How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Detailed descriptions of how to do things to your Liberty.

How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby Hotwire » Sat Aug 01, 2009 10:46 pm

After following a guide on lgt.com I thought I would re-word it to be specific to cables available to Aus and ADM GT's
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The Cable & Drivers

First off, the VAG-COM cable is designed for VW/Audi interface. However, even there are 5 protocols of OBDII, ISO9141/KWP2000 is utilised by a number of manufacturers including VW/Audi/Subaru/Mitsubishi as well as a number of others.
Please note: THIS CABLE WILL NOT WORK WITH CAN-BUS ECU's.

The cable I used is from AutoMobile Ebay Seller on ebay, and is a "Vag-Com OBD-2 Interface/Scanner VW Audi VagCom scantool" (~$21 delivered) This is a heck of a lot cheaper than the ~$200 for the Tactrix cable from the US ;) To make use of this VW cable on your Subaru however, you will need to install the correct drivers for Subaru. This is the winXP driver we use: FTDI 2.04.06

Extract the .zip file and remember where you put it as you will need it when you plug the cable into the usb port and the install box pops up. During the driver install; point Windows Installer to the folder where you placed the unzipped files and install the driver.

You may need to adjust the cable's/driver's COM port settings in order to get it to work properly:

1. Go into Device Manager for Windows(right click "my computer" on desktop, go to Properties, then Hardware tab and click "Device Manager" button)

2. Look under ports(COM and LPT) for the FTDI port(cable must be plugged into the computer at this point) and right click and go into properties for the FTDI cable driver.

3. Go to the Port Settings Tab click the ADVANCED button and look at the BAUD Rate. If it is 9600; you will need to drop the box and change it to 4800.

4. This should slow the data rate of the driver/port and allow the cable to connect to the car's ECU properly. Be sure to note the COM port number assigned to the FTDI port as you will need to select it in the logging software.

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Reading the ROM using ECUFlash

With the correct drivers installed you are now ready to read the ROM

Warning!!NEVER try to Read or Flash the ECU if ANY other program/driver has locked up since the last reboot! This can cause the PC to lock up in the middle of an image and that's not good so please only do this if you understand the risk involved and are willing to accept it. Again, failure to follow these procedures to the letter may result in a "bricked" or unusable ECU. You are doing this at your own risk.

Here we go:

1. Reboot the computer and/or let it completely boot up. (Just to make sure the drivers are all clean)

2. Connect the GREEN "TEST" connectors that can be found behind the glovebox, just toward the console side of dead center. They are tucked away in a little compartment behind the top of the carpet. Find them and connect them.

3. Connect the OBDII end of the cable into the car's OBDII port if it isn't already. The OBDII port can be found below the dash on the driver's side off to the right of center.

4. Connect the USB end into the computer and wait a few seconds. It takes the computer a few seconds to find, recognize and load the driver for the cable.

5. Turn the key to the "ON" position. At this point the dash should light up like a Christmas tree, the fan should start cycling on and off.

6. Start ECUflash, You should be able to select Read from the file menu.

7. A window will pop up. This looks like a logging window, but it actually wants you to select your ECU/Vehicle, so select your vehicle class from the list.

8. Click the button at the bottom of the pop-up windowand it should start reading and logging progress. Your odometer should read "ErHC" after you connect to the ECU.

9. Once the image is read or burned, you can exit ECU flash and turn the key to the "OFF" position.

10. DISCONNECT THE GREEN TEST CONNECTORS!!

11. Turn the key forward and wait until the seatbelt dinger stops and then start the car. Any time the ECU is reset or re-flashed; it needs to re-boot. This is done when the key is first turned to the "ON" position and takes about ten seconds. If you don't wait for the re-boot; you will just be cranking and wearing down your battery until the ECU is ready to go, so just be patient and wait for it.

12. Enjoy!

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Now you've read the ROM, how about logging?

As long as you've installed the cable drivers correctly as above, you should be able to connect to the ECU using RomRaider to log as required. The steps are really quite simple.

1. Connect the OBDII end of the cable into the car's OBDII port if it isn't already. The OBDII port can be found below the dash on the driver's side off to the left of center.

2. Connect the USB end into the computer and wait a few seconds. It takes the computer a few seconds to find, recognize and load the driver for the cable.

3. Turn the key to the "ON" position.

4. Start RomRaider, You should be able to select the correct COM port and connect to the ECU to start logging!
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby steve_m » Mon Aug 10, 2009 1:28 pm

Hi Lee,

I just got my cable and have a couple of questions before I connect it...
have you tried that Winxp Driver with Vista or Windows 7? my laptop has win 7 installed.. is it possible that if I try using that driver I will cause some problems?

also, can I do any damage to my car just by reading the output through rom raider? i'm not intending to do any tuning or make any changes to anything, i'm just interesting in having a look at how my car is performing, and what 'could' be done..
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby GTB Liberty » Mon Aug 10, 2009 4:10 pm

steve_m wrote:Hi Lee,

I just got my cable and have a couple of questions before I connect it...
have you tried that Winxp Driver with Vista or Windows 7? my laptop has win 7 installed.. is it possible that if I try using that driver I will cause some problems?

also, can I do any damage to my car just by reading the output through rom raider? i'm not intending to do any tuning or make any changes to anything, i'm just interesting in having a look at how my car is performing, and what 'could' be done..


Lee or Steve,

Which one is the actual one in that myriad of cables?
MY08 Liberty GT Spec B Manual SEDAN | TEAM White | Verso tuned @ ASG 240 Hp & 372 Nm hub dyno| STi | BBK M turbo | GriMspeed | Brembo | Valentine V1 | ECUdatascan | PROVA | HKS | Zero Sports | Phat Performance Parts | ACME | Whiteline | Enkei | Dixcel | Cusco
" . . . and on the 8th day God made Subaru . . . on the 9th supposedly the V8 . . . and on the 10th turbo lag so the V8s would think they had a chance "
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby steve_m » Mon Aug 10, 2009 5:20 pm

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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby Ric » Mon Aug 10, 2009 6:54 pm


"Buy it now" for $4.66 plus $16.99 postage... :shock:
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby steve_m » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:15 pm

Ric wrote:

"Buy it now" for $4.66 plus $16.99 postage... :shock:

:lol:
thats the one!

just had it plugged in and it works a treat! :)
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby GTB Liberty » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:30 pm

steve_m wrote:
Ric wrote:

"Buy it now" for $4.66 plus $16.99 postage... :shock:

:lol:
thats the one!

just had it plugged in and it works a treat! :)


Well, that one is closed now.

Is this one the same http://cgi.ebay.com.au/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&item=370240538414&ssPageName=MERCOSI_VI_ROSI_PR4_PCN_BIX_Stores&refitem=260382262572&itemcount=4&refwidgetloc=closed_view_item&refwidgettype=osi_widget&_trksid=p284.m185&_trkparms=algo%3DSI%26its%3DI%26itu%3DUCI%26otn%3D4%26ps%3D42 - the image is different BUT same sale title.
MY08 Liberty GT Spec B Manual SEDAN | TEAM White | Verso tuned @ ASG 240 Hp & 372 Nm hub dyno| STi | BBK M turbo | GriMspeed | Brembo | Valentine V1 | ECUdatascan | PROVA | HKS | Zero Sports | Phat Performance Parts | ACME | Whiteline | Enkei | Dixcel | Cusco
" . . . and on the 8th day God made Subaru . . . on the 9th supposedly the V8 . . . and on the 10th turbo lag so the V8s would think they had a chance "
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby steve_m » Mon Aug 10, 2009 7:35 pm



ah sorry about that. Yea that one you linked to certainly looks to be the same.. the picture is different, but the rest seems to match up.
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby Hotwire » Mon Aug 10, 2009 9:30 pm

GTB Liberty - it has exactly the same description as the one I bought so I'd say its the same cable, but different colour. They probably sold out of the blue plug connectors and have changed supplier to a black plug/cable. Description & price is the same so I'd say it will work.

Steve_m - Glad to see you got it working! :)
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby GTB Liberty » Tue Aug 11, 2009 6:58 pm

Hotwire wrote:GTB Liberty - it has exactly the same description as the one I bought so I'd say its the same cable, but different colour. They probably sold out of the blue plug connectors and have changed supplier to a black plug/cable. Description & price is the same so I'd say it will work.


Ordered - thanks for the help :)
MY08 Liberty GT Spec B Manual SEDAN | TEAM White | Verso tuned @ ASG 240 Hp & 372 Nm hub dyno| STi | BBK M turbo | GriMspeed | Brembo | Valentine V1 | ECUdatascan | PROVA | HKS | Zero Sports | Phat Performance Parts | ACME | Whiteline | Enkei | Dixcel | Cusco
" . . . and on the 8th day God made Subaru . . . on the 9th supposedly the V8 . . . and on the 10th turbo lag so the V8s would think they had a chance "
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby GTB Liberty » Thu Aug 27, 2009 6:20 pm

Guys - feel a bit silly BUT where do I connect the cable. Can't seem to find it?

Edit - Found the port and test connectors - PHEW.

Is it just me or is that connector in a precarious position for permanent install?
MY08 Liberty GT Spec B Manual SEDAN | TEAM White | Verso tuned @ ASG 240 Hp & 372 Nm hub dyno| STi | BBK M turbo | GriMspeed | Brembo | Valentine V1 | ECUdatascan | PROVA | HKS | Zero Sports | Phat Performance Parts | ACME | Whiteline | Enkei | Dixcel | Cusco
" . . . and on the 8th day God made Subaru . . . on the 9th supposedly the V8 . . . and on the 10th turbo lag so the V8s would think they had a chance "
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby dwayne » Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:54 pm

GTB Liberty wrote:Guys - feel a bit silly BUT where do I connect the cable. Can't seem to find it?

Edit - Found the port and test connectors - PHEW.

Is it just me or is that connector in a precarious position for permanent install?


Yeah, it is, but then again it was never really designed for use whilst the vehicle is in motion.
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby Hotwire » Fri Aug 28, 2009 8:31 am

dwayne wrote:
GTB Liberty wrote:Guys - feel a bit silly BUT where do I connect the cable. Can't seem to find it?

Edit - Found the port and test connectors - PHEW.

Is it just me or is that connector in a precarious position for permanent install?


Yeah, it is, but then again it was never really designed for use whilst the vehicle is in motion.


Actually I'd imagine the port is designed to be used whilst the vehicle is in motion for logging, thus the easy access. However This cheaper cable which puts all the electronics at the port is of poor design. I'd imagine factory cables would have the Electronics in the unit not at the plug, thus making the plug a small simple plug with less protrusion
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby GTB Liberty » Sun Aug 30, 2009 7:19 pm

Hotwire wrote:
dwayne wrote:
GTB Liberty wrote:Guys - feel a bit silly BUT where do I connect the cable. Can't seem to find it?

Edit - Found the port and test connectors - PHEW.

Is it just me or is that connector in a precarious position for permanent install?


Yeah, it is, but then again it was never really designed for use whilst the vehicle is in motion.


Actually I'd imagine the port is designed to be used whilst the vehicle is in motion for logging, thus the easy access. However This cheaper cable which puts all the electronics at the port is of poor design. I'd imagine factory cables would have the Electronics in the unit not at the plug, thus making the plug a small simple plug with less protrusion


Seems to me that items such as this one:

Image

Are very similar in "plug" design if not exactly the same.
MY08 Liberty GT Spec B Manual SEDAN | TEAM White | Verso tuned @ ASG 240 Hp & 372 Nm hub dyno| STi | BBK M turbo | GriMspeed | Brembo | Valentine V1 | ECUdatascan | PROVA | HKS | Zero Sports | Phat Performance Parts | ACME | Whiteline | Enkei | Dixcel | Cusco
" . . . and on the 8th day God made Subaru . . . on the 9th supposedly the V8 . . . and on the 10th turbo lag so the V8s would think they had a chance "
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Re: How To Use a $20 VAG-COM Cable To Read/Flash/Log ECU's

Postby Hotwire » Mon Aug 31, 2009 9:17 am

As posted in the ECU Datascan group buy:
viewtopic.php?p=92838#p92838

There is a right angled plug you can get - may not be a bad idea ;)
Image
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