What can I use to get the suspension fault information? So far we’ve found that while OBDII interfaces work as they should, the PC software doesn’t know how to access the information from ECUs not covered by the OBDII specifications – such as the suspension ECU. Hunting for other software is a dead end – it doesn’t look like there is anything on the market that can do what we’re asking for the RRS – although there are advanced ‘modules’ available for GM, Ford and Mazda (see TechII,VCMII for example).
I had a quick check to see what the Land Rover own diagnostics system costs,just so I could laugh at the prices. I saw diagnostic system from £2,500 and £5,600.
On my last trawl around the Internet I found a company that appeared to be selling a Drew Technologies JLR Mangoose Pro VCI (see the IDS/SDD information above) for around £45 and it comes supplied with SDD_DVDV138 (and now the newest SDD update to V145). I worked on the assumption that these are overstocked items being sent from storage in China rather than poorly made copies and pirated software. I took the plunge and made the purchase wondering if I’d see my money again. Six days later this arrived…
This JLR Mangoose Pro SDD VCI interface is very solidly built and looks identical to the images on Drew Tech’s own website – right down the toughened cable strain relief banding around the USB connector and the bevelled name tag. The reverse side even has a Drew Technologies Inc. sticker with serial number.
UPDATE: The serial number on the sticker matches the serial number programmed into the VCI as confirmed by SDD. However, checking using the Drew Technologies Toolbox software shows that this serial number has already been registered in the past. I don’t know if that means this is a brand new looking second hand device (unlikely) or a bloody good copy (more than likely). This might be an issue when the device needs a firmware update…
We can remove the four cross-head screws to remove the top and have a look inside the VCI adapter. The main circuit board is a dual-sided four layer board (two internal layers) using surface mounted components and either reflow or wave soldering. It has been expertly cut to shape to fit the interface’s unique case and uses very crisp white silk screen labelling.
Looking closer (picture above right), you can see to the bottom of the large chip a copyright string”©2005-2013 Drew Tech. Inc.” and at the bottom edge the PCB is labelled “Jaguar Main BD Rev 6”. The J1962 connector is linked to the main board by a 90º IDC header which has been soldered perfectly – the connector is perfectly aligned and soldered. The USB cable has four cores for the two data lines, USB power and Ground – the Power and Ground are 1mm diameter cores and the data lines are 0.5mm diameter cores. All in all, it has been manufactured very professionally.
Conversely, the software was supplied on 3 DVDs which were not professionally produced – all three were differing brands of DVD-Rs suitable for burning at home. The software contained on them is freely available however fromhttp://diagnosticdelivery.jlrext.com/idscentral/ along with the monthly updates. There is one file on the DVDs that is not widely available and that might be a licence bypass utility and there again, it might not. See what I did there? I told you something without actually telling you something – Moving on…
The easiest way to run the JLR SDD software is to use VMware Player (available for free from VMware’s website) to create a virtual computer inside which you can run a virtual Windows instance. It used to have to be Windows XP but now supports other Windows OS versions (you will have to check exactly as I can’t remember) BUT you must use the 32bit version, even if your host can handle 64bit, so it meets the IDS/SDD software requirements. You will also need an installation CD (and licence) for the Windows OS to create the virtual computer. Windows XP Professional licences are easy to purchase and rather cheap!
Using a virtual machine means you can keep the environment completely isolated from the rest of your computer and from your network but this will impact on some of the SDD functionality as it will be unable to connect to web resources such as TOPIx or the SDD software update/licence validation functions.
Using JLR’s SDD to locate my suspension fault
When you start the JLR Mangoose SDD it will take you through an initial vehicle identification before arriving at the vehicle summary screen. I went through to check the current DTC status. A few months ago I was the unwilling party in a shunt that was fast enough to deploy air bags, trigger the seatbelt restraints and redesign my bodywork. The authorized repairer left the historical DTCs caused by the accident in the ECUs.
My first task was to clear all DTCs to get us back to a clean page. After doing this, and performing a,data refresh the screen showed green ticks for every installed component (the yellow question marks indicate that an optional module is not fitted – for example I don’t have the TPM – Tyre Pressure Module).
I then disconnected the SDD and used the car as normal for a few days (putting up with the bongs/amber light occasionally) so that we had only the DTCs relating to the current state of the vehicle. After a few days I reconnected the SDD and started a new session with the vehicle before entering a “Diagnostics” session to perform a data collection. At this point we can see what DTCs have occurred since the clearing a few days earlier.
We can already see that there is one or more DTCs logged against the RLM (Ride Level Module) which we are interested in as well as one or more DTCs against the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) and TMC (Traffic Message Control Module). As the software’s name “Symptom Driven Diagnostics” implies it reads the information from the vehicle’s ECUs, you tell it what the symptoms are, it analyses the DTCs and tells you the most likely candidate for the fault.
For my suspension fault, I selected “Chassis > Suspension system > Vehicle dynamic suspension” and let the software work out what was happening. When the analysis is complete, you can view the DTCs found automatically grouped into events based on the symptoms you have specified.
In our case we have a single DTC linked in ‘Event 1’ and that it has a relevancy of 100% so this is probably the DTC for the suspension fault also the bulb icon indicates that this DTC caused a warning light to be lit (the amber suspension light) and the chain-link is unbroken which indicates that it is a current DTC rather than historical.
The other two DTCs under ‘unkown events’ are for a fault with one of the EGR valve sensors, which is probably means the valve is on its way out and should be replaced in the near future, and a loss of signal for TMC which I happen to know is due to bad coverage in my driveway but it works fine when out and about – these we can investigate later at our leisure.
Clicking on the RLM C1A20-64 DTC information ‘i’ icon brings up the help for this DTC.
Checking the ‘Symptoms’ matches exactly what is happening in this case perfectly. So we can look at the ‘Possible causes’ to narrow our search. Working backwards, we know the pressure sensor is working perfectly as it is detecting a loss of pressure (trying to raise the car can take much longer than expected and sometime doesn’t reach full height). None of the corner valves are stuck as this would be evident from dropping in the corner over night. The pipework and reservoir are all OK without any apparent leaks that are audible and the components all look sound. So it is most likely that the compressor is faulty or the filters/pipes are blocked or restricted.
As this vehicle is now 9 years old, and the compressor is the original, I think we might be better off replacing it with a new unit anyway. The kit I’m going to use is the LR045251 which comprises (clockwise from top left in picture below) the new design AMK compressor (including new bracket), lower compressor cover, upper compressor cover, new exhaust pipe, new inlet pipe, new air line high pressure pipe (to valve block), new compressor relay, various hardware fittings – 3 * compressor bracket bolts, brass insert, valve block connector, 2 * bolts and washers & 1 * taptite screw (all to secure lower compressor cover).
I managed to find this ‘brand new, in unopened box’ kit through eBay for an amazing £440 (including VAT at 20%). The seller turned out to be my local LR service centre and were clearing stock because they had 20 units on the shelf! The advice from the forums is also to get 3 * RYH500170 captive nuts as the originals will probably break as you remove the old compressor.
These were purchased from same parts centre for the princely sum of 79p in total including VAT! I will nip over this afternoon and collect the box before the compressor gives up completely!