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Discussion Starter #1
Ok here is a little background on the situation. My truck is a 85 extra cab with the 22re. When I got the truck someone had installed a viper alarm but it was unplugged. I wanted to get rid of the extra wiring so I began to take it out. As I removed it I would check to make sure the truck would still start and it would. That was last week, so tonight I got a new optima yellow top for it and put it in and it fired right up. I begin to check things like turn signals and hazard lights and they worked fine then I switched on the head lights and the truck quit. I tried to start it back and it would turn over but would not fire. As soon as I turned the lights back off it would fire right up. What is really confusing is that the lights still work even though it shuts the truck off. It seems like I must have a short somewhere. Or did I mess something up with the alarm? Anybody have any experience with alarm systems or run into a similar problem? Thanks for you help.
 

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From what I know about viper alarms (I have one) they can only be installed by a shop authorized by Directed (who actually makes them) and they wont put a kill that kills the vehicle while it is running for safety reasons, they will only install a starter kill. I would say it is something else that you cut, start tracing wires and check out a diagram for your rig.
 

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two things I can think of.......

1. somehow you've got your lights tied into an ignition kill relay. (unlikely since most Vipers run an Starter kill and not an Ignition kill.....but not impossible since the previous owner could have wired it this way)

2. You've got a ground disconnected somewhere, and the ignition system is using the lights as a ground. When the light switch is off the dash light wire acts like a ground. As soon as you turn the lights on the ground "disappears" and the ignition stops. This is a common mistake with "do it yourself" guys when they install car stereos. They put a volt/ohm meter on the illumination wire and mistake it for a ground.

There are so many variables here that it's hard to say for sure. Trying to troubleshoot this over the internet would be impossible at best without actually seeing the wiring in person. But I hope the info helps.
 

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Some viper alarms do have an ignition kill or the previous owner could have come up with a custom job. One thing to check would be that the headlights were wired up to flash when the alarm was triggered. Turning them on could cause a feedback to activate the ignition kill relay.
 

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Discussion Starter #5
But if the alarm is no longer in the vehicle could there still be an ignition kill. Also the truck seems to have had at some time some sort of stereo system judging by the holes cut in the doors and the wiring under the hood. Sorry I left that out before. I am beginning to think that it was a wire that I cut or removed and not the alarm because the alarm was unplugged from the black box under the dash when I got the truck and I have not had any problems before. I guess thats why they say "If it aint broke don't fix it". Well thanks for the help guys if anybody else has any ideas please let me know.
 

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Sounds like a bad ground to me... Vehicle electrical systems will do strange things with the lack of a good ground.

I used to install DEI alarms and remote starts for a living and still do them on the side. The alarms only tap into wires with the only exception being the starter kill relay which may or may not be installed depending on who did the install.

My suspicion is that since the alarm was unplugged someone tried to install the alarm themselves and failed or someone started messing around with it and screwed it up. However there is no reason I can think of that simply removing the alarm would cause you any problems.

My opinion is with 12_Volt_Dave. Check all the grounds and especially check the wire that the white wire from the alarm was tied into. This should be the parking light wire.
 

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krawlinyota said:
But if the alarm is no longer in the vehicle could there still be an ignition kill.
Yes..... if the ignition kill relay was separate from the alarm. Some alarms have the ignition/starter kill relay built in, others have the relay outboard. It's usually a Bosch, or Potter Brumfield. In this case it's very possible the alarm module was removed, but the relay was just left wired in. Same goes for the light flash relay. If the previous installer used the same power or ground for both relays, it could be backfeeding through the light flash relay into the ignition kill relay and causing your ignition issues. It's been a few years since I installed but I remember the ignition wire as being a large guage black with yellow stripe..... or blue with red stripe. (like I said, it's been a while....) Check both of these wires at the steering column and make sure there is no relay still spliced in. If so, my advice is to remove the relay and splice the factory wires back together. you'll be able to tell if someone spliced in or not.
 

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One thing you can do to isolate if it is a ground or some problem with the ignition wire (a ignition kill relay, short, etc) is to take the power wire going to your distributor and splice in a jumper wire. I'd try to keep the wire intact while cutting the plastic back. Twist a jumper wire and electrical tape it up. On the other end put an inline fuse something like 10 amps and an alligator clip to your battery. See if it dies now when the lights go on. Just remember that in order to kill the engine, you need to disconnect the alligator clip at the battery.
 
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