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Can someone dumb down the choices for me?

7856 Views 17 Replies 8 Participants Last post by  gunemalli
My P38 should be arriving tomorrow, and I'm pretty sure at some point I'll need to do some diagnostics/computer type stuff with it.

I've had a read through this forum but am getting confused between what does what.

The car I'm getting is a 4.6HSE from 1998. Will that be OBDII Compliant?

From what I've seen I could buy a USB OBDII Lead for my laptop for £30 - what can't I do with that?

Other options would be a blackbox which seems quite expensive and is locked to one VIN (Can that be changed later if I swap cars, or want to sell the blackbox on?)

Or the Bearmach Hawkeye.

What can't either of those units do?

All seems quite expensive, we've got a VW car as well and a VAG-COM lead for that costs £10 the software is free and it works really well.

I've seen I can also get a lead for the Air Suspension with a free bit of software for about £15 which seems more reasonable, would that and an OBDII lead be suffucient for most needs?

Sorry if all this has been covered - I've read 20 posts or so and finished off more confused than when I started! :D
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Yes, it has the OBD-II 16 pin OBD plug and is OBD-II complient. Being a GEMS, it has slightly less diagnostic ability than the later model Bosch Motronic 5.2.1. All the codes are available on this forum as a sticky.

Omitec are the original developer of Testbook Dealer Diagnostic tool, and the present UCM. As a rough idea, you are looking at £4,000 for the full blown T4 system, including all cables, VCM, Acer laptop, software, probes, etc... T4 covers all OBD-I vehicles (such as the RR Classic), and OBD-II vehicles up to around 2005. Omitec's UCM has been developed as a continuation of T4, but is not fully dealer spec. Version 5 of the software has been developed for the UCM and gets close to full dealer spec. The UCM is around £1,500. It is a wonderful system - fast and sleek, but not fully dealer spec as yet. :( You can add your choice of real time sensor readings onto the page to help diagnose a problem. I think it has a great future, provided the software guys pull their finger out.

The Omitec Hawkeye appears to be sold through Bearmach dealers. I know very little about it though. It's a scantool/MacTool with the Omitec software on it as far as I can tell, and probably uses the same software as the UCM. For the money, I'd say it is pretty good value for the £300 or so it has been advertised for. Being in the form of a scantool, it makes it very compact and hard wearing - ideal for carrying in the vehicle.

Storey Wilson has released free software for dealing with Electronic Air Suspension faults. All you need is the correct lead, and a laptop to run the free software.

Other options are available in simple single form, such as the EAS Buddy Box, EAS Kicker and other things, but although cheap, they don't offer value for money as they only cover one single ECU on one single vehicle model.

BBS produce their version, although I don't follow prices and form, but there is plenty of info on this forum about it.

FREE - http://www.rswsolutions.com/ - the 'EAS unlock' free software (multi model - all p38'a)

£0 - £250 - BBS EAS Kicker, RSWSolutions + BBS single form devices (multi model - all p38's)

£250 - £1000 - BBS Faultmate (single vehicle/Single VIN), Omitec Hawkeye (I believe multi model)

£1,000 - £5000 - Omitec T4, Omitec UCM, SPX Integrated Diagnostic System (IDS is the present system used for post 2005MY Land Rover vehicles and also offers Jaguar, Ford and Mazda diagnostic as a whole system). All 3 cover most vehicles. T4 covers all OBD-I and OBD-II up to around 2005. It's a little more complex than this as it does not cover Disco3, Freelander2 or RRS, but does cover RR to '06 and '07MY. The UCM V4 software presently covers RRS and Discovery3 only, but V5 is about to be released and is supposed to cover pretty much all the others including FL2 and the Puma engined Defender. The SPX IDS is, not suprisingly, right up to date, but does not cover the earlier T4 covered vehicles.

£5000 + Autologic, which I think was last offered to me at a cool £9k :shock: and which is essentially a reverse engineered LR diagnostic system which relies on its users to test beta versions and develop the software - but that's me being cynical. :lol:

Does this help?
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Yes that really helps thanks for that,

Can you help to describe what the benefits are though - I can't afford anything too expensive so T4 etc are well out of the equation.

What do you get extra between generic ODBII to Hawkeye/BlackBox?

I'm not worried about EAS as I'll sort a cable out and get the free software.

What else needs doing?

If a gearbox fault came up could I read the code with the ODBII tool? Could I then erase it to see if it comes back? If that can't be done with the ODBII could the other two do it?

I presume BeCM stuff can't be done with an ODBII Tool? Such as programming keys etc?

Just trying to get an idea of what I will need as a bare minimum? Obviously ODBII Would be handy as it's more universal for other vehicles but if it can't do half the stuff I'm likely to need then I may as well pay more and get a better tool.

The p38 I'm getting has engine problems so that will be the most important area but I don't know if anything else is up.

Thanks for the help
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You can read codes using a standard OBD reader, but that is as far as you can go. Also, you need the specific Land Rover DTC's for P-codes starting P1xxx. Some are listed for GEMS in this forum in a sticky, which is OK for your p38.

The BBS will (ask Colin) allow you to change more things than the Hawkeye, but I'd guess the Hawkeye will allow you to change all the important things, so it will cover pretty much all the ECU's and sensors/actuators on the vehicle. Reading information from a small scantool probably won't be as clear as a laptop (BBS Faultmate), but then you don't need to carry a laptop around all the time, or risk damage/loss of the laptop.

I guess in fairness I can't answer this for you but I suppose the pros and cons boil down to cost and what ability you get with each one. I'm still waiting for a Hawkeye review, but from the Bearmach gumf I have back at the office, it looks pretty capable. I think it allows you to use it for a specific model range as well - I will have to check - but that is ideal if you are a member of a club or want to extend the Hawkeye subscription to another LR product. Say your wife buys a Discovery3, you can add that to the existing p38 on the Hawkeye.

One other option is to ask Allyv8 if he has any spare T1's going at the moment... That would offer even more capability then both the above for a little more than a Hawkeye...? :think:
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The faultmate cannot be beaten for the P38. The hawkeye may do the job, i'm not sure how far, but i'm thinking about purchasing one just to see what it can do.

But with my experiance i just cannot see this tool, or the T series coming anywhere near the faultmate & it's capabilities. BBS may of had a couple of issues in the past with the relibilty of the server the software runs on, but his software is probably the best in the modern world. The only reason i have T4,broken autologic IDS, scandec & solus, rovacom & the faultmates is because i like to attack any vehicle that approaches me. Only this evening i was offered a autologic, loaded with the latest mercedes software for not much more than a faultmate for an pre 2005 L322. I'm always being offered professional main dealer systems, fully updated so if you need a proper workshop specific kit, give me a shout.

Most of our customers who ask about buying a private system for their land rover i pass over to Colin, once purchased i offer a full telephone back up service which they use, but since this there's never been a single unit sent back. My customers are happy, & i'm happy because i'm not stopping working on the ECU's for a £40 reset job. But as you know, it never works out like that as there's always a problem. So i'm happy they can do it themselves. They're still my customers.

AllyV8 is a prolific T4 user, & he knows how to use it, But he has superior mechanic knowledge & coupled with the T4 & the pico he can command his way to any problem. My knowledge isn't in Jons league & i need to rely more on my diagnostics as 95% of my bread & butter stuff is electrical. The feature rich software is the only one i can work with on range rovers. Most of the time after i've interrorgated the systems, i can open the bonnet or whatever, & put my finger straight on the problem.

It's damned good stuff & it's the only system i can work like this with.

And what do you think of my boat?
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Hmm, has anyone on here got the hawkeye yet? It sounds like a review would be excellent. The hawkeye is more than I wanted to spend but is just about justifiable and equates to 6 visits to have codes read.

If the OBDII software won't clear faults then it will probably prove to be a bit useless

Out of interest what sort of price can old 2nd hand T type units be got for?
Pretty much all of the systems listed will clear faults. The biggest problem is finding something that will provide the right (or best) information to diagnose a problem.

The older Testbook systems do come up from time to time. See what Rick and Allyv8 can provide second hand.

I have bought a Hawkeye for my P38 DSE last week and i'm happy with it's performance. I was going to put up a review last night but my land line was out (no ADSL). I'll be putting up a review within the next 6hrs.

Right now I have the P38 (with engine in peices) I've had a quick look and a number of faults come up on the message centre.

Which diagnostics devices would be able to clear the following:

Airbag Fault - comes on every time
Alternator Fault - came on once not seen again since
Max Speed 35MPH
Bonnet Open - On all the time

There were also faults for the windows and sunroof but I cleared those my following some instructions I found on here.

So it's now showing, Airbag Fault, Max Speed: 35MPH and Bonnet Open.

Bonnet open should be simple enough to fix so not worried about that one.

I presume the Max Speed message is due to it being on the bump stops and the engine not running to pump it up.

No idea what the airbag fault is.

So from what I have read I need the cheap ebay cable for the EAS to reset the suspension.

Will an OBDII reader clear the airbag fault? Or is that out of it's capabilities? What would be able to do the airbag fault?
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Forgot one - knew I would..

ABS Fault
there is no other choice...I have been scouting the ridges for 3 years re. better diagnostics...get a Faultmate, maaate! 8)
Got one 2 & a bit years ago. " Bloody brilliant" as we say Downunder (that's a cultural term denoting sincere admiration rather than a swear word)...
Add a "dedicated" secondhand laptop with XP and IE7, load the laptop with Vehicle Explorer from Faultmate, + RAVE + a heap of good info from this forum and you have a self contained cost effective DIY diagnostic setup you can take anywhere and be confident of getting out of trouble...other than catastrophic failure...but then at least you'll know it is genuine catastrophic failure and so feel totally justified in opening a beer (bought with massive savings from other options) and saying "aw shucks" or words to that effect...

see gunemalli's posts elsewhere re the Hawkeye :naughty: ... no contest...

good luck

PS OBDII readers/scanners do just that "read" ...rarely if ever do they/will they have the capability to reset/clear faults.
Furthermore, they are generally programmed only to read/scan generic fault codes. Fault codes specific to the P38 need specialised equipment like...
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You need specialized scan tools to read each and every part of the the vehicle ECU's. Only contenders here are the HawkEye and the FaultMates. If you read my review, you can find what the hawkeye can do in detail. But i think the faultmate is far better in features that it has and the ability diagnose very deeply. The MSV2 extreme full kit costs around 550 euros according to the pdf price list on their site. If i had seen that, i'd have gone for it on the first go. :x

Hoges said:
" Bloody brilliant" as we say Downunder (that's a cultural term denoting sincere admiration rather than a swear word)...
We say the same in the UK,

I know what you mean and if money was no object I'd have already bought a Faultmate. I get slightly confused with the prices and not knowing what I need but I thought it was more like £800-£900 for a single VIN unit.

I just can't afford that sort of cash! at the moment
I agree with you that the BBS website is confusing :? However, if you persevere, check the "shop" and examine the SV125 kit for 571 Euros inc VAT, this has all the smarts to explore the P38... you just need a laptop to "read" it... it will work perfectly on a P3 400MHz laptop with Win2000 and 256Mb RAM....running XP is preferable... good luck
If someone wants to go with the free choice for starters:

"FREE - http://www.rswsolutions.com/ - the 'EAS unlock' free software (multi model - all p38'a)"

where should you get the OBDII connector?
LandRover2010 said:
If someone wants to go with the free choice for starters:

"FREE - http://www.rswsolutions.com/ - the 'EAS unlock' free software (multi model - all p38'a)"

where should you get the OBDII connector?
You can make your own or buy it from the same site.
I bought a lead + USB adaptor of ebay, works a treat :dance: . I also have a cheap OBD scan tool but it wont even power up when connected to the RR obd socket so either my '96 DSE isnt complient or more specialist equipment is needed - faultmate.

Check your fuse box. I had the same issue. A fuse was blown and i don't remember where. It serves as a means to power up the obd2 interface. check fuse 17 IIRC.
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