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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi all,

New to the site. I see a a lot of mopar knowledge on here which is great. Wondering if I could get some help.

I have a couple of older 1st generation Durangos (2000 and 2001), I plan on having these trucks for awhile. The recent one I purchased has been having an alarm issue going on. Horn has been beeping x3 times every time I unlock it with the FOB. The CMT must be detecting one of the sensors is constantly being triggered. So I either have a bad sensor or my CMT is going south. Anyways only way I can get this diagnosed easily is with a DRB-III to pin point the sensor. I also have to add and program another key. The stealership, well just says I laughed at what they quoted me.

I was thinking of picking up one of the new wiTech Minipod II or a witech pod but I am a bit confused on compatibility. Anyone shed some light on this?
 

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Welcome to Allpar. The WiTechs are for CAN bus, but there is a WiTech 'DRBIII emulator' option which will let you scan older vehicles. I think that the price of a WiTech will be far higher than any dealer diagnostic charge.
On a hunch, it sounds like a door key cylinder switch is corroded or worn (front doors and possibly liftgate?).
I have removed these switches from the back of the lock cylinder and cleaned them up when the VTS triggers after an unlock. A drop of De-oxit should keep it good for awhile if the internal switch contacts are salvageable:
80248de2.gif
 

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All WiTech devices have to be registered to work. This is a yearly thing and is expensive. Here is the site for it Buy Mopar Approved Service Information (at https://www.techauthority.com/ ) The DRB will work without any additional costs, but they don't make them anymore. They haven't made them for like 10 years so finding a good used one is hard. Service parts for them are not made either, just what happens to be out there still. There is a new hardware emulator for the DRB, but it cost $2,500. Controller Technologies Corporation - DRB III Emulator (at http://www.controllertech.com/drb-iii-emulator.html ) If you can find a good deal on a used DRB that would probable be the cheapest route, but they are still pricey used.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
So looks like hardware wise I would be looking at a witech pos plus a DRB-III emulator.

ImperialCrown, I may have to go that route, cleaning up the contacts. So the electronic sensor is somehow built into the key cylinder? I have installed aftermarket alarms and the door triggers are usually attached to the door pin. I have to look a bit further into the factory service manual.
 

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I'll have to look and see if my SnapOn MT2500 will diagnose the alarm. I'll try it on my 2002 Durango. I know it does engine, transmission, ABS and body computers on various Chrysler products I've owned.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Looks like the DRB-III Emulator is software based and might run on a witech pod. PS I have seen many aftermarket one's for sale on ebay. Clones no doubt but as long as it gets the job done. I am not flashing the PCM or anything of the sort which would make me worry.
 

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The key cylinder disarm switch should look like the one in the link I provided above. It is held in by a clip.
Cleaning the switch fixed my dad's PT from the alarm going off when he unlocked the door with his fob.
Living in damp, salty NY is just awful for key cylinders and switches. Inside the door can be a wet environment.
 

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Discussion Starter · #8 ·
Imperial just noticed the gif, thanks! Wow what an interesting mechanism. Where did you pull this diagram from? I realize it may be from a different car.

Good points, I'm right across the river in salty NJ lol.
 

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I find pictures on Google after entering what I'm looking for and then clicking on the 'images' heading. I find that pictures can explain what I'm trying to get across or to understand for myself much better than just words.
I copy and paste the image address to my posts when possible.
Procedures are important also. Getting a factory service manual helps. Consider it a tool cost. Missing or tattered covers are OK and may save you money, it's what is inside that counts. Some of the larger public libraries have surprised me at what service manuals they may have in the backroom stacks if you ask. At times, a Mopar parts catalog may show a better picture of what you are working on than the factory service manual.
When looking at an exploded diagram of a machine or device, I get an almost instant idea of what it does, direction of flow, it's location, how it comes apart and goes back together.
"A picture is worth a thousand words".
- Tess Flanders.
 

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The MT2500 does not display data on the alarm system (other than if the system is triggered or not). No detail on the various inputs.
It's a shame because it's a great tool for the pre-canbus OBDII and even OBDI Chrysler vehicles. And it's less expensive now since there is a newer and better tool from SnapOn.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
The MT2500 does not display data on the alarm system (other than if the system is triggered or not). No detail on the various inputs.
It's a shame because it's a great tool for the pre-canbus OBDII and even OBDI Chrysler vehicles. And it's less expensive now since there is a newer and better tool from SnapOn.
Valiant thanks so much for checking this out for me! So the snapon scanner you have runs snap ons software which is different or pretty much the same as the DRB-III? I found a pdf which looks like it has all the functions of the DRB-III. Currently sifting to see if individual sensors report back to the CTM. I have worked with a 2000 saab and a Tech 2 in the past and was lucky enough to get sensors reporting but obviously might not be the case with Chrysler.

DRB-III Manual
http://www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/DRB_3_Features_Menus.pdf
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Valiant hopefully you can respond to the above post. Looking over the Service Manual for the Durango I found this under the Central Timer Module: Description and Operation:

"The cause of the last 4 alarm triggers is stored by the CTM and may be retrieved by the DRB III."

Again not sure of the snapon scanner uses the same DRB-III menu system.
 

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The SnapOn scanner most likely has its own software and menus (I say this because I've never used a DRBIII, but from what I see referenced in the shop manuals, the MT2500 seems different than the DRBIII. When I look at my Durango with the MT2500, I can see some information from the "Body" computer which is the CTM in a Dakota or Durango. It shows the state of various sensors and switches but I can't see any diagnosis for the alarm. I may trigger the alarm on the Durango and see if it leaves a code the MT2500 can see if I get time this afternoon.
 

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Valiant thanks so much for checking this out for me! So the snapon scanner you have runs snap ons software which is different or pretty much the same as the DRB-III? I found a pdf which looks like it has all the functions of the DRB-III. Currently sifting to see if individual sensors report back to the CTM. I have worked with a 2000 saab and a Tech 2 in the past and was lucky enough to get sensors reporting but obviously might not be the case with Chrysler.

DRB-III Manual
http://www.colorado4wheel.com/manuals/Jeep/DRB_3_Features_Menus.pdf
Here was today's experiment:
1) I made sure there were no codes in the body section (really the CTM).
2) I rolled down the driver's window and armed the security system.
3) I waited 5 minutes then reached in and opened the driver's door with the inside handle.
4) I turned off the alarm with the keyless remote by pressing the unlock button.
5) I connected the MT2500 scanner and checked for codes.
6) In the body section it read "alarm triggered by driver's door" (not exact wording - I forgot to write it down.
So it does appear the MT2500 can diagnose the alarm system. I can't see where it will enable the Daytime Running Lights (by switching to Canada) or program keys or remotes. But engine, transmission, body, ABS and airbag are all supported in some capaciy.
This is a SnapOn MT2500 with the OBDII adapter, K-13A personality key (needs to be 13A, not 13) and the last 2003? release of the programmable cartridges. I paid $650 for the scanner 10 years back (probably cheaper now), $200 last year to upgrade to the new cartridges (my old ones were 1999 cartridges) and $15 to upgrade from K-13 to K-13A.
If you want to consider the SnapOn MT2500, I can show you what I have. With different personality keys, you can access other OBDII cas from other manufacturers and you can also get cable adapters for OBDI Chrysler, Ford, etc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Valiant thanks so much for testing this out.

If it is seeing specific sensors drivers door it should be seeing the rest including the hatch sensor. In my head now I am wondering what would happen if say the "door disarm switch" was disconnected would the alarm consider that in its starting process or would that cause that sensor to show up as triggered. Reason I am thinking this way is because I can see the hatch door sensor disconnecting.

I have done more digging online and it seems that the witech pod is the only drb-III emulator that will work with and upto 2003. The minipod will work with 2004 and forward.

I have seen the witech pods clones for around 400. Dealer charges 100 something a key plus CTM programming. Basically the cost of 1 or 2 visits.
 

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The BCM/CTM looks for change of switch state (off-to-on or on-to-off) to know that the key was inserted and turned or that the RKE triggered a latch solenoid 'unlock'. If it doesn't see this change, it will set off the alarm.
It can begin as an intermittent in the case of a poor contact/corroded connection.
I would replace the switch on a customers car, but have had luck cleaning and re-using the switch on friend's or my own cars.
 

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Discussion Starter · #17 ·
Interesting Imperial. So I just took off the rear plastic to get a look at that hatch door, I cleaned the contact connection. I also wanted to check to make sure no rust was in the latch door but that is another topic.

I then rearmed/locked the car with the FOB. I kept my head by the drivers side to see the security light blinking. About 10 or so seconds after locking the front driver door lock motor sounded like it was retrying to lock the door. I am thinking maybe the poor contact is at this door now. No reason the motor of the driver should try to relock the door if already locked. The car has no motion sensor as far as I know stock from the factory.
 

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Make sure that there is no added aftermarket alarm system. This is usually spliced into the steering column/ignition switch wiring harness. You may see a plastic box tie-wrapped in the area if there is one.
If it is factory VTSS and it tried to lock the drivers door, then maybe the drivers door switch is the culprit?
The drivers door switch would get the most use and wear to fastest.
Many people use the key fob to lock and unlock the vehicle only and after a few years of non-use the door key cylinders will be found to be seized when trying to insert and turn the key.
I have removed and taken the switch apart for cleaning on certain cars. Some switches are more serviceable than others.
 

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Discussion Starter · #19 ·
I don't think there is an aftermarket alarm, that was my first thought. That maybe an alarm was getting power the actuator from an alarm. Since I have done this in my other car.

The cable in the rear hatch had just 2 cables, green and black. Assume one is power and one is ground. The actual sensor I believe I have to spin to get off. I haven't open the drivers door yet. But in the rear I saw the metal stub that holds the plastic cap is an odd shaped triangle. Assuming that the corrosion would be in there right?
 
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