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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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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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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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I have a secondary loud horn turn on and stay on after the key is turned on. Turned off by a secondary switch.
It is very effective.

People wont care about a car alarm. But someone standing on a horn tends to get looks and may result in agression. Going past a cop blaring your horn is going to get a responce in most cases.

In some rides I will also put a horn under the seat or by the drivers head in the B pillar area.

As far as tilt sensors if they have wheel lift or J arms and some hydraulics they can lift most rides up without setting that off.

The best thing you can do is get a tracker.

There are some very good trackers out that will let them take the car then you simply report it stolen and tell them it was last stopped at this location.
 

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Cereal, would you happen to have a link to a good tracker?
That seems to be the last piece of the puzzle after good insurance, and a kill switch.

Like 75 I worry about my old truck. They are getting harder to find nowadays and mine was purchased by my dad 40 years ago.
I like the blaring horn by the head idea for sure too!!!!
 

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I use one of these. It is a set it and forget it thing. It does not use your obd port or require frequent charging. It also uses a cell network so anywhere a cell phone works this thing will get a signal. The thing has its own card so it will work with any smartphone or laptop by downloading the app via the google store. Some other trackers require you to have an I phone etc.

It is extremely reliable and tough I have a friend who keeps a few in his farm equipment trailers and bobcats. The bobcats are bounced around and have been left outside in the cold a few times without any tracker issues.

The battery on these is not rechargeable. You simply buy a new unit after it is dead. But if you only ping once a day then they say 3 years of life. I have had mine over a year pinning once a day and it is still functioning. Unsure how the freezing temps are going to affect the battery life. I frankly like that it does not to be wired or recharged often. Just set the thing in the center console under some papers or under the plastic dash or at the rear window area between those old 6x9 speakers shooting through that board stuff (technically in the trunk) and you will have it hidden without signal issues. It wont work in a trunk down by the spare etc or a metal glove box/dash or under some seats that have metal wire webbing. The thing can't completely shoot through metal.

I expect the cold will affect the battery life a bit and really only expect 2 years out of it.
They say you can buy a new battery and replace it. But I will probably just buy another unit as the battery is probably going to be over half the price of a new unit and a new unit will probably have upgraded features.


They do have a subscription which is less then $10 a month and plenty justifiable in my book for the simplicity this offers.

There may be better ones out. This is just what I personally use.
 

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Pool Fool Extraordinaire
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Apple air tag will track it for you. Not much will stop a thief, but being able to locate him and your truck is pretty cool. I have a kill switch hidden in my 77, but I'm realistic. If they want it, they'll take it. Theft Insurance and a good tracker along with small steps like the kill switch is all you can do. Car alarms get ignored and these old trucks are not difficult to take.
You could always get your own boot and put it on whenever you park, but even that can be circumnavigated.
My .02
 
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