Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

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Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby denizen44 » Thu May 07, 2015 5:25 am

First, let me say that I am fully aware that classic Lincolns are FAR from being popular cars to steal.
But after spending too much money and so many hours on a project, an average dude can become slightly paranoid. :lol:

The device described here isn't an alarm, it's merely a fancy cut-off switch.
When used, it feels like there's about 100% chance that the car will remain exactly where I left it. :geek:

It all started a few years ago, when I learned that the most statistically successful anti-theft devices are those which, simply put, 'scramble' the car's electrical system.
Before the advent of computer chips in keys, there used to be a product whose star-shaped 'key' bridged 40 different wires in your car. The product was expensive and I forgot its name, but the company was so confident in its efficiency, their policy offered you a new car plus a huge cash amount if your car ever got started.
Also, if complex enough, this kind of system can't be hacked: thus if you lose both your key and its blueprint, you're fucked.
Of course, a zealous thief can always use a tow-truck to circumvent the entire thing.
But I'm not really trying to prevent that.

As mentioned in my coupe thread, a simpler version of this 'electrical scrambling' is what I tried to replicate on earlier attempts. Several wires still diverge from the device, interrupting key systems in the car. Only the male connector reconnects every wire the way it should, and you carry that connector with you, as a key.

Image
I first stumbled upon these connectors in a surplus store when I still had my previous car.

Back then, I attached the female to the distributor, so I had to open the hood to connect the key.
I didn't mind doing that because my hood release worked from the outside, but it still wasn't the most practical thing to do.
Image

Then last april, as I was playing under my dashboard to connect a 1281 Pertronix, I used the occasion to install a slightly improved version of the same two-channel key. This time however, it could be unlocked from inside the car.
Image

Despite the latest improvements, I still wasn't satisfied with this design because it just wasn't complex enough. But I really wanted to keep using these "cinch jones" connectors because they are so durable and rugged (the one pictured above worked flawlessly for years).

Which is why, at some point I decided to look up these connectors online, and found out they came in various sizes, namely 4, 6, 8, 10 and even 12 slots. My first choice was the 6-slot, but in the end I chose the 8-slot (four-channel), leaving room to add some more complexity.
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There are also matching female connectors, and I ordered the bracket-mount version.
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To accomodate the large connector and its numerous wires/connections, I chose a fsc pvc wire insulation box, perfect for this application.
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After some customization, it looked like this:
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I found a nice suitable spot for the box here, to the left of the steering wheel.
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This is after mounting the box.
The entire thing can easily be removed.
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Converging in here from different parts of the car are several wires. They're all black, for maximum confusion, just like the product I was imitating. There can be up to eight wires, hence the 'four-channel' spec. I was very meticulous in building the connections, and did plenty of soldering to make sure they'd never move by a hair. I also used two coats of wire insulation. I really wanted to avoid any risk of an electrical fire.
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But even then, after reading the extinguisher thread on this forum, I decided to join the crowd and buy one as well. :)
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When working on the electrical system, having one of these quick-disconnects is great.
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The female part is all done. I have tested the ergonomics extensively, the box doesn't get in the way of using any of the pedals whatsoever.
And it doesn't impede leg movement either.
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The wires "blend in" very nicely, and without the key, good luck in trying to sort this puzzle in less than a day.
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This is one example of how the male part (kept by the driver) can be configured. There are at least 1000 ways to join these terminals. And they don't all have to be pairs, which is why I will add 2 more wires after these.
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It's still relatively discreet isn't it?
Well, maybe I'll paint the box someday. :D
Image

Before testing the new device, I made sure to check and re-check and then triple-check every single connection. I don't even want to think about what could have happened if some wire hadn't been properly routed... :roll: :roll:
Finally, after the first test, the device worked perfectly: the car seemed 100% dead.
The connection feels durable and rock-solid. I put the male connector back in, and the car starts right up!
The chosen wires can include, but are not limited to: Pertronix positive, pertronix negative, ignition power source, starter relay, starter negative, distributor, battery source, coil, fuel pump, and others. There really is a vast array of possibilities, and apart from the starter itself, the key is beefy enough to handle pretty much any other wire/current.
Image

Conclusion:
Simply put, when the key is removed, the car won't start or run unless you spend a day reconstructing the wiring.

:whistle:

IN A NUTSHELL
0. Acquire connectors, box, parts, and especially, car's wiring diagram.
1. identify and spot several wires that are essential to start or run the vehicle (most difficult part!).
2. cut said wire(s), one by one.
3. from each end of the cut wires, extend two black wires and make them converge to the box, with connectors on the ends.
4. inside the box, connect these wires to the ports of the female connector, in some random pattern.
5. connect the terminals inside the key, matching your connections inside the box.
6. for each "essential" wire you find, repeat these steps until your "electrical maze" is complex enough!
7. when the key is inserted, it will simply bridge every wire you previously cut! :D
Last edited by denizen44 on Fri Jan 06, 2017 4:20 pm, edited 27 times in total.
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby Ken Stevens » Thu May 07, 2015 2:36 pm

There's always the Trunk Monkey.

http://youtu.be/WFqr3_frh3Q
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby CaptainDave » Thu May 07, 2015 3:17 pm

Ken, that whole series of Trunk Monkey ads was brilliant!
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby TonyC » Tue May 19, 2015 3:25 pm

There is a much simpler and equally as effective way to make a Lincoln theft-proof. Considering what a close friend of mine in Toledo told me today, I'll have to remember to implement it on an everyday basis.

Classic Lincolns may probably garner more ambitious thieves than anyone thinks. They will like the prospect even more because they are SO easy to steal. If my friend's 1986 Celebrity, with no fancy applications and a broken exhaust pipe, could be stolen right out of her complex's parking lot just yesterday, then count on a classic Lincoln being targeted. Frankenstein is no museum piece, but not a day goes by that he doesn't draw a crowd.

The setup in this thread is far too busy-looking for my taste, even if I had an inclination to install some fancy thing; but if it works, hey-- :clap: .

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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby SignatureSeriesOwner » Sat May 30, 2015 7:56 am

Just take the coil wire with you when you go someplace :D
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby 69linc » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:03 pm

this looks amazing.. and WAY too complicated for my skill level. But, would you do this for me??? :grin:
Or, maybe someone in my area who can pull this sort of thing off? :think:

But, looks like it's effective.. not the prettiest.. but could maybe be hid in the glove box?
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby denizen44 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 5:40 pm

this looks amazing.. and WAY too complicated for my skill level. But, would you do this for me??? :grin:
Or, maybe someone in my area who can pull this sort of thing off? :think:

Thanks! :lol:
I mostly used my world-class soldering skill!

But, looks like it's effective..

I use it every single day/time, it's durable and very effective. :D
But... Can't afford to lose that key! :naughty:

not the prettiest.. but could maybe be hid in the glove box?

Well if used often, it should definitely remain easily accessible from the driver's position.
I thought of making a seamless installation behind the dash panel, near the radio perhaps,
but I didn't want to cut anything or make access/repairs difficult, especially on this 'prototype'.
When one sits in the car it's barely visible, much less visible than these "leaning down" photos make it seem.
In fact, not a single person at several car shows ever noticed it...
Last edited by denizen44 on Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:44 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby 69linc » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:03 pm

not only that to consider, but who cares about 'pretty' anyways..

after all a missing car is about as ugly as it gets!
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby denizen44 » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:46 pm

Totally :D
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby Steve K » Sat Jun 18, 2016 7:51 pm

I would have to paint it. For me, one of the best parts of any job I do is when I pull out the right color can of Rustoleum and make it all pretty :grin: I agree your project would be very effective, but damn I would hate carrying that "key" around. Put that in your pocket for a few hours, you better be wearing a good quality cup :smt006

Just giving you a hard time. Thanks for sharing!
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby John Cashman » Sun Jun 19, 2016 10:28 pm

I could start any of these cars with these systems in less than a minute... The best deterrent is the locking steering column (after '69). Or use the Club...
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby trouble » Mon Jun 20, 2016 5:10 am

and i thought i was the only one still with clublocks, :grin:
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby denizen44 » Mon Jun 20, 2016 9:14 am

John Cashman wrote:I could start any of these cars with these systems in less than a minute... The best deterrent is the locking steering column (after '69). Or use the Club...


The cut wires do not only involve the starter, but several other electrical connections for the car to run, spark or pump fuel.
The wire maze is atrocious. With wires now out of their original harness, much shorter than their original length, and hidden among several meters of fake wires that go nowhere...
In order to start this car and keep it running, you'd need a big wire reel and lots of time.

69linc wrote:Or, maybe someone in my area who can pull this sort of thing off? :think:

I just found your answer, the original system I was imitating!
Woah, looks like I did many things right.
Image

It's called 'Ravelco'.
http://www.ravelco.com/

brochure:
http://www.ravelco.com/i/brochure.pdf

'saved the day' pictures:
http://www.ravelco.com/saved.html

how 'the competition' measures up:
http://www.ravelco.com/competition.html

.
Last edited by denizen44 on Sun Jun 26, 2016 5:51 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby John Mc » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:37 am

Has anyone ever had one of these Lincolns stolen????
I've got to believe the chances of a thief interested in one of these old beasts is pretty small.

I worry about a lot of things, but having one of my Lincolns stolen is not one of them.
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Re: Homemade Anti-Theft device (v3.0)

Postby JimA » Mon Jun 20, 2016 2:04 pm

I worry about mine being stolen. Hemmings has fairly regular postings for stolen collector cars. Here's one where they moved two Lincolns out of the way to steal a '57 Chevy. :roll: http://blog.hemmings.com/?p=53849#comments-block Guess the Lincolns aren't the FIRST choice of the thieves. :shifty:
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