OBD II Scan Tools
There are any number of OBD II (On Board Diagnostics) scanners. Some are hand held, some PC laptop based and others are gauges. So, which one do you get? The one that fits your needs. Me, I have Car Code, ProScan and Scan Gauge II. The Scan Gauge II provides the needed gauges that the Acita cluster doesn't. But,for real diagnostic work I depend on Car Code as it does everything I need to support UltraPower programming.
Car Code OBD2 Scanner
Although a Scan Gauge is great for displaying information like water temp, battery voltage and the like it does NOT have the ability to record, save, analyze or export any data. This is why I have Car Code installed on my laptop. I use it to record a static scan or an on the road scan that I send with a copy of the ECM code to Brazel's. This allows them to customize UltraPower to the coach.
Basic cable for GM - VPW Protocol
Hardware - Trican - All Protcols
Most of the time you will just use the Dash Panel function. You can select 2 large gauges and 4 small gauges to display. You can also customize the colors of the display.
With the Car Code scanner you can record all "PIDS (Parameter Identifications Descriptors)" available. This data can be saved and exported to an Excel .CSV file for analysis.
Plus you can get enhanced data for a more in-depth analysis. This data is also saved and can be exported.
Example - Injector Pulse Width
Why is this important? Should a scan show an imbalance, data like this could be use to identify an intake or exhaust leak. An intake leak can create a instant lean condition that could lead to a piston failure and cost you a new engine.
You can also check and clear DTC's (Diagnostic Trouble Codes).
But, if you want to do some serious diagnostics this program has all kinds of options. Here are a few optional function screen shots.
Warning - It seems that Gore Research is not shipping product in a timely fashion and receiving payment. So, BUYER BEWARE !
This program is very similar to most scan tools. But it has a couple features the most scan tools don't have. Race Track Analysis and Dynamometer. Although this is geared more to a performance car I thought it would be fun to play with on my RV.
Hardware - All Protocols
This hardware is basiclly an ELM All-In-One and will run any ELM 327 based hardware.
Race Track Analysis
I have included AutoTap even though I do not own one because of the cost compare to Car Code OBD2. The basic unit runs about $200 and the "Enhanced Data Modules" (GM, Ford, Chrysler) run about $100 per module. But, they do run some specials and you can save as much as $200 on the complete package.
Scan Gauge II/Xgauge
This Scan Gauge has some neat features.
This is not a complete list of all of the various functions that are part of the Scan Gauge II/Xgauge package. For more info check the Users Manual. It should be noted that the Manual that is shipped with the unit is for the young with really good eyesight. For us older folks I would download the manual and print it in a font you can read!
The default gauge set consists of:
First you need to do SETUP to configure the engine size, fuel tank size etc.
Once you have the completed Setup you can select the gauges you want to see.
Press GAUGE and select your 4 gauges to display. I picked Water Temp, Intake Air Temp, Battery Voltage and Transmisson Fluid Temp. Note - TFT is part of the Xgauge function.
The Xgauge part of the Scan Gauge II allows you to code up to 25 (0 to 24) different eXtra Gauges.
Before you start coding gather all the codes for the various gauges you plan to install. Now select an empty memory slot and then select Edit, enter the data for TXD entry and press OK.
Now enter the data for the next field and repeat this proceess until you get the the SAVE screen. Don't worry if you made an error, as you can go back an fix it via the Edit function. There are any number of gauges for various vehicles. I added all the gauges for the GM 8.1L with a Allison transmission.
Press Save and your done. Note - The memory slot on this screen does not match what I showed at the begining. The reason is this entry was already done and I just needed to create the photos for the web site.
Now all you need to is repeat the process for any other guages you may want. Liner-Logic has a file on their web site with all the gauge parameters necessary create the various eXtra Gauges.
AeroForce provides many of the same functions as Scan Gauge II does.
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