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Discussion Starter #1
Hey everyone, first off I have to apologize because although I do have some pictures from my install as you can see I am super lame and have posted none of them here (just kidding I did end up posting a few...). I'm skipping the pictures at this time basically because if you wait for me to go through and pick the good ones and annotate them and upload them somewhere to be hosted by the time that happens we all will be old and gray-haired. Just doing a text writeup at least to start with will save a lot of time and get these tips out there faster. A good DIY person is not going to need my pictures anyways, I have no photos valuable enough to make or break your install.

Let me also just throw this out there: Installing a remote starter yourself at home is a major project and not at all a beginners task. If you haven't done one before, it is way more complicated and risky than swapping out your radio or changing some speakers in your doors or changing to HIDs or most any other piddly electrical mod project you may have done so far. Literally nobody recommends a home DIY shadetree guy install his own remote starter. Not even me. I'm making this post mainly to help the hard-headed you-know-whats like me who are too stubborn to not do it themselves or for the professional who knows remote starter systems really well but is not familiar with the base versa.

If you decide to go ahead with an RS install at home you do so completely at your own risk and believe me, there is a lot of stuff you can mess up so think about it very carefully and do plenty of homework and preparation ahead of time. The more extra junk (features) your remote starter module has the worse this is going to be for you. A simple one-button unit with no windshield-mounted antenna would be the easiest as compared to a unit which also controls power door locks and has an alarm/siren and an antenna you need to route up to the windshield. If controlling or adding power locks is not high on your wish list and you don't need much range, get the one-button with no external antenna and no extra frills. Fewer wires = less suffering and less time.

Of course I want to add power door lock actuators and wanted to have an alarm on my securityless base sedan and I wantted hella long range so I got a nice nightmare kit with all the bells and whistles.

Tip #1: Windshield-mounted antenna (if applicable)
If you want a long-range unit you are going to end up with an antenna to mount up near your rear-view mirror. Tucking the cord into the headliner and tucking it most of the way down the side of the windshield won't be a major issue, but getting the cord through the dash at the bottom of the windshield may take a while. The issue here is that the dash, the plastic side panel on the A-pillar, and the body of the car are basically interlocked very tightly. The only way I can think of to describe this is to take both your hands and curl/cup your fingers as if you are holding onto some handlebars or a chin-up bar, then while keeping that shape with your hands try locking them together and pulling them apart. This is kinda how the edge of the dash is there and it makes it very difficult to pass a wire through it, technically impossible BUT there is one tiny spot near the corner where they left it open. This spot is maybe a fuzz more than 1/4 wide and 1/16th of an inch thin. Its enough to pass a flat cable through but what is going to stick you is the damn connector(s) on the end of the cord which ultimately plug into your remote starter brain. On my antenna wire there were three plugs, one for the antenna itself, one for the LED blinky lights, and one for the valet switch which is also part of the antenna. These connectors were not huge but to that tiny hole in the corner of the dash it was like trying to fit a brick through a mailbox slot.
I jabbed multiple screwdrivers into the corner of the dash and cranked and pried until something probably should have broken. It barely helped at all and I do not recommend you do anywhere near the corner of the dash with a screwdriver or pry bar as all you are going to get is badly gouged plastics. The way the panels lock together they are very strong. In hindsight the only thing I did not try as much as I probably should have is pressing up on the dash from underneath, which is tough to do you are not going to get your arm up there you would need a metal bar of some kind.
So, the dash is assembled super tight in a manner that greatly resists prying, there is one itty bitty slot/hole, how to get the antenna cord through there without gouging the crap out of your plastic? Well its too late for me but if I were to do it over on another car here is what I would do now: cut the antenna cord. If you try to pass the cord through the tiny slot there connectors and all you are going to have a long painful experience like I did and risk wrecking your connectors by pulling wires out of them or whatnot. Just cut/peel the black flat cable shielding back about 6 inches, photograph or write down what wires connect to what (if they don't all have unique colors) and then cut it off leaving enough for you to solder those wires back together. This might not be the 100% best thing to do to the antenna wire but if you solder it back up nicely I don't see why it wouldn't work perfectly fine. This is assuming you have all copper wires in the antenna wire bundle, if you've got any sort of weird coax shielded thing I would leave it alone and resort to gouging the plastic.
With your connector(s) temporarily snipped off you now have a chance to get that wire through the dash without scratching the crap out of it.
How best to fish it through? What worked well for me was some JUMBO zip ties. I have some zip ties from my local fleet supply store that are three feet long and rated 175 lbs. They are the right combination of stiff and flexible and the right shape to go through a slot hole. Probe the tip around from the top and you should be able to find the slot and push it through until you can grab it from underneath the dash. Obviously the big fat ratcheting end of the zip tie is not going to fit through that hole so you can either 1) sacrifice that zip tie by cutting off the end of it or 2) use the first zip tie to reverse-feed a second zip tie taped end-to-end back up through the dash.
Now just tape your flat trimmed antenna cable to the zip tie making as small of a profile as possible and pull it through. Once the cable is through obviously go back and solder the connector wires back up and you should be good to go.
Lot of pissing around, eh? This is why I said don't even buy a unit with a window mount antenna if you don't need long-range. Many inexpensive units don't have windshield antennas and if you only want to start the car in your driveway from your window a few yards away then you will save a lot of time by not messing with this part. Alternatively, you may decide to buy a unit with an antenna like mine but not choose to mount it on your windshield (instead put it somewhere upright under the dash) which will reduce your range but save some time and suffering. If it has a button on the antenna make sure you leave it where you can comfortably reach it because most of the time you will need that button as well as the LED lights on the antenna during parts of programming and sometimes for additional features.
You know what I said I wasn't doing pictures but just for you guys here are a couple that may help, one showing the location of where the hole is the other a cautionary warning of what will happen to your plastic if you try to big-stick the issue:






Tip #2: Clutch switch bypass relay
Right so if you are installing a unit on a manual transmission car obviously the car requires the clutch pedal to be depressed during starter cranking as a safety measure, and obviously during remote start depressing that clutch pedal is not doing to happen. You are going to have to bypass the clutch safety switch with a relay. If your chosen RS unit is worth its mettle it will have programmable auxiliary relay driver wires you can utilize to control your relay while cranking. Naturally you need to setup the relay to mimick the operation of the clutch safety switch and allow it to return to normal functionality the rest of the time. There are two wires going to the clutch safety switch, IIRC the switch closes the circuit when the pedal is pressed. Thanks to the design of the stock wire harness (they really threw us a bone here) you can add a clutch switch bypass relay without cutting any stock wires here provided you have some spare male and female spade connectors lying around. Have a look at this picture of the clutch switch connectors, then look at the picture of my bypass relay, and see if it throws on a light bulb in your head:





See where that is going? For those who are familiar with relays it should be fairly obvious what to do from there. If the lightbulb did not come on for you and you are thinking of sending me a PM asking what pins of the relay to use then stop yourself right there and reconsider the entire idea of doing this install yourself because that would be a clear red flag that this project is likely too much for you. Not at all trying to be mean, everybody has a "first" install of this type of thing where you don't have a lot of experience to draw on and thats perfectly fine but I am not here to guide newbies today I'm trying to save some time for the people who have an above-average understanding of what needs to be done so they don't have to battle it quite as long as I did.

Tip #3: Neutral safety switch (for manual transmission)
Most remote starter kits have a programmable "manual mode" that makes it "safe" to use a remote starter on a manual transmission car. In a pinch manual mode is better than nothing but I, for one, do NOT want to do a 5-step dance with my car each and every damn time I park it just to reassure the car that I really did leave it in neutral. Thats obnoxious. But you DO want to make sure the car is left in neutral during remote starting, do not permanently tie the neutral safety wire to ground and skip this critical safety feature! Its cheap and really not that difficult to do.
So what you are going to need is to get yourself a normally open magnetic reed switch. I got this 5-pack from amazon for cheap: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00O9WCOB8/ref=oh_aui_detailpage_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1

The rough idea here is to put the magnet on your shift linkage with some jbweld and then mount the reed switch to where it only picks up the magnet and closes the circuit to ground when the shifter is in neutral. The main thing is to make sure the spot on the linkage you choose is far enough back that it won't contact the cable shield in 2nd, 4th, and reverse gears. What ended up working for me was dremmeling the magnet until it had a notch that would fit the cable linkage nicely and facing the magnet straight up, then mounting the switch facing down in a small block of wood that was cut to the right width to be mounted above the traveling magnet. It is crucial after mounting your magnet to move the shifter lever into every position and be sure the magnet does not come into contact with anything or in any way interfere with the movement of the shifter. It is also critical to test that the circuit only closes in the neutral position. Hence we ensure with good confidence that the remote starter will not function if the vehicle is left in gear, nice and safe and idiot-proof.

Some pictures for you, since apparently I am doing pictures now even though I said I wasn't going to:





Note how the magnet does not touch the cable shield, shown here in 4th gear:


Holes drilled to mount wood block holding the reed switch:


Doesn't have to be pretty, just has to be out of the way of all moving parts and hold the maget in the proper position so it is just above the magnet when in neutral:




Hmmm... seems I neglected to take any pictures of the switch installed. I have a video though. Blerg... fine just for you guys I will start the video upload to youtube... I'll come back and drop that in in a bit...

Moving on.. (splitting into two posts because this is too big)
 

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Part 2:

Tip #4: Brake Light Wire
Hook to the green wire at the connector for the brake pedal switch. I don't normally like to use these types of connectors but this is one spot where I threw in the towel and did it because its tough to solder upside down.


Tip #5: Door entry trigger wire (for alarm or courtesy lights)
This one is way up there towards the hole where the windshield antenna wire comes through. Here again I ended up using a piggyback connector due to inability to reach up there and bare the wire and solder it nicely. If I were a real nice guy I would download this photo, draw an arrow to the wire, and re-upload it but this is already taking all morning to write up so just know that there is a little cluster of blue and white wires taped up there, if you reach up and cut the tape you can pull the bundle away slightly and then the wire you want is the lightest blue wire out of the bunch. In my photo here I have pulled the lightest blue wire away from the rest to try to point it out. Its a pain but you can reach up there and get a piggyback connector on there just take your time and be careful its pretty much going to be a one-handed operation and you do not want to accidentally cut that wire as you try to crimp down on it. This is one of the wires you get to skip if your system has no alarm or no provisions for courtesy lights on remote door unlock.



Tip #6: Ignition Switch Wires
The big white 6-pin plug for the ignition switch is on the left side of the steering column. Its a bit of a pain to get the plastic shroud around the steering column off. You will need to turn the wheel left and right to be able to see/access two screws that help hold the top part of the shroud to the bottom half. The rest of it is just kinda held together with plastic clips. Do not stick your screwdriver or anything else into the two holes on the side of the steering wheel, those are access ports to the steering wheel airbag release springs and you do NOT want to mess with those.

I shouldn't have to say it, but be sure to SOLDER these connections as they are high amperage and critical to the functionality of the system. I do not recommend getting your primary 12v power input from the harness here. Your remote starter system will be better fed and isolated if you run a good 10 gauge wire up to the battery and put a fuse on it there. This also saves you from having to trim insulation off and solder one more big fat wire at the ignition switch plug. Make some nice solder connections per wiring diagram instructions and cover them with two coats of liquid tape, then when that dries put some regular electrical tape over them, and they will be good for forever.





Tip #7: Tach Signal Wire @ Fuel Injector
If you are going to go through the hassle of putting a remote start in, then definitely use the tach mode. Yes its more work but it simply works better, especially where extreme cold is concerned. If you put all this work in and then take the easy route out on this and use voltage sensing mode then it will work but it will let you down right when you need it the most, when it is supremely cold outside and the car is slow to crank.

The easiest injector to get to, in my opinion, was the second-to-last one looking left-to-right when starting straight at the engine compartment. It was just easy to put some pliers in there and pop it out. You want to solder your tach signal wire to the RED wire. RED RED RED, not the blue. I tried the blue wire first and it did not work, had to re-do it all over again. So yeah, solder onto the red wire and do the tach learn procedure and your unit should start reliably all the time in the bitter cold. So far mine has worked down to -25 F, at some point it will probably be too cold to work but -25 is pretty good. What happens in voltage sensing mode is it only cranks for 3/4 of a second and thats not long enough when it gets that cold, in tach mode mine will crank for up to three seconds until RPMs are detected.


Good news everyone, the end is near! Now you just have to neatly tuck and organize this clusterf*** up under the dash and get your plastic panels back in place and do your programming.



More good news, I started out this thread saying I wasn't going to give you any pictures, now hours later here we are and not only did you get a few pictures here is a VIDEO of the neutral safety switch in action:

I didn't describe really well in the video but hopefully its obvious that one of the leads of the switch goes to ground...

This has been a lot of typing today so I hope someone finds it useful. Obviously this is not a how-to, this is tips for people who already know what to do generally speaking that hopefully will reduce the amount of time you have to spend on the project.

Other items of note:

There are no transponders/chips in the keys of the 2016 Base Sedan in the USA. Hence no bypass module is needed. Kinda nice if you are adding a unit with a basic alarm feature like I did so we can have a little bit of security in our car because other than what we add there is nothing except mechanical (keyed) security in the base model.

I know someone will ask what unit I used. Let me preface this by saying I do not have any brand loyalty to any particular aftermarket remote starter/alarm system. I shopped mainly by price and by what remote fobs didn't look stupid. That being said what I ended up installing was an Excalibur AL1860EDPB
This is a two-way system with an advertised 1500 foot range. It has just about anything you could want, outputs for future power door locks, trunk release, alarm with optional sensors, auxiliary wires for extra relays you may need, and a lot of programmable options. I am very happy with the performance so far. I can start the car from my windowless office and get a confirmation on the remote that the car received the command, and also confirmation that the start was successful. I like the red blinky lights on the antenna that lets people know this particular base-model versa DOES have some kind of security in place. I like the extra function channels even though I haven't used any of them yet.

It took me an entire weekend to munch my way through this install, and this is the 4th remote starter kit I have done. That probably sounds like a long amount of time but I go slow and carefully, solder and liquid tape everything and then do regular tape over that. I prepped a good number of hours before heading into the garage, you need to make sure you are familiar with your kit and all its wires if you don't do this sort of thing on a regular basis. I went through and labeled each of my wires that I needed to use and taped up all the extra wires I did not need. I like to tape over the ends of un-used wires just to be sure nothing grounds out mysteriously once that ball of spaghetti is tucked up under the dash. I left the control wires for power locks in an easy-to-reach spot so later this year when it warms up and I decide to do power locks I can easily add them to this system.

Don't forget to disconnect the battery before you get started.

Pay attention to critical programming features you may need, in my case it was necessary to reprogram the kit's second ignition wire to instead act as a second accessory wire.

For wiring diagrams/list I recommend you look up your car on every free website that will give them to you, then compare them and watch for inconsistencies and errors. At the time I did my project bulldogsecurity had the best/most accurate wire chart for my car. it pays to download and print the wire chart for the car and then use a pencil to map each wire from the car list to the wire list in the instructions for your remote starter kit (if you are a non-pro like me who only does one once every couple years or so).

If you have questions feel free to post them and if I can I will answer, but please only serious technical questions. If you haven't gotten the hint by now and this is like the third time I have said this, *this is not a how-to for beginners!* If you are getting ready for your very first remote starter install and it happens to be on this car well then great but go do a bunch of reading and watch lots of videos aimed at beginners and then come back and read this to get a few tips specific to this car. There is not enough here to use this post as your only resource for a first-time install and I am not going to turn it into something like that. As you can see a home DIY person definitely *can* fight there way through this, obviously I did, but its not recommended and if you don't take your time and do a nice clean job the people at the dealership are going to hate you when you come in for service and they won't give you the time of day if you ask them to help with an issue anywhere near something you hacked up. My experience is that if you do a good clean job they will usually be happy to continue servicing the car under warranty.

Everything in this post and any subsequent comments I may make are not guaranteed to be free of errors and note that for whatever reason your car could be slightly different than mine, so take everything with a grain of salt and think for yourself as you go through your project. All things considered this is a pretty nice car to do this on since no built in security or immobilizers in the USA base model.

Best of luck to those of you who decide to take the plunge! :grin
 

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Thanks for sharing. Soon as I can find Minnesota on a map maybe we can have a meet at your place for an alarm install party? :grin
 

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Discussion Starter #4
A basic alarm wouldn't be too bad if you are not doing remote start, just gotta tap onto that lone light blue wire way up there that I showed in the picture to use as a door entry trigger and add in any sensors you want in addition to door entry detection. I decided not to install the shock sensor that came with my kit, door entry detection is good enough for me all those shock sensors seem to do is give me false alarms when I put them in, even after adjustment.

Speaking of alarms someone may have noticed I did not hook up the horn relay from the kit. I decided the siren that the kit comes with is good enough I don't need siren + horn, one less wire to find and deal with. This leaves the built-in 20 amp horn relay available as a programmable item on my remote, can be assigned to the trunk release button on the remote so maybe I will use it some day if I buy a trunk release solenoid because that would be handy to have.
 

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Thanks for the tips. I plan on doing a remote start/ alarm with power locks, trunk popper and all the bells and whistles on my 2017 S. This will be my second install. I did one on my 2009 Silverado but I am also a mechanic by trade so Im pretty confident I can get this accomplished. My question is you mention you needed to program the ign2 wire to act as an accessory. Can you expand on why that was neccessary?
 

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NomadicJoe said:
you mention you needed to program the ign2 wire to act as an accessory. Can you expand on why that was neccessary?
Sure thing! Going off of memory so I hope I don't mess this up, but as I recall in my excalibur kit they had 3 heavy duty thick gauge relay wires for the ignition harness and each of these wires had what I will call a "default" job or function, with a programmable alternative function. So by default, the wires come out of the box programmed as ignition 1, ignition 2, and accessory. However in the Versa there is no ignition 2, and there is a second accessory. Hence when it came time to program the unit I had to tell it that the wire that normally (by default) is a second ignition wire needs to actually function as a second accessory wire. Then of course that wire was hooked to the second accessory wire in the ignition harness.

Depending on the kit/brand that you buy it may be slightly different. Some cheap ones only give you one ignition wire and one accessory wire and you have to use a relay to create secondaries (or so I've heard, never purchased and used a kit that bad myself). The excalibur kit had LOTs of programmable options. The 20 amp relay/wire that normally (default) is intended to be used to honk the horn can be re-purposed and reprogrammed to an extra button on the remote and then you can use that for anything you want (such as a trigger to open a sliding power side door on a minivan).

Hope that helps, is it just me or did the links to my pictures quit working? They aren't showing up for me anymore but I thought they were OK a few minutes ago.
 

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Sure thing! Going off of memory so I hope I don't mess this up, but as I recall in my excalibur kit they had 3 heavy duty thick gauge relay wires for the ignition harness and each of these wires had what I will call a "default" job or function, with a programmable alternative function. So by default, the wires come out of the box programmed as ignition 1, ignition 2, and accessory. However in the Versa there is no ignition 2, and there is a second accessory. Hence when it came time to program the unit I had to tell it that the wire that normally (by default) is a second ignition wire needs to actually function as a second accessory wire. Then of course that wire was hooked to the second accessory wire in the ignition harness.

Depending on the kit/brand that you buy it may be slightly different. Some cheap ones only give you one ignition wire and one accessory wire and you have to use a relay to create secondaries (or so I've heard, never purchased and used a kit that bad myself). The excalibur kit had LOTs of programmable options. The 20 amp relay/wire that normally (default) is intended to be used to honk the horn can be re-purposed and reprogrammed to an extra button on the remote and then you can use that for anything you want (such as a trigger to open a sliding power side door on a minivan).

Hope that helps, is it just me or did the links to my pictures quit working? They aren't showing up for me anymore but I thought they were OK a few minutes ago.
Thanks for the reply. The pics didn't work for me either. I had read about multiple accesory wires on the versa. Someone somewhere else said you didnt need the second accessory unless you hook up the rear defroster. I don't know if thats true. I suppose I'll just have to double check the wiring diagrams when I go to install it. Thanks again.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
No idea on whether the second accessory is necessary, I never even questioned it. I do want my defrost to work, actually I was thinking of tasking one of the extra programmable buttons on my remote and setting up a relay to be able to trigger the defrost from inside the house after starting it. I need the defrost almost every morning in the winter, parked outside. I can remote start the car now obviously but the rear defrost doesn't turn itself on, nor does the front defrost unless I remember to set it before I go in the house. I wish we had the digital controls because I could easily piggyback off of those but with manual knobs its not so simple. Hmmm, just thinking out loud, I could perhaps use yet another relay and bypass the fan speed switch on remote start, then at least something would blow somewhere depending on where I left the other setting. In a perfect world I would make it automatically switch to front windshield defrost but that would take some effort... its not a pipe dream because our other car does all these things on its own when you remote start it, if its below 32 degrees it turns on the heat and sets the defrost no matter what it was set to when you turned it off, if its above 70 it turns on the AC instead (Honda Civic). If I ever make some progress on that I will let you all know, lately I have been fixing up my spare vehicle so that I can put the versa in the garage for these types of lengthy upgrades.
 

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I think youre over thinking it. Terminal 10 in the white bcm connector is the rear defogger signal. A pulsed input to this wire turns on the rear defogger output timer in the bcm for 15 min. You should just be able to tap in at the bcm connector and program your remote start module to provide the pulse to automaticly turn it on after start. You said yourself you use it almost all the time.
 

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I wanted to thank arudlang for his write up, as it was a primary references for my installation. Since he offered, I am going to post about my problems with the installation with hopes of getting it solved.

Me: More experience than average with electronics, and I've installed various devices in cars including a bypass for the starter on the ignition switch that goes to a hidden momentary switch to prevent unauthorized starting of my truck. I've also installed a remote starter once before, but it was pre-internet days and somehow I managed to install it only using the wiring diagrams in the back of the Haynes manual and no other help.

Car: 2015 Nissan Versa SV. CVT. No immobilizer. No alarm.

RS: Avital 4103LX Remote Start System with Two 4-Button Remote by Directed Electronics
http://a.co/d/hPM5aXV
This unit apparently is meant for sale only to professional installers and comes with no instructions on how to install it, just a wire table and instructions on how to use and program it.

Problem: No start. Unit does get power and the remotes work because I am able to enter the program mode. Also if I press the Lock button on the remote the LED on the unit will flash once a second until I press the Unlock button. When I press the button to start, I get nothing. No clicking, no parking lights or LED light on the RS unit.

Any ideas?



Here's how I have it wired up (provided here partly for the archive)

Main harness (H1) 9 pin:
Light green/black - - 200ma factory alarm disarm output **not wired**

Green/white- -200ma factory alarm rearm output **not wired**

Yellow - + ignition out (to alarm) **not wired**

White/blue - - activation input **not wired**

Orange - -500ma ground when locked/anti grind output **not wired** (I have also connected this to ground in an attempt to get the RS to work)

Brown - horn **not wired**

Red/white - trunk release **not wired**

Black - ground (Continuity has been confirmed between the chosen ground and various other bolts and metal.

White - wired to Parking lights: red wire, #4 pin, in 16 pin gray harness in the drivers' kick plate (confirmed with multiple websites).


Remote start harness (H3) 5 Pin
Bk/white - neutral safety switch or can be grounded (I have tried it grounded and detached).

Violet white - **not wired**

Brown - wired to green wire on brake switch (I wasn't happy about there being TWO brake switches and both having greenish wires. I used the brown colored harness on the right. I confirmed that power goes through both wires, and the green wire gets 0V when the pedal is depressed. I tried starting with the pedal depressed and not)

Gray - hood switch (I did confirm continuity with other grounds, but I really should check that it's still not somehow grounded when the hood is down)

white - -200ma 2nd status/rear defogger output **not wired**



Heavy gauge relay 6 pin
Pink connected to Gray from ignition harness

Purple connected to White from ignition harness

Orange connected to Yellow (ACC 1) from ignition harness

Red connected to battery with 10 gauge wire

Pink/white connected to Light Blue (ACC 2) from ignition harness

Red connected to battery with 10 gauge wire (with separate wires than above


Satellite harness
Blue - -200 ma status output **not wired**

orange - -200ma accessory output **not wired**

purple - -200ma starter output **not wired**

pink - -200ma ign output **not wired**


door lock 3 pin
light blue Not yet connected.

empty not used

green Not yet connected
 

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I went through to double check connections. I think it's clear that there's a safety feature that is not being met.

Power from the battery through the 2 wires is confirmed.
I confirmed the ignition wire connections using this video: https://youtu.be/Q-S6ZtynT2Y?t=1307
I confirmed the hood pin switch is not the issue, by unplugging it.
I'm getting power from the brake switch, and 0v when the pedal is depressed.
I've tried both the parking brake input and anti-grind output unconnected, to ground, and to 12v.

I'm at a loss. Next step is to find someone and pay them to help me. I don't really want to do that.
 
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