Help me hotwire my POS truck.
July 17, 2006 3:02 PM   Subscribe

Help me hotwire my POS truck.

i have a 1991 Ford F150.

the driver side window does not go down
the radio / clock panel doesnt work
the windshield is spidered
theres no drivers side handle on the inside
for the past 2 days it has been very hard to start

and now the key just spins in the ignition.

so im not gonna spend money for a new igntion / keys can anyone tell me how to hotwire this thing? the under panel is already off and has been for some time so i can see the column and several groups of wires and such. i can maybe take pictures if i need to.

btw its not illegal if its your vehicle so that isnt an issue
posted by BSummers to Travel & Transportation (11 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Simply pull off the plastic cover under the steering wheel, exposing several wires. Firstly, you need to get the ignition on. Touch the two matching red wires together. If you're successful the dash will light up. Now the ignition's on, you can power up the starter motor. Crossing the brown lead with the reds should crank over and kick off the engine.
posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:13 PM on July 17, 2006

On preview: Jesse Helms, wiring colors can and do vary in the same model year. The only sure way to know is with a computer safe test light AND voltmeter.


Well, first off, if you're asking this on MeFi, you probably shouldn't be doing it anyhow. You're risking, at the least:

Damaging important electrical stuff. ECU, ABS (if you've got it), ignition system, etc. Anything that uses a pulse or voltage is susceptable to damage by +12v in the wrong place.

Catching your truck on fire. Try explaining to your insurance company why your truck suddenly turned into a hunk of charred metal.

Now, if you're still reading this, and you still want to do it, try Googling for "vehicle wiring diagrams". You'll find the info you'll need, such as voltages, wiring colors, etc. You'll want to read everything you can get your hands on concerning that.

In other news, I cannot, in good concience, explicitly tell you how to do this.
posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:16 PM on July 17, 2006

The classical method for hotwiring cars involves two people:

  • one completing the ignition circuit by locating the ignition wires attached to the ignition switch under the dashboard: this can be done by detaching them and crossing (tying together) the exposed ends

  • the other momentarily completing the starter motor circuit, so that the starter motor turns over the engine. This is done by detaching the starter motor wire from the ignition wire and touching it to a powered wire on the other side of the ignition switch.

  • posted by The Jesse Helms at 3:17 PM on July 17, 2006

    Furthur addition to my post:

    The colors Jesse named off are not remotely correct.
    posted by chrisfromthelc at 3:21 PM on July 17, 2006

    Try explaining to your insurance company why your truck suddenly turned into a hunk of charred metal.

    The illegal, obvious, and fool-proof answer to this doesn't need to be explicated.
    posted by sonofsamiam at 3:24 PM on July 17, 2006

    Response by poster: like i said this truck is just about written off as far as i am concerned. so im not worried about it shorting out or whatever else, that said i dont want to get electrocuted or anything! if it caught fire and burned id just cancel my insurance which wouldnt cover that anyways.

    as for the other answers i found those in google and they did not sound trustworthy not to mention the fact that there are no red wires to be seen.
    posted by BSummers at 3:35 PM on July 17, 2006

    I wouldn't drive it with a broken windshield. (Not even sure that's legal.)

    I, too, urge you to be very careful about hot-wiring it. In addition to being dangerous (to you and your car), I can't imagine that the police wouldn't hassle you about it. Sure, it's legal, but if I were a cop, I'd probably presume you had just stolen the car.
    posted by fogster at 3:37 PM on July 17, 2006

    You could just go to the autoparts house and buy an ignition pigtail, unplug the old one, plug in the new one and that would give you an easy point to jump the wires.

    I've been running my farm truck like that for about 5 years now. Be sure to remove the pigtail when you leave the truck as an open and dangling pigtail is a thief's delight.
    posted by buggzzee23 at 4:42 PM on July 17, 2006

    JUnktards also sell pigtails if you're in thrift mode.
    posted by buggzzee23 at 4:43 PM on July 17, 2006

    Your main problem will be if you have a steering lock. If the steering wheel can't be turned, you've got a problem. I do believe that the best way around this would be a locksmith who deals with cars, you can buy a generic or second hand ignition lock from many places.

    I have an old car which used to (before I replaced the motor / gearbox necessitating a new steering column for the column shift gears) have no steering lock.

    One day, I lost my keys. I pulled the wires off the ignition points, and started touching them together. A couple of them made the engine crank. Another couple turned on the ignition lights. I twisted these together and then touched the other ones until the engine started. No problems at all, the car ran fine.

    The biggest risk is the exposed wires touching anything. To get around this I initially used some male / female terminals, then later upgraded to a couple of switches, a rocker switch for the ignition and a momentary switch for the engine starter.

    You do risk shorting out things and blowing fuses when experimenting, but I never had a problem. Mind you, my car is 40 years old and has no electronics other than a CD player, so you risk blowing up any onboard computers etc.
    posted by tomble at 6:03 PM on July 17, 2006

    As the wrangler of many a POS I can tell you it is a lot easier to just pop the lock cylinder out and then start your truck normally with a flat screwdriver. I'm not all that familiar with Fords of that vintage but you may need to pull the steering wheel.
    posted by Mitheral at 8:24 AM on July 18, 2006

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