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DIY: Remote Start/Keyless Entry install, 1st Gen W-body


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Alrighty, so here's a Remote Start/ Keyless Entry DIY for you 1st Gen's out there. This should apply to 1.5 gens for the most part, and 2nd gens up until about 99-00 (all depending on build date :willynilly:).


Before I start this, I will say that it is totally up to you to test each wire appropriately using a Digital Multimeter. The use of a test light is not a good choice. Even computer safe test lights have been known to pop fuses, so don't use them. This is to be used as a guide only, and each vehicle may vary slightly. Neither W-body.com, the Owners, Moderators, Members, or I, are at fault incase you do electrical damage to your own vehicle.






First and foremost, I pull up my wiring diagram. The vehicle in question is a 1995 Buick Regal aka Regis (thats Rachel's name for her car). For this write-up, I highlighted everything I will be using. Usually I just grab it, grab my harness's, and get to work bench prepping everything.






On the DEI harness, a brief description of each wire, and what to do with it:


Harness H3:

Black/White- Neutral safety switch input. This wire basically grounds out when the car is in park. Just tie it into the ground wire in the primary harness, this is generally unneccessary, unless your doing a manual.

Violet/White- Tach input. Tap this into the appropriate tach line. This learns the vehicles tach, and limits how the remote starter functions(doesn't grind the starter, apply's current only when needed, etc...)

Brown- Brake Shutdown. Tap this wire into the brake wire. This is crucial. If the wire is not connected, remote start won't work, that simple! To test, tap into brake wire, put red lead to this wire, black lead to ground, and press the brake pedal. The meter should read 12V while you have the brake pedal pressed down.

Grey- Hoodpin switch. This is used as a switch for when the hood is up, the remote start won't function. As a standard, we are supposed to do it, basically as a safety switch, so someone doesn't accidently remote start the vehicle while your hand is down by the fans. Thats never a good thing. On this car, I didn't do a hood pin, as I know I'm the only one ever under the hood, so cut I did.

Blue/White- Second status/defogger. Generally used as a rear defogger output, but I never do it, unless requested. Then I usually make them buy a relay and then rape them on labor. Yep, cut it.


Harness H1:

Orange- Ground when armed output. Truthfully, I don't even know what this wire does. I can also say that I have never used it, on the like 100+ cars that I have done.

White- Parking light output. I think the name explains what it does. For this vehicle, just use the positive trigger. To test, positive lead to wire, negative lead to ground, and turn on the lights. Should read 12v with the lights on, 0 when off.

White/Blue- Activation input. Used for pushbutton remote start, used on non-remote systems when adding a remote start, etc.. Just trim it.

Black/white- Domelight. Nuff said. On these vehicles, tap into the door trigger wire. To test, positive lead to wire, negative lead to ground. Close all doors. With doors closed, reads 12v. Doors open, reads nothing.

Green- Not used.

Blue- 2nd unlock input. Not even sure, generally for vehicles that require two pulses to unlock the doors. Just trim it.

Violet- Not used.

Black- Ground. Nuff said.

Brown- Horn honk. If you want it, the horn will honk at lock and unlock. If you don't do it, horn doesn't go honky honky. To test, postive lead to wire, negative lead to ground. Press the horn. If correct wire, should flip voltage from what it is (12 to 0, or vise versa, totally forget).

Red- 12V input. This line is constant, connect it to the 12v constant line.

Red/White- Channel 2 output. Generally the AUX button the remote, most widely used for trunk pop. I did trunk pop (required a relay), but if you don't want it, just trim it.


Harness H2: Don't even worry about this harness. I can't name the last vehicle I had to do a factory alarm arm or disarm, as it just does it at lock and unlock anyways. Wait to start is for diesels, and Channel 4 output would be used for rolling up windows/sunroofs, etc...


On the relay pack:

The big wires get connected to exactly what the diagram says: 12v go's to constat, ignition go's to ignition, etc... Nothing hard about this.


There's listed a small 4 pin harness, not used on these vehicles. But used when additional starter lines, ignition lines, accessory lines are needed. The blue status wire is used for bypass modules.


The ribbon harness listed in both the brain and relay pack diagram is what sends the signal from the brain to the relay plack. It's just a harness that plugs into both, so thats nothing big to worry about.



At this point, I know what and what not I will be using. So... anything I will not be using, I start trimming off, but not in all equal lengths. I do this so that the wires bare ends will not touch each other, and possibly short out the brain. I also leave, at minimum, 3" of wire left after I trim, just incase the wire may be used in an another vehicle in the future. I do each harness seperately, trimming off anything I don't need. Afterwards, electrical tape is my friend. Tape up the harness until each trimmed wire is covered. BE SURE that any wire that has a fuse in line, that you tape over the fuse. This ensures that the contact points on the top of the fuse (with fuses you can do a continuity test with a multimeter instead of pulling the fuse to check if it's good or not) do not touch metal and ground out.


This is typical of how I will tape off harness's:






For the Relay pack, there are 2 Constant 12v+ leads. Obviously, as you can see on the vehicle wire diagram, that there is only 1 12v+ constant in the ignition harness. Soo... tap one of them into the other, and now you only have 1 12v+ lead to connect. For this vehicle, I also chose not to do starter kill, simply because if the car is stolen, it's not a humongous loss. But... if I were to do a starter kill, the Yellow starter wire does get cut in half. The Green wire would get connected to the Key Side of the starter wire, the Purple gets connected to the Starter/BCM side of the starter wire. In this case, with no starter kill, the purple wire is the only one connected. There is also a 12v constant on the brain on the harness. I tie it into the wire I am connecting as well, again just to have 1 wire to connect instead of like 5 12v+ constant lines. And believe me, don't worry about doing it, as the wire supplied on the relay pack is MORE than large enough to connect everything into.


There also lists a red/white constant input on the relay pack. This is what powers some of the other functions (ignition output, accessory, etc..), so just tap this into one of the red 12v+ constant lines as well.




As far as bypassing the Vats/Passkey, by standards, I am supposed to use a relay with the correct resistance in line. Again, I chose not to do this, simply for the fact that who cares on this vehicle. On a customers vehicle, I will NEVER do this. It is against standards, and is considered a cheating way to do it. But... also knowing that the resistance in these keys are starting to fail with the age of these vehicles, I decided totally eliminating it would be best.


The orange sheathed harness here is the passkey wires. Take your key, take a multimeter, and measure the resistance. Figure up some resistors until you have the corrected Ohm load, usually with a 5% tolerance range. Snip the orange sheathed harness, strip back two wires heading AWAY from the key cylinder, and put your resistor between the two wires. Heat shrink it up, and your all set.





The rest of this install is pretty self explanatory. On every 1st gen, these wires have been in almost EXACTLY the same place.


The ignition harness is to the right of the steering column. You can either lay on your back, or kneel on your knees outside of the car, and work in. Whatever works best for you.


You can tie your horn, brake wire (if you have cruise control), starter, ignition wires, accessory, and 12v+ constant lines together into one harness heading one direction (I use electrical tape to make this part of the harness). The horn and brake lines are actually in the ribbon harness's running up your column (nifty little trick).







Dome and parking lights at the headlamp switch, in which the wiring is more than easily accessible after removing the knee panel in these vehicles.


Tape off the dome light (which gets tapped into the door trigger wire at the headlamp switch) and the parking light wire together, as these two will go to the headlamp switch to get these wires (not necessary if you know where else to look for these wires, but for this DIY's sake, I went to the switch).






Lock, unlock, and ground down in the drivers kick panel.


Obviously take your lock and unlock wire, and tape these up. At this point, I also run the ground wire with these, as I know I can easily make a good ground down in the drivers kick panel while I am there.





At this point, there are two wires that still need to be ran- -200mA Output (usually trunk pop), and my tachometer line. The tachometer line usually go's to a wire listed in the diagram, generally at a coil, or an uncommon wire at any injector (if each injector has a pink wire, DON'T use the pink wire, easy as that). Since the trunk release is positive triggered, and the output is negative triggered, a relay is needed to switch it around, and make it a positive triggered line.


Tach wire by the coil packs. This wire is measured in AC voltage, NOT DC. While running, this wire should measure between 1.5-7 volts AC.





I needed to drill a hole, since on the 95 regal, there is no empty firewall grommet. I chose below the brake booster. I popped a firewall grommet in for good measures.






An LED for a remote start/keyless entry isn't totally necessary, but I did it anyways. Since I did the horn honk, and people will hear it, why not add the LED, and make it act like it's an alarm also? Anyways, I popped off the big, ugly, blue cover on the LED, and just had the bare LED. Drilled a 1/8" hole (9/32" if you leave the fancy blue cover on), and ran the wire.





And thats it! That's how simple these 1st gens are. Obviously cleanup is left up to you. Here's an example of mine. I was very short on time tonight (went into work early to do it, ended up getting yelled at by the managers, so I just had enough time to do it). After this picture was snapped, I zip tied the ignition harness's (they weren't stock), and zip tied everything all together.




And then just tuck it all up in the dash somewhere, zip tie up everything so nothing falls, and your done.


You will have to program the Tach line, as listed in your installation manual.



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Yeah, and I'm sure I'm forgetting a thing or two, but it's late, and I really don't care to look it over right now.


Any questions, just ask.


BTW, I'll post up pictures tomorrow on how I tap into wires. It's been one of the best way's I've done it, and the tap has been proven to last well over 10-15+ years with absolutely no problems ( I give this time limit because thats about as long as these things have been around).


Don't use t-taps, they suck, and just brake wires.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Tools I use for the job:


Wire strippers:








Large pick tool(needed to fit through larger gauge wire):




Thinner pick tool:




And a good knife to cut through the factory tape:




Obviously everyone knows what a drill is, so no need to show that. When I make my grounds, I use a self-tapping screw. After that screw is in, I pull it back out, and I grab thicker sheet metal screw along with a star washer, and ground out the unit.



I'm suprised there are no questions?

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It's most likely a valet switch of sorts. Generally, no, it doesn't matter which way the switch is wired. All that it's there for is to make a ground (it's generally grounding out the neutral safety switch input, it's much easier to just put a switch in line, and tell customers that they can flip the switch, and the remote start won't function).

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God, I wish I had wired one of these up in my W.. instead I had the pleasure of spending 7 hours in my 30* garage installing one in a '94 Civic as a early Christmas gift for the girlfriend.


But hey! it only cost me 79 bucks :rolleyes:

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It didn't seem that bad, but some of the wiring was kinda hard to get to, plus my hands were wicked numb most of the time, and some of the wiring diagram I think wasn't that precise so I kinda had to guess which wires it was talking about (for the lights/accessories/all that stuff).

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  • 1 month later...

any write ups for a 2G?


There's a bit more to them than the 1st gen- if you don't want to use a relay for trunk pop, you will have to go to the BCM which is tucked up above the steering wheel on the right side. IIRC, there's a few wires there that's needed to get to.


Ignition wires are pretty much standard.


Bypassing the Vats, or PassKey, or Passlock, or whatever the hell it has is a bit more complicated than the 1st gens, but easy in my book. Hell... I can totally eliminate it if it comes down to it.

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  • 3 years later...

Hey slick, very detailed diy, it was very helpful. The only issue I was confused about is what wires you spliced into for the lock & unlock. There are multiple lt. blue, and multiple white wires in the kick panel, which ones are correct?

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