Adding remote keyless entry to a classic or muscle car can be one of the most rewarding upgrades to these old cars, due to the convenience factor. By doing this relatively simple install. you can bring your classic into modern ages with the convenience and security of a new car. For me, it was a no-brainer. My 1965 impala is so wide that it is almost impossible to reach over the passenger seat to lock the passenger door when leaving the car. Most times, I would just leave it unlocked due to the hassle. Now, there is no reason for me to ever leave the car unlocked, and I have the ability to add car security or remote trunk release when and if the time is right. Enough of this, here is what I did.
The first and most important step was for me to track down the particular wiring diagram for my application. This used to be a daunting task, but with almost everything posted somewhere online these days, a few moments of scouring google can usually yeild the necessary diegram, which was my case. I also had the service manual for my car which has them posted as well.
The install happens in two parts. First is the install of the new power locking actuators. Any new custom power lock kit with have two wire actuators. You will need to find a mounting surface inside the doors that allows smooth and free movement of the rod. It is important to make sure they are adjusted such that the full range of the actuator is achieved. Next, you will want to route the wires to a central location under the dash (I ran mine by the fuse box on the drivers side for ease of wiring coming up). For my old doors, I carefully drilled holes for the wires to pass through and enough space to put a nice sheath to keep it clean once done.
The next part is installing the brain unit. I went went a unit made by Crimestopper because I have had good luck with their stuff in the past. What looks to be a rats nest of wires going in a million directions actually is a straightforward process of connecting. Of course there was a power and ground wire that needs to be hooked up. The power should come off the battery or a non switched (constant) port on the fuse block. The ground should be connected to an existing ground or place under the dash that allows for a good ground connection. The next few connections require the wiring diagram that we talked about earlier. Track down the park light wires from behind the light switch and connect the corresponding wire. Also, from below the steering wheel, find the horn relay wire and connect the horn output to this. The last few wires conect the actuators that you installed earlier to their corresponding positions (including another power and ground).
With all the wires connected, test the unit to make sure everything works according to how it should in the manual. I used the included programming switch and security indicator light to program the included remotes. Once I verified that I had connected everything correctly, I mounted the unit high under the dash out of sight and wire tied the wires so it looked nice and neat. I cleaned up the car, turned off the lights in the garage and observed my masterpiece.
Just like a new car, upon hitting the lock button, the doors lock, all parking lights flash once and the horn beeps. When unlocking, lights flash twice, and two horn beeps.
This simple upgrade brings your classic or musclecar into the modern days, and is certainly an upgrade worth doing!