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Open Roads Forum  >  Tow Vehicles

 > Kill switch for Cummins

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Durb

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Posted: 03/07/22 08:10am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Not only is there an epidemic of catalytic convertor thefts in my area; used pickups are also targets for thieves. An insurance payout would be far less than what my replacement cost would be, plus I really like my truck. I've considered an engine kill switch for my 04 Ram, but have no idea which wire I should loop to a hidden switch.

What are other members doing to add some anti-theft security to their aging trucks? Do steering wheel locks work? Would a thief equipped with the tools to steal a catalytic convertor be able to quickly defeat a steering wheel lock?

Any suggestions are appreciated.

Grit dog

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Posted: 03/07/22 09:04am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Couple observations.
1. If you think your insurance won't pay market value in the event of a total loss, find a new insurance company.
2. Steering wheel locks are for show. Takes about 10 seconds to cut through a steering wheel, making the "hardened steel" lock nothing but an awkward shaped club.
3. There are several potential components I could think of wiring a cutoff into. Power to the FCA, power to the lift pump, are a couple. That said, I wouldn't really want to cut into any of the OE harness if I didn't have to. But a simple electric inline valve on the fuel line feeding the lift pump would be standalone, easy to install and not expensive. Quick search found 1/2" valves for $44.99. Under $100 for sure, all in with switch, wire, fuse, etc.


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ScottG

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Posted: 03/07/22 09:27am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I have an 03. Do you have an automatic? If so then there is a small jumper wire where a clutch pedal switch would be on a manual. You can easily install a momentary button or switch in that wire so the starter wont engage.

You're right, from what I've heard, a nice specimen can go for nearly what we paid for them.

* This post was edited 03/07/22 11:02am by ScottG *

BenK

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Posted: 03/07/22 11:32am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

On my list is a tire/wheel boot like the ones LEO's place on vehicles with too many tickets/etc

Less hassle than messing with electrical (harness, switch mounting, etc)

Heavy Duty Wheel Lock
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schlep1967

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Posted: 03/07/22 11:36am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

Talk to your insurance agent about "Full Replacement Value". You can get that on your policy and it shouldn't cost much more.


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Grit dog

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Posted: 03/07/22 11:55am Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

BenK wrote:

On my list is a tire/wheel boot like the ones LEO's place on vehicles with too many tickets/etc

Less hassle than messing with electrical (harness, switch mounting, etc)



Let's not confuse our nation's LEOs with meter maids...mmmmkay?

Less hassle? Unless you consider installing and removing the boot on your vehicle, say 10x a day less hassle than flipping a switch, I'm having trouble getting on this train. Or do thieves only steal vehicles when they're parked somewhere for extended periods, like days at a time?

Add to it, a decent quality boot will cost far more than a simple cutoff switch.
Effectiveness? You may have me there. Visual deterrent vs catching a thief off guard when they think they already gotcha? Flip a coin I suppose.

@ScottG's idea may be the simplest, I didn't consider that the clutch safety switch would be in place and jumpered on an auto truck.

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Posted: 03/07/22 02:02pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

For a long time I had a bunch of tools, compressors, welders on a old Ford truck. I had a relay in the starter cable controlled by a magnetic switch on dash. If a magnetic clip was not in the right place on the dash, starter would not run, and ignition would not get power.

KD4UPL

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Posted: 03/07/22 04:44pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

I once helped a friend theft proof his Jeep before going to Mexico. We put a kill switch in the wire to the fuel pump. We also put a relay in the start wire going to the starter solenoid. The relay was powered by the headlights high beam. So, he had to turn the high beams on and flip the kill switch to start it.

thomasmnile

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Posted: 03/07/22 04:50pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

schlep1967 wrote:

Talk to your insurance agent about "Full Replacement Value". You can get that on your policy and it shouldn't cost much more.


Unlikely on a 2004 vehicle. GEICO offers a full replacement cost rider for vehicles that are 0-5 years old.

Grit dog

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Posted: 03/07/22 05:07pm Link  |  Quote  |  Print  |  Notify Moderator

thomasmnile wrote:

schlep1967 wrote:

Talk to your insurance agent about "Full Replacement Value". You can get that on your policy and it shouldn't cost much more.


Unlikely on a 2004 vehicle. GEICO offers a full replacement cost rider for vehicles that are 0-5 years old.


Yeah, that doesn't exist unless you get an appraised value type policy for a classic vehicle, afaik. Not applicable to daily drivers.

Whole lot of speculation in this thread about insurance.
Also, OP is looking for advice on a kill switch, which has been given and not too difficult or expensive.
Other option, security system.
None of these will likely stop a pro from getting it.

But "not getting what it's worth from insurance" is an age old battle.
It's you vs a for profit corporation.
That said, one's idea of what it's "worth" has to be within reason of what the market value is. We're not talking rare antique artifacts here. Just everyday run of the mill vehicles.
One has some risk that they will lose "modifications" if not able to retrieve them (like in the case of a theft), but by the same token, market value is market value.
How much do you want to pay to insure something that is worth more "to you" (insert emotional response here) than to the general public.
If the market demands $20k for a comparable truck, you'll get that much or close to it, if you stick to your guns.

And if you're THAT worried about it getting stolen, do something about it. (Like the OP is planning to do)

I'm glad and fortunate that the theft of any single vehicle or toy wouldn't place us in a financial bind, even if completely uninsured. And I understand those who have more of their eggs in baskets that are easily (relatively) stolen. But best you can do is try to make it less easy to steal or less attractive to steal and go on about your life!

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