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Thread: The Z3 Diagnostics Thread: Instructions, Experiences, Discussions, Experimentation

  1. #1
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    The Z3 Diagnostics Thread: Instructions, Experiences, Discussions, Experimentation

    Introduction:
    It is about time we had a diagnostics thread just for the Z3 section. Lately there have been so many threads regarding computer diagnostics/code readers. Instead of me and others answering one by one, I wanted to make this thread a collection of my experiences, and others' experiences with diagnostics. I recommend this to be used for Q&A as well.
    To keep it relevant to the Z3 subforum, I would like to keep this focused about Z3 diagnostics.
    I will try to keep this organized and updated, as best as I can. I know there are a few others very experienced with this, and are welcome to contribute.

    In my opinion the best diagnosing system for our cars is the INPA package.
    INPA is from the BMW Developer world, it's very powerful and comprehensive, but the interface isn't as streamlined/fancy compared to other newer BMW options (which don't work easily with our cars). The more experience you get with it, the better you will be at it.



    How to set up your own INPA diagnostics computer for Z3 use (will work for other cars as well):


    A. Items needed:

    1. Windows capable laptop. I generally recommend Windows 7, but it will work fine with Windows XP, 8, 10, and the 'in-betweens'. 32-bit and 64-bit work fine.
    2. VAG KKL USB OBD cable with FTDI FT232RL Chip. Yes as used for VW. It HAS to have the FTDI chip. (This will work with all BMWs up to 2007).
      Examples:
      1. $19.88 USA Seller www.ebay.com/itm/291675297967
      2. $9.05 Trusted China seller with quick shipping www.ebay.com/itm/272510048522
      a. Drivers for the cable are included in installation pack (do not use the disc included with cable)! *Updated 11/22/16*
    3. BMW 20-pin to OBD Adapter.
      Examples:
      1. $7.49 USA Seller http://www.ebay.com/itm/171173042421
      2. $4.00 Trusted China seller (same seller as above) www.ebay.com/itm/282319205178




    Notes:
    a. This cable works for cars that use K-Line and possibly some L-Line communications (2006 and older cars, including my 1996 328is). BMWs with CAN system will not be read by this cable (2007+)
    b. Some modules can only be read through the 20-pin port (use adapter). They are (but not limited to): Airbag, ABS, DSC, Cruise Control, EWS security, Central Body Electronics, Auto Transmission, etc.
    c. Modules I usually read through the OBD port inside the car: Engine DME.
    d. Although not necessary for Z3, bridging pins 7&8 inside the VAG KKL OBD cable is possible, and programming the cable as below, to fool ignition sense. (Advanced)
    e. Randy rf900rkw: "No soldering needed for our cars. The 16-20 pin adapter does the appropriate pin bridging. It's only the 01 and later E39-up cars that need the soldering."
    f. I have heard that there is a USB cable with the FTDI FT232BL chip that does ignition sense all by itself without having to fool it as in point d.



    B. Software:

    1. INPA Software

    Custom updated INPA pack found here: Go to INPA folder, download "INPA 2016 Pack V1.2a.zip" ***Updated 11/22/16: Major update. Easier, clearer installation. 12/2/16 Minor update to work better in Win10***


    If you install complete pack, you end up with:
    • INPA version 5.0.6
    • EDIABAS version 7.3.0 (not compatible with ADS cable, ADS needs 6.4.3-6.4.7, OK with USB cables)
    • NCSExpert version 4.0.1 (Compatible with 64-bit Windows, English translation loaded, new Profiles)
    • WinKFP version 5.3.1 (Preloaded with E36 Flash data)
    • Tool32 4.0.3


    2. BMW Technical Information System Software (Repair Manuals)

    BMW TIS 12/2007, Custom Easy Installer can be found here (1.2GB download). TIS is completely separate of the INPA diagnostics, and can be ran without INPA/OBD Cables.**NEW** 2/11/2017



    Notes:
    • Do not use anything that you don't fully understand. Serious disabling damage is possible (that is my disclaimer).
    • INPA pack includes: INPA, NCSExpert, WinKFP, Tool32, EDIABAS, NCSDummy, General Installation Instructions (will be improving them slowly)
    • The Instructions folder includes my collection of instructions for WinKFP and NCSExpert, as well as how to deal with some errors while loading daten files (advanced).



    Software Definitions:
    • INPA - Diagnosis, resetting errors, aligning EWS/CAS, advanced activation of certain car behaviors (ex: turn on your ABS module for bleeding brakes) - MOSTLY SAFE
    • NCSExpert - Coding (changing internal module settings, and marrying a module to the car - Advanced)
    • WinKFP - Flashing (you need the Daten files for your car, and you need to load them to WinKFP - Very Advanced)
    • Tool32 - An advanced tool that is used to load the INPA/DIS/ISTA .prg files to run custom diagnostics and module behavior manually, without a nice user interface. Very powerful. - Advanced
    • EDIABAS - The virtual server service that the 4 programs above use to connect to your cable.
    • TIS - Technical Information System. Repair manual for BMWs.

    • Other Softwares:
      NCSDummy - A 3rd party helper for NCSExpert coding file interpretation. Not completely necessary. It is for changing settings inside a module mostly. (Ex: Turning off the iDrive warning on start, or changing module behavior, or changing the way the temperature dummy gauge's range on the instrument cluster.)






    C. Installation:

    All prerequisites: Environment Variables and USB cable Drivers are included in pack and in instructions.
    This updated pack can be installed over my older pack just fine.


    Direct download -> download button on Top Right "INPA 2016 Pack V1.2a.zip" (243MB)
    Extract all the files from the zip folder.


    *Installation Instructions, click on thumbnail to download pdf. (included in pack as well)*
    INPA 2016 Installation.pdf



    D. Using INPA and other BMW Tools with Z3


    INFO:
    -The key must be in ignition on Position II; full power. You can diagnose with engine running, or without engine running.
    -If you connect to OBD port inside, you can only read ECU and TCU.
    -If you connect at the 20-pin connector under the hood, you can read all other car modules, ECU and TCU included.
    -The scripts for Z3 diagnosis are found under the E36 section. You can also press the "Shift" key on your keyboard and click the "Old" button (or press Shift+F6).



    1. Diagnosis with INPA:

    -Enter into your desired module. To read errors, click Errors button, and click read. To clear errors, click Clear button.
    Click on thumbnail to see an example
    Example of Clearing an Error with INPA.pdf



    Engine Control Module scripts are under E36 > Engine > (choose your ecu): OBD or 20-pin Port
    • Z3 with the M44 1.9L choose DME 5.2
    • Z3 with the S52 and single VANOS M52 (early 2.8) engine you use the MS41.1 script (non-North America may have to use MS41.0 for some M52 engines)
    • Z3 2.3, 2.8 with dual-VANOS you use the MS42 script
    • Z3 2.5i, 3.0i use the MS43 script
    • Z3 with S50B32 (Euro) use the MSS52 script
    • Z3 with S54 use the MSS54 script


    Transmission (only automatics) E36 > Transmission > (choose your TCU) Trial and error to find yours. OBD or 20-pin Port

    Chassis (basically ABS and DSC modules) E36 > Chassis > (choose your ABS/DSC) Trial and error to find yours. 20-pin Port Only
    • My S52 Coupe has "ABS5 ASC5",
    • My roadster has "DSC e46",
    • My 328is has "ABS MK4G"



    Body (airbag, and other body modules for Z3.) E36 > Body > (choose control module you desire) 20-pin Port Only
    • Airbag
    • On-Board Computer UHR/BC E36/7
    • Electronic Vehicle Immobilization EWS Security
    • Instrument cluster KOMBI
    • Cruise Control GR2
    • Thermal Oil Sensor TOENS (S54, some M52tu, M54)
    • Central body electronics ZKE




    2. Coding with NCSExpert


    3. Advanced Sensor Calibration with Tool32





    E. Modifications, Troubleshooting:

    1. Check your Environment Variables:

    Ediabas Environment Variables.pdf


    2. Advanced Cable Modifications (optional if using only for Z3/E36):

    FTDI Cable Mod.pdf
    This is done just once, the settings remain saved in the cable.




    3. Troubleshooting Connections:

    The most common problem with connecting to INPA and the other software is a COM port number MISMATCH. To fix this:

    Connection Troubleshoot.pdf

    If you have response problems, stability problems, or a slow connection while diagnosing:
    Set the cable's Latency Timer to 1msec (from default of 16msec). Described in pdf above.


    **Please do NOT redistribute this anywhere else. Keep this thread as the source.**
    Last edited by 328 Power 04; 02-11-2017 at 05:57 PM.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  2. #2
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    I picked up a XP laptop with a serial port and a tiny labs ads cable... but have yet to get inpa running. does anyone know the set up for a ads cable???

    I always get this...



    and then EDIABAS crashes
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Tib; 05-25-2015 at 01:11 AM.

  3. #3
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    Very awesome stuff!!!

    But, my head is spinning.
    Im a very simple dog. Really

  4. #4
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  5. #5
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    You are very welcome!
    This thread graduated to the manifesto
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  6. #6
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    I'm sure I'm not the only one thankful to have this information at our fingertips. This will help so many of us who don't have the time to hunt down all of the little details. Thank you!

  7. #7
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    Also, I have raised somewhat of a controversy recently regarding the popular opinion that true ADS system with a true serial port was absolutely necessary to diagnose E36s and E36 based cars.


    I have 3 e36s and had a Euro e36 323i that I've been scanning/diagnosing all modules through the 20 pin connector and L-line with the above style of USB cable and adapter. L-line is what communicates to the other modules (ABS, airbag system etc.), before BMW went to full diagnostics through the in-car OBD port.


    I've been doing it for over 4 years, unknowingly that all sources online said that you must have ADS with true serial for these cars. I guess I got lucky. In my understanding the VAG KKL cable does just that: it reads both K-lines (2) and L-line (pin 15 of the 20 pin diagnostics port).


    So I don't want to ruin someone's day when they insist on ADS interface, I'm just showing what works for me, and quite a few others... as laptops with just USB are mostly what you see these days.
    Please know that it might NOT work for everyone, I'm just sharing how I make it work on mine. I have success reading all modules except instrument cluster (KOMBI), for some strange reason.

    Please provide feedback.





    I've experimented with Carsoft and others in the past, but now I use a Microsoft Surface Pro tablet with Windows 8.1 64-bit for diagnostics/coding/programming.
    I use Rheingold ISTA/D when helping others with newer BMWs on a Win 7 laptop that can store the 30+ gb of files it requires.
    Last edited by 328 Power 04; 05-27-2015 at 08:57 PM.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  8. #8
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    Thanks for putting this together. I get PMs on occasion on this subject. The embarassing answer is I did my rig so long ago, I don't remember! And besides, things have changed. A lot. In the old days, when we were figuring it all out, there were a lot of false starts and misdiagnosed issues. Thus there was a lot of incomplete, obsolete, and wrong information floating about that is still being circulated today.

    On that subject, let me try and put some sense to the two ports and what can and can not be done from them. This is all specific to US spec Z3s, though much can be applied to late E36, E39 and early E46. BMW already had the 20 pin connector with all it's current and legacy pins, and it's own diagnostic protocol. Then the US government insisted on a standardized communication system; OBDii. The Z3 got both from the outset.

    At first OBDii looked very much like the BMW and VW protocols, as that was their model. Even the 16 pin connector was lifted. Then Ford and GM got a bad case of the not-invented-here's and the OBDii spec tripled in size and complexity before it got off the ground. And a mess ensued in the software layer to determine which of the three separate protocols was in use by the OBDii standard.

    So now BMW has to work with two very similar emissions diagnsotic protocols, and yet had to come up with a way to isolate the non-OBDii modules from the OBDii bus due to the potential for very different protocols. They did this by using a second K-line. This second K-line (called TxD2 in the diagrams) is wired to the DME (engine) and EGS (auto trans) only. All other modules continue to be on the primary K-Line (TxD). Basicly they gave they emissions modules their own network. TxD2 is run to the 20 pin connector, and then daisy-chained to pin 7 of the new OBDii connector inside the car.

    So we have TxD2 going to two ports. The same communication pin on the DME and EGS are connected to both the 20 pin and the 16 pin. The difference in the protocol, OBDii vs BMW, is done by recognizing the initialization in software. Both protocols use the same hardware. Thus you can access the DME OBDii from the 16 port as expected, or from the 20 pin port with an adapter. Likewise, you can use INPA to access the BMW protocol from the 20 pin, or the 16 pin inside the car. It's all the same wire. It does not matter which port you use for either protocol.
    Note, for the 16 pin to work, the cap has to be on the 20 pin. The cap does the daisy-chain so that you can't have two scanners plugged in at once.

    All other modules in the car are wired to the old K-line (TxD) and optionally to the L-line (RxD). These two lines are wired to the 20 pin ONLY. If the car has the 20 pin, TxD and RxD are not wired to the 16 pin port, only the 20.


    /.randy

  9. #9
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    Thanks for the additional clarification and information. It's very good. Any way to tell which line (L or K) a module is being read through live at car?

    When I use the I/O settings above in the Advanced Cable Modifications .pdf, I cannot get the cable to read the DME through the 20-pin port on my MS41 328is, but works fine with the OBD port inside. Is there a better way to set up the I/O settings?
    When they are set like this, I have constant battery and ignition on, useful for coding or programming.
    FTDI FT232R info http://www.ftdichip.com/Support/Docu.../DS_FT232R.pdf

    Seems like some of those settings are involved in the LED function on the cable...
    Last edited by 328 Power 04; 05-26-2015 at 11:14 PM.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  10. #10
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    Many would have you believe you need the serial ADS to communicate with any non-DME module in the car. This is not true, as you have found. However, there are a select few modules that do seem to require the ADS; M Roadster clusters being one of those.


    /.randy

  11. #11
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    Good info, but I'm going to refuse believing it (towards my demise, or not). I've heard all the ADS talk and gotten the runaround many times when I tell people I've been accessing traditionally held "ADS only" modules on my cars. This includes an ADS ONLY Euro e36 I had during my university years in Europe. This is maybe the case only for E36 and E36 based cars... Maybe not. The purpose of this thread is just that, discussion, and results to my experimentation.
    Just yesterday I used my USB KKL cable to get into modules on a pre OBD 95 M3.

    I'm going to try to provide good feedback about the shunned USB KKL method, and maybe either clarify old beliefs... Or clarify my own brain. Yes I cannot get into KOMBI with the KKL cable, but everything else I could.

    I wish there was a way to find out which modules communicate through which line. Pin 15 is the L line. The "ADS" line.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  12. #12
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    No, I cannot get into some E36 or E36 based cars' instrument clusters with the KKL cable. That's what that 'KOMBI' thing means that I put above.
    I understand what you mean, and that the site is correct regarding of one method of connecting to it.

    This is one of the strange ones, which I look to see why. The reason why I believe it needs to be looked into more is because I've had much conflict when I said in the past that I can get into ABS module with USB KKL cable. Popular belief around forums held that true serial ADS was necessary for ABS or airbag on E36.

    Truth is, for our cars, you will be diagnosing DME, Airbag, ABS, EWS, and hardly any of the other modules. My method above goes over almost everything you'll ever see go wrong (except KOMBI), with nearly every newish laptop you already have, with a $20 cable. YMMV.

    Do I dislike ADS through serial? No, but the need for a laptop with serial is a limiting factor. Yes they can be Craigslisted for $100, but then it's an old slow laptop, hard for me to trust for diagnosing new cars, or programming.

    Also, even if it may seem like it, I'm not arguing against it.
    Last edited by 328 Power 04; 06-22-2015 at 03:07 PM.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  13. #13
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    Subscribed

  14. #14
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    The only reason I need at the kombi is to reset the service lights. There are other ways to accomplish the same task, so it's not a big deal. And as said, it's not about being against the serial ADS, it's about informing that the serial ADS is not mandatory for two world work on our cars.


    /.randy

  15. #15
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    Hello 328 Power 4,

    Just wanted to say THANKS for the instructions and for hosting the software!

    Literally just used it to diagnose an 'Electronic transmisson control module' indicator lamp, ( it was a '39 plausibilitaet (sic) Signal Brake light switch / Brake (sic) light test switch' / '162 Brake signal' issue. )
    running it on an IBM Thinkpad T30 running XP with benemorius' 'Tiny ADS Interface' cable ( http://www.bimmerforums.com/forum/showthread.php?1963537-Tiny-ADS-Interface-another-open-source-ADS-interface ).

    Regards,
    UK2TX2CA

  16. #16
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  17. #17
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    M52 / MS41.1 OBDii DME The S52 doesn't merit it's own menu item for an otherwise identical section.


    /.randy

  18. #18
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  19. #19
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    KOMBI (instrument cluster)

    08/1999 Z3 M52tu with MS42 ecu,
    with VAG KKL USB and 20pin adapter



    Apologies for cell phone picture with massive reflection. Bright hot day today, and I only have 2 hands.
    Last edited by 328 Power 04; 06-22-2015 at 03:09 PM.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  20. #20
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    Today I have an update..

    With the above USB setup, I could NOT (for the life of me) connect to a E36 1999 M3 Convertible's ABS+T module.
    However, my 1999 M Coupe's ASC (ASC5) module connects easily. I can also easily connect to my 96 ABS module (non traction, non ASC) with it. I can also connect to the DSC in my roadster. I guess I got very lucky with my BMWs for my USB cable to work on near everything. What are the chances...


    Very confusing why BMW has a different method of connecting to the late model E36 M3's ABS+T. I suspect this is the one car that true ADS is needed. Bummer. I am getting a Tiny ADS in just for experimentation. Although for the Z3 range (in my experience) the USB KKL is enough. I would love to hear other people's experiences.


    Q: Are there any other modules in the Z3 range that you cannot connect with the USB cable? For me it is just instrument cluster on my Coupe. (But on my Roadster, Instrument Cluster works fine... in fact, all modules work fine on my 2000 Roadster)








    I went and experimented using an old Carsoft module running through an Expresscard true Serial port, and I managed to connect to the Instrument cluster in INPA (piggybacked on the carsoft interface) on the Coupe, ONLY when I jumped pin 15 and 17, essentially making L line go through K line communications. I also managed to get different modules to respond by jumping different combinations of pin 15, 17, and 20.
    I got Carsoft program to read the 99 M3 convertible's elusive ABS+T module.... but INPA nor NCSExpert still wouldn't read it. Not with any combination of wiring.

    I will be doing more experimentation with my TinyADS and a ExpressCard RS232 Serial port on a newer laptop for that car.

    But so far, all Z3's I've tested work for near all modules with USB KKL.
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  21. #21
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    Hi Guys:

    I've followed most of the steps here, the software seems to be installed, but when I run it I get "IFH-0018:INITIALIZATION ERROR". Program will be stopped. I checked the trouble shooting, but I don't have a section in my devices called "PORTS COM & LPT). This is an EeePC running Windows 7 Standard. It only has USB ports. Is there a way to make this work?

    - - - Updated - - -

    I was able to manually add "Legacy Hardware" to get the COM and LPT section to come up, but I'm not getting the USB Serial Port to show. When I plug the cables in, I get a funky unknown device FT232R USB UART, and it does not find a driver.

  22. #22
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    The needed drivers are in the original message, section A 2_a. that should get you running.


    /.randy

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by rf900rkw View Post
    The needed drivers are in the original message, section A 2_a. that should get you running.

    Forgive my ignorance, how to I find message A 2_a? I downloaded the zip file with the installers and so forth from the first message in this thread. Is it part of the zip package, or do I need a different download to get the driver? Never mind. Figured it out. Der.

    Thanks!
    Lee
    Last edited by JesusFreakToo; 06-20-2015 at 10:05 AM.

  24. #24
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    __a. Drivers for the cable (do not use the disc included with cable): http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm (I personally only use version 2.10.00 at the bottom)
    -Abel

    - E36 328is ~210-220whp: Lots of Mods. RomRaider self-tune work in progress.
    - 2000 Z3: Many Mods.
    - 2003 VW Jetta TDI Manual 47-50mpg: Many Mods ~300ft/lbs tq, diesel, daily beater. Love/Hate relationship.
    - S52 Estoril M Coupe

  25. #25
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    2000 BMW M Roadster
    Quote Originally Posted by 328 Power 04 View Post
    __a. Drivers for the cable (do not use the disc included with cable): http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/VCP.htm (I personally only use version 2.10.00 at the bottom)
    Got it, got installed, it shows up nicely under the drivers section now like the diagnostic PDF. I made the serial port changes, setting to COM1, and time out to 1. Now I'm getting a different error. IFH-0003. Note I do not have it connected to the car at this point, just the cable to the computer. Thanks for your patience helping me get through this.

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