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General Info Pros and cons of different makes and models (incl. international)

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Old 03-04-15
erad erad is offline
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Default Diagnostic Scanners etc

For over 13 years, I had a NL Pajero and a TF Magna. Great vehicles. Because I was getting beyond it to maintain the vehicle, I ultimately decided to upgrade our fleet of vehicles so that I didn't have to work on them - for a few years at lest. We bought a new ZJ Outlander and a new NW Pajero.

Because I petrified that the NL may decided to stop somewhere between Birdsville and Mulgawhoopwhoop, I bought a scanner. I plugged it in to both vehicles and it just seemed to go to sleep. It seemed not to work on either vehicle. I threw it in the back and forgot it. Fortunately, nothing went wrong, so I never had to use the scanner to read fault codes etc. With the arrival of the NW, I bought a Scangauge, and thusfar, no codes have come up.

A friend of mine has a 100 series Landbruiser, and it did throw a few codes. Out comes the old scanner and hey presto, it worked - told him what was wrong. The scanner went through its checking routine and stopped at CANBUS and then we found the codes. He has had the faults fixed and all is well.

This raised the question for me - ' What are all these systems and how do they work?' Canbus is just one of about 6 different systems the scanner looked at. What is Canbus? And the others (I cannot remember them now, and friend has the scanner now) what do they do? Do I need to know how they work, or do I simply wait until a code comes up and read it with my scangauge and hopefully clear it? In many ways, I long for the days gone by when you could open the distributor cap and flip the point open to see if you had a spark and how strong it was. At least you could see what was happening then. Nowadays, you just stop for no reason.... You just hope that when it does stop, you are at a place where help is available - for you and for your vehicle.

The classic case of this was a friend who had a fleet of 1955 Morris Oxfords. He kept raiding the older ones for parts. He was at Wagga, and the SU electric fuel pump died. Typical SU failure - the points burnt out. So he got out his soldering iron and brought 2 wires back into the cabin. His wife sat there going tap tap tap, each tap causing the diaphragm in the pump to move, thus pumping a gutful of petrol into the carburettor. Coming back to Cooma, he had to climb up Talbingo Mountain. Very steep. He could feel the engine fading out due to lack of fuel, so he was yelling "Faster, Faster".... Interesting bloke that man... Nowadays, you just stop if something goes wrong.
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Old 03-04-15
DrewW DrewW is offline
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Hi - I notice 4wd Supacentre has 15 issues of 4wd Action plus a supposedly $199 EDS scanner usually sold by Berrima Diesel for $149 all up. Good value or a waste of money? (The scanner, I actually don't mind 4wd Action)
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Old 03-04-15
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From nothing but looking at the pictures that scanner looks pretty much the same as a scangauge 2. If you don't mind the mag and assuming the functionality is the same (xgauge or equiv way to make custom gauges would be important) then it's a good deal.
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Old 03-04-15
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I have a terrible mistrust of mags recommending products. We all know how Overlander loves Toyota and ARB.
I would stick with a Scangauge 2.
Tried and proven buy many members here and their product support is second to none.
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Old 03-04-15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by erad View Post
' What are all these systems and how do they work?' Canbus is just one of about 6 different systems the scanner looked at. What is Canbus?
No simple answer to that one. I could try and I would understand but probably confuse everybody here because of how I would write it.

Reading here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus
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Old 03-04-15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Goodsy View Post
No simple answer to that one. I could try and I would understand but probably confuse everybody here because of how I would write it.

Reading here. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CAN_bus
This is about as simple as I can break it down,

Canbus is a communications protocol, it doesn't actually control anything. It allows devices that use the same protocol to talk to each other. In my work we use a lot of different device communication protocols, Modbus, Profibus, Hart, Canbus, Foundation Fieldbus, DeviceNet etc. Typically there will be a master device that controls the network that everything is connected to, and they all communicate with each other over the various protocols. Most systems in the Paj will be slave devices that report their status to the Master device, (Controller) which then decides what it should do with regards to the information it is receiving. In this case the Master is the ECU.

All of the various communications protocols have their pros and cons with regards to transmission speed, amount of data and types of data that can be sent and also over how the data is sent and if the signal can be transmitted without affecting or being affected by other wave forms on the same transmission line.

Some of these systems can operate in conjunction with each other by using another device such as an ASI Interface, which acts as an interpreter between the various protocols, this is not common though and typically a Bus network will be setup to specifically use one of the various protocols, in this case, Canbus is the device communications protocol in the Paj, and most other vehicles out there.
The reason a Bus communications system is used, is so that each device does not require totally seperate wiring and can simply be joined to the network and send its signal on the same transmission line as the other devices, this means a lot less wiring is required in the vehicle. Each device will have its own address on the network and the ECU will take the appropriate action depending on what the device reports.

I've had a few beers, so I hope the above makes sense
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Old 03-04-15
erad erad is offline
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Thanks for your replies. As expected, I don't really understand them, but it was worthwhile trying. I just hope that my vehicle doesn't throw a code at me. I think I can read the codes, and then get an explanation from listings I have compiled, or from my Max Ellery NS worjkshop manual (don't really trust that), but I hope that it never throws a code at me.

From what I have read on this forum, it seems that the NW is far less likely to throw a code than the earlier models. I hope it stays that way.
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Old 03-04-15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by stevemc181 View Post
This is about as simple as I can break it down,


I've had a few beers, so I hope the above makes sense

Just as well some of you Techs drink or some of us would never understand this stuff


Steve
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