how to disable a Dodge RAM 1500 van

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I'm about to head out on a 10 week trip round the USA in my conversion van, and as it will be my home for most of that time I wanted to ensure that it will be as secure as possible from thieves.
I don't really have much confidence in regular alarm systems - when was the last time you saw an alarm go off and heard someone say 'Quick, call the police"?
As I have a padlocked strong box under the bed inside I figured I might be able to quicky detach a key component from the engine and stash it in the locked box while I'm away from the vehicle, but I don't know what would be most suitable. In the old days I could have simply removed the distributer cap, but with computer managed fuel systems now that isn't an option. Any ideas?
I saw an interesting suggestion elsewhere about putting a switch on the line to the fuel pump and hiding it somewhere under the dash, but I don't know how easy that would be to do or whether it would cost me a couple of hundred dollars to get an auto electrician to put it in for me. Is there a key and unique fuse somewhere on board that I could take out?
One last point. When I say a strong box I mean just that. It's similar to the tool boxes on the back of many pickup trucks, and it's actually bolted to the floor from the inside, so that the only way you could take it out of the vehicle is to break open the lid or padlocks.
Any advice on the matter would be much appreciated.
Thanks
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What year is the van? The older ones with a distributor can be disabled by swapping the center wire from the coil with one of the plug wires at the cap. Hard to see, and it sounds like it is almost going to start.
Al
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Hi Big Al, It's a 1999 Dodge conversion Van with the 5.9 litre engine, if that helps. Could you clarify the process you're talking about - there's a lot of things I know, but finding my way around motors is not one of them. I'm familiar with the bare basics, and that's about it, sad but true. I wish I knew more about what's under the bonnet, but I've just never had the time to devote to the subject.
Tim
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Sometimes paranoia takes over and normally sane people let their neurosis' take control of their day to day lives. I'd suggest you make sure your insurance premiums are paid up...maybe drop your deductable to $100 or even $0 for this trip; get towing coverage and motel / car rental coverage and simply forget the silly strong box. Everything is replacable except for family heirlooms...so don't travel with them. Buy yourself a "The Club" to lock your steering wheel...they are about $40.
Now take a deep breath and try to have fun on your trip.
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Lance LaFrinier wrote:

Surely you jest.
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Frank wrote:

in less than ten seconds . . . they are about $40.
Rick
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Gee Lance, Heard of overstating the bleeding obvious? Of being an insufferably patronizing twit? I should check my insurance - wow, now there's something I would never have considered! And oh my God, I'd never have thought to make sure our AAA coverage was up to date! Thankyou!
The trip relates to a photo trip for a book I'm writing. As well as being my home the van will also contain about $10,000 worth of camera equipment, computers, etc, much of which will have to stay in the van while I'm out each day doing my field work - hence the secured steel box inside. Losing the vehicle is not the central issue, losing the gear inside is. Disabling the vehicle makes it that much more difficult to steal the equipment in the strong box, as they would have to drive off to a private place to make the necessary racket to smash into it - that or pull out oxy gear.
Insurance won't replace the camera equipment overnight (it would take at least a month to replace all the components) nor can it hold the seasons back, and all the autumn colors I'm after, while I'm waiting for insurance payouts and new gear.
Any other pearls of wisdom Lance? Brushing my teeth before going to bed will help keep down tooth decay? Driving on the right side of the road, instead of the left, will prevent head-on collissions? Remember to pull the rip-cord next time I go skydiving so that I don't hit the ground hard? You're obviously a font of everything inane.
PS - do some homework on 'the club'.
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Assuming from the 'RAM 1500' name that it's at least a '94, remove the starter, fuel pump, and ASD relays from the Power Distribution Center. They're all the same, so you don't have to worry about which is which, and they only plug in one way.
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Why do people have to complicate simple stuff. Just take out the battery. Cost = $0.
John
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John, Actually, that's probably not a bad point, especially when I can lock it up in the box. A bit of weight work, but what the heck, how many thieves carry around their own battery? Still, the would-be thief could get annoyed, decide he's not going to be beaten, and go to a neigbouring car and steal its battery to shove in my van - now THAT would be a thief doing it in style!
Cheers.....Tim
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This thread reminds me of the stupid "anti-theft" device on my 01. Chip that is insertied under the dash. Pretty much just serves as a "second key" that has to be used in conjunction with the main one.
On a long trip I pulled over for a nap and kicked it loose. Took a while till I realized what was wrong. On top of that irritation the salesman tried to charge me an additial 2 or 3 hundered dollars for i when I bought the truckt. I said take it out! He did not charge me for it but I never got back to the shop to have it disabled. Anyone know how?
John
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or a battery disconnect switch mounted under dash or under hood? used to use a disconnect switch on the FD trucks was mounted in the cab.

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How about disconnecting the battery cables too. I don't think a thief wil be willing to spend that much time.
John
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Why no just pull the ignition fuse?
beekeep
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I'm thinking the poster with the three relays had the best solution. You could just throw them in your pocket, they aren't heavy like the battery, no thief is going to have a spare set, much less even know they are missing. What thief is going to break into a second vehicle, looking for relays to start your vehicle. If you remove the battery, you'll reset the ECU, and the van may run rough for a few days. I'd also use the "club" as a visual deterent. Might save the cost of a window.

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beekeep
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True, but in our area, it proves to be basic transportation to the next drug fix. These thieves just steal the easiest vehicle available. They don't carry tools, to defeat the club.
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Hell, why not just remove the ignition fuse/relay from the main distro center?

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Now why didn't I think of that? :)
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