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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I want to add an alarm to my '75 GMC pickup, and I'm looking for suggestions or recommendations for a relatively basic system

Features I want:
  • Able to arm the alarm and also lock two doors. I already have the aftermarket solenoids installed for power locks.
  • Hood sensor, either mercury switch or pushbutton. My hood has an external release, so this is a key feature for security.
  • Tilt/lift/motion sensor - in case they try to tow it.
  • Backup battery provision - its very easy to crawl under and disconnect primary battery power at my starter.
  • Horn beep or light flash to verify its set.
  • Two way communication/verification to the remote is preferred, just so I know its really armed.
  • Remote start is not needed, since I have a carbureted engine. However, many systems do have it.

I've been trying to compare Viper and other major brands, but have not found an article that provides a simple table
with features and connections for each system. For example, the Viper web site does not list model numbers, so I can't compare
each one to what I find on Amazon. Compustar will not provide installation directions unless you are a professional installer, etc.

I'd appreciate any input or suggestions. I don't need a complicated system, but want to make sure I pick one with the features I want.

Thanks.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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Show of hands. Has ANYONE here actually called the cops after hearing a car alarm go off?

Didn't think so.

Alarms are a waste. Install a good hidden kill switch.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I agree - However, ideally I could find an alarm that has a kill switch feature built in. Just set the alarm and it would also kill the ignition.

I can make my own kill switch setup, but this doesn't stop someone from pulling in with a tow truck and just pulling my truck up and driving away. The flat bed tow trucks are really popular around here, since they are apparently less likely to damage the newer vehicles with AWD and other features that complicate towing.

If I was going to steal my own truck I would just pop/break the side window to get access, put the transfer case in neutral, and then pull the entire truck out of the driveway with a tow truck. It would only take a couple of minutes.
 

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Old(s) Fart
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I agree - However, ideally I would find an alarm that has a kill switch feature built in. Just set the alarm and it would also kill the ignition.

I can make my own kill switch setup, but this doesn't stop someone from pulling in with a flat bed tow truck and just pulling my truck up and driving away. The flat bed tow trucks are really popular around here, since they are apparently less likely to damage the newer vehicles with AWD and other features that complicate towing.
There are even easier ways to steal a car...

Vehicle Plant Sky Motor vehicle Tire
Tire Wheel Automotive parking light Land vehicle Vehicle
 

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I just use a toggle switch under the dash to send power to the ignition and another to allow for spark under the hood. I don't know about an alarm system.
 

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So over the years as a Security Architect I have done a lot of physical penetration testing. And occasionally I've been asked to evaluate the usefulness of after-market car alarms. Systems built into modern cars are fairly sophisticated and work best because so much of the car is controlled through the network of onboard computers. However, it does nothing for a flatbed and a tow cable. I've read statistics about the average flatbed theft occurs in less than 60 seconds. Ask any experienced repo person, and they will tell you that there isn't an alarm on the market that can stop them.

In the late 90's we used to take microwave magnetrons and build systems out of them that would allow us to destroy the electronics in an alarm rendering it dead. Frankly, it still works.

Clifford is about the only bigboy out there that has stood the test of time. Many of their models have options you need. You will find very few reliable remote-start systems that work with carburetor. The vast majority of them work by OBD2 interface and require computer controlled fuel injection.

For the average punk/teen/tweaker car thief the most effect thing you can do is to make it difficult to start. Most of them won't spend more that a couple minutes in the car before moving on. A remote switch that cuts power to the fuel pump, coil, or some other critical component is perfect. Hide it well. Additionally you HAVE to wire your vehicle so that its not trivial to bypass all that stuff. Loose wires dangling, easy to access fuse blocks, etc. With a screwdriver, small hammer, and a small set of strippers (not the cute sexy ones) I can enter, hotwire, and drive off in damn near any car made before 1995 before you can get out of your recliner and run out into the driveway to stop me. But only if I can get it running.
 
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