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Old 12-18-2014, 09:42 AM   #1
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GM Tech 2 Scanner

Anyone ever use the GM Tech 2?

I have the Chrysler DRBIII which looks similar and is a MUST for the older PCI based Chrysler vehicles including my Rubicon and Overland Jeeps

Will the Tech 2 operate on a Workhorse 2008 W series chassis with 8.1l engine?
Found one of the Tech 2's "probable clone but that's OK with me" with loads of options for a really good price - Only GM stuff we have is the 8.1L engine and transmission in the RV
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:06 AM   #2
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I have a TechII with the latest V33.003 software and it lists the 2008 Workhorse. I've used it on cars, light duty trucks and medium duty trucks but never a workhorse. I have used it on M/D trucks with the 8.1L.

After selecting 2008/Workhorse, it lists other choices as:

6 - W20
6 - W22
A - W24
D - W42
E - W16
E - W18
F - R26
G - W62
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Old 12-18-2014, 10:12 AM   #3
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Randolpho

Thanks for the quick response
I have the 2008 W16 - looks as if selection "E" will do the job
I will go ahead and pick it up
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Old 12-18-2014, 08:36 PM   #4
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I think a clone tech 2 will be nothing but a generic code reader and would be limited as to what it can do. If you are just wanting to read the ecm then a clone or any ol generic reader would get the job done. I fear the clone would not help much on the brake or tranny modules. Plus shop around I have seen tech 2 clones kits being sold for as little as $200.
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Old 12-19-2014, 07:19 AM   #5
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The updates for tech 2is about $1800a year and he is right don't waste money on a clone last tech 2 I got was about $3500and that was cheaper than tech 2 rep would sell check around some shops and see what they are charging my shop gets $69 and that buys about a hour of play him with it someone that know how to use it but not reprograming
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Old 12-19-2014, 08:56 AM   #6
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Appreciate the comments

It's my belief the clone will function as the original does in all respects
A new friend uses a low cost clone and has flashed vehicles on several occasions
Agreed if only a simple code reader - why bother

I'm looking for the capability of Flashing, Snapshot, Sensor displays, and Manipulating the I/O devices as my DRBIII does for my Jeeps. For me it's a toy for big kids. I write a bit of code on occasions and love to tinker with all things electronic.

So many clones and original Tech 2 units available today with prices ranging from as low as $200 which includes the CANdi module (unit needing some TLC which I can easily take care of myself) Found a few well used / abused originals from dealers for around $400 with all the options and cables. Finding the options/cables looks to be harder than finding the basic unit.

Agreed to obtain propriety flash files typically a large payment is extracted by the manufacturer

Picked up Factory NEW DRBIII w/ all options many years ago for $6,500 as a "bonus" received a three year subscription to TechConnect. Now if / when I need a flash file I do the one day thing for $100 or so. My guess GM has something similar regarding access to their files.
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Old 12-19-2014, 09:58 AM   #7
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You will probably have flashing issues using a cloned Tech2 when it phones home. GM (as well as Ford and other OEM's) is aware of the Chinese knock offs and is doing somethings about it.

Looking at the Tech2 for your 2008 W16, the only module listed is the PCM, no ABS or transmission. If you were going to do just diagnostics on your 2008, the clone would probably be ok since you would not need to update the software. Updating the software would also be a problem with GM TIS but then again V33.003 is the last update unless GM finds a big enough bug to warrant an update.

GM has moved on to using a PC/laptop to the MDI to the vehicle - called GDS (Global Diagnostic System). This can also be used on the PC and MDI with software called Tech2win. Tech2win is a Tech2 simulator that looks like the Tech2 screen on your PC.

I've never liked code readers or other generic scan tools because there are many codes that are OEM vehicle specific that do not come up under generic OBDII.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:26 AM   #8
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Appreciate the heads up regarding the "clone" units
I look at it as a game between the manufacturer and the clone development guys
Been observing the game for years - kind of fun watching

Understand my Brembo ABS system interfaces via the separate SAE Circular 9-pin J1939 connection not through the standard OBDII 16-pin connector. A different story been looking for that interface for a few years now with only limited luck

That's big news regarding the tranny interface - The RV has the GM 4L85E
Was hoping the Tech 2 would interface with it - If not it throws major a wrench in the works and I will have to reconsider my current thinking

I have several PC applications which interface through the ODBII adapters using USB and/or WiFi - might go in that direction. What is this MDI? anything special or just another priority box that costs big $$$ and might not be needed? I sure like the hands on dedicated push buttons a proper hand held unit with a dedicated high res screen offers. The DRBIII is a wonderful tool the reason I starting looking at the Tech 2 which looks similar to the DRBIII.

Could not agree more with your statement "I've never liked code readers or other generic scan tools because there are many codes that are OEM vehicle specific that do not come up under generic OBDII." A generic code reader is of little use to me as well. Emission codes are about all they typically understand.
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:36 AM   #9
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You can not write any files with a tech 2 you can only install files that you receive through a lease and I don't think places like NAPA can buy a lease from Gm. GM has gotten strict about any third party involvement due to liability reasons we are not allowed to even update someone else's tech 2 at out dealership anymore
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Old 12-19-2014, 10:54 AM   #10
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I agree you can not "write" as in develop new files with the Tech 2
Should have been a bit more specific

You "Flash" the controller(s) with the downloaded file which is typically obtained from the manufacturer. The flash file can be written/developed by anyone that has the knowledge / skill set to do so, it's not a difficult task. There are several after market developers changing the programming of the ECM/PCM's for many reasons including better mileage and or more power. One of the sponsors here does exactly this

I do not know about GM but have had first hand experience with Chrysler - almost anyone can download the Flash Files for the DRBIII all it takes is a few $$$ and a connection /subscription to TechConnect. Upgrading the firmware in the scan tool is typically as simple as a computer OS upgrade, or at least it is with my DRBIII.
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:03 PM   #11
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The MDI is another box interface between the Vehicle and PC, it's made by Bosch. This is sold to other OEM's under different names. The Tech2 stops at 2013 and everything newer will be GDS only. Starting around 2010 with the GM Global A vehicles the GDS is required. So between 2010 to 2013 depending on what vehicle, Techs need the Tech2 and GDS, 2014 forward will use GDS. This is like Ford with the NGS hand held, then WDS tablet, then IDS laptop/PC.

J2534 Reprogrammers

Most OEM PC based scan tools now require a subscription to use their hardware/software, no subscription - no usage. The GDS and IDS require you to phone home and renew your lease every 30 days. If you don't have a subscription after 30 days the software times out and you can't use it. This is probably a way to stop the clones. Ford is suing Autel for hacking into their scan tool software, Autel is a Chinese company with an address here in the states.

Then you could get into using an approved J2534 Pass Through device that is used for reflashing but can also be used with a subscription as a scan tool like the GM Tech2win and the Mongoose Pro. Drew Tech makes an approved cable for many of the OEM's, this is for flashing OEM files, not aftermarket files.

Drew Technologies : Introduction
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Old 12-19-2014, 12:52 PM   #12
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Thanks for the info
I went ahead and ordered a Tech 2 w/ CANdi and several interface several cables
Should be a fun toy to play with

I have a few of the ELM interface boxes 16-pin OBDII to USB/Wifi (<$20.00 each) that support most if not all of the above mentioned protocols. They are simply hardware translation boxes translating the 16 pin OBDII connection to a PC usable format. They are not the applications which are needed to access anything simply an interface box. From what I can see similar to the MDI interface mentioned above

Look like Autel has several offerings that might be of interest - but for now I wil wait until early next year when I get the Tech 2 and have time to properly play with it
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