Subscribe to a magazine

June 2013 Randy’s Electrical Corner

Flaming River Alarm Brain
Randy | Photographer
Posted June 1, 2013

Keyless Flattie

Even I, who know nothing about Jeeps, have to admit that these flatties are pretty cool. You guys loooove the flatfender Jeeps. You give them nicknames and everything. Heck, you guys even love driving the things and taking them off-road, although I’ll never know why. They are too small to drive for any person who is of normal height, much less if you are tall. I mean, unless you like driving or riding with your ears around your knees. Most of them have no heat, and why even put A/C in them? The tops leak more than a chicken-wire top would, and good luck putting a back seat in the things. You would basically have to chop people off at the knees to get them back there. Heck, even Mr. Turtle doesn’t like riding back there (Editor’s note: Maybe don’t put him in a pot of water next time).

So how does this deal with electrics? Well, glad you asked. The thing I liked about the early flatties was that there were no confusing keys. I never could figure out how the janitor knew what key went to what door. The old flatties had a simple “on/off” switch and a button on the floor to engage the starter. Easy. Want to crank the engine, step on the button. No keys, and none of the VATS or whatever they call it that the new Jeeps have. So why not put a button in a flatfender to start it?

Well, I’ll tell you why not. You can’t trust anyone today, so the old switch and floor button just won’t work. Sure, every teenybopper who comes by might not be able to figure it out, but give enough monkeys enough time and they can write great books or music or something. So when I found the keyless system from Flaming River, I almost jumped for joy. Not Joy, the mean blonde lady, but I was happy. Then it was a matter of finding a flattie to try it out on.

Yeah Flaming River is the steering company, but this kit is cool. I liked the idea of the push button starter in an old flat fender. But things like “programmable” and “RFID” scared me. Like most spaceman tech, this isn’t that cheap, but all the parts are very well made and wiring is mostly done for you.

Well, you guys know me, nothing like trying to put something together and make it work to figure out how it works. Or taking something apart…but anyway, I got one of these new kits and gave putting it in a ’51 CJ-3A a shot. It worked out better than I thought it would, and now the flatfender has a push button like it always should have.


View Photo Gallery


Flaming River
Berea, OH 44017