One of the worst nightmares any diesel owner can have is finding his or her pride and joy missing from the driveway.
According to statistics, a car or truck is stolen every 30 seconds in the United States. And if you live in southern border areas, where smugglers target trucks to run drugs and smuggle illegal aliens, the chances of your truck disappearing are pretty good.
Case in point is a late-model 2006 Dodge Ram with the 5.9L Cummins. The owner stops for lunch alongside the freeway in Phoenix, Arizona. Forty-five minutes later, the truck is long gone from the parking lot.
Three weeks later, the border patrol finds the mangled truck in the desert with a seized motor, all the headlights and taillights missing, and the interior lights taped over. In the bed were shoes, backpacks and empty water bottles. Apparently, the smugglers ran the truck as hard as they could until something punctured the radiator and the motor seized.
So, what are your security options? You can get an expensive alarm system with all the bells and whistles, including a remote start, and buy yourself some security that the system might not be bypassed and that your truck might still be there after the alarm goes off.
However, apparently, the bad guys can get a simple code-scanner off the Internet that can easily defeat these systems. And as for the chip built into modern-day ignition keys, the pros have also found a simple way around them.
The other option is a new anti-theft system from Ravelco that prevents the truck from being started, even if the thieves break in and break the steering column to access the ignition switch. According to Clark Lund, Arizona distributor for Ravelco, the device is basically a 16-pin plug-and-socket setup that is wired into the vehicle’s ignition and fuel system.
The unit can be mounted under the dash, flush inside the dash or even hidden, and according to Ravelco, without the corresponding pin connector, the truck can’t be started. Lund also indicated that there are more than 100,000 pin combinations available to the Ravelco units, so there are no “master plugs.”
Since Arizona has become the hotbed for stolen Dodges, the owner of our Project 2nd Gen 1999 Dodge 24-valve was getting nervous about leaving his nationally publicized truck sitting outside his house.
Mr. Lund generously stepped up and gave us a Ravelco system for our project, and the folks at Strictly Diesel, in Phoenix, Arizona, did the install. Strictly Diesel is an authorized Ravelco dealer and its employees know the secrets to a clean and quick install.
In a nutshell, the Ravelco unit bridges power to both the starter and fuel system. Without the 16-pin plug, the truck will not start—period. And the system tap-in is so secret, even the best professional thief will never figure out how to bypass it. The install took less than an hour, and the unit works like a charm.
Most people add their pin connector to their key ring. In addition, according to Ravelco, it’s common sense not to leave the spare hidden somewhere in the truck. The end result is peace of mind: When you leave your truck outside your home, at the store or an airport parking lot, it will be there when you return.