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Unread 01-21-2009, 05:39 AM   #1
Marcos
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1993 ZJ 
 
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Location: Germantown, MD
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IR to RF Keyless entry conversion

This is my writeup of how to convert a '93 to '95 ZJ with the IR keyless entry remotes to RF remotes using stock Chrysler/Jeep parts, and gain a few extra features in the process. The parts can be obtained fairly easily and cheaply. This write up is long, only because I tend to be long-winded and detailed. The process itself is pretty simple. Doing it the way I did it, you also gain the Drivers-door-only on the first press of the unlock button, and you also gain a Panic feature (although it doesn't operate exactly like the factory Panic features from later vehicles)

Below is a picture of a stock IR remote, and below it are 3 Chrysler remotes that will all work with the receiver I selected. Unlock and Lock will operate the same way on all 3. Those with the 3rd button will give the same output from the receiver. I chose to adapt the 3rd-button-output to give a Panic feature. You could also wire it up to separately release the liftgate, or you can come up with your own use for the 3rd output. NOTE: this receiver defaults to requiring 2 button presses from the 3rd button, but it can be re-programmed to do it with only one. The left remote also has a stiffer diaphragm under the Panic button, to help prevent inadvertent activation. Any of these remotes should be cheaply available on ebay. I bought a pair for $10.


Below is a picture of the receiver module. These can be found on '93 through '97 LH sedans, and should be plentiful in u-pull-it yards. (Also on ebay, but they always ask way too much) Just pry up the defroster grille panel and it will be on the passenger side, held in by 2 screws. You'll want as much of the wiring pigtails as possible. This is usually about 6" working from the top, but if you go the extra mile and pull the lower dash, you can probably get double that. The plugs are usually hard to get out of the module, too. You will also want to get a 2nd blue plug from another vehicle, since you will need to add one wire, and it will already have the correct terminal crimped on. Get a mini relay if you don't have one lying around. This one is from the PDC of a '96-'98 ZJ. The mini ones work well for the space. Lastly, you may want to do as I did and find a ZJ with the IR keyless entry and cut the pigtail off the receiver with as much wire as you can. This will simplify splicing.


In addition, you'll need the usual electronics supplies, tape, solder, heat shrink, crimp connectors, spare wire. I also used the T-splice quick disconnects as shown below to simplify installation because it was easier for me than trying to solder over my head and I trust them more than my own soldering skills. I believe I used about 10 of them.


Below is a diagram that shows which wires from the LH harness to connect to the ZJ harness. You'll want to extend the wires on the RKE plugs to about 18" or a little more. I used the extra ZJ wires for this, to make matching up wire colors easier. For the LF Door unlock, and the Horn relay wire, you'll want to add about 6' to each. For the mini relay, I crimped on push-on connectors and put on some heat shrink. Then I trimmed this wire to a similar length as the others. For the programming wire, I just used an insulated connector and left the wire short. I then wrapped the whole harness, minus the programming, LF Door unlock, and Horn wires. I left about 4" of colored wires exposed at each end of the harness.


For mounting, cut off and file flush the 2 mounting ears on the LH RKE module. This way, it just fits in the Garage opener compartment of the O/H console. Remove the console, and remove the 6 screws holding the 2 compartments on (the door for the garage opener stays with the console). Remove a 1" x 1.5 or 2" section of the plastic from either side or the front of the Garage opener compartment, to pass the connectors through. Reattach the compartments to the rest of the console.

In the vehicle, locate the RKE wires in the opening cut in the headliner. Attach the T-splices to the wires you will need to tap into, staggering them. Crimp on the spade connectors to the wire ends in the adapter harness, and plug them into their corresponding wires. Pass the LF Door unlock and the Horn relay wires to the front of the headliner. Remove the driver's A-pillar trim. I removed the driver's sun visor and retainer clip to maneuver the wires over to the corner of the headliner, then reattached them with the wires well behind the screws, to prevent them from dropping down out of the front of the headliner. Work the wires down the A-pillar, securing them with tape or whatever. When you get to the dash, you can slip them behind the rubber seal and down into the kick panel without removing any dash peices. Replace the A-pillar trim.

Back up to the roof, raise the console into position, plugging in the factory RKE, the trip computer, and feed the plugs for the new RKE (including the programming wire) through the opening you cut for them. Tuck the rest of the harness into the valleys and crevices of the O/H console. Reinstall console. Plug in the new RKE module. I fastened the base to the inside of the compartment using some velcro. At this point, you can test the setup. Have the remotes you intend to use handy (max 2). Put the key in the ignition, and turn it on. Connect a jumper wire from the programming wire to ground. Press any button on either remote, the locks should cycle, or you should at least hear a click. Repeat for the other remote. Disconnect the jumper and turn the ignition off. Test that each button on the remote works. With the way it is now, the locks should lock with every press of the lock button, and unlock with every second press of the unlock button. If you have the VTSS, the alarm should also arm and disarm (Arm - light on dash flashes with all doors closed; Disarm, light stops flashing, interior lights come on). If you hooked up the mini relay as I described, then it should set off the alarm once it has finished arming, or if the alarm is not armed, but the illuminated entry is timed out, it should re-start the illuminated entry.

The last part is to hook up the Driver's door unlock. In the driver's kick panel, there should be a grommet with wires going out to the door. The wires coming from the grommet should go to 2 black connectors. Between the grommet and the larger connector, look for the pink wire with black tracer. There isn't a whole lot of wire here to work with, and quarters are tight. Once you find the wire, cut it somewhere between the connector and the grommet. At this point, it helps to slip this wire out of any wraps, labels, or electical tape bundling it to the other wires. Grab the wire going to the grommet, and connect it to the wire you brought down from the overhead console. I used a crimp-on quick disconnect, and crimped another matching terminal onto the other end of the cut wire, which will make it simple if I need to go back to stock later. At this point, the Driver Door Only feature should now work. The drivers door should unlock on every press of the remote, and with either power lock switch on the door. The other doors should only unlock on every second press. All doors should lock every time either with the remote, or with the door switch.


NOTE: if you don't want this feature, you can just wire the LF door unlock wire to operate the unlock relay (and not use the other wire at all), but you must use a diode in this line, as the RKE module keeps this line grounded otherwise, and it will short out when you try to use the door switches.

As for the horn chirp, you just need to find the horn wire in the steering column wiring bundle and T-splice into it. I haven't decided if I want this potentially annoying feature or not...

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Unread 01-21-2009, 05:51 AM   #2
Kruzin
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IMO...more trouble than it's worth.
But if it turns yer crank, have fun....
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Unread 01-21-2009, 07:44 AM   #3
Dillonzj
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This is really cool.. I wonder if you could get the parking lights to flash or something on lock and unlock... I would like to try this. but it does look like a lot of work... I wonder about maybe one out of another Chrysler vehicle maybe working.. What did you get yours out of? an LHS?
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Unread 01-21-2009, 08:01 AM   #4
Dillonzj
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I was thinking like a 2000 cherokee or a WJ but i dont think either one of those have the light flash thing.. so i dont know..
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98' JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED 5.9
149k 5.9L v8 White

Crane Cam shaft and Crane, Roller Rockers, bored .030 over, edelbrock performer heads, M1 Intake manifold, Fasstman throttle body, magnacore wires, platinum plugs, K&N FIPK, dough thorley headers,3" high flow cat, 3" magnaflow mandrel bent exhaust, SCT tuned

***future mods -5.5 IRO LA - KOR sliders -KOR roof rack -

SOLD-
95' JEEP GRAND CHEROKEE LIMITED
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...we all know they empty our pockets...yet they fill our hearts...


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Unread 01-21-2009, 08:23 AM   #5
Marcos
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One out of a 93-97 Concorde, Intrepid, Vision, LHS, or New Yorker will work. You could easily get the lights to flash by adding extra relays, but I was trying to keep this simple, with fewer extra connections. The nice thing about doing it this way is that it integrates already with the factory alarm, and replaces the pesky IR remotes (for those who know what a pain they can be)

Most other Chrysler vehicles after '96 use the CCD data bus and a BCM to provide RKE and Alarm functions, so that ruled them out.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 08:25 AM   #6
Marcos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kruzin View Post
IMO...more trouble than it's worth.
But if it turns yer crank, have fun....
Heh... I guess "customizing" is only worth it when you're doing the same things that have been done a bazillion times (lift, winch, lights, lockers...)

Really, it isn't that much work.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 10:16 AM   #7
comishcraig
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First...awesome write up.

Second, this may help me and others with programming remotes in our ZJ's without the pesky dealership wanting $60+ for the job. Do you know if the factory ZJ box has the same wiring as the diagram you provided from the LHS? IF so, and if I understand your instructions correctly, all I have to do is ground out the "DG" (Dark Green?) wire, turn the ignition to the on position and press the button on my remote to program it???

Third, if I'm correct about #2, do you know where the box is hidden in a ZJ that came from the factory with the RF remote system?

Thanks!!!
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Unread 01-21-2009, 01:48 PM   #8
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Sorry, no luck with the '96 and up Grand Cherokees (ZJ & WJ). These have the RKE receiver built into the passenger door module, and they get the signal to enter the programming mode over the data bus from the DRB tool. It's an encrypted command, not just grounding or applying voltage to a line.
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Unread 01-21-2009, 02:07 PM   #9
comishcraig
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So, can you get a tool to do that for a 96+ ZJ, or do you really need to pay the dealership?
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Unread 01-21-2009, 05:20 PM   #10
compcrasher86
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dealership, roughly 55 bucks per remote to program. It sucks, I wanted to add a relay for lights flash too but damm, that didnt work
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Unread 04-25-2009, 03:28 PM   #11
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Ok, so now I'm in a pickle. I made up a nice wiring harness, mounted the RKE receiver in the overhead console out of the way. got all the wires hooked up ... and OH F.....!

So now there's a relay going nuts under the glove box. pull the fuse for the interior lights, and it stops. No radio, no EVIC, and the compass needs recalibrating. The SECURITY light on the dash comes on, and stays on. no power door locks either. I removed everything I installed, put it back to factory. No go.

Damnit.

This was not a good day for doing this mod.
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Unread 04-25-2009, 04:20 PM   #12
baxy
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a 2001 and newer caravan is a selfcontained module too and their cheap

**** this probably wouldnt work as you need the scanner to program the first fob ***

early ram truck had the grounding wire to program fobs easy to find those at an auto wrecker

Last edited by baxy; 04-25-2009 at 06:17 PM..
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Unread 04-25-2009, 04:23 PM   #13
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nice write up, and is your old remote for sale?
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Unread 04-25-2009, 06:18 PM   #14
baxy
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better yet yank the IR remote system out and replace it with a remote start and hook up the door lock features
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Unread 04-25-2009, 08:10 PM   #15
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Quote:
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better yet yank the IR remote system out and replace it with a remote start and hook up the door lock features
Best option of all. Bulldog systems have four buttons on them. Yes, you can hook them up to kick on the rear window defogger or to crack the front windows open a little. Just gotta get a little creative with your wiring.
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