 PM   #13
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Here is another way to look at a remote start installation from the ground up. I will separate it into sections so you can decide how in depth you want to go with it.

First would be just adding the remote start.
This step would consist of 16 wires and 1 or 2 modules and 2 prewired items to plug in.

in your main remote start module you will have 11 wires
Main wires running from your ignition harness
2 12v power connections
1 starter wire
2 ignition wires
1 accessory wire
1 wire running from your brake
possibly 1 wire running to your tach (i suggest this, normally they say you have to go thru the firewall for this, i found it in the passenger kick panel)
1 wire running to a hood pin switch (you can get away without using this, but that is unsafe when your hood is open, it grounds, so if you dont hook it up, it is like the hood is closed)
1 output to your vats bypass (only needed if you have vats)
1 ground

Vats bypass module:
5 wires if it is like mine
1 wire to your vats wire
1 wire to ignition input 1
1 wire to your remote start output wire
1 wire to 12v (run it along with one of your remote start wires to 12v
1 wire to ground

antenna & valet switch

Going back thru that, your connections are minimal if you combine the vats and remote start together and wire them in to these wires
1 12v source
1 12v source
1 ignition
1 ignition
1 starter
1 accessory
1 ground
1 brake
1 tach
1 ground
1 hood pin switch
1 vats wire

so 12 runs almost all in the same spot

That would complete your basic remote start addon, now you start adding in other functions

Door locks:
2 wires, wired into your remote start module
these go into the driver door, you have to take off the door panel, takes a little time, easy addition

Trunk:
This requires a relay. and 4 wires
After searching all over for the best spot, i chose a spot in the driver kick panel. On my car, the original key fob would only pop the trunk if the car was not running, and the door trunk pop would only pop it if the car was running
I believe the trunk was a powered relay so i needed:
2 wires to 12v source
1 wire to trunk wire
1 wire to remote start wire - you could say 5 wires because your remote start needs this wire also

Defrost output on 4th channel:
This requires a relay and 4 wires
This turned out to be not that difficult, pop the hvac cover that goes around your radio etc, 4 screws and your climate control is out.
2 12v power sources
1 wire to my remote start module
1 wire to my defrost wire (if you want to do this, post and i will explain how to locate the correct wire)
This relay allows you to send a signal on channel 4 and it enables your defrost exactly as if you had pushed the button.

Dome light supervision:
This requires a relay, basically it enables the light when you start or unlock
i believe this is
1 12v
1 ground
1 wire to remote start
1 wire to dome light wire in drivers kick panel

Light flash output:
1 wire to your vehicle parking light.

Toggle override switch:
This allows you to turn off remote start completely, usually goes to a grounded wire, and removes the ground when you turn it off

Then we get to the alarm. This is what i think makes the task a little daunting. I needed the alarm to work, in order for my remote start to work, so everything needed to be hooked up before testing. If you just did remote start, the task would be done much quicker, and you could slowly add the other parts that I listed as time goes on. I wont go into the alarm because mine is different than everyone elses will be, the remote start on the other hand, is going to be typical for almost every brands installation.

I saw a post about bulldog remote starts being bad. Some things to take into consideration when you say that. Bulldog is intended for DIYers to install, most installation businesses will not even touch a bulldog, and a remote start is only as good as the installation. If you use T-taps/ scotchlocks instead of soldering, chances are your system will only last you 6 months. Bulldog also typically has shorter range, not really a reason to say they are bad, just something to know if that is one of the main things you want in a remote start.

Main suggestions:
-Solder, dont take the easy way out, saving an hour or two on the install to have to come back and trouble shoot in 6 months is not worth it
-Test everything. there are 2 reasons to test, 1 to learn about your car, 2 to make sure you have the right wire
-Use inline fuses wherever you have a 12v source. I have noticed that some of the cheaper systems do not ship with fused 12v. The professional systems do, and for a reason. They cost all of $1.50 a piece, put em in.
-when doing relays, get the prewired connectors, it makes life soooo much easier
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Old 10-30-2003, 12:08 PM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy
Here is another way to look at a remote start installation from the ground up. I will separate it into sections so you can decide how in depth you want to go with it.
Nicely summarized (if you can call two screenfuls of writing a "summary" )... I have only a few comments to add:

Quote:
First would be just adding the remote start.
This step would consist of 16 wires and 1 or 2 modules and 2 prewired items to plug in.
Quote:
possibly 1 wire running to your tach (i suggest this, normally they say you have to go thru the firewall for this, i found it in the passenger kick panel)
If you can find it under the dash, great, but realistically you're going to have to go through the firewall to install the hood pin switch anyway, so just pull a double-conductor wire instead of a single and you can connect the Tach at the same time you're wiring in the hood interlock.

Quote:
1 wire running to a hood pin switch (you can get away without using this, but that is unsafe when your hood is open, it grounds, so if you dont hook it up, it is like the hood is closed)
Agreed; I don't regard the hood interlock as optional, having accidentally triggered the starter on all my cars at some point in time. It doesn't happen when you're _thinking_ about what you're doing; it happens when your mind wanders, and takes you by surprise.

Quote:
That would complete your basic remote start addon, now you start adding in other functions
There'* one additional wire you didn't mention: Factory Alarm Shutdown, a wire to be grounded prior to starting the engine which will disable/turn off the factory alarm, if so equipped. In the Bonneville, it'* the light-green wire at the driver'* door exterior key lock (which also serves to unlock the whole car, unfortunately). (This is not the same as bypassing the VATS, which is an anti-theft starting blocker. You can trigger the alarm even if you use the correct key, if the car is locked at the time.)

Quote:
I believe the trunk was a powered relay so i needed:
A powered solenoid, actually, but yes, you need to provide your own +12V to pop the trunk via the remote.

Quote:
Dome light supervision:
This requires a relay, basically it enables the light when you start or unlock
Quote:
Light flash output:
1 wire to your vehicle parking light.
Okay, this gets a bit eye-glazing below, but stick with me here.

Some accessories such as interior lights are hot at all times, and activate when they get a ground connection. Others such as parking lights and trunk solenoids are dead until they get a 12-volt positive power supply.

Similarly, some remote starter channels operate by emitting a positive 12 volts down the wire, others by providing a ground path on the wire. In some cases it even varies from one model of starter to another; e.g. the Bulldog RS-82, IIRC, generates a negative parking-light pulse; the RS-102 generates a positive 12-volt pulse. Thus for the RS-82 you need a relay; for the RS-102 you don't.

Whether or not you need a relay depends on whether the system to operate has power already or not, and whether the remote starter is generating a positive or negative pulse; that is, whether it provides a jolt of 12-volt positive that you can use, or whether it provides a negative ground path to operate a circuit that'* already hot. If the accessory is hot, the remote must provide a ground; if the accessory is dead, the remote must provide the power.

You need a relay in cases where you've got a 12-volt positive pulse but you need to ground the circuit, or where you've got a negative (ground) pulse but nothing to operate the circuit with. In the former case, you trigger the relay to close its contacts for a ground connection; in the latter, you ground the relay to close its contacts for a power supply.

Quote:
I saw a post about bulldog remote starts being bad. Some things to take into consideration when you say that. Bulldog is intended for DIYers to install, most installation businesses will not even touch a bulldog, and a remote start is only as good as the installation.
I've had some defective components turn up in Bulldog kits, such as an RS-102 with an internal short that caused it to ignore the remotes, and a separate transmitter that broadcast channel 3 on both buttons 2 and 3. I exchanged them at the store and everything was fine.

Quote:
If you use T-taps/ scotchlocks instead of soldering, chances are your system will only last you 6 months.
Absolutely; when you're going to all this trouble, solder the stuff. Another nasty gotcha I've seen, which isn't unique to Bulldogs, is that if you program it for Tach detection and then lose the tach connection (e.g. loose or broken wire), the remote starter will cheerfully grind the starter again and again _after_ the engine has actually started. This is a Bad Thing.

I had that happen on the Trans Sport before I went in and did a proper repair on the tach wire connection; fortunately I caught it in time, and figured out what the problem was before any damage was done. Someone else here in the forum had a nastier experience with the problem: IIRC, they installed the remote starter on one Bonneville, hooked up the Tach input and programmed the remote starter for it. At some point later on, they swapped the remote starter out of that car and into another one, but did not connect the Tach wire in the second car. The remote starter was still programmed for Tach mode, however, and thus chewed the starter to pieces by continuing to crank it long after the engine had started. (It doesn't go continuously; it goes in repeated periodic cranking bursts.)

Quote:
Bulldog also typically has shorter range, not really a reason to say they are bad, just something to know if that is one of the main things you want in a remote start.
I'm not sure I agree; it has a _lot_ to do with how well you install your antennas. My SSEi has not-so-great reception, but I know it'* because of where I routed the antenna. My plastic-bodied Trans Sport has amazing reception, so I know how good the SSEi'* can be once I bother to go back in and route its antenna properly. Both cars have the same RS-102 installed.

Quote:
Main suggestions:
-Solder, don't take the easy way out, saving an hour or two on the install to have to come back and troubleshoot in 6 months is not worth it.
-Test everything. There are 2 reasons to test: 1) to learn about your car; 2) to make sure you have the right wire
-Use inline fuses wherever you have a 12v source. I have noticed that some of the cheaper systems do not ship with fused 12v. The professional systems do, and for a reason. They cost all of $1.50 a piece, put 'em in.
-When doing relays, get the prewired connectors, it makes life soooo much easier.
Yup! What he said.
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Old 10-31-2003, 09:44 PM   #15
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I've always seen pro installs solder. Why would I hve probs in the future w/o the solder technique.
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Old 10-31-2003, 11:29 PM   #16
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Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
Quote:
Originally Posted by MOS95B
After reading this, I have kinda given up on installing Remote Start on the wife'* Astro. I was pretty interested in the $40 WalMart jobby myself. But I know myself well enough to know if it didn't work after a couple of hours, I'm liable to get fed up and do something dum.
The Wal-Mart jobby, the RS-82, is a standalone remote starter without Keyless Entry, so there'* a few less wires to have to install. How far did you get? Maybe we can help you out.
I never started actually. Got so far as pointing and saying "Hey, that'd be nice in your van"
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Old 11-03-2003, 11:21 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MOS95B
Quote:
Originally Posted by acg_ssei
The Wal-Mart jobby, the RS-82, is a standalone remote starter without Keyless Entry, so there'* a few less wires to have to install. How far did you get? Maybe we can help you out.
I never started actually. Got so far as pointing and saying "Hey, that'd be nice in your van"
Gathering dust on the shelf, is it? Well, you'll have more room to move around under the dash of the Astro than you would in a car, and the corporate color coding of wires is the same no matter what model you're working on, so I would go ahead and try it. If you don't have an anti-theft system to bypass and no keyless-entry system to connect to, the installation should be pretty straightforward and there isn't really any step along the way at which point you'd be disabling the van for a long period of time, since you're not _cutting_ any van wires; you're piggybacking the remote starter onto the existing wiring.

However, don't promise the spouse that she can have the van by 4:00 p.m. if you start on it at 10:00 a.m. Assigning yourself a deadline can be a recipe for disaster; just take as much time as it takes so you don't try to rush anything.
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Old 11-03-2003, 02:14 PM   #18
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Quote:
I've always seen pro installs solder. Why would I hve probs in the future w/o the solder technique
General vibration from driving your car could cause your connections to come lose over time.

Randy[/quote]
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Old 11-03-2003, 03:19 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by randy
Quote:
I've always seen pro installs solder. Why would I hve probs in the future w/o the solder technique
General vibration from driving your car could cause your connections to come lose over time.
Heat can do it, too. When I made the Tach connection to the coil pack in the Trans Sport, I could barely reach it back there, so I went against my own advice and used a 3M quicksplice connector to connect the Tach input lead.

Big mistake. Engine heat softened the insulation on the wire and allowed the Tach lead to pull out of the connector after a week or so. Once the Tach signal was lost, the remote starter couldn't tell when the engine had started, so it kept on making starting attempts after the engine was already running, grinding the starter into the flywheel each time. (The kits ship with their default setting set to non-Tach mode, where the system looks for a voltage surge to detect starting instead, but hooking up the Tach lead and reprogramming the box to look for Tach input gives you better starting performance.)

So I bit the bullet, squeezed under the hood of the minivan and did a proper soldered connection, and had no further problems.
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