XK8 / XKR ( X100 ) 1996 - 2006

Diagnostic Software/Dongle for (any) 2000 Jag

Old 07-10-2019, 05:01 PM
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Question Diagnostic Software/Dongle for (any) 2000 Jag

Hi folks, I知 hoping I can get a consult on the right diagnostic combination for the electricals of a 2000 XKR. After spending many hours looking through hundreds of posts, I知 still uncertain what the best (or even adequate) combo will be for these older cars. Lots of folks had good luck using Mongoose (less with clones) but these were for newer models that can use SDD. So if you have a newer car, I don稚 think that your experience will help those of us with older model years.

I should say that I worked my way through college (decades ago) as a mechanic (both indy and for a Toyota dealer). I ended up working in tech and IT, where I gained plenty of experience building and repairing laptops and desktops and doing some software coding. So I知 not afeared to try my hand at computer automotive diagnostics.

I知 a DIY kinda guy, hadn稚 been to a mechanic for anything in almost 12 years, but had to pony up over $1000 last year to get an eBay replacement ECU flashed and other ills diagnosed after a power surge killed my electricals, including TCM and cluster (my bad saga is described here).

So it just happened again; cluster showing every possible error, with all gauges dead. (I had another dead battery issue: my wife accidentally unplugged the cord running my trickle charger.) But this time I followed proper battery charging procedures (heck, I removed it, and ran multimeter load tests on it before putting it back). But alas, there was kind of a good spark when I attached the ground lead (last, per instructions). This leads me to believe I have a short somewhere amongst the wide array of sensitive electricals along the CAN bus (or something isn稚 turning off in this confounded kitty). A short I can trace. But I need some info on how to put together a decent diagnostic and repair system for figuring out just what components are fried this time. I can稚 keep this car if I can稚 fix it, and I love this car, so I知 willing to pony up for some diagnostics and repair systems. Just not a full Topix subscription and a specialized shop diagnostic system!

BTW, one weird symptom (which a rare few have mentioned but no-one has declared solved) is that every time I restart the car the odometer jumps ahead hundreds or thousands of miles. Happened to the previous cluster too.

Anyway, I have the 125.3 version of the IDS (cracked, no password) and AutoEnginuity Giotto with the AutoEnginuity scantool (and of course the JTIS, JEPC, and loads of tech bulletins and circuit diagrams). But I need to graduate to real diagnostics. I have an old Lenovo X61 I rebuilt to use XP so the IDS installed fine.

Software: I may opt for a version of the 130 or 131 IDS (the last version which can be run with a password and without connecting to Topix) and this time actually get one with a password. Those are reasonable on eBay. I already created a patch to keep the date fixed in 2011 and Internet is disabled (to keep the IDS from bricking itself when it connects externally).

Connectors: As I understand it (and this is a good reference post), the Drew Tech Mongoose Pro won稚 work for me because it is only compatible with the newer SDD diagnostic program, and my 2000 XKR VIN will cause the SDD software to revert to the earlier IDS, making the Mongoose unusable. (Can anyone confirm or disprove this?) Here is another reference post; there are others. Mongoose Pro and IDS 125.03

A few folks highly recommended the DA-VINA 2534 connector, but according to the various Chinese sellers, it will not flash the ECU on an A27 powerplant (i.e. my car). Great if I want to program keys, but not much use if I need to flash my ECU. Why would I need to flash it? Correct me if I知 wrong, but I believe that you have to flash (or something similar) if you want to fit a replacement ECU (if I need such) to match my VIN and security lockout system. That is also referred to as a 吐lash operation, right?

I also read that some of the IDS 131 software comes with updated calibrations, so I won稚 have to connect to Topix to hit that milestone. (At least whatever calibrations were available by the ca 2012 date of IDS 131.) It sounds a lot like flashing the bios on a computer CMOS.

In order to use the IDS for my car then, I believe I can only use the Rotunda VCM dongle (is that correct?). I see one on eBay (ain稚 cheap!) but the one I see doesn稚 have connector cables (I assume OBD2 on one end and USB on the other, right?). And are they model-specific? I.e. am I looking for a Ford VCM? I assume that a Ford will work for Jaguar, right?

Anything else I will need? Or need to know? Thanks in advance, as always!
Old 07-11-2019, 09:21 AM
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FWIW, some have had great luck with the offering from British Diagnostics. It runs IDS/SDD on Windows XP in a virtual machine, so a modern laptop works fine (you can even run this under VirtualBox). To my knowledge, there is the IDS/SDD software itself for diagnostics and data monitoring, but there is also a lot of extras that came over that Topix? subscription system. That subscription is for updated firmware, TSBs, etc. (stuff that changed over time, as Jaguar/ZF issued software fixes based on real world complaints from customers). One has to assume that real updates to our cars stopped long ago, so as long as an installation of IDS/SDD was connected to Topix once is likely good enough. This is also why a vanilla install of SDD/IDS is not as complete as you might want. The kit comes with a (Mangoose clone?) cable for access to ALL diagnostic protocols for our cars (ISO-9141, SCP, CAN), and also for transferring these firmware binaries, all over USB. If you are willing to deal with a fairly unresponsive seller and fairly long delivery times, the kit is not that expensive and works well. There are posts of some even updating transmission firmware (on a newer car tough).

I am less aware of the limitations of this USB cable, but some on this forum do know. Hopefully they will chime in.
Old 07-11-2019, 10:49 AM
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In case it helps, I use a mongoose clone on an XP install, version 130 for 2001/2002 X100 cars. It is a bit flaky, loses sync after some time, so great for reading data and DTCs, but I would definitely not consider using it to re-flash. I would pay the big bucks for a properly supported product for that, assuming you can find one. Also, I could not get the IDS to run in a virtual machine, SDD works with manual VIN entry (not auto read) but will not properly launch IDS, so I use genuine XP on an old machine and it works fine.
Old 07-12-2019, 01:55 PM
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After more reading, I found this fairly definitive post: https://www.jaguarforums.com/forum/x...pening-158958/
To quote from Cambo (Moderator):

Well if you want an executive summary:

DA-VINA (and Mongoose, and any J2534 interface) will not work with any JLR IDS/SDD prior to 125, the J2354 support is from 125 onwards

VCM will work with any version of JLR IDS or SDD from 100 to the current 145

115 is a completely offline version, does not require a license or activation

118.5 is the last version that does not require a license or activation, and the last version that was only IDS. It does however look for updates, which needs to be disabled

119 was the first version with SDD and when the license/activation came into play

125.03 was the last version where you could launch IDS without having to open SDD first and go through the VIN entry

131.3 was the introduction of SDD2 with all service information (Workshop Manual, Electrical Wiring Diagrams, Electrical Reference Library, TSB痴 and service updates) requiring a TOPIx document subscription in addition to the IDS diagnostic software subscription.

140 was when the security got even tighter


If you have a VCM then use it, they are still so much better than any of the J2534 interfaces.

If you have a pre-2000 model car then use an older pre-SDD version of IDS along with your VCM, say 115 or 118. There is no benefit to using a late version of SDD with the old cars.
Old 07-12-2019, 03:31 PM
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Oh, and anyone know where I can get JLR IDS 118.5? I believe Google turned up a download site in Russian, but I'm not inclined to test it. Thx!
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