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AVguy2

Diagnostic tool VCM2 clone or similar

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Wondering if anyone here has experimented with or used a clone VCM2 diagnostic/programming tool on their TC?

 

I'm thinking of getting one to be able to make changes that require this tool and was hoping to get some feedback.

 

For my Saab's I have a similar device called the Mongoose Pro GM II that works very well. This is made by Drew Technologies. They also make a Ford version of the Mongoose but it runs more than double the cost of a clone VCM2.

 

There is also another product called the VCX Nano that has some possibilities.

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I saw one 9-3 in your previous post, what else do you have?

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Our family fleet currently consists of:

 

2004 Saab 9-3 Arc Convertible

2005 Subaru Legacy Outback Wagon

2008 Saab 9-3 2.0 Sedan

2012 Hyundai Tuscon

2017 Ford Transit Connect Wagon Titanium

 

My first car was a real oddball,  a 1976 Chevrolet Cosworth Vega. First American production car with DOHC 16 valve engine + electronic fuel injection + aluminum cast alloy wheels.

I still have a bunch of spare parts including a complete engine, wheels and some other items. I hope to find another one someday. Long story.

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That Vega looks like a baby Camaro. You better hold on to these parts and get a body for it while you can. Anything Cosworth cost a lot these days in Europe. Just searched for Escorts: prices start from 20,500,-

 

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So, back to the tool...

 

Is this the kind of thing I'd need to reprogram the car to keep the damned outside lights off when a door opens (as discussed heavily here)?

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1 hour ago, williaty said:

So, back to the tool...

 

Is this the kind of thing I'd need to reprogram the car to keep the damned outside lights off when a door opens (as discussed heavily here)?

Indeed, it would be exactly that.

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I've been doing some googling tonight. The tool looks useful and does many of the things I'd like it to do. However, the software licensing for IDS is absolutely criminal. The VCM2 hardware starts as low as $100 for a clone. However, the box is useless without the IDS software. Going to Ford's service site, the licensing for the IDS software is $150 for 48 hours access, $300 for 30 days access, or an absurd $850 for a year's access.

 

We need to pass Right to Repair federally and then hit Ford with a massive fine to get them to stop this stuff. As I said before, I've been a professional mechanic and shop owner for a decade specializing in Subarus with occasional work on the other Asian brands. I can't believe how badly Ford treats customers and independent repair shops in comparison to Subaru and the other Asian makes.

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I used a VXC nano, it worked ok, I reprogrammed a BCM and replaced the PCM.  I had some errors with changing the car configuration but I think that was because of the IDS version.  The version of IDS that I used must be run on VM and couldnt be installed on the host, this was a bit of a problem for me.

I also use OBDLink MX with the open source software FORScan.  I like FORScan a lot since the developer responds back if you have any problems and newer versions are always being released.  Though I dont think you can program control modules with it and I had problems with changing central configuration but I think that will be corrected in the future.

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AVguy2:

I also recommend that you take a serious look at FORScan. It's actually a lot more flexible and powerful than you would guess from just looking at the FORScan webpages. ODBLink MX will work, but also good is a "modified elm327" cable. The "modified" bit refers to a switch on the side of the cable that lets you access ms can bus.  The info on the Forscan web site is a little out dated, you don't have to mod a elm327 cable yourself for this, there are plenty of FORScan modified elm327 cables on the market for purchase. In addition the selection of elm327 cables that are fully FORScan compatible is very good and not so sketchy as it was in years gone by. For full control that allows you to program some very "core" modules you might have to purchase the "extended license" but the cost is VERY REASONABLE and you can generate a "trial extended license" that is very generous (I think it's like two months, but I'm not sure). Compared to anything else on the market it is very inexpensive. 

Also, FORScan also supports J2534 Pass-Thru adapters. I think this means VCM2 style adapters. 

 

The best version of FORScan Is the windows version used on laptops. However their are versions for android and IOS, they are not nearly as full functional but they are evolving fast. But they cost a little bit of money. The windows version is free, the extended version really only does a very few things that the regular version doesn't.

 

I suggest you try it. At the very least you'll find it to be the very best ODB reader for Fords under $1000 bucks(the cable will set you back like $50 dollar at most and the program is free).

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3 hours ago, clb3092 said:

For full control that allows you to program some very "core" modules you might have to purchase the "extended license" (of FORScan) but the cost is VERY REASONABLE and you can generate a "trial extended license" that is very generous

 

There is no means to purchase any license for FORScan at the moment; the trial extended license is the one that unlocks all (nasty) features. The trial licence is also allowed to be, and meant to be, renewed whenever it expires (I guess this is simply due to them having put some for-pay scheme in place, but have decided not to ask for money yet)

 

A note on FORScan: It is insanely powerful, but similarly insanely unfriendly. It allows (amongst other things) for raw writing of data into the configuration data area of the various modules of the car. It offers extremely limited user support in writing to the right bytes, though, so in order to enable the dingo feature, a user is expected to know to write a binary "1" to bit wombat of module dodo. And that is exactly the difference compared to the Ford software: There, the user interaction is simply "enable the the dingo feature".

 

Now, if someone could tell me which bits and bytes to write into whatever module, with whatever version of module software and calibration files to address "SSM 46321" (that's the camping light thing -

) ...

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I have a VW took called VagCom which has be great for the three VW I had.  Fixed several problems on a 2008 Rabbit that I traded in on the TC.  Would love to get a tool like that for the TC.  Looked ate the Mongoose and it's $495 and might be better for the Volt than the TC at the moment.  The Forescan is very intriguing and I'll probably go that direction.

 

Remember the Cosworth Vega, had fortune about it till now.  Interesting little car and certainly better than the reputation Vega's had in general.  

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