Technology is one of those things that can be either a huge burden or a huge convenience, depending on how you look at it. Anyone who’s driven a car less than 10 years old is probably familiar with things like automatic door locks, electric windows, perhaps even remote start capabilities. But for most of us, those types of modern amenities aren’t present when it comes to our old trucks. Thankfully, if you’re a bit of a technophile like myself, the latest and greatest technological, whiz-bang gizmos found in the current crop of contemporary automobilia eventually trickle into the automotive aftermarket.
One of the more recent developments that were only available in the most exotic marquees only a few years ago is the keyless ignition. Available in a variety of forms, from the most advanced RFID-detected, keyless setups to the basic FOB-activated system, this technology has made its way into the aftermarket and not only helps lend a more contemporary feel to our classic trucks, but it adds a whole new level of security than the simple keyed ignition could ever hope for.
Flaming River has expanded upon their popular line of steering components to include a brand-new keyless entry system that uses a FOB-based docking station and push-button ignition combined with a keyless entry module that allows the user to enter their vehicle with the push of one button and fire it up with a second, all while utilizing the latest in random code-generated security.
The system is controlled by the near reader module, which is basically the brain of the setup. It’s wired directly to the docking station that communicates with a computer chip built into the key fob. Once the key fob is in place, the docking station gives the “OK” to the module and the push button becomes active, allowing the user to enter accessory, ignition, and start modes via the push of the button. A set of three relays then send the signal from the switch out to the corresponding set of inputs.
I really like integrating contemporary technology into the old trucks, especially if it can be done without harming the vintage aesthetic. With my ’68 C10, I’m tweaking a few things to give it a slightly modern vibe, but I don’t want to go overboard. With the addition of the keyless kit, I opted to get rid of the stock ignition switch, replaced by a push button from a Honda S2000. While the idea of using something borrowed from an import caused a bit of a dilemma at first, I quickly got over it once the button was mocked up in place. It fit the overall feel I wanted for the truck and wasn’t overly out of place. The docking station on the other hand was a bit harder to sort, but I figured out a pretty slick location for it and in the end, it turned out better than I had expected. Check out the install and you’ll see what I mean, then head over to www.flamingriver.com and check out their keyless ignition line for yourself.