I have been installing security systems as long as I have been installing. Alarms/Remote Starts are probably my favorite installation to do because it still gives me a challenge and a chance to be creative over the standard deck and two. I take great pride in these types of installs and it makes me very angry when I see an alarm that is T-Tapped, completely exposed, or just poorly installed.
The quality of the installation on the alarm system is the key factor in the alarm protecting your vehicle.
For those that do alarms and need a refresher, or those that are going to be doing them here is a list of the essential things to do when installing an alarm. Also: I do not recommend doing your own alarm install unless you work in a shop or under someone that can properly train you. These are not something you want to mess with on your own as you could seriously harm your vehicles electrical system if installed improperly.
1. Correctly Prepping the Alarm
The alarm should be completely prepped before going into the vehicle. This means cutting and taping off all unnecessary connections on the brain. Group wires that will be going to the same location in the vehicle by twisting them together using a drill. Then wrap all grouped wires in good quality electrical tape. Make sure all wires are covered in tape so as not to expose the wire colors. If the thief sees any aftermarket colors he can trace them back to the brain.
Have as many grounding points as possible. If a thief break in and sees the ground for the alarm and pulls it....the alarm is disabled. Have grounds everywhere...as long as they are hidden. Also, connect the ground to the sirens ground, you can ground that same wire under the hood, connect it to the radio ground, and any piece of metal in the vehicle. This tip is often overlooked but could be the saving grace in the install. Also multiple power wires is useful too, but make sure they are from different sources and not just multiple connections on the same wire.
Keeping along with multiple grounds you should ALWAYS have a backup battery and the connections for this should be connected as close to the alarm brain's main harness as possible.
4.Location of Brain
If there is ANYTHING that will save your car...it is the location of the alarm brain. DO NOT just ziptie it up under the dash. Make sure the brain is completely hidden and out of the way. I put alarm brains behind glove boxes, behind stereos, under front seats, behind back seats (as long as it is not exposed), under shifter consoles, under center consoles. As long as you have to take a bunch of panels off to get to the brain you should be OK (and the panels just don't snap off).
Always, always, always solder your connections. By solder and tape I mean poke a hole in the wire, put the wire through wrap the wire, solder the connection makign sure the solder soaks through both wires, tape using high quality electrical tape makign sure to go both directions, and use a zip tie as stress relief at the base of the connection. DO NOT T-tap, your alarm will fail if you do, no quick connects, no but connectors, no crimp caps. The manufacturer would not use these connections so neither will you. Soldering is the best practice.
By wire management I mean having the alarm prepped properly and making sure once the alarm is installed you see no colors from the wires. Also, when getting your wires make sure they are not in an obvious place. The ignition harness is not the wires you can see going from the shroud into the engine bay. By using the wires you can see easily it makes it easier for the thiefs to find the brain. When getting your power, ignition, and starter wires get them directly off of the key cylinder so it makes it much more difficult to access the wires to bypass the alarm.
Have sirens on the inside of the vehicle...and a lot of them. Piezo sirens are the really high pitched sirens that are almost unbearable when pointed at your ears. If you have a bunch of these under the dash the thief will have a harder time wanting to stay to steal the vehicle. Also, piezo sirens are easier for people to hear so it will draw more attention. When using more then two sirens, get a relay to power them.
8. Always Test
Always test every single wire you are connecting, verify what you are connecting by using a multimeter and NOT a test light. Also, physically test each feature after making the connection. If it is a door trigger, set the alarm and open the door to verify its functionality.
9. Two Way Paging
One of the greatest things to come along since sliced bread...two way paging. I highly highly recommend this since we are not always near our cars when they are getting broken into AND random strangers do not pay attention to alarms going off anymore. At the minimum get the 1/8 mile range which is good for when you are sleeping you can have your keys on the bedside table to wake you up. Otherwise for a little more money you can get up to a mile range, which I feel is worth it.
10.Brand Name Alarm
This is just as important as the rest of the tips...get a brand name alarm. Its your car, your pride and joy, your baby...spend a little more money and get the right alarm. Stick with Directed (Viper, Python, Clifford). I have seen so many crappy alarms out there its stupid.
Now I will speak about the LED, Valet, and Antenna. When running these make sure all wiring is hidden, and taped up because the LED should be externally visible and if the thief can see the wires then he will be able to tell where the brain is. The valet should be completely hidden...inside the center console, on the top side of the glove box, do NOT put it in the kick panel! For longest range on the antenna you should run the complete length throughout the install, meaning ziptie it to various portions making sure it runs the entire length.
Re pinning factory harnesses (Who doesn't know Honda Ignition Colors?)
Have two starter kills, one internally and one inside the engine bay
Have a fuel pump kill (Use fuel pump activation wire)
Backup battery/Siren Combo (DEI Module)
Ignition kill (careful with this because if the thief bypasses the starter kill but not ignition kill then he could ruin your starter)
On remote starts do not use the universal module unless you have to (Leaves Key inside of vehicle)
Add a switch to your valet button so even if the thief finds the valet, the switch has to be activated to use the valet.
Sirens in the hatch/trunk (Piezo Prefereably)
Use 3M electrical tape and good solder
So, those are my instructions for doing alarms feel free to chime in and I can add to the post.