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Thread: Kill switch

  1. #1
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    Kill switch

    I just wanted to get some feed back on what kind of kill switches people put in their vintage Jeeps. Portland auto theft is out of hand, and though most thefts seem to be oriented toward catalytic converters or parting out popular vehicles, I'm really worried now that my CJ3B is finally facing the road, that I could run into the Home Depot and find it AWOL when I got out. These Jeeps are essentially birds' nests on the ground, so easy to hot wire that a clever 8 year old could probably manage it.

    I googled the topic and ended up in a newer 4x4 forum that was pointing to devices for Wranglers, etc., that disable fuel pumps, or has a multiple pinned electronic device, etc., most of which I'm not sure would work for older vehicles. I want to know what you all might be using. I like the idea of disabling the fuel delivery but that seems complicated short of putting a ball valve in line. The consensus from the newer Jeep people is that systems that kill the vehicle shortly after take off are the best because it gives the would be thief less time to figure out the bypass, i.e. it dies just as they're leaving the parking lot or getting part way down the street and they panic and flee the scene.

  2. #2
    Super Moderator LarrBeard's Avatar
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    In England during the early days of WWII, the common practice was to pop the distributor cap and put the rotor in your pocket. The Jeep never starts that way. With the fuel pump cut off and such, the scumbag miscreant could end up abandoning it in the middle of a busy street somewhere.

    It's hard to hotwire a missing rotor.

  3. #3
    Super Moderator bmorgil's Avatar
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    Nemo, I use a heavy plastic covered cable looped snugly around the clutch pedal and through the steering wheel (turned) with a padlock on it. If someone really wants your ride they are going to stalk you, show up with a trailer and a winch and drag it on. In those cases you must have good replacement cost insurance. For the casual thief hanging around the parking lot, the heavy cable will stop them. They will need to go inside and by a heavy duty cutter to get the cable off, and then they still have to get it running. Hopefully that will draw some attention and slow them down. It is not hard to start a classic CJ without a key that's for sure. A piece of wire from the battery to the coil, give it a push and pop the clutch, and your on your way! A fuel shutoff somewhere is the best way to prevent a "Hot Wire". They wont get far. When it stalls they will have to figure out why it stopped and then find the fuel shutoff. By then you should be there with a .45 Colt.

    If your going to leave it for a long time, Larry's pulling the rotor is also a great idea.
    Last edited by bmorgil; 05-03-2022 at 12:37 PM.

  4. #4
    Super Moderator gmwillys's Avatar
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    You can use a battery kill switch, or Disconnect switch like the link below;

    https://www.autozone.com/ignition/ki...tch/558400_0_0

    Just mount it in line with the positive battery cable, but position it in such a way that it is not obvious to it's function. One thought would be to mount it to the fire wall to where the switch handle is up under the dash. Then you would have to switch it to the on position before the starter would be energized. This works as long as the thief just tries to hot wires the key switch and rolls it down the road and pops the clutch. Another method would be to put a toggle switch to the positive wire to the coil. No juice, not start. A military method of making sure your ride doesn't wander off as Bmorgil does is to run a bicycle cable through the steering wheel to the clutch pedal. That just keeps the honest criminal at be though.

  5. #5
    Senior Member TJones's Avatar
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    Nemo here is what I used in mine being an Old equipment guy

    6129734D-67C0-4AD0-972E-56B807816F0C.jpg

  6. #6
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    About 30 years ago I looked at a Willys CJ5 that had an electric fuel pump. The owner had a few switches on the dash that had to be in the correct position to power the pump. Kind of a combination lock on the fuel system. He claimed the jeep would only move 50-100 yards before quitting if the pump wasn’t on.

    Nothing is theft proof. It doesn’t take much to defeat most devices and like what was mentioned above, they can always just bring a trailer and winch it on. The best a person can hope for is make it so the thief has to make an effort and eat up time so they get noticed. I wonder if locking the brakes might be an idea for short term parking. It would definitely add noise and time required for putting it on a trailer and keep it from rolling off under its own power.
    Jeff
    '51 CJ3A
    '47 CJ2A

  7. #7
    Member Nemo von Klepper's Avatar
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    Thanks for the ideas. Agreed that devices only stall a determined thief. I checked some other vintage vehicle sites also. One of the more interesting ideas in the MG site was to have a switch that grounds the points. This in effect would be like the points having no gap. There was a warning that it might blow your coil if the thief tries to hot wire your rig, but that would be preferable to their succeeding.

    I like the idea of simply cabling the clutch to a turned steering wheel, simple. The MG people also mentioned taking the rotor, which seems like a good solution for long parks. A lock on the battery terminal would be hard to defeat also: if a thief can't access the ground terminal, they can't source a ground from somewhere else short of bringing in their own battery.

  8. #8
    Junior Member CJ3eh's Avatar
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    I had a 66 Mustang coupe in my youth and worried about the same thing. I installed a simple switch that cut out the coil on the 12 volt side. Then I drilled a hole in the back of the center console ash tray (the rear one for the back seat passengers) and mounted a push/pull type switch under that little tab that was there to stub your butt out on. Wires ran under the console to and through the firewall.

    The beauty was that, when sitting in the seat you had to reach for the switch by feel - the ash try was actually behind your hip. You weren't going to find it by just looking because it was so far outside your normal field of view. Even staring right down into the ash tray, the butt tab still obscured the switch.

    Then I invited my sketchiest friend over and said, "There's a kill switch in this car. Ten bucks if you can find it." Poor SOB searched for ten minutes, feeling all around the dash, poking around under the hood - testing all the obvious knobs...ha ha - nada.

    But for real genius....the rotor removal is awesome.

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