Does a 7.3 need a tach generator for remote start? - Ford Powerstroke Diesel Forum
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post #1 of 15 Old 07-29-2011, 04:00 AM Thread Starter
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Does a 7.3 need a tach generator for remote start?

I'm having best buy install a remote starter on my 2003 7.3 excursion tomorrow. I went with a viper 5301 two way unit. The installer told me that I would need to purchase a separate "tach generator" since it is a diesel. He told me that the diesels do put out a tach signal but that is was a "dirty signal" that wouldnt work. The remote starter needs a clean signal to know when the engine is running.

Is he right? I knew that I would need additional parts for the install but this is a new one for me.
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post #2 of 15 Old 07-29-2011, 04:24 AM
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my 6.0 didn't need one. should be able to get it from the wiring to the gauge. IIRC its a 5volt reference.

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post #3 of 15 Old 07-29-2011, 10:45 PM
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I have a older viper on my 2000. Only thing needed for the tach was a diode to keep from draining the batteries.


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post #4 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 09:45 AM
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I was told the same thing, so my remote start was installed with no way to tell if the engine is actually running or not... did you end up getting a tach generator? Or is the signal actually clean enough for a viper on a 7.3 to not have a problem?
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post #5 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 11:02 AM Thread Starter
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The installer told me after the install that he did try it without the tach signal generator to see if it worked. It didn't. The truck shut off after 15 seconds or whatever the default is. He told me that without a strong tach signal, the remote starter can't confirm that the engine is running and will shut off after 15 seconds. After he hooked up the tach signal generator, everything worked fine.

It wasn't very expensive ($35 I think ???), so I figured that it was worth it. This way, I wont have any problems down the road if I need to bring it in for warranty work. Places like to void your warranty if you don't let them install it their way.

I've had it all on for three months now with absolutely no issues. I've been very happy with it. Plus, Best Buy gives a lifetime warranty on the labor and install.
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post #6 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 11:12 AM Thread Starter
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For what it's worth, the Viper 5301 is an awesome system. It has worked flawlessly for me so far (only 3 months). It was worth every penny to upgrade to the 2-way remote. I couldn't imaging not having confirmation that the truck started or that the door locks responded. I usually can't see my truck when I hit the start button. With the 2-way, I always know. I also know if I hit the buttons by accident and can cancel the command with the touch of a button.

I'm likely going to get the exact same system for my wife's car this winter.
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post #7 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 11:17 AM
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I've got two remote starts on 7.3 96 and 01 X with out the tach signal generator plus most systems can read voltage to see if it's running.

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post #8 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 11:19 AM
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Is there any chance you could find out who makes that tach adapter/what the part # was? My installer isn't familiar with this tach adapter, so I need to get the info or the part for him to put it in.

I've searched around and found a couple of options, but don't know which one to try:

First, I found this DB-TACH2 by Omega: here

Second, this "Peripheral PDATACH2 Ford tach generator" Peripheral PDATACH2 Ford tach generator - PDATACH2] here

The other thought I had was the MSD GMR (8918) hooked to an injector wire at the IDM or valve cover harness.

If you were able to tell me what you got (since it worked), that would be GREAT, so I don't have to buy these parts, pay to have them installed only to find that they don't work.

I got the 5901 and I definitely love the 2-way feature, but the way its hooked up right now, it doesn't know if the engine is running, only if the brain attempted to start the engine. I can't see my truck when I start it either, so I would love to know if it actually started or not.

Did they set yours up on a fixed crank time, or does it just crank until it sees that the engine is running?

Last edited by servion; 11-04-2011 at 11:24 AM.
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post #9 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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I'll get you the part number later tonight when I get home.

When I tried to research this originally, I got the impression that it was hit or miss. Some trucks need it and some don't.

Twinjracing:
I did read about more than a couple people who have made it work by getting a signal from somewhere else. My guess is that a professional installer would prefer to buy a purpose built unit for reliability and warranty reasons. Plus, it's probably easier and faster for them than to "keep trying till it works". After all, they aren't paying for the unit, the customer is. Why would they make the install any harder or take any longer than necessary? Obviously, each installer is different and some are much more knowledgeable than others. Maybe my Best Buy installer didn't know how or where to look for a better signal. I'm also willing to bet that diesels scare some techs.
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post #10 of 15 Old 11-04-2011, 01:33 PM
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I used to install them at my friends shop And All we did was grab it at the tach. I wouldn't let best buy touch my truck You should of sean the work they did on some cars we had to fix. Fire wating to happen mean any thing. Just like my 08 SD has a dealer installed one it's one of the worst jobs I've ever sean but i can't touch it or it voids warnty. I allways go to the WTS light but the one in my SD is on a 30 sec. timer.

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