LASFIT Stealth: Automatic locking hood Review (+ theft prevention)

Turboencabulator

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2022 Wrangler 392 1972 Super Beetle
There have been a few threads on here about 392s getting stolen, so that’s had me thinking about security 🤔. One of the biggest vulnerabilities of the Jeep JL design is that there is no hood lock from the factory. Not locking the hood makes stealing or tampering with the 392 much easier. But it’s a Jeep, and I like that stays true to its 79 year history.

There are some options to address this vulnerability:
  1. After market locking hood latches like
    tempImage07Ymzb.png
    this one pictured on the right from @CBH . The downside is you have an extra set of keys 🔑 to keep track of.
  2. Grill Installed lock from Mopar or Bolt. But if you have the front mounted Jeep TrailCam option then these won’t fit so that wasn't an option (n).
  3. LASFIT Stealth; no keys, it fits with my existing grill mounted TrailCam, and there is no cutting or grinding so you can always go back to stock. Winner winner chicken dinner! 🏆

I spent my own money so this is my take on it. Shipping was quick.

It uses a pneumatic slide to lock the hood safety latch hook. There is a little pump module that you mount in the cab that controls the pneumatic hood lock. It connects to the Jeep’s OBD port (on board diagnostic port) using an OBD pass-thru to provide electrical power only, so if your using a Tazer on the OBD it should work normally, but I don’t have a Tazer myself to test this out. It also connects to the CAN bus (controller area network bus) where it gets the status of your door locks and the key fob inputs. It will then lock the hood automatically when you press the lock button on your key fob, or the button on your remote keyless entry door handle. Then when you open your door either with the key fob or keyless entry door handle it unlocks the hood, so you can open the hood and show off that big beautiful V8 hemi 🥲👍
IMG_3390.jpeg

Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 12.39.48 AM.png


It took me about 1 hour to install it. The kit is well made, and is IP66 rated (ingress protection – no dust, strong jets of water) they have an easy to follow YouTube video. It also has a dead battery mode to open the hood in case you need a jump start. I can’t speak to the long term reliability but everything looks automotive grade (probably repurposed from some other vehicle... exactly what FCA/Jeep would do 🤣 ) so I’m hopeful it will last.
IMG_3396.jpeg

Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 1.15.08 AM.png


So after I installed this little hood lock dohicky I re-evaluated my security setup. Now that I can lock the hood, if I pull the starter fuse it would very difficult to drive it away under its own power 🤔. So I glued a little plastic game piece (from the board game Sorry… seemed appropriate) to the top of the 40A fuse to make it easy to identify and remove. Now I’ll be the first to admit that this is not a long term solution, but for the occasional vehicle incapacitation it’ll do. I'm not recommending others do this, just sharing my current SOP. I very rarely need this increased level of security. I may explore adding Ravelco or other option down the road.
IMG_3407.jpeg


Anyhow that’s my review of the LASFIT Stealth along with Starter Incapacitation Technology (S.I.T.) theft prevention device. I hope it’s useful. ;) (y)
 
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That's pretty cool, I'm a bit hesitant for one reason - what if pneumatic slide lock or the control/pomp module fails? There should be some sort of mechanical emergency unlock mechanism, otherwise you need to bust the grill if anything goes wrong and since this is aftermarket product reliability is pretty much unknown.
 
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That's pretty cool, I'm a bit hesitant for one reason - what if pneumatic slide lock or the control/pomp module fails? There should be some sort of mechanical emergency unlock mechanism, otherwise you need to bust the grill if anything goes wrong and since this is aftermarket product reliability is pretty much unknown.
Totally my thoughts as well! :unsure:

So I did a little testing. I connected my shop compressor up to a thingamajiggy that I built to blow the water out of my irrigation system when I winterize it in the fall. Well turns out the 6mm airline tubing is the exact same size as the ¼ tubing I use to irrigate our hanging baskets and planters. So after purging all the lines (a clean line is a happy line) I ran an extension for both the white tube and the black tube from the cab to the hood where I could see what happens. I then set down my beer and turned up the regulator.
Screen Shot 2022-06-10 at 12.44.26 PM.png

I figure Black = Locked Position and White = Unlocked Position which is correct. I had my regulator on the compressor set to 0 PSI so as I slowly opened it up and at about 5 PSI (+/- 4 PSI) the pneumatic hood lock slid to the locked position. I swapped over to the white tube and again at 5 PSI (+/- 4 PSI) the pneumatic hood lock slid un-locked. So with a basic bike pump and an adapter to connect the Mur-lok style ¼" (6mm) OD tubing you could open it in an emergency. Your average car thief won't be carrying that bit of kit. And no you can't blow on the tube to generate the 5 PSI . That assumes that they even know how the hood is locked, or how to un-lock it. Easier to go steal a tow truck, then tow away the 392. 🤬
 
I was hoping slide lock would at least release when there's no pressure in the system at all. Otherwise this is hard no go to me. Yeah, you can unlock it with air compressor or whatever, it's not a big deal when you're home. Well, unless you have a pressure leak. But things usually happen when you're on the road, or in the middle of nowhere, wheeling on camping, this is a Jeep at the end of the day.
If a thief is determined enough he would smash the grill or even use a prybar, they don't care, but if there's really no emergency opening option it's a huge design flaw and risk to me. I come from BMW world, happened to me many times that hood latch cable snapped unexpectedly but I was always able to open the hood without causing too much damage, if any. They fail even though they use much simpler and robust mechanical locks, while here we are talking pneumatics and electronics. And this is why we still have mechanical door locks in our Jeeps on top of keyless entry :)
 
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Thanks for the info! Most of the time my 392 is in the garage. I really want to do some traveling out west and will need some security when that happens. Oh, I have tazer, it does not go in the OBD port, but in two smaller connectors above it.
 
I was hoping slide lock would at least release when there's no pressure in the system at all. Otherwise this is hard no go to me. Yeah, you can unlock it with air compressor or whatever, it's not a big deal when you're home. Well, unless you have a pressure leak. But things usually happen when you're on the road, or in the middle of nowhere, wheeling on camping, this is a Jeep at the end of the day.
If a thief is determined enough he would smash the grill or even use a prybar, they don't care, but if there's really no emergency opening option it's a huge design flaw and risk to me. I come from BMW world, happened to me many times that hood latch cable snapped unexpectedly but I was always able to open the hood without causing too much damage, if any. They fail even though they use much simpler and robust mechanical locks, while here we are talking pneumatics and electronics. And this is why we still have mechanical door locks in our Jeeps on top of keyless entry :)
I see your point. 🤓
Thinking as an engineer, if there was a spring to force it to fail open when not held closed by system pressure then as the vehicle sat idle for days or weeks, (say at an airport parking lot) and pressure dropped due residual bleed down, then it might open just when you want it securely closed.

Just to clarify, the shop compressor was just for testing the PSI needed to make the actuator work, not as an actual solution to the system failing on the trail. I wanted to know how it works so I can prepare accordingly.
So to prepare for the unit failing to open scenario, I am already shopping for a small hand pump or manual bicycle pump I can use to pump it "unlocked" if I'm in the bush or on the road. Ideally that pump could serve double duty as an emergency tire pump, when you're really, really in the suck. (I know it takes an absolute eternity to hand pump a patched Jeep tire but when all else fails it's nice to have options when the spare or onboard air ain't one of them)
 
I see your point. 🤓
Thinking as an engineer, if there was a spring to force it to fail open when not held closed by system pressure then as the vehicle sat idle for days or weeks, (say at an airport parking lot) and pressure dropped due residual bleed down, then it might open just when you want it securely closed.

That's a good point :) I'm not sure how exactly the lock looks like but basically all they need to do would be to add some sort of a crank/custom lever/catch/cable we could use to mechanically unlock it. I've sent them an email, we'll see what they say, maybe there's something we're missing :)
 
I wanted to post a follow-up on using the "LASFIT Stealth" automatic hood lock system. I installed this system because I was concerned about someone stealing my 392, or messing with the engine because there is no factory hood lock.

After using this pneumatic hood lock system for a month, I'm very happy with how it automatically locks the hood when I lock the doors either with the factory key fob or remote keyless entry door handles. I believe it also locks the hood when the vehicle auto-locks the doors at 15mph+ but I don't know how to verify this. I really like how "mindless" this security is, It just works in the background. If I had to park in a sketchy area that I felt like I need a higher lever of security, then I could pull a few wires like the starter fuse (F02) to make it a 5,100 lb paper weight.

My main concern that was pointed out by @scarab is what happens when this little device fails. How do you open the hood? What do you do if you're on the trail and this thing breaks? Well after some tinkering, I bought a small bike pump ($31), and a Schrader to ¼" much connect fitting ($15) and built a mechanical emergency unlock mechanism. I built it using a few spare connectors and tubing I had lying around, including some caps to keep it all clean. It only takes one pump and the latch moves to the open position and you can get access to the engine and battery. Here are a few photos of me testing it out. Usually the airline tube is tucked up behind the left footwell trim panel, but I have pulled it out to attach the pump and manually open it.
IMG_3545.jpeg

IMG_3547.jpeg


I also tested if someone were to break into the Jeep by busting a window, or cutting the top, could they just open the locks manually and unlock the hood?
No.
Obviously it would trigger the car alarm if they open the door from the inside. But since they don't have the key fob the CAN bus (Controller Area Network bus) will not trigger the pump to unlatch the hood. Since I now have this mechanical backup pump to open the hood in an emergency; I went ahead and unplugged and removed the "dead battery module" they included with the kit.

In the end if the thief has your key (or has spoofed a copy it) then they can get access to the vehicle. That's always the trade-off between ease of use and vulnerability.

However with this automatic hood lock, and the knowledge I have gained of the vehicles electrical system, I can disable it completely in about 60 sec to the point where even with the key fob they are going to have to tow it to steal it.

In the end Real security is multi-factor not just one thing like this lock.
  • It's something you have: like the key fob.
  • Something you know: like the electrical system.
  • And something you are: which is a factor I have not reached... yet.
It's about threat mitigation and situational awareness.
  • Is it parked in a secured garage? Are there neighbors, dogs, cameras, is it well protected? Do you have a well supported and active police department?
  • Or is it just parked in at vacant airport parking lot for weeks on end with easy access by anyone willing to pay $8 to get in the gate.

I hope this gives others some idea of possible ways of secure your 392 so you can enjoy it for years to come.
 
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Now hang on you can't just show those cool "392" all weather mats and not share where you got them.

As for the locking hood contraption, I'm too lazy to do any of that but it's fun reading about it. I really suspect with gas prices as they are, Jeep 392's and Wranglers in general will be prime targets for theft of gas, engine parts, etc..
 
Now hang on you can't just show those cool "392" all weather mats and not share where you got them.

As for the locking hood contraption, I'm too lazy to do any of that but it's fun reading about it. I really suspect with gas prices as they are, Jeep 392's and Wranglers in general will be prime targets for theft of gas, engine parts, etc..
;)(y) Sure… glad to share.
I got those 392 decals custom made on Etsy. It was $53.70 total for 5 decals including shipping from DesignDealerDecals. Unfortunately that listing looks like it is unavailable right now, but maybe you can contact him. Nice guy, very well made. I just removed the WeatherTech decal and added these. Here is a post on the instal:
Thread 'Floor Mat and Door Sill Mods'
https://www.jeep392.com/threads/floor-mat-and-door-sill-mods.1075/
E4F53667-EB31-4432-8018-50C19FFFA7DA.jpeg


As for “the club” I had my Honda stolen while using “the club” when I was based in San Antonio. Someone just drilled out the lock and threw “the club” out the window, and drove off with my car. I kinda feel like the only way to prevent my 392 from being stolen is to immobilize it, either with something like Ravelco or manually.
 
There have been a few threads on here about 392s getting stolen, so that’s had me thinking about security 🤔. One of the biggest vulnerabilities of the Jeep JL design is that there is no hood lock from the factory. Not locking the hood makes stealing or tampering with the 392 much easier. But it’s a Jeep, and I like that stays true to its 79 year history.

There are some options to address this vulnerability:
  1. After market locking hood latches like View attachment 5401this one pictured on the right from @CBH . The downside is you have an extra set of keys 🔑 to keep track of.
  2. Grill Installed lock from Mopar or Bolt. But if you have the front mounted Jeep TrailCam option then these won’t fit so that wasn't an option (n).
  3. LASFIT Stealth; no keys, it fits with my existing grill mounted TrailCam, and there is no cutting or grinding so you can always go back to stock. Winner winner chicken dinner! 🏆

I spent my own money so this is my take on it. Shipping was quick.

It uses a pneumatic slide to lock the hood safety latch hook. There is a little pump module that you mount in the cab that controls the pneumatic hood lock. It connects to the Jeep’s OBD port (on board diagnostic port) using an OBD pass-thru to provide electrical power only, so if your using a Tazer on the OBD it should work normally, but I don’t have a Tazer myself to test this out. It also connects to the CAN bus (controller area network bus) where it gets the status of your door locks and the key fob inputs. It will then lock the hood automatically when you press the lock button on your key fob, or the button on your remote keyless entry door handle. Then when you open your door either with the key fob or keyless entry door handle it unlocks the hood, so you can open the hood and show off that big beautiful V8 hemi 🥲👍
View attachment 5406
View attachment 5404

It took me about 1 hour to install it. The kit is well made, and is IP66 rated (ingress protection – no dust, strong jets of water) they have an easy to follow YouTube video. It also has a dead battery mode to open the hood in case you need a jump start. I can’t speak to the long term reliability but everything looks automotive grade (probably repurposed from some other vehicle... exactly what FCA/Jeep would do 🤣 ) so I’m hopeful it will last.
View attachment 5402
View attachment 5407

So after I installed this little hood lock dohicky I re-evaluated my security setup. Now that I can lock the hood, if I pull the starter fuse it would very difficult to drive it away under its own power 🤔. So I glued a little plastic game piece (from the board game Sorry… seemed appropriate) to the top of the 40A fuse to make it easy to identify and remove. Now I’ll be the first to admit that this is not a long term solution, but for the occasional vehicle incapacitation it’ll do. I'm not recommending others do this, just sharing my current SOP. I very rarely need this increased level of security. I may explore adding Ravelco or other option down the road.
View attachment 5408

Anyhow that’s my review of the LASFIT Stealth along with Starter Incapacitation Technology (S.I.T.) theft prevention device. I hope it’s useful. ;) (y)
After having this on for close to a month, any issues and what are your longer term thoughts?
 
After having this on for close to a month, any issues and what are your longer term thoughts?
It has only been a month... but so far it has performed flawlessly. It's simple, reliable, and automatic. For locking the hood I think it fits the bill nicely. After adding in the bicycle pump "mechanical emergency unlock mechanism" that @scarab recommended I am not worried about a dead battery or malfunction.
This may be a good complement to a locking hood. I have this on my TRX and it works great. Recommend getting the additional remote; if you want to purchase one later, you will have to send in your relay.

That is brilliant! 😆(y) I really like how simple and nondescript it is. I had no idea such a thing existed. Sounds like it's been reliable for you?
Just goes to show these must be 50 ways to disable your 392.
  1. Ravelco anti-theft system
  2. Hidden kill switch
  3. "NoStart" remote relay
  4. Parcheesi piece glued to the starter fuse
  5. and on and on......
 
It has only been a month... but so far it has performed flawlessly. It's simple, reliable, and automatic. For locking the hood I think it fits the bill nicely. After adding in the bicycle pump "mechanical emergency unlock mechanism" that @scarab recommended I am not worried about a dead battery or malfunction.

That is brilliant! 😆(y) I really like how simple and nondescript it is. I had no idea such a thing existed. Sounds like it's been reliable for you?
Just goes to show these must be 50 ways to disable your 392.
  1. Ravelco anti-theft system
  2. Hidden kill switch
  3. "NoStart" remote relay
  4. Parcheesi piece glued to the starter fuse
  5. and on and on......
super reliable- I keep the nostart remote in the faraday pouch ;) with my fob. you hit the start button and the remote (last one hit starts the vehicle). has never failed, but I keep the original relay and spare remote battery hidden in the cab just in case.
 
It has only been a month... but so far it has performed flawlessly. It's simple, reliable, and automatic. For locking the hood I think it fits the bill nicely. After adding in the bicycle pump "mechanical emergency unlock mechanism" that @scarab recommended I am not worried about a dead battery or malfunction.

That is brilliant! 😆(y) I really like how simple and nondescript it is. I had no idea such a thing existed. Sounds like it's been reliable for you?
Just goes to show these must be 50 ways to disable your 392.
  1. Ravelco anti-theft system
  2. Hidden kill switch
  3. "NoStart" remote relay
  4. Parcheesi piece glued to the starter fuse
  5. and on and on......
Was the LasFit Stealth easy to install? I messaged LasFit and asked if it fit in the 392 and they gave me a list of engines that it works on but it didn't include the 392. I'd like the added security without having to carry extra keys. And I'm not going to engineer a work around it it doesn't really install, like many jeepers would do....Thx
 
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