Alarm Removed

Finally removed the stupid alarm system last night.

I took apart the dash using the steps in the BGB to get better access to everything.

Unfortunately the under dash cover was so old and brittle that it split into two when I set it down on the floor mat… The thing was only held in by two out of the five screws it should have been, so I think epoxying it back together won’t be all that bad.

Once I was behind the steering column I found the kill switch relay connected to the three of the four lines I found the night before.

The red line was connected to a splitter that ran to the orange wire of the stereo head unit… So the red line was likely just there to power the alarm’s brain and receiver, and wasn’t anything else I needed to mess with. I taped it off with the fuse still on it in case I decide to run a LED light strip or something from it later.

After getting the relay and associated wires out of its electric tape mummification I was able to see that it had a yellow, orange, green, and black set of wires. There were some numbers next to each wire on the relay: yellow (86), orange (85), green (30), black (87a). Nothing was hooked up to the 87 slot on the relay.

Having never messed around with relays before, I had looked through every guide on Python alarms and kill switch relays I could find.

One British guy’s YouTube video explained more about relays in a minute than I got in the preceding hour of reading. It helped me to understand that a relay just connects two lines together when another set of two lines passes a current. So the 86 and 85 lines were an electromagnet that causes the lines on 87a and 30 to connect (normally when the alarm is disabled and sending a negative current through the orange wire to the yellow one).

Just to be safe, I made sure to octuple check everything before joining the black and green wires together to bridge the connection between the ignition switch / starter solenoid. It was pretty obvious they were the correct ones, because the factory ends they were crimped too had the same wire color and strip pattern.

I was logically confident I did the right thing, but was 50% confident that something would go wrong when trying to start it up afterwards.

The initial time I tried to start it the engine cranked and cranked but didn’t start. It scared the heck out of me for a moment. Then I realized that it wouldn’t be doing anything if the ignition switch wasn’t passing current to the starter solenoid. So I tried starting it up again, and it started up after a crank or two.

At this point I was too tired to really be scared to drive manual for the third time, so I reversed out of the driveway and went for a test drive around a few blocks.

When I was driving the cooling fan light was on the whole time, so when I got back I popped the hood to check it, and sure enough, it was totally stopped.

I read through my paperwork from my mechanic and realized I only read the first line related to the cooling fan. There was a caveat to it on the next line:


My guess is there was a bad radiator fan I didn’t know about that had its motor replaced with the new radiator; instead of having the engine bay cooling fan replaced like I specifically asked for and pointed out to him…

So at this point I’m not really able to drive the car, and will need to call him tomorrow morning to see if he’ll fix this misunderstanding for free or a decent rate. If he can’t I’m going to stop going to him and just do it myself.

The first order of business in that case would be to connect some temporary lines to the battery terminals to test if the fan even works. If it does I will get some electrical testing tools (i.e. voltmeter, ohmmeter, multimeter, etc.) and test the circuit and relay to the fan.

As a side note, I still don’t have my new head unit in the car yet. I finished way too late into the night (3:30 AM) for it to have been practical for me to connect it. I probably would have been done sooner if the previous owner wasn’t such a huge fan of electric tape and zip ties. I’m pretty sure I removed about three rolls of electric tape and an assorted 30-piece zip tie collection…

Oh, and I tried to fix the cabin light by replacing the bulb but the connection is broken somewhere. I tried an LED and a couple incandescent bulbs but none would light up. So maybe I’ll get the multimeter for sure just to get that working.

In any case, let’s hope that the engine bay cooling fan is the only major mechanic thing I need to worry about for the foreseeable near future.

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