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Old 01-10-2020, 09:39 AM   #11
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Not knowing what the normal circuits that they tap into it would be difficult to say, but so many things on these vehicles are getting overly complicated. In many of the circuits the total resistance is taken into account, so adding on x number of feet of wire could pose a problem, especially if you add in some suspect connection.

Normally if I am extending a circuit that is used for communication or sensitive to resistance I would do so by twisting wires together and applying solder and then good adhesive lined dual wall heat shrink. There are all kinds of debates on twisting the wire together, so find a way your comfortable with and proceed. I don't care to get into that debate.

When using Butt Joint I usually use perma-seal, and make sure that you use a crimper that is designed for perma-seal type connectors, otherwise I would just go with uninsulated connector and again adhesive lined double walled heat shrink. Again, an area that is debated, I do not solder a properly done crimped butt joint.

I would also, place the Ravelco button in an accessible location, but in the end it is your decision to make. You certainly understand the pro's and con's and more importantly how it will come into play in your usage model.

And thanks, because you made me think to look on fleabay for Ravelco.

-greg
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Old 01-10-2020, 10:57 AM   #12
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Hey -greg---good points for sure!

For wire terminations and splices I'll use dedicated crimping tools, in the case of the Ravelco the splices will be joined, soldered and shrink wrapped using dedicated tools---none of those "will fit" or "universal" tools for me.

Those newly created wires will be further buried in surrounding factory bundles and finished off using a non-adhesive looming tape. M

My '05 E350's starting circuit and fuel supply are simple circuits and not controlled by or run thru the CAN-bus network. I don't foresee any issues with cross-talking signals on any communication network.

Since I'll be placing the Ravelco under the dash on the passenger's side that location should help me with hiding my work. I hope future criminals won't look there.

BTW I just got notice my Ravelco has arrived in my PO Box---time to unwrap it and see what it looks like in the wild.
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Old 01-15-2020, 05:47 AM   #13
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Okay so updating this thread just a bit---the Ravelco did arrive in new condition, unopened box. it comes with the permanently mounted portion, a 22" steel armored cable and 5 exposed wires making the complete length of this thing about 78". There are two pairs of black wires and a shorter one which I'm assuming is a ground---for what I have no idea. Testing continuity between the four longer wires shows two pairs connected while the cap is in place; removing it breaks the circuits. This much we probably all know or assume is how these work.

A few photos:









I have my circuits planned for inserting the Ravelco and that should be about as easy as it comes. Not really sure how much effort I'll put into carefully hiding my slices as they'll already be pretty out of sight up under and behind the dashboard.

If there's sufficient interest I'll do a bit of a tutorial done my way and probably not the "approved" method the $400+ Ravelco recommended installer's way.
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Old 01-15-2020, 09:58 AM   #14
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Having been a victim twice of those flimsy door locks being punched out and stuff stolen I almost feel like I have a PhD in Ford van entry restriction.

FWIW anyone interested in the dead bolts I'd highly recommend the latest offerings from The Auto Bolt---very impressive new products.
I too have experienced this twice - in vehicles that contained a lot fewer valuables to steal than my van. It does make you paranoid - rightly so - once you see how easy and quick it is. In one case, I parked right outside the storefront and ran inside for no more than five minutes. When I emerged, my passenger door lock had been punched out and briefcase stolen. It was so quick and clean, I didnít even realize it had happened... until I reached for my briefcase as I drove down the road.

Since installing the Ravelco, I feel pretty good about keeping the van stationary. But as I add more to the interior, my concern has shifted back to door locks. I researched that AutoBolt (thanks for the link) but donít see much there on installing the electrical component or how it interfaces with a key fob. Can you shed some light on that? Iím also interested in your override and am happy to pm you about that.

Iíd sure like to be feel better about leaving the van at a trailhead for the day and not return to an empty vehicle. Appreciate your input.
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Old 01-16-2020, 05:08 AM   #15
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@Otter:

One of the biggest and most effective anti-theft deterrents to the smash & grab crooks is keep everything out of sight---if they don't see anything chances are they won't try breaking in. Naturally that's not 100% effective but it does NOT attract attention.

Incorporating any deadbolt door lock into an existing PDL system should include a separate circuit that is known as a "5 wire reversal, rest at ground"---here's a schematic:



This DIY or field manufactured circuit is attached to whatever circuit or device controls the PDL's or power door locks. This circuit is separately powered and fused as the deadbolt solenoids draw a bit more current than should be run through an existing PDL circuit. Whether you're adding the 5 wire circuit to the vehicles Remote Keyless Entry (RKE) or an aftermarket alarm having the deadbolts on that circuit makes for a more reliable installation and operation.

The over ride---either my concoction or using The Auto Bolt's pull wire connection fitting---is purely mechanical, doesn't require any electrical power to use it. Even if the solenoid's fail regardless whether power is available or not the over ride works.

Here are a few photos that might better explain what I did:



That shows my solenoid and push-pull cable that's part of that system--the bolt end isn't shown as its not really important to this explanation:



This poor photo shows my over ride--a cable that works to retract the locking bolt when/if its extended. I say its hidden but honestly its mostly just out of first sight, something a crook in a rush might not think to investigate. If they found it works the deadbolt then they'd be useless keeping them out.

That green cable is routed inside the door shell where an opening is provided so it can retract the locking bolt. That looks like this:



That image shows the left/drivers rear door where the typical door trim panel is removed. Since I have DIY plywood panels that would cover the opening shown I have to make allowances for access to that cable. The side barn door has a similar cable that's easily accessible from the passenger's side front door, reaching around the B-Pillar inside a cubby hole I've cut into the door. That too is "hidden" behind some junk I store in the cubby hole, my hope is a crook wouldn't think to look there for anything. Do keep in mind the aftermarket alarm would be screaming when the front doors are opened which is part of my "plan".

The weakness to the deadbolts is the front door windows---even with the deadbolts working those become the glaring vulnerability--to my knowledge there's no way to completely protect them from forcible intrusion. Deadbolt locks can also be installed in front doors but the windows are still very, very vulnerable.

In my case I have a partition just behind the front seats so 99% of my valuable stuff can't be seen or grabbed from the front seats. Most SMB's don't have that separation so the first line of defense would be a loud siren activated by an alarm system. The deadbolts would only serve to thwart the easy lock punch outs but the alarm would still alert a door has been opened.

As for securing your goods while parked at a trailhead I don't know of any way that could be effectively put into practice. Most likely crooks would have the benefit of time to rifle through your van and find whatever you're trying to keep.

I hope this provides a bit of insight into how I dealt with my own deadbolt locks. FWIW The Auto Bolt devices are similar enough to those I used operation-wise so they too could easily be fitted with the mechanical cable-pull defeat. The owner of The Auto Bolt concedes that feature was an added requirement when they began selling to package delivery fleets---the fleet operators didn't want drivers caught inside their own vans.
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Old 01-18-2020, 11:47 PM   #16
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JWA, thanks for this detailed explanation. I’m going to look into installing the AutoLock or similar, since that would be the last piece after my alarm and the Ravelco. I don’t keep small things in plain sight anymore, but I’d rather it took them considerable time to get to the fridge and other parts.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:25 PM   #17
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Hey Otter----if/when you go with The Auto Bolt or something similar let me know via this thread or PM---I'd be glad to walk you through the install or help any way I could.
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Old 01-19-2020, 03:45 PM   #18
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I have a keyed switch thatís hard to find and easy to access.
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Old 01-19-2020, 05:20 PM   #19
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Hey Otter----if/when you go with The Auto Bolt or something similar let me know via this thread or PM---I'd be glad to walk you through the install or help any way I could.
Thanks, JWA. Kind offer.

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I have a keyed switch thatís hard to find and easy to access.
Gooseberry, without giving up your secret... are you talking about a mechanical switch for the AutoLock in case the battery dies?
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Old 01-20-2020, 01:42 PM   #20
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I have a recent Ravelco install. The installer routed the wiring thru the wire harness and it's not visible. Very professional installation I'm happy with the system. The cap is left of the steering column. Convenient and when I step out of the van I'm just about eye level with the cap so I have a visual reminder to remove the cap.
I am interested in a steering wheel lock...whats the value to using a steering lock?
Which is the best if I decide to buy one.
I have a 2003 E350 SMB 4X4 7.3
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