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550 alarm battery replacement

Discussion in '456/550/575' started by Bart, Feb 19, 2009.

  1. Bart

    Bart Formula 3

    Nov 1, 2003
    1,488
    Orange County, Calif
    Full Name:
    Bart
    My red light on my dash is on all the time. I have been told the battery is bad in the alarm (siren). Does anyone know how to replace it? The workshop manual does not cover this. Nuts.

    Thanks.

    :(

    12 cylinders or walk
     
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  3. Jettafanatic

    Jettafanatic Karting

    Nov 8, 2008
    150
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Full Name:
    Claudio
    I was told that it actually is a blessing that the battery is dead... I'll believe it given the times I forget to disarm it and get in the car... I will thus leave mine dead but I'll look to see what I can find and report back here if I do ( I have to fix / improve everything... can't help it... and I turn my own wrenches on the car ( hav been unig / working on cars for years...)).
    I have a 99 550 in Santa Barbara BTW.
    Cheers :)
     
  4. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,352
    socal
    Hey bart,

    There is a 360 alarm battery replacement thread in the 360 section. I bet the 550 one is very similar. Why not search for that thread. I think it is rayjohns thread. Anyway, I'm in PV and do all my own work. I have a long history with wrenching on Fcars. I have never taken a 550 battery apart as the car is new to me too. I've had a 550 for about 6 months and have not taken much of the car apart. But if you want to try and take it apart I'd be glad to give you a hand. I got tools most electrical gear too VOM etc.... The 360 thread lists possible battery replacements too and I think either in that thread or another thread guys talked about wiring an external powerpack to the alarm so that batteries can be changed in the future without opening up the alarm box. Ferrari sells the whole thing as a not user maintainable product.
     
  5. tritone

    tritone F1 Veteran
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    Dec 8, 2003
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    #4 tritone, Feb 19, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2009
    ...now I get to say it: "search is your friend" ....ah.....that felt so good....from a 2004 post on the subject:

    alarm "always on" fault
    Thanks to "Doody" who pointed me in the right direction and then "Redhead" who provided some additional info .... this problem has been fixed. The standard issue with these alarms is they lose their charge when the cars battery drains or is shut off and the NiCads in the siren eventually go bad resulting in a fault signal being sent to the alarm ECU which makes the LED stay on to alert you there's a problem ... this is what I expected to find ......

    R & R 'd the alarm siren. There's two small round NiCad batteries inside that were never intented to be replaced. The siren is a 5 inch square sealed unit with no way to open it except carefully sawing along the factory seam to seperate the two factory glued pieces that form the unit. Inside is a small circuirt board, the siren itself and two NiCad batteries (# Z3A120, 3.6 volts in series for 7.2 volts, each battery is about 1" round by 1/2" high). I had little success finding OEM replacement batteries, but did get a few hits on the internet from overseas companies...... The problem in my case was fairly heavy corrision on the batteries and battery contacts. There appeared to have been some light moisture in the unit at some point (but not flooded) .... I cleaned the batteries with a wire brush and electrical contact cleaner, and checked to see if they were still good... one read 1 Volt, the other 3 Volts ... Figured they were history ....but put the unit back together and connected the siren to the car to see if it would take a charge..... the Alarm light issue immediately worked correctly ..... after a few hours, I removed the siren unit, and checked the batteries again ..... they were now fully charged, showing 4 Volts each. Glued the unit back together this time with black silicon and put it back in the car ..... the alarm light now works as it should. Total cost to repair ..... "Zero" .... and better still ..... Ferrari didn't get $ 350 out of me for a new siren. If the batteries had been bad ... I was going to keep looking for OEM ones... or in the worst case .... buy radio shack NiCad battery packs totaling 7.2 volts and hard wire them to the circuit board contacts .... everything would fit inside the unit ..... and there's ample room for non-OEM batteries. Better than throwing the unit away.......
    Last edited by speedball; 05-02-2004 at 07:26 PM.

    edit: BRUCE WELLINGTON! was the go-to guy for the batteries. don't think he's still here, but check profiles to see.....
     
  6. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 19, 2008
    33,584
    Clarksville, Tennessee
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    Terry H Phillips
    FBB- Did not realize you lived in PV. I graduated from PV High School in 1965. I think that makes me an official PV old fart.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
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  8. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
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    Aug 10, 2002
    20,352
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    I was 1978 PVHS not quite as old but still a fart. I did not fall far from the tree and live 1 mile from my parents. Now my kid is at PVHS! I think some of the teachers from 1965 are still there. Ski season is coming to a close fast. Fishing is popping into my mind more and more. We really should think about getting Dave to break away from the shop and get a couple days in and have him show us a couple secret spots.
     
  9. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #7 tazandjan, Feb 20, 2009
    Last edited: Feb 20, 2009
    FBB- That would be great as long as I do not have to ride on a horse. I am afraid of heights. He likes Cutthroats. Me, too. They are dumber than a box of rocks.

    I thought 78 was Rolling Hills HS? Lost track in there somewhere, but know PV HS is now cooking again. My class of freshmen in 1961 when the school opened were the first to go four years at PV HS

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  10. fatbillybob

    fatbillybob Two Time F1 World Champ
    Consultant Owner

    Aug 10, 2002
    20,352
    socal
    As to Cutts...gee I can catch so many of those I thought I was a great fisherman.

    As to PV. PVHS was closed around 1990ish reopened 95ish I forget. Miraleste closed too. RHHS because the only school rebadged PV peninsula HS now considered the #1 acedemic school on the hill and is actually where my kid is. School is like 30+% Asian hence the killer acedemics. PVHS is doing fine however but they now teach classes by the "block" system with 2hr classes vs 50 min classes. Either school is in top 100 HS in country and helps to keep the house values high.

    Anyway, sorry to OP for hijack my offer still stand to help with your alarm box however.
     
  11. Jettafanatic

    Jettafanatic Karting

    Nov 8, 2008
    150
    Santa Barbara, CA
    Full Name:
    Claudio
    Stolen from elsewhere on here.....

    "Thought I'd add my recent experience to this thread.......

    The problem with your alarm IMO is 100% related to the NiCad batteries in the siren. I also got the four beeps you mentioned. As Doody stated ... I recently resolved this issue on my 550 ..... I think the 360 and 550 have the identical alarm setups and issues.

    I removed my siren, located below the right front headlight on a 550. It was hard to reach .... tried to get to it without pulling the headlight assy ... "lost" three 10mm wrenches (later recovered) before deciding to pull the four bolts holding the headlight assy and getting this out of the way. Simple to do and made for very easy access at that point. I removed the siren (two bolts), but since this is a sealed unit it's not intended to be opened or serviced ... I carefully cut along the original seam where it was glued together at the factory (made by Bosch) ..... there's not much inside so you don't need to be too careful when opening ....just two batteries and a small circuit board. I intended to replace the batteries which just pop in to two molded holders ... but found in my case some petty heavy corrosion on the bateries and contacts between them and the ciruit board, which just presses against the batteries (batteries in one half.... circuit board in the other) when the unit is put together. Checked the batteries and they were low ..... but after cleaning everything I taped the unit together and plugged it back into the wiring harness ... waited a day .... removed it and found the batteries were now fully charged (4 Volts each) ..... I also noted that the alarm problem was resolved. Since I bought the car (w/8k miles) the alarm light always cycled correctly at start up and when turned off ... but then goes into an always on mode when running ... which indicated a "fault" in the system ..... that's also what the four beeps is telling you. Once I was convinced the alarm was working OK .... I siliconed the two halves of the siren unit together and bolted it back in "for good" ...... I thought......

    Now here's the sad part ..... this worked great for a few days...... and definately made me aware that I found the problem .... but just today the alarm issue has returned as before ..... I'm positive it's the batteries ..... they probably had just enough life left in them to last only a few days, having been discharged for months .. maybe years. I would've replaced these last time around (intended to) ... but couldn't find replacements easily .... checked the internet ..... found a few places that listed these but only in Europe...... checked Radio Shack, and some large US based battery suppliers.... no luck. (however... someone did post a message after I was done .... with a name where I might find these ... check my original posting (titled: 550 alarm light always on).

    Now that the problem has returned .... I'm going to find new batteries before r & r again. I had considering just buying a 7.2 volt NiCad battery pack at Radio Shack .... and hard wiring this in ... There appears to be ample space inside the siren housing. If I can't find the proper replacements ... this is what I'll end up doing.

    The updated siren changed to a better battery that lasts longer ...... but the dealer gets around $ 350 for a new siren unit .... there's basically nothing inside this unit and no reason the throw it away .... it's only two batteries and a siren horn.... YES they could've put four screws in it to make it eaily serviceable ...... but regardless ..... hardly worth spending this amount when you only need two new $10 batteries. Something else I might consider this time around is to drill a small hole in the side and run the battery wires outside of the unit ..... this way I can buy a battery pack with a connector that just plugs in and attach the battery pack to the bracket holding the unit .... next time the batteries fail ... it'll take 2 minutes and $ 14 dollars to fix.

    There's a factory update regarding adding a ground wire from the connector to the actual battery ground (already mentioned in this thread) ... bypassing the car batteries kill switch..... thus allowing constant power to the NiCads so they don't drain. This only helps ... and I;d say is necessary if you let your main car battery drain to a low state or switch it off at times.... This doesn't appear to of been the issue with my car .....

    The batteries inside the unit are # Z3A120 ... B49 .... 3.6 volt ... approx. 1 inch round by 1/2 inch tall. Looks like a very large watch battery. If you find a source for these... let me know.........

    Thanks, "

    Cheers :)
     
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  13. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
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    Allan
    ...or maybe an epidemic. I had the same problem in my 456 and started a thread captioned "no bip-bip" on this 2 days ago. More info in that thread, too. From what everybody's saying, I'm thinking I may just "fuggedaboudit," and live with the sounds of silence.
     
  14. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 19, 2008
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  15. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
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    Thanks, Taz. (sigh) Sometimes it just makes more sense to write a check and get a feeling of accomplishment and personal satisfaction in another way.
     
  16. dersark_painclinic

    dersark_painclinic Formula Junior

    Mar 8, 2005
    941
    Glendale, CA
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    Lazik Der Sarkissian
    The red light on the dash is allways blinking regardless the alarm is activated or not, but system works fine. is this how it should be?. With other cars the light is off when alarm is not activated. Car is 550, thanks for recommendations. Sark
     
  17. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    #14 tazandjan, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
    Sark- The flashing light is telling you the engine and ignition immobilizer is activated. After you drive your car and shut it down the immobilizer activates itself 60 seconds after you remove the key and open the door, and the LED will start flashing. If you disarm the alarm and immobilizer or just the immobilizer by using your remote and do not open a door, the immobilizer will activate again after 120 seconds and the LED will start flashing. What you are seeing is normal, and as long as the LED is not flashing while you are driving, things are as they should be.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  18. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
    27,137
    Austin TX
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    Brian Crall
    I rebuilt a pile of those things a couple of years ago with new batteries and installed them in cars. I wound up buying most of them back. When I looked into it further it turned out the charging circutry in the units was bad and that is what led to the original failure. They were built to be disposable and a new battery will not change that.

    Terrys advice was good.
     
  19. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
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    Greg Calo
    #16 GCalo, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
    I can send you full instructions how to do it, and I have the correct 7.2V NiCad batteries and connectors as well.

    The external NiCad battery replacement procedure works very reliably.

    It's the internal battery replacement that does not last.
     
  20. tazandjan

    tazandjan Three Time F1 World Champ
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    Jul 19, 2008
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    Brian- About time I got something right on maintenance.

    Taz
    Terry Phillips
     
  21. 2000 456M

    2000 456M F1 World Champ

    Sep 29, 2007
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    Thanks, guys. Next stop, Ricambi.
     
  22. dersark_painclinic

    dersark_painclinic Formula Junior

    Mar 8, 2005
    941
    Glendale, CA
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    Lazik Der Sarkissian
    Thank you Taz. Sark
     
  23. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    I have done it that way Greg and I don't care what kind of battery you use or where you put it, if the charging circut is toast it won't matter.

    The charging circut is not always bad but it is a common cause of the battery going bad in the first place.

    The real fix would be to get better sirens. Those Bosch units are junk.
     
  24. ferraridriver

    ferraridriver F1 Rookie
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    Aug 8, 2002
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    Dave
    You could hook the siren battery up to a battery tender then we could have 50-75 post on which battery tender to use.
    :)

    I drove the 355 for seven years with the siren inactive, just got used to it., the one I have now went bonkers after six months, just randomly chirping, and sometimes the full alarm going off for absolutely no external reason. Brian is right, they are a piece of crap. Now that one has the siren disconnected internally so the LED functions normally, just no chirp.
     
  25. GCalo

    GCalo F1 Veteran

    Sep 15, 2004
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    #22 GCalo, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
    True. If the batteries have leaked they very well may have toasted the board.

    However if the circuit board is not toast then the external battery connection works fantastically and there is no longer any battery degradation within the unit with which to deal.

    Interesting that Maserati uses a unit that is 1/2 the size of that used in Ferrari's and it's a whole lot cheaper as well! It's also by Bosch.
     
  26. Rifledriver

    Rifledriver Two Time F1 World Champ

    Apr 29, 2004
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    #23 Rifledriver, Mar 2, 2009
    Last edited: Mar 2, 2009
    It doesnt take a leaky battery or a damaged board for a charging problem.

    Thats the kiss of death. Bosch makes nothing but crap. Go find something American or Japanese.
     

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