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Thread: How To: Modify a VAGcom KKL Cable for use with your BMW

  1. #1
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    How To: Modify a VAGcom KKL Cable for use with your BMW

    This is just a temporary place holder that will be used in the future (when I get my cables in) to describe in DETAIL how to modify a $13 cable to use with your BMW (well, I have an E39, so at the very least, it'll work with E39's)...The other ECU site has this info, which is inaccessible to us, and confusing as hell to the average user.

    I have a knack for writing very detailed easy to follow guides, much like the ones Randomy has written. Check back soon...

  2. #2
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    The most important piece of information that you're missing from the other site is that 99% of people don't need to modify their KKL cable to work with their BMW.
    No PMs. Email through forum please.

  3. #3
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    For newer BMWs I understand you don't, but older...you do...no?

  4. #4
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    Depends on what you want to do with it. I use one un-modified all the time, you just need a 20pin-OBD2 dongle.
    No PMs. Email through forum please.

  5. #5
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    Hmmm, well I bought both cables, a KKL cable and the obd-20p...

    I've yet to understand the difference between using the 20p vs obdii. When using inpa/dis.

  6. #6
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    Look on a wiring diagram.
    No PMs. Email through forum please.

  7. #7
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    Hi,

    From what I gather, the standard USB VAG KKL cable will not detect Ignition ON without the transistor (and resistor) mod.

    So if you ignore the Ignition ON detection, you can manually select your car in DIS and perform diagnostics right?

    - James

  8. #8
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    Yes that does seem to be the case... although joining pins 17 & 18 (I think) of the FTDI chip will permanently fool the interface into sending Ignition ON to the computer
    Last edited by zigzagsky; 10-22-2009 at 10:32 AM.

  9. #9
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    Well...It's true aparently, I didn't need any mod at all. I used a OBD II to 20 Pin, and can access all modules in the car, I did the grounding of the pins and yes, it works fine. Although it's not a big deal to manually pick your car. One thing though, my OBD II connector didn't have pin 15, which is what the mod was intended for...So I didn't need to do the mod...

    Now if I could only figure out how to use DIS...

  10. #10
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    hey dear why do you want to modify the cable....i mean i am unable to understand the meaning of it...

    Susha BMW Performance Chip
    Last edited by susha1; 11-04-2009 at 04:17 PM.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by RavenII View Post
    One thing though, my OBD II connector didn't have pin 15, which is what the mod was intended for...So I didn't need to do the mod...
    .
    Interesting, I assumed the mod with the transistor was to get ignition sensing done. I have a Z3 with pin 15 populated and I was under the impression that this meant that I had to use the more expensive ADS interface. certainly at the moment I have problems communicating with some modules using a VAG cable.

    Or is the pin 15 mod something else???

  12. #12
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    With the blue Vagcom cable, you don't need to mod anything, especially if you have Pin 15 in the car, (I didn't)...I had to use an adapter.

  13. #13
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    If your VAG-COM KKL cable has the FT232RL chip, you can use MProg or FT_Prog (from the FTDI site) to program the chip. Make sure that the RI# and DSR# inverts are cleared to force batt and ignition on.

  14. #14
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    Wink

    Quote Originally Posted by KeifR View Post
    If your VAG-COM KKL cable has the FT232RL chip, you can use MProg or FT_Prog (from the FTDI site) to program the chip. Make sure that the RI# and DSR# inverts are cleared to force batt and ignition on.
    Hi ALL

    I have the blue KKL VAG cable and the 20pin adapter using with inpa 5.02 working fine.
    • How can I find out what chip I have in my VAG kkl usb cable?
    • Is there any UG on the net how to do the mod with Fprog to make the adapter capable to detect batt and ignition?

    Most important question:
    • Is this VAG interface working 100% compatible like an INPA interface? Or is there any features what I cannot reach with that and need a fully INPA interface?
    THANKS!
    Tom from UK

  15. #15
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    Tom, the easiest way to identify the chip in your interface is to unscrew the case and read the numbers printed on the chip.

  16. #16
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    My cable with the FT232RL wouldn't always accept the programming, so I ended up just shorting a few pins low (to ground) since RI# and DSR# are already inverted. See pictures and descriptions here.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by KeifR View Post
    My cable with the FT232RL wouldn't always accept the programming, so I ended up just shorting a few pins low (to ground) since RI# and DSR# are already inverted. See pictures and descriptions here.
    Thanks guys
    I'm not too good in hardware, so will ask someone to help me to do the mod with the interface, if needed.
    I'm still looking for an UG how to use fprog or mprog to invert those values.
    My mate wants to buy a KKL VAG cable like I have. He has a 2002 525D. Do you think it wil work? As I know those newer cars need CAN bus, or the proper INPA interface? (we cannot try mine as he lives 900 miles away from me :-)
    Is there any feature in INPA what is not working with VAG KKL interface?
    Is there any point to buy an INPA interface?

    If the car type detection is the only point, I dont need that!

  18. #18
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    Hi all!

    Great posts!

    Does it matter whether the car's UK or US spec?

    I've got a 1996 750il UK so no OBD connector. I've been hacking about despirately for a couple of months trying to get some stuff working.

    I've bought one VAGCOM and one OBD2 cable, both cheap ones of eBay, of which I've managed to get the latter to work with easyOBD software through a 20pin adapter under the bonet. Just for basic (not very helpful pending OBD codes).

    I've 'successfully' installed INPA as well as DIS/GT1. I say 'successfully' because I have not managed to get any of those tools communicating with my much loved 7er, but the software all boots with no errors (other than cable/communications).

    I've read so many things now, I think my brain is disintegrating...

    Should I give up and shell out (something I'm loathed to do) or can I get it working on my car.

    You'd think having a degree in Electronics would help... Fat chance, Ha!


    Thanks all!

  19. #19
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    I have been reading the archived thread from bmwecu on modifying the KKL cable to detect battery and ignition. So far, I have been able to get INPA to read the battery by jumpering pins 7 and 8 on the interface, and jumpering pins 17 and 18 on the FTDI jump.

    Then soldering this circuit in:


    (I had the collector and the emitter backwards on my first attempt, and I got battery detection working, but even after correcting the transistor, ignition still does not work, I may have cooked the transistor though, I am going to try with a new one).

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by jthomsit View Post
    Hi all!

    Great posts!

    Does it matter whether the car's UK or US spec?

    I've got a 1996 750il UK so no OBD connector. I've been hacking about despirately for a couple of months trying to get some stuff working.

    I've bought one VAGCOM and one OBD2 cable, both cheap ones of eBay, of which I've managed to get the latter to work with easyOBD software through a 20pin adapter under the bonet. Just for basic (not very helpful pending OBD codes).

    I've 'successfully' installed INPA as well as DIS/GT1. I say 'successfully' because I have not managed to get any of those tools communicating with my much loved 7er, but the software all boots with no errors (other than cable/communications).

    I've read so many things now, I think my brain is disintegrating...

    Should I give up and shell out (something I'm loathed to do) or can I get it working on my car.

    You'd think having a degree in Electronics would help... Fat chance, Ha!

    Thanks all!
    If you got something - anything - working using the 20-pin connector, you are off to a good start. Have you soldered or relocated anything? Specifically which version of the VAG-COM/OBD cable are you using (Serial? USB? FT232BL? FT232RL (open up the case on the cable and look at the biggest chip))? Can you take a picture of which pins are wired up to the OBD connector?

    Getting INPA working should be your next target, as you can think of it being operational as a prerequisite for getting DIS working, and INPA is definitely the most simple of the two, both in setup and operation, and will provide you a lot of good information (no more looking up OBD codes). Have you read much about the proper ediabas.ini and obd.ini settings? Tested with partial success in any way? How far have you gotten?
    Last edited by KeifR; 03-04-2010 at 10:37 AM.

  21. #21
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    I think I read in (http://forums.bimmerforums.com/forum....php?t=1268962) that someone did have a USB INPA cable working with their Sweedish 1995 E38...

    The cable I've been using is with the standard OBD software is:
    http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/BMW-INPA-USB-I...item4cedf780d7
    completely unmodified.

    I've had absolutely no success with any hardware and INPA or GT1. I've read loads but my brain is no turning to Goo! I'm not a very systematic person, so I should really try both cables with all possible settings (eg. STD:OBD, ADS, etc) and probably consider starting all the soldering tricks and transisters, etc.

    I'm just a bit loathed to start all that if it's not going to work and I'm going to need a pricey ADS cable and PCMCIA serial card anyway... Would there be any difference in communication standards from a 1995 Sweedish 740 and a 1996 UK 750?

    Thanks all.

  22. #22
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    Well... not quite sure why it's working now, perhaps been a bit more systematic and rigorous with my install/set up. The FAQ on this page helped http://www.zroadster.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=225903

    I've got INPA seeming to work with an unmodified VAGCOM cable on my 1996 UK 750iL. Reading EML, ZKE and transmission. I'm a bit loathed to open it up encase it stops working... but... I did it so hope it'll continue working.

    It's a FT232BL. You can't see which pins are connected because it's done though a second vertical PCB. But continuity show's the following pins are connected on the OBD connector 2, 5, 7, 10, 15

    Hope this helps.

  23. #23
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    Another update,

    I've got DIS fully install but not working with my unmodified VAGCOM cable. As I previously stated, it's reading most modules in INPA. Other than the autodetect/battery modifications am I right in thinking that you don't actually need to modify the cables? Both INPA and DIS use Ediabas, so there shouldn't be any really differences right???

    Thanks

  24. #24
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    That's right. The only purpose for modifying the cable is to get battery and ignition detection to work.

  25. #25
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    Detection of battery and ignition voltage allows for automatic vehicle identification in DIS. It makes using diagnostics in DIS a little more efficient as you do not need to enter vehicle model, left or right hand drive, production date, and answer three questions about ignition/identification every time you get into diagnostics. It also allows you to exit diagnostics without entering a six digit number. But not having auto detection/identification does not limit the capability of DIS
    Last edited by gschroer; 03-15-2010 at 09:03 PM.

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