The home of dune buggies (beach buggies) around the south of England
(and the whole of the UK really).
FREE to join, just come and say hello!

Keyless ignition

Fit a keyless Ignition System to your Buggy
by Dave DnD

Keyless ignition – here is a quick run down of how it works. It takes a bit of thinking and wiring to do it, but this should get you thinking –
I used a basic Thatcham Catagory 2 transponder style immobiliser, nothing fancy, and they can be picked up on the net for around £30 or so – Mine was a three circuit COBRA one (£45), but others exist. The aim is to have a keyless ignition that can only be operated by the person with a keyfob in their pocket.
I have a toggle switch on the dash acting as an ignition switch, and feeds nothing more than a supply voltage to the immobiliser ignition side. When the toggle is on, the immobiliser can be activated and when the switch is off it kills the car stone dead.
What would have been the main ignition circuit, operated by the key, is now connected to one of the immobiliser circuits, the idea being that when the immobiliser is activated, it turns on the whole ignition, as if you had turned the key.
I have also connected one of the other immobiliser circuits to my starter relay, so that the push button on the dash will not do anything unless the immobiliser is activated.
I have also connected the last immobiliser circuit to my electric fuel pump, although ignition coil is also popular.
Basically, when planning the installation, also be prepared to use and incorporate a few extra relays – it makes the head scratching a bit easier on switching circuits in and out.
The loop antenna is taped to the inside of the buggy as close to where my pockets would be if I were sitting in it – this location is important, as the proximity range of the transponders is literally a few inches or so, the idea being that if you have the keys in your pocket, the immobiliser can activate.
So, how do you actually start the car ? Well, its actually dead easy.
If I sit in the drivers seat, with the immobiliser keyfob in my pocket and within distance of the antenna, I flick the toggle switch and my dash comes alive, just as though the key had been turned to position one. I press the start button and it starts – to kill the car or stop the engine, I simply switch off the toggle switch.
If someone else sits in my car and switches the toggle switch, nothing happens – (actually not quite strictly true as I also wired my alternator light through this so I had an indication that power was on) – and you can press the starter button to your hearts content – nothing will happen.
As an aside, the immobiliser also has a nice flashing LED to mount on the dash, so also gives a visual indication that it is protected.
Hope this helps, or inspires some ideas, and shout if I can assist any further
I discovered the idea many years ago when I saw a disabled guy in my workshop car park take near five minutes to turn the keys in his car, as he had very little movement in his right arm and struggled to put the key in the barrel let alone turn it, and after a good chat with him, this is what I came up with to solve his problem – and he loved it !!
By Dave DnD