Here is my installation review of the StarDrive Push-to-Start 'system' sold at: http://www.auto-hub.com/stardrive_pu...ignition.html#. The owner and developer, Sven, started out as a good guy who seemed to care about his customers, but sadly that changed once I started having problems. He seems more of an electrical engineer and not a car guy so his is limited in his knowledge of how to install. His customer service disappeared after he could not help me with two problems that were obvious defects with his product and he stopped answering emails and calls. So on that basis alone, I would steer clear of this product.!
This install is not for the faint of heart! My conclusion is not to use this product! This product is cheaply made, poorly designed, poorly supported, and poorly documented. And the vendor's refusal to support a defective product tops it off!
My first comment is that his documentation is terrible, there are mistakes in it. The wording in his PDF does not match the diagrams. For example, the colors of the wires he describes are not consistent between the diagrams and the wording. He also flips + and – signs between diagrams and the wording in his instructions. The quality of his harnesses he supplies leaves much to be desired. Within the same harness, he uses the same colors multiple times, yellow, orange and others in different wires, and his instructions do not tell you which one is used for which connection. The numbering in his instructions do not match the pin outs which would help sort this out, so the only way to figure it out is to ask him which wire goes to which connection and he will tell you that the thicker or thinner yellow or orange goes where. Not good at all. Also he does not describe the function of each wire completely so even an experienced installer is going to have a hard time.
I wanted to thank members MidiMan and Hooked on Vettes who without their help this thing would not have been possible at all. MidiMan install worked out better as his does not have the arm/disarm problem I describe below. But he does have the 'flashing' problem when the doors are opened.
Here I will describe the complete install and setup, to help the poor dumb ba$tard that tries this next. My install was on a 90 vert, but I think it would be similar on the earlier cars and somewhat similar on the later ones but the wiring colors will be different.
First, you need to realize that this is not for the faint of heart as you will sacrifice some security. At a minimum, you will need to:
2. You need to do something with the lock on the steering wheel; else you really have to leave the key in the ignition to unlock the column. I removed the lock on mine. This disables the steering column lock and the (auto) transmission shift lock too. You will need to remove the air bag (if so equipped), steering wheel, and ignition lock. For those you that have telescopic steering wheels, getting it back together is no fun. You will need a steering wheel puller, and lock plate removal tool. You can get them for about $15 each from your local parts store, and I understand some parts store will loan them.
3. I highly recommend that you get a large assortment of “posi-lock” connectors. There are invaluable at hooking the alarm to the car temporarily without unnecessarily tearing up your harness. You will need a bunch (at least 4) of the 10 gauge tap for permanent install and a bunch of the smaller 18-20 gauge to make sure you got the connections right before soldering. I left the large ones in that tap into the steering column connectors. You can reuse these connectors and it will save you tearing up your harness something awful. These are reusable so they are a great investment.
4. You are going to need to do something with the cable that runs from your shifter (auto) to the steering wheel. At a minimum you will need to disconnect the locking mechanism by leaving the steering wheel lock in the unlocked position. I am tried to adapt a BTSI (Brake Transmission Shift Interlock) solenoid out of a C5/C6 to lock the shifter, but I was not skilled enough to adapt it to work. I would recommend for safety to not lock the steering wheel.
5. If you have an existing aftermarket alarm, plan on ripping it out. I had a Viper Installed that had died. Who knows what little jems you will find if you have an aftermarket system installed. Be prepared to do a lot of wiring chasing.
6. Do not try this unless you have the factory Helms service manual. Without the wiring diagrams, you are doomed.
The first problem I found is that they system seemed to repeatedly arm/disarm at random when the fobs are near the car and one was turned on. It would not do it all the time. It would not do it while the system was armed and thankfully it does not do it when the engine is running or in accessory mode. Sven was unable to determine what cause of the problem. I believe the unit was defective since the alarm did not do this when placed within 6 inches of one of the antenna, but would do it consistently when placed within 6” of the other. MidiMan did not have this problem at all on his install so I am sure that the unit is defective and the vendor just will not stand behind it at all.
The second problem I found is that when the system is disarmed, and you open the door, you hear relays cycling, the tail lights flash, and the led flashes for about 10 seconds. It is very annoying. Sven says the flashes are telling you that the alarm is sensing the door is in the ‘wrong’ sequence’ of events. He said he was going bench test his system to figure out what was wrong, but he stopped communicating. For this reason, I would not recommend connecting lead H2-16 Blue to the door switch. This will leave your doors unprotected. However, the flashing and chirping is just too annoying. I had a Clifford Dual Zone Proximity Sensor which provides good protection anyway. But do make sure you hook up lead H1 #9 - Blue – otherwise your (RAP) Retained Accessories Power will not work. Midiman has this same issue, so it appears to be a design flaw.
The wish list. I really wanted a momentary signal that would tell me that the system was just disarmed. The system provides this for armed, but not disarmed. I wanted to use this to have my Autolock Window controller automatically lower the windows when it disarms. Sven advised me to use lead H2-4 White/black Door Unlock common as documented in the lock hook up instructions below. This lead will provide a +12v when the system is armed for a short time. Use this lead to drive a relay to provide a ground signal to the Autolock window control lead. Works perfect to open your window when you disarm the system. I also recommend highly to put a switch which I mounted in the center console to disable this feature so that if it is raining or whatever, you can disable this auto open feature easily. Since I had two Autolock controllers, one for each window, I tied the ‘window down’ lead thru two diodes to separate the two controllers. If you do not do this, the windows will go partially up or down and stop. The window up was wired to the H2 lead 13 Violet lead, so pushing the unlock button on the FOB and holding it for two seconds will trigger the windows to close. No diode isolation seemed necessary here. Alternatively, you can connect the window up lead to the H2 12 lead (gray) to have the unit automatically raise your windows when the system is armed. I did not want this since mine was a vert, but for a coupe it might be an excellent option.
Second wish was to incorporate a Clifford dual zone Proximity Sensor. The consensus is that this can be tied into the provided shock sensor. Simply solder the blue wire of the shock sensor to the orange wire of the Clifford proximity Sensor and it will work. Will both warn and alarm nicely. This only uses the inside zone. You might be able to use a voice warn away model for the outside zone if you wanted to.
Other short falls. Most alarms provide an (orange) lead that provides a ground signal while the alarm is armed. This unit does not. Many alarm accessories depend on this being available. The other shortcoming is that he provides two leads that give a short ground signal when the unit arms, which is great to raise your windows automatically. But he does not provide a lead that gives the same signal when the alarm is disarmed. This is needed for many other alarm accessories.
I did the work in several phases.
1. Homework: Prepare the StarDrive harness
2. Tear down, getting the car to start
3. Initial hook up to the door locks
4. Hooked up the remainder of the alarm wires.
5. Test and Confirm: Remove Posi-locks and solder all leads
6. Mount the Push to Start button, LED status indicator, and shock sensor.
7. Clifford Dual Zone Proximity Sensor
8. Transmission shifter work
9. Remove the old lock cylinder.
Phase 1 – Homework. It is going to take many days of emails to Sven to figure out what he screwed up in his instructions, and how to sort out the duplicate colors in his harnesses. Then match up your copy of his schematic to the schematics found in the Helms FSM. I made copies of all the schematics, and connectors. I then marked each lead and what color wire, what connector and lead color which makes it much easier. . I spent about 5 days elapsed figuring this out.
Note a separate 5 lead relay (supplied with kit) is needed to make this work with the 90 Corvette stock wiring. With the Stardrive:
• The Accessories lead (yellow) is on when the car is in Accessory, or run, Off when crank.
• The Run load (Black) is on when the car is in crank model or run.
• the Start Lead (Violet) triggers the crank
The vette of this year needs a run “only” lead. This lead is for many accessories like the AC that you do not want enegized when the car is cranking. AC is just one example. The StartDrive does not produce this. To make this up, use the supplied relay:
• Relay lead 30 to Vetter Connector C1, lead A – “Run only +12V”
• Relay lead 85 to ground
• Relay lead 86 to Star DriveLead lead 4 (Violet) for crank
• Relay lead 87A to StarDrive lead 3 (Black) for run
• Relay lead 87 not connected.
After all my research, here are connections I found to be needed. Cut and paste the below into a Notebook and name it as a csv file and open it in Excel to view better.
StarDrive Harness,Lead#,Color,Function,Vette Connector,Lead,Color
StarDrive Module,1,Red (Thick),+12V,C2,D,Red
StarDrive Module,2,Yellow (Thick),Accessory,C2,E,Brown
StarDrive Module,5,Red (Thin),+12V fused,C2,D,Red
StarDrive Module,6,Black,Ground,Any good ground,,
H1,11,Orange,Brake Switch,+12V when pedal pressed,,White
H2,1,White w/fuse,LH Lock Switch,Black,,
H2,2,Yellow (Thick),+12V constant,,,
H2,3,Orange (Thick),RH Lock Switch,Black,,
H2,4,White/Blk+Fuse,LH Lock Switch,Light Blue,,
H2,6,Orange/Black,RH Lock Switch,Light Blue,,
H2,7,Red,"To any desired accessory, like DEI Windows controller or hatch release",,,
H2,12,Gray,"To any desired accessory, like DEI Windows controller",,,
H2,13,Violet,"To any desired accessory, like DEI Windows controller",,,
H2,14,Orange,Brake Switch,12V when pedal is pressed,White,
H2,16,Blue,Door Switch ? See note about flashing problem!,Ground when door opened,,
You will notice that there are a set of blue wires for the door switch, and a set of orange wires for the brake switch off of both H1 and H2 harnesses. It is important that both wire from both harnesses be connected or you will not get your (RAP) Retained Accessories Power to work.
Phase 2 – Tear down, getting the car to start. Here I removed the driver’s side hush panel, and plate, cut all the tie wraps holding the harnesses under there and connecting up the StartDrive ignition portion only. Install the VATS bypass. My goal was to just get the car started using the system. This took me about 4 hours.
Remove the hush panel, and the aluminum knee support underneath (4 x 10mm bolts. Cut all the tier wraps so you can get to the needed harnesses. The C1 and C2 connectors are on top the steering column. No need to disconnect them. I used 10 Gauge Posi-lock tappers for permanent installation without mutilating your harness.
Connect the VATs eliminator which is just a plug and play into a two led connector that comes out of the column. WARNING: If you have an air bag, the air bag has yellow wires and don’t touch this connector or you might get a blow job. I tie wrapped the module next to the starter relay near the top. You can put the key in the lock and move it to the unlocked position to test the system. You will need to provide the ground and power to both modules, and connect the wires coming out of the StarDrive module – wires 1-13 on H1, and H2 leads 9,18,15,14, 10. Plug in the antennas and the push button.
You should be able to turn on the fob, hold down the brake pedal, and push the start button and your engine should crank. To stop the engine, you must release the brake pedal and press it again. If you do not press the brake pedal, the accessories should come on. After a while, the accessories will go off by a timer.
Phase 3 -Door Locks This is the wiring needed to make the door locks work properly. Use the Hooked on Vette instruction below. They work perfectly. In my case, because I had an aftermarket alarm, I had problems and had to rip out all their crap. This took me about 8 hours. Should have taken about 4 if you don’t have a tinkered with aftermarket alarm.
Supplied courtesy of Hook-on-Vettes!
Light Blue wire is for Door Unlock
Black wire is for Door Lock
In the schematic is a Light Blue wire going from the Left hand door lock switch
(Driver side)to the Right hand door lock switch (Passenger side). You cut the Light Blue wire.
Light Blue wire end going back to the Left hand switch connect White/Black wire.
Light Blue wire end going to the Right hand switch connect Orange/Black wire.
Cut the Black wire going from the Left Hand switch to the Right hand door lock switch.
Black wire end going to the Left hand switch connect White wire.
Black wire end going to the Right hand switch connect Orange wire.
Connect the Yellow and Yellow/Black wire to a fused 12 volts.
Make sure you cut the correct Light Blue and Black wire coming from the Driver side door switch.
You may find wires with the same color in the same bundle of wires.
It's called a 5 wire reversal rest at ground system.
Phase 4 - Hook up the remainder of the alarm wires. I had problems again because of the aftermarket alarm. Should have taken about 2 hours, but another 6 hours spent tracing everything, neaten up things, and removing all the crapola.
Phase 5 - Test and Confirm: Remove Posi-locks and solder all leads. Only do this after you have tested all the alarm functions. Loom up all the harness and tuck them away.
Phase 6 - Mount the Push to Start button, LED status indicator, and shock sensor. Midiman told me he found the best location for the antenna was inside the driver's side door pillar. Since I have a vert, I put one antenna in side of the head rest of the driver's seat, and the other on top the windshield pillar in the center, just above the mirror. Midiman said he only used one antenna, but I tried that and since my unit was defective, I used both. My old alarm also had the original LED status light there so I use the same mount point on the center console. Since you have to remove the center console, this is also a good time to deal with the automatic shifter cable. The start button needs a 1.5” hole. I mounted mine on the radio bezel on the left side under the radio. Use a hole saw, and then a dremel tool to make the hole a little wider where there are tabs on the start button housing to prevent it from turn in the hole. Go slow and do a little at a time. Easy to remove more but impossible to put material back. Also, don’t slip (I did) and make a nasty scratch on your nice interior.
Phase 7 - I decided that since my old system had a Clifford Dual Zone Proximity Sensor, to try and integrate it into the StarDrive system. It can be hooked into the provided shock sensor. Just tie the Orange wire coming out of the Clifford to the blue lead of the shock sensor. Your Clifford also needs ground and +12V.
Phase 8 – Transmission Shifter. Remove the center console cover. There are two 7mm screws under the center console lid, and one under the front cup holder. You will need to remove the shift lock button on the shifter and underneath you will find a lock ring. Remove it using snap ring pliers. Make sure you have a set that are very thin, as GM used a special lock ring with smaller holes and it is a PITA to remove it with screwdrivers. Then remove the shifter, it pulls straight up. You will need to disconnect the interior shifter light and cig lighter socket to get the cover off. Once off, you will notice a substantial cable that goes toward the front of the car that interlocks your steering wheel column so that you cannot take the car out of park when the column is locked. To prevent accidently steering column locking, I removed the clip that holds this cable onto the shift mechanism and tied the cable towards the rear of the car using some wire and tying it off to one of the available 7mm screws towards the rear of the shifter compartment. When the cable is extended, only ˝” towards the read, the steering column can never lock. Thus there is no possibility that when you are driving the column will lock up. Replace the center console, remembering to align the little drive indicator into the guide so you can tell what gear you are in, reconnect the cig lighter and the light for the gear indicator. Put back your shifter **** with a fresh lock ring.
Phase 9 - Remove the old lock cylinder. This took me about 4 hours to complete. You will need a set of metric hex wrenches to remove the two hex screws that hold on the air bag. Start by disconnecting the battery. Working with the airbag is dangerous and no one wanted it to deploy in your face. You will also need a steering wheel puller and a steering column lock plate compressor. Both are inexpensive at your local parts store and some stores will loan them out for free I understand.
1. Start by disconnecting the battery.
2. Remove the two hex screws that hold the air bag on the wheel.
3. Remove the bag and pull out the yellow connector gently from the bag and put the bag (front facing up) on a clean static free surface.
4. Remove the nut from the steering wheel. Easies to do why wheel is locked.
5. There is a ground wire that is spring attached into a hole. Gently pull the wire out with the spring attached.
6. Use your steering wheel puller to remove the wheel.
7. Use you lock plate compression tool to compress the coil plate. You will then see a c-clip. The snaps ring tool I had had too large of a end to go into the holes of the GM c-clip, so I use some small screw drivers and bent the crap out of it. I had a replacement so you might want to make sure you have a good assortment on hand.
8. You then can pull off the coil that sets off the air bag. The coil just come up off the column, and can hang by the cord with no problems.
9. Underneath that you will find a ‘wave’ washer, set aside.
10. Next setup your lock plate compression tool again and compress the metal column lock ring. When you do you will see a strong, but thing wire clip that holds the metal column locking ring on. That thing is a PITA to get off. It took me an hour and I found a small thin screwdriver was good to get it from the ridge, and then use a larger screwdriver to hold it out. Move the little screw driver around and work the ring out. It is frustrating PITA as it will snap back in. Don’t destroy it as I am not sure where you could find that ring.
11. One you get it out of the channel use a screwdriver and pliers to work it up off the column. Don’t try opening it enough to get off the column or you won’t be able to reuse it.
12. The steering arm lock plate will then slip off. Note the orientation of the plastic cam. The plastic cam assembly will then slip off. Underneath there is a spring that will slip off
13. You can then remove the two silver screws that hold the turn signal cam to the turn signal arm and the cam will come out. Note the large screw goes on the top and the shorter on one the bottom.
14. Remove the Phillips screw that hold in the hazard signal button. The whole button then comes off the column.
15. You can then remove the three screws that hold in the electrical assembly. No need to remove the connectors, just get it far enough out of the way so you can go a behind it.
16. Next you will see a silver torx screw and two black torx screws that hold the lock in. Stick the key in and move the lock to unlock (not run). Pull the lock out. I just cut the VATS lead and taped them up. You can also remove the switch that is for the key buzzard since you won’t need that anymore.
17. Put back the silver torx screw, and the two black torx screws.
18. Put back the three screws that hold in the electrical assembly.
19. Put back the hazard lights button.
20. Put back the turn signal cam, and lossly attach the screws. The little screw goes on the bottom and the bigger one on top. Make sure it engages the turn signal lever and it works. Then tighten the two silver screws.
21. Put back the spring over the column.
22. Put back the plastic cam, making sure it was in the orientation as originally.
23. Put back the steering wheel locking cam, but do not yet put back the snap ring. Reconnect the battery and test if your signals and hazard lights work properly first! Then disconnect battery again.
24. If everything works, use the lock plate compressor and put back the snap ring.
25. Remove the lock plate compressor.
26. Put the coil back on. Make sure the coil is oriented correctly. There is a grove at the top so it will not rotate, and the hole must align up. Put your lock plate compress back on.
27. Use a new c-clip. And remove the lock plate compressor.
28. Put the steering wheel back on. Tighten down the nut.
29. Put the ground wire for the horm with the spring attached into the hole. Make sure the wires are held down by the little platic guides on the back of the wheel.
30. Reconnect your air bag and replace. Tighten down the two hex nuts.
31. Use a piece of black plastic or paint metal to make a cover for the old lock. I glued mine in place.
32. You may have set a code 35 INFL REST as a result of this procedure. To get rid of this code, use this process:
a. Turn ignition off
b. Connect K lead of ALDL to ALDL lead A
c. Turn on ignition
d. wait for code to start flashing
e. Disconnect K lead of ALDL from ALDL lead A for 3 secs
f. Reconnect K lead of ALDL to ALDL lead A for 3 secs
g. Disconnect K lead of ALDL from ALDL lead A and wait 10 seconds and code should disappear
A couple of features I liked personally included:
1. You have to hold down the brake so that the car will crank.
2. To shut off the engine, you must hold down the brake and then hit the start button.
3. Doors will automatically lock when you release the brake after starting the engine.
4. Doors will automatically unlock when you release the brake after shutting off the engine.
5. Car will automatically go into accessory mode when the engine is shutoff. If you press the start button again without holding the brake, it will go to lock and accessories will turn off. If you don't do anything, accessories will turn off a few minutes later by themselves.
About 3 months after I installed the system and got it working, the system died and almost left me stranded. I managed to get it started and back home. Taking the hush panel off, I discovered that the Ignition Controller seemed to died. I took the cover off the box and discovered that if I pressed down on the connector the thing woke up and worked normally. I re-soldered the connector on to the circuit board but that did not help. Having little to loose, I applied a bit of JB weld on the connector and let it dry with a clamp. This seemed to fix it. Sven did offer to warranty replace the unit but I did not take him up on it since it appears to be working ok. Again, this is due to the cheap construction of the harnesses and electronics.
I like this question and answer in the QA section:
What is the difference between the Altima and the GTR?
Only the look, both systems operate the same.
If they are the same why the $60 price difference? The only difference appears to be the push button.
I had asked Sven that very question, but he just replied the same thing - just a cosmetic difference. I spent the extra $ for the red switch because my interior is red and I thought it would look better (it does).
But the reason the price is so much higher is that the red start button is a Nissan OEM part. I just assume he buys the more expensive one from Nissan (therefor he pays more) and the other is from a different (cheaper) source.
After trying to get Sven to respond for weeks or emails and calls he will not answer, I tried to disput it with PayPal. But since it is beyond their 45 day limit, they refused. My choice was to rip this POS out and start over, or try some other methods.
So I sent Sven an email from another account to get past his junk mail filter requesting what the cost of a replacement RFID alarm controller would be. Money got his attention. He did not seem to remember who I was and said he has never had one go bad (hahaha) but a replacement would be $150. I figured that was cheaper than a new alarm plus all the work to install. So I sent him a PayPal.
Got the new RFIC controller plugged in and the problem disappeared. So good to go.
One other wiring problem I had is that on occasion, the built-in Vette CCM alarm would go off. This disabled the engine and pulsed the horn. To deativate, one had to use the key on the door lock. Again, Hooked on Vettes came to my rescue and informed me that there were two light green wires coming out of the driver door under the hush panel. One was for the power mirror, but the other would go to ground when the door key was moved to unlock. Found it on my first try . Hooked that up to the Ground when Disarmed relay I had setup using a diode to isolate the signal. Much better now. It is not perfect in that I sometimes hear the horn beep for a fraction of a second, but better than getting out to use the key! Good alarm systems will provide this disarmed ground signal to use before they unlock the doors so there is enough of delay for the built-in system to disarm. Hats off again to Hooked on Vette for his help.