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2001 Dodge Ram 1500, Clifford AvantGuard 4 Problems


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crankycowboy 
Member - Posts: 13
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Location: Texas, United States
Posted: July 16, 2020 at 10:09 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote crankycowboy
I bought a truck in 2001 (2001 Dodge Ram 1500 Quad Cab) and had the Clifford AvantGuard 4 installed two weeks after purchase. The truck was parked (in the sun) for several years. When I decided to restore the truck and start working on it again, I noticed that a couple parts of the alarm no longer worked properly. I'd like to tackle these one at a time. See below:
Auto Start:This feature actually works; however, when I use the key it only works about 50% of the time. When I turn the key forward, the dash lights up and all the gauges work (so the ignition switch isn't the issue). I would guess that there is an on-board relay on the intellistart system that takes that signal, latches and then outputs. If I hold the key forward and wait (sometimes up to 30 seconds), it will eventually try to start...or if I just keep pumping the key it will eventually try. However, auto start works every time.
Light sensor: The light sensor is is busted and doesn't turn on headlights in low light conditions any longer. I would assume this is just a simple light diode or "switch"? That can be replaced?
Smart wipers: It appears that the smart wipers don't come on any longer in the rain....Is this related to the light sensor? I'm not certain of the logic of this item and where to start.
In any case, my main concern is starting the truck....any help with that would be the most appreciated. Thank in advance!
geepherder 
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Posted: July 16, 2020 at 1:54 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote geepherder
The starting issue actually sounds like it is the ignition switch. Either that or possibly the starter kill relay may be going out (high resistance across the contacts), but my money would be on the ignition switch. If you can trace back the wiring to see where the starter wire was cut and temporarily place a jumper wire around it, that should help you isolate the problem. If your problem still exists, replace the ignition switch. If you have a multimeter, you can simply test for voltage on the starter wire at the ignition switch as you turn the key to start.
For your other issues, trying searching for a factory service manual and look through the diagrams. It could very well be a simple light sensor as you point out for the lights, but the diagrams should help you troubleshoot. I don't think the auto wipers are related. Have you searched any Dodge Ram forums?
My ex once told me I have a perfect face for radio.
crankycowboy 
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Location: Texas, United States
Posted: July 16, 2020 at 9:12 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote crankycowboy
Geepherder, I should have mentioned, that this was my first assumption as well. I purchased a new ignition switch and replaced it. The problem remains. So the switch certainly isn't the problem. I was reviewing the install manual and it doesn't show an external relay on the automatic transmission so I assume it is "switched" internally on the intellistart module. The install manual states that you cut the ignition wire and send the signal from the "key" to the input on the alarm, and the output goes out to the starter. I know the ignition switch is good. And I know that the output of the alarm is good (since the auto-start works), so it would seem like the problem is internal to the alarm module (input). I could bridge the input/output to confirm this...but the problem is that the key works 50% of the time so it is sort of hit or miss...any suggestions?
geepherder 
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Posted: July 17, 2020 at 1:32 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote geepherder
If you have a meter you could check for voltage drop across the input/output.
Or just jumper them and see if that does it. After a few weeks/months with no more starting issues you can assume that was the issue.
My ex once told me I have a perfect face for radio.
crankycowboy 
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Joined: March 08, 2010
Location: Texas, United States
Posted: October 24, 2020 at 11:15 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote crankycowboy
I have an old clifford AG4 alarm with intellistart. Everything still works great (I've had to replace a couple things). One issue I am having is the autostart via remote works EVERY time I try. However, periodically I can't start it with the key. Initially I just thought it was a bad ignition switch,so I replaced that and it does the same thing (only periodically). When I turn the key, everything turns on (lights in dash, radio, ac etc). Now if I hold the key forward (trying to start it), nothing happens, but if I hold it here for maybe 60 seconds, the starter will finally begin to turn and it starts. Now it seems as though a relay is sticking. I pulled the intellistart module and there are 3 surface mount relays soldered on the board internally. To my surprise, the truck still starts with the intellistart module removed....I haven't been able to get it to not start without the intellistart module removed, but like I said...it doesn't have the problem every time. Any suggestions on what I should look at try to resolve the random not starting problem. I should mention that this is on a 2001 dodge ram and I'm the original owner. When I can't start it with the key, I just click the button on the remote to autostart and it starts every time....so what is in play when turning the key that isn't in the equation when autostarting? Thanks!
geepherder 
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Posted: October 24, 2020 at 12:23 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote geepherder
Is there a starter kill relay installed?
My ex once told me I have a perfect face for radio.
crankycowboy 
Member - Posts: 13
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Joined: March 08, 2010
Location: Texas, United States
Posted: October 24, 2020 at 12:31 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote crankycowboy
I don't believe so. I mean, there would have to be, but I think it's internal to the alarm. I have reviewed the wiring diagram and the only external relay on the starter circuit is used when it is a manual transmission (which mine is not).
geepherder 
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Posted: October 24, 2020 at 1:15 PM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote geepherder
So is the factory wire cut in the harness? If so, you can try putting it back together- of course, this will bypass the starter kill feature.
My ex once told me I have a perfect face for radio.
crankycowboy 
Member - Posts: 13
Member spacespace
Joined: March 08, 2010
Location: Texas, United States
Posted: October 25, 2020 at 9:56 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote crankycowboy
Yes, during the install....they cut the wire going from the key to the starter and those wires go in/out of the alarm AND also the intellistart module. As you said, I can obviously reconnect them but I didn't want to lose the start kill functionality and black-jack function. I even thought about trying to use one of the latched outputs on the alarm to activate a relay when disarmed that would enable a relay to allow that connection, but was hoping someone had more input as to what I should look for. I'm almost certain it's a onboard relay. I think the intellistart only does the autostart, but the main alarm module probably controls the starter-kill. My guess is I need to be looking at the main module since autostart works every time, but was hoping someone might be able to confirm that.
Custom_Jim 
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Joined: November 28, 2003
Location: Missouri, United States
Posted: October 25, 2020 at 11:10 AM / IP Logged Link to Post Post Reply Quote Custom_Jim
From what I remember on the older Clifford systems is you had to cut the starter wire as well as the ignition wire. There was also let's say a 4 wire plug that on the one side had the colored wires with tracer markings and then the other side of the plug that came out of the alarm or remote start brain had plain black wires.   
I had one vehicle years ago that quit running and after taking the alarm/remote start brain apart, where the larger wires soldered into the circuit board I could see one or more that the connection had failed.
Maybe take the alarm/remote start brain out of the vehicle and then take the cover apart to expose the circuit board and inspect things. There may be a solder joint issue on the wire attached to the circuit board or possibly an internal relay issue but the relays are encased and would probably have to be desoldered off of the board, taken apart to inspect the contacts or other things inside.
I know when Clifford got bought out, the new company did not want to honor the lifetime warranty's but I think that has since changed. Maybe see if yours might be covered under a warranty.
Intermittent issues can be hard to track down sometimes so stick with it.
Jim
1968 Chevy II Nova Garage Find 2012
1973 Nova Custom
1974 Spirit of America Nova
1973 Nova Pro-Street
1977 Nova (Sold)
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