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Old 01-19-2015, 05:42 PM
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What's the state of diagnostic software for the Chrysler/Jeep world?

So Chrysler's TechAuthority has this Chrysler Diagnostic Application (CDA) that requires an expensive hardware interface to the car. From looking around, it does not appear that anyone has really reverse engineered this hardware interface.

Comparing it to the BMW or GM world, I am surprised by that. The entire BMW suite has been reverse engineered, and emulators & clones built so you don't need the very expensive hardware interface to use CDA.

I haven't dived into this myself, given that I haven't had access to the CDA system or hardware before.

So any thoughts? Has anyone tried and succeeded or failed?

I am just really surprised not to see this out there... it's a big deal in the BMW world, for example, to reprogram/recode/flash the ECUs in the vehicles to change behavior. In the Jeep world it seems we're limited to ProCal and other style vendors to do that...

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Old 01-20-2015, 02:43 PM
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Old 01-22-2015, 12:39 AM   #3
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Nobody is willing to spend the bucks to break the codes. The trans codes are the worst ever.
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Old 01-22-2015, 02:38 PM
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Quote:
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Nobody is willing to spend the bucks to break the codes. The trans codes are the worst ever.
Could you elaborate a bit about on the trans?
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Old 01-22-2015, 06:31 PM   #5
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There are a couple threads on monitoring but it sounds like you want to hack it.

Chrysler seems to have become very tight lipped about PCM/ECU functionality. Even the programmer manufacturer's have been challenged lately to provide timely and well-engineered products. The PCM/ECU control both engine and transmission, and some day even the steering and suspension.

Unless you have the expertise and some inside knowledge you are best off not attempting to perform brain surgery or mind control on your JK.
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Old 01-22-2015, 09:39 PM   #6
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I was impressed with what you did with the can bus gibbons, perhaps a contact over in the tuner market, can't imagine the system would be any different than that of a dart so it would work with the star scan. Those sport models are more into the tuning and may have advanced more than us jeepers
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Old 01-22-2015, 11:00 PM
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These days, the tuners are usually pulling the ECUs out and connecting diagnostic pins directly to the micro-controllers on the board in order to pull off the programmed binaries from the chip. It used to be a lot easier, but still isn't too hard.

That said, the chip manufacturers are getting more sophisticated about it. There's good copy protection built-in to these chips (not yet 100%), and custom chips (more common now) that make it very hard to reverse engineer, but not that hard.

I'm not too surprised where the state of this is in the Jeep world, given that it isn't a primary aftermarket need compared to the sport market.

But I am a bit surprised the diagnostic software hasn't been hacked more. CDA is a Java application, so it is very easy to decompile it into readable source code. I'm not sure what the hardware interface they use to the vehicle is, but if it's like most of them, it's just a smart Network -> OBD2 bridge.

Sounds like I have another project queued up for me then.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:18 AM   #8
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There is a ton of threads all over the net about the auto trans computer encryption being done by Seimond's? Mercedes supplier. Anyway it causes all kinds of problems for us if we want to add a supercharger or a Atlas 4 speed. The trans goes into some sort of limp mode and drops into third with a low power level if it finds more than 2 speeds in the T/C and with the blower boys it hangs shifts then decreases power finally shifting after about 1 second of low power. Or it will kick down int a lower gear at the slightest hint of a hill..Its the encryption that seems to be blocking them and no one has busted it yet. I am patiently waiting for someone to crack it so I can get my atlas. LOL so are they.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:44 AM   #9
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Just read your blog and did the survey. Yeah I would pay 500 bucks for a hack interface that would let me buy a 4 speed in a heartbeat.
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Old 01-23-2015, 09:03 AM
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Yeah, if they can't get past the encryption then a ground-up developed TCM is probably a better choice. It isn't that hard (time == money being the only thing, really).
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Old 01-23-2015, 12:27 PM   #11
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Coming from the sport market to the Jeep, I was so impressed with the amount of physical aftermarket parts. But so let down by the amount of software aftermarket.

I'm surprised there aren't a few more IT guys wanting to setup some sort of open source software for us to modify / tweak things.

I'm willing to donate to the cause and would down the road pay for something as well.
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Old 01-23-2015, 02:52 PM   #12
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Just read a thread that said that the Charger TCM is not encrypted. I wonder if the 545 tcm would work on a 580 trans.
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Old 02-12-2015, 12:33 AM   #13
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These guys seem to have cracked jeeps encryption.
1996-2010 DCX TCM (Transmission) Programming
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Old 02-18-2015, 11:01 AM
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This guy has a good status on the state of things (5 year old post now, but still probably accurate): Chrysler Starscan, StarMobile, wiTECH & DRB III | eBay

I especially liked this section:
Quote:
You can also use pretty much any generic J2534 tool to re-flash a Chrysler/Jeep product (OBD II OR CAN) by simply paying a one day subscription to TechAuthority, downloading their J2534 program and than just following the directions on TechAuthority.com. They, like all other automotive companies selling cars in the US, provide a J tool program for generic module programming. Even though I own all the Chrysler scan/programming tools from Miller, I find it easiest to simply log on to TechAuthority and use my J tool to do programming. Its way quicker than using a DRB III.
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Old 12-06-2015, 01:06 AM
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So things are actually further along than I first expected.

You can buy a WiTech VCI Pod, either directly from WiTech for a lot of cash, or now the Chinese clone market. Here's one for example: 2015 new arrival DHL free shipping for Chrysler Diagnostic Tool (WITECH VCI POD) with Multi Language-in Air Bag Scan Tools & Simulators from Automobiles & Motorcycles on Aliexpress.com | Alibaba Group

Now on the downside, WiTech is deactivating all units you didn't buy directly from them (including ones sold used that were previously working) if you connect them online to TechAuthority. That effectively limits them to offline diagnostics only, but is still pretty useful, especially now that the price is under $500.

Also available via TechAuthority is the ability to use any J2534 pass-through scan tool to download ECU updates and reflash your vehicle.
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Old 12-02-2016, 11:12 AM   #16
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I know this is a pretty old discussion, but anybody has any clue how to get a pc/android DRB3 software?

I have a EU Spec pre-OBD2 TJ, I have tried an OBD2 reader without success. So getting my hands on some sort of software would be really useful, as dealerships here in Eastern Europe do not have pre-OBD2 scanners.
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:20 PM   #17
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Wasn't it kind of nice when the only electronic module was the one in your HEI distributor ?
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Old 12-04-2016, 11:27 PM   #18
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Wasn't it kind of nice when the only electronic module was the one in your HEI distributor ?
Nope. People look at shit from the past through rose-colored glassed. Modern stuff might make you pull your hair out when things go wrong but the fact is, they generally don't go wrong. 30 years ago you'd have that "simple" engine that wouldn't run right if it were too hot or cold, or run poorly if your were up in the mountains, never mind on a trail running at weird angles. You'd get crappy MPG and be spending much more time on regular maintenance all while making over a hundred horsepower less than we are today. And if you were in a wreck, chances were far higher you'd be seriously hurt.


Yeah, these new vehicles sure do suck...

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