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Thread: Clifford Alarm stopped chirping/ not working correctly? Read on! (How-to guide)

  1. #1
    Please play with my Club Member Pabs's Avatar
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    Clifford Alarm stopped chirping/ not working correctly? Read on! (How-to guide)

    Hey All,

    If you have a Clifford Alarm that is a few years old, or perhaps a Clifford alarm that no longer chirps
    when you lock/unlock the car (with the setting switched on) READ-ON!


    Information

    Clifford very cleverly (yeah, right!) designed their alarms so that they use a backup battery so continue to
    provide power to the system even when the cables are cut. This is a good idea, but can lead into issues as the
    alarms age, because batteries don't last forever!


    The problem

    Within the siren unit itself, Clifford placed a Nicad backup battery. As you probably know, Nicads
    suffer from the "memory effect" whereby if left on charge, or not fully cycled properly, no longer hold their
    charge. Here's the clever bit: (and you can check your manual for proof) To alert the owner of a failed backup
    battery, Clifford decided to set the alarm to NOT CHIRP when you lock/unlock the car when the battery was dead.
    Nice warning, huh? Some people wouldn't even notice!

    The solution

    To fix this, we need to replace the backup battery. These batteries contain 6 cells, each cell is 1/2 the length
    of a standard AA battery. The total voltage of the battery is 7.2V. A suitable battery pack replacement can be
    purchased from ebay for around 13 delivered, or probably from Maplins, or even custom made for less. The standard Nicad is 350mah, replacements of 550mah are a good idea as they will last longer.

    Here is a photo of the culprit (new ebay Ni-mh battery on the left, old ni-cad on right):



    And here's what you need to do!

    1. Unlock the vehicle and place the alarm into Valet mode (the indicator LED will turn on constantly). Disconnect
    the main battery from the car by removing the negative lead, obviously making sure you know all of your stereo
    codes etc.

    2. Locate the Clifford Siren, usually within the engine bay of the vehicle.

    3. Remove the siren from the bracket, which can usually be done by loosening both bolts (1 either side of the
    siren housing) and pulling the siren down and out. Alternatively, undo 1 bolt completely (catch those bolts and
    nuts!!) and the unscrew the bracket from the car.

    4. With the siren out of the engine bay, carefully pull as much cable slack as possible to enable you to move
    the siren for easier access.

    5. Using a posi-driver, remove the two long screws entering the rear of the siren housing. This will enable the
    speaker at the front to drop out of the case. Be careful not to drop it and put strain on the cables.

    6. On the side of the siren case, you will find the cable entry point. Undo the 4 posi-drive screws from the
    bracket, and carefully prise it away from the housing, as it will most likely be glued in place.

    7. With the cable bracket removed, the cable should be free to move in and out of the case. Feed some of the
    cable slack INTO the housing, and this will enable you to remove the alarm PCB (circuit board) out from the
    front, where the speaker used to be.

    8. Keep feeding slack through as necessary to get the PCB well clear of the alarm. You should now have something
    like this:



    9. The battery is the big bit sat on top of the PCB. To remove this, cut both cable ties, ensuring that when
    the battery is free you retain the plastic sheet that the battery is sitting on.

    10. You now have 2 options - 1 is to un-solder the red and black cables from the PCB that connect to the battery
    , or you can cut both cables somewhere between the two, and then strip/resolder the new battery to these. I
    opted for the latter because the PCB is heavily populated with components near to the solder joints and I didn't
    want to damage anything.


    11. With the old battery out, it's time to put the new one in! Strip all wire ends (2 on battery and if you
    chose the latter in #10 the 2 fly-leads on the PCB) and "tin" them so that they are ready to be joined. Don't
    forget the heatshrink material to insulate the joins afterwards.


    12. With the new battery soldered on, place the plastic sheet you threw away in step #9 (lol) under the battery
    and then onto the PCB as it was before. Use 2 cable ties to resecure the battery to the PCB.

    13. Feed the PCB back into the siren housing, ensuring it slots into the PCB guides in the sides. As you slide
    it in, pull through the slack in the cable so as not to trap it.

    14. When all slack is removed from the case, and PCB held in nicely, reattach the cable bracket using the 4
    screws to clamp it in place on the side of the unit.

    15. Slot the siren speaker back into the front of the case, and reattach using the 2 long screws.

    16. Replace the alarm into the bracket, and tighten the bolts as necessary.

    17. Reattach your main battery to the car, and assuming you put it into Valet mode as in step #1, the alarm will
    return to valet mode. If you didn't, find your car keys and turn the alarm off!

    18. Test your alarm! You should find that the chirps on lock/unlock are now present, and the proximity sensor
    chirps work again too!

    Enjoy


    P.S - any Clifford retailer will try to sell you a new siren at the cost of approx 90 - the above solution
    is much cheaper, and only takes around 15mins to do!
    Last edited by Pabs; 24-06-08 at 10:09.

  2. #2
    Supra Fun Club Member jaymdee's Avatar
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    Nice one mate.

    Will give this ago and hope it may fix my lack of chips too Still not sure why the remote central locking doesn't unlock the doors though (but locking works fine)
    J-Spec Green Auto TT - some mods

    My Carbon Footprint is 28,000 TLS/DGAF

  3. #3
    Please play with my Club Member Pabs's Avatar
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    I'm going to try and add some more photos to this when I get the chance...

  4. #4
    Mrs Roof Club Member Ian R's Avatar
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    Cool right up. Remembers for future reference
    I WORK AT TESCOS DON'T YOU KNOW!

    DISCLAIMER:This and other posts submitted on this, or any Internet forum, under the screen name "Ian R" simply represent an attempt to gain acceptance from a peer group espousing cars of a high performance nature. Any statements, claims, or graphical representations made that would constitute a violation of any contractual agreement are to be considered fictitious and not to be accepted in any court of law
    Pics Of my car here Updated 01/10/2008

  5. #5
    I'm back in a Supra Club Member MRX's Avatar
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    Thanks mate!!! Was just about to make a post asking why mine has just stopped chirping. Had it plugged in to my cliffnet wizard this afternoon and couldn't figure it out. Do you have a link to them on ebay? I want to make sure I get the right ones.

  6. #6
    Please play with my Club Member Pabs's Avatar
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    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/ws/eBayISAPI.d...m=370049039066

    That's the one I bought. Steveo-evo is the seller, but hasn't relisted any at the moment.

    As mentioned - I'm sure you could get the battery pack from maplins or similar, but as I didn't know what the battery looked like, let alone anything else, I bought from him. Hopefully the info above will save people a few quid.

  7. #7
    I'm back in a Supra Club Member MRX's Avatar
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    Have mailed Steveo, thanks for the info mate!

  8. #8
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    Damn wish i had known this. My alarm didn't give me the chirps but it was because i thought they were turned off. The alarm started going nuts so i ended up changing the whole thing over for a new one! Argghhh.

    Oh well, you live and you learn

  9. #9
    Please play with my Club Member Pabs's Avatar
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    Yeh - it bugged me because I even had the Clifford software and cable - and I made sure the settings were set to LOUD or even QUIET, but neither made a noise.

    I first found out the issue because I disconnected my battery and reconnected it after taking the dash out - the chirps started working again, but only for a day or two.

    This is because the Nicads get the "memory effect" and by disconnecting the battery you drain the backup battery, and upon reconnection you effectively charge it again. But it doesn't hold it's charge so eventually stops making the noise.

    How the hell Clifford thought that turning off the chirps would WARN you that the battery was flat I don't know - would have been better to make MORE noise! I suppose this wasn't possible with a flat battery though.

  10. #10
    I'm back in a Supra Club Member MRX's Avatar
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    Anyone found a source for these? I cant seem to get one

  11. #11
    Please play with my Club Member Pabs's Avatar
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    if steveo can tell you what the mAH rating of the batteries, then Maplins can probably supply....
    but I suspect it's the fact steveo hasn't replied to you that you're asking?

  12. #12
    I'm back in a Supra Club Member MRX's Avatar
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    I asked him to let me know next time he sells one, whish he was happy to do, but as yet no news from him.

  13. #13
    I'm back in a Supra Club Member MRX's Avatar
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    Just had an update from Steveo -


    Hi m8,

    Got some kits in stock now, limited availability though.

    The original batteries are Ni-cads 350mAh These new kits are Nickel-metal-Hydride with 550mAh which basically means they are loads better.
    They will last twice as long as the Ni-cads and sound the siren for much longer when the vehicle battery is disconnected under attack.

    Here's a quick link to buy:-

    NiMH Repair Kit

    Don't forget to let me have your full name & address :o)

    Steve
    So I have ordered one

  14. #14
    I'm back in a Supra Club Member MRX's Avatar
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    If anyone else has a problem in the future, this guy is also a source:

    From: Graeme Simpson [mailto:gsimpson@iftc.co.uk]
    Sent: 24 June 2008 09:27
    To: Rob
    Subject: RE: Clifford

    Hi Rob,

    Yep still do the batteries with fitting instructions for the Clifford Alarms, they are 14.50 incl recorded delivery postage.

    If you want one you can paypal to: gayle@f2s.com

    We are currently on holiday down the south of England but will be home on Saturday and can send one out straight away.


    Graeme

  15. #15
    Please play with my Club Member Pabs's Avatar
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    interesting info - thanks for that mate! So they are going from Ni-cads to Ni-mhs then... and a higher output.
    I'll update my first post

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