Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: San Ramon, Calif
Ferrari Life Posts: 3,627
Killing the Red Alarm LED
If your alarm LED stays on while driving, it's time to change the batteries within the unit.
Unfortunately Ferrari did not make this serviceable. Howevere, if you are handy you can open it and fix the battery problem permanently.
The alarm module is in the trunk in the 360. You have to first remove the cloth panel to the right as you look in (keep those screws with that piece so you don't mix them with the others), and then the large panel dead ahead.
After these panels are removed you'll see a white plastic vapor barrier. You'll have to cut it in the upper right to access the alarm module that is just behing the frame on the right. See pictures: not my car BTW. I can't locate the ones I took but I will and will post later.
You'll need to turn off your battery switch first, but before you do so make sure you have your radio code handy!
Take a 10 mm ratchet box wrench (makes it easier) and loosen both nuts but don't remove them. Slide the module out and unplug the connnector.
Now here's where you have to be clever. The module is sealed but it is two glued pieces. You have to carefully cut all around the center line until you separate both halfs of the module. Be very careful cause you can't go into it too deeply! Use a sharp box cutter or equivalent.
After a few minutes of cutting, you'll start to notice the blade sinking into the seam more and more. As you go, use the tip more so, since it digs down into the seam a bit better. After a while, the unit will start to come apart. Take your time and don't rush it - you don't want to slip with the razor and cut too far into the unit and risk damaging the components inside.
When separated, lift off the back half and look to see if there are two round batteries there. If you do not have the round batteries you have the earlier model with irreplaceable batteries. I don't think there is any way to update that unit.
In that case you'll most likely have to replace the whole module which runs between $300 - $400! Ouch
If you have the round, flat batteries set into the top cover, note how they align with the sping clips on the circuit board. Mark the circuit board in pencil near each spring clip with the appropriate + and - mark. It is very important you mark them correctly or you'll cook the circuit board when you connect the new external battery.
Remove the batteries carefully, and completely wash and rub off all the corrosion from the inside of the cover and the batteries with water only! Set that piece aside then and make sure it fully dries. recycle the batteries.
Wash off with a tissue and water any corrosion on the circuit board and on the spring clips.
Thoroughly clean the spring clips with a very fine sand paper, and then clean off.
The two button batteries each supply 3.6 volts. They are rated at 120 mAh (milliamp hours). There are two batteries in series, and, therefore, the circuit board runs off 7.2 volts.
We are going to replace these two batteries with one external rechargeable 9 volt NiCD battery. NiCD batteries can withstand more charge cycles without negatively impacting their ability to provide power.
I bought the 9v NiCad rechargeable battery from Radio Shack #23-448 for around $10.00, a package of R.S. 9V battery snap connectors #270-325 (there were 5 in the pack. If anyone wants one I'll mail it.), and two (2) 12" long two-wire trailer hitch connectors at an auto parts store.
I used two-wire trailer hitch couplings avaialble from Radio Shack or an auto parts store. This then provides a means to break the connection if a future future battery failure requiring replacement.
With the two 12" trailer connectors in hand (there is a red and a white wire usually), push together the rubber connectors where the red lead runs into a connector and the clip is not exposed. What I am getting at here is that you want the red connector (+) shielded. The white can be exposed when disconnected but this is ground!
Once that is together cut off from both ends the remaining connectors (cut back a few inches so you can reuse those for other projects). Strip the red and white and each side back about 1/4".
Have a 25 watt soldering iron on and ready, and tin all four of the exposed leads. You will be soldering the leads from one side of the wire to the connector for the 9 volt battery and the other side gets soldered to the circuit board. You'll need shrink tubing to cover the soldered leads.
Each of the spring clips on the circuit board has 3 prongs that stick up. Very carefully tin with solder the spring clips. make sure there are extremely clean so the solder flows easily and sticks. No cold soldering here or you'll have to do this all over.
Drill about a 3/16" hole in the cover but away from the area that the 4 small leads protrude to connect to the factory harness. Feed the red/white leads from the cable you soldered to to the battery connector linto that hole you just drilled.
Very carefuly solder the red lead across all three spring clips for the + terminal and then the white across all three spring clips for the - terminal. make absolutely you are soldering to the correct spring clips that correlate to the polarity pencil marks you put there.
Reseal the alarm box by means of a 5 minute setting epoxy.epoxy. Put a little bead around the edge where you cut and clamp or weight the module for 15 or 20 minutes.
Seal up the hole to keep the unit sealed.
The trailer wire leads leave about 18 inches of wiring which is enough to feed the lead up to install the 9 volt battery up top near the brake fluid reservoir. This enables future battery replacements. Use superlock fasteners (Radio Shack sells them) to attach the battery in place.
Plug the siren into the harness and with the external battery attached, turn the power to the car back on. You should hear the chirp and that tells you did it roght.
Secure the battery in a good place. I placed the battery up top onto a metal brace that supports the A/C recharge ports.
Once you have done that, turn the ignition key to "on", give the car 10 or 15 seconds to relearn before starting the motor, set in the radio code, and all should be well.
Put everything back and you will be pleased.
The little red alarm LED staying on while driving should be a thing of the past.
I will post more photos. The two of the red 360 show the module location.
BTW, you can do this same to the 355! The module is the same.
Third photo shows the unit opened. Circuit board spring clips not visible this photo.
Last edited by Gcalo; 02-07-2009 at 06:23 PM.