Reflashing Program from Subaru

Developer topics relating to software that reflashes or modifes ECU code and data

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Reflashing Program from Subaru

Postby Jon [in CT] » Tue Apr 03, 2007 2:16 pm

This month Subaru of America will release a program to the public which can reflash Subaru ECUs. The program is compatible with Windows 98 and above and requires an SAE J2534-compatible device and application programming interface (API).

It seems like it should be possible to trace that program's calls to the J2534 API and capture the data being sent to the ECU. This data should include the kernel.

If support for J2534-compatible devices were added to EcuFlash, then it would be possible to take a shortcut to support for the non-Impreza 2007 ECUs and all newer model year Subarus, which apparently require CAN support for reflashing.

A description of the J2534 API can be found at http://www.drewtech.com/support/j2534/index.html. Of course, the definitive description is the standard itself, which can be purchased here.

The cheapest place I've found to buy a J2534 device and API is at Tuner Tools. It's $275 there and if you enter the coupon code Enginuity, you get a 5% instant discount. The Mongoose should work with all 32-bit Subaru ECUs plus it comes with free OBD-II scan tool software.
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Re: Reflashing Program from Subaru

Postby BoxerFan » Wed Apr 04, 2007 5:21 am

:lol: :lol: :lol:
Last edited by BoxerFan on Wed May 23, 2007 5:52 am, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Reflashing Program from Subaru

Postby zigzagzok » Wed Apr 04, 2007 8:44 am

Jon [in CT] wrote:This month Subaru of America will release a program to the public which can reflash Subaru ECUs. The program is compatible with Windows 98 and above and requires an SAE J2534-compatible device and application programming interface (API).

It seems like it should be possible to trace that program's calls to the J2534 API and capture the data being sent to the ECU. This data should include the kernel.

If support for J2534-compatible devices were added to EcuFlash, then it would be possible to take a shortcut to support for the non-Impreza 2007 ECUs and all newer model year Subarus, which apparently require CAN support for reflashing.

A description of the J2534 API can be found at http://www.drewtech.com/support/j2534/index.html. Of course, the definitive description is the standard itself, which can be purchased here.

The cheapest place I've found to buy a J2534 device and API is at Tuner Tools. It's $275 there and if you enter the coupon code Enginuity, you get a 5% instant discount. The Mongoose should work with all 32-bit Subaru ECUs plus it comes with free OBD-II scan tool software.


can only drool and wait :(
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Postby merchgod » Wed Apr 04, 2007 9:15 am

So that means that Subaru has to make rom revision updates available to the public for free? Otherwise, how would a indepedent repair shop get a hold of the updates?
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Postby Jon [in CT] » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:52 pm

OK. The Subaru reprogramming application is now available as of today. I had hoped that it could be downloaded from the Subaru Technical Information System (STIS), but no such luck. Instead, you have to call STIS, toll-free, at 1-866-428-2278 and order a J2534 Pass-thru Reprogramming CD-ROM. The CD-ROM contains the reflash application program as well as the most recent "Pack" file (AKA "PAK" file due to its filename suffix) for all ECMs dating back only to the 2003 model year. I believe a Subaru PAK file contains a ROM image as well as CalID prereq information. The program won't reflash an ECU unless it contains one of the prerequisite (i.e. superceded) CalIDs. The most recent PAK file for any ECM is cumulative and contains all previous fixes.

The good news is that this program can update the ETC ROM and the Transmission Control Module (TCM) ROM. More good news is that Subaru has issued PAK files for the 2007 Legacy and Outback.

The Subaru J2534 Pass-thru Reprogramming CD-ROM costs $75. Subaru intends to update it quarterly, if needed. Any updated CD-ROM also costs $75. The PAK files on the current CD-ROM are listed at http://techinfo.subaru.com/html/reprogramming_pack_listing.pdf. Unfortunately, that list doesn't contain CalIDs. I'll provide some feedback to them suggesting that CalID be added to the listing. How else can an independent Subaru repair show know whether an ECU needs a reflash?
Last edited by Jon [in CT] on Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:07 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Postby Freon » Wed Apr 04, 2007 4:58 pm

Interesting. So presumably this is just a tool to update to newer Subaru calibrations, not to say it couldn't be hijacked?
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Postby Jon [in CT] » Wed Apr 04, 2007 6:11 pm

Freon wrote:Interesting. So presumably this is just a tool to update to newer Subaru calibrations, not to say it couldn't be hijacked?
Right. It's intended to allow independent repair shops to reflash ECUs, allowing them to be more competitive with dealerships. EPA rules require it.

Also, I imagine the likelihood, that STIS would ship one of these CD-ROMs directly to a non-US address, is very small.
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Postby zigzagzok » Wed Apr 04, 2007 10:32 pm

Jon [in CT] wrote:
Freon wrote:Interesting. So presumably this is just a tool to update to newer Subaru calibrations, not to say it couldn't be hijacked?
Right. It's intended to allow independent repair shops to reflash ECUs, allowing them to be more competitive with dealerships. EPA rules require it.

Also, I imagine the likelihood, that STIS would ship one of these CD-ROMs directly to a non-US address, is very small.


wonder if STIS would have info on JDM cars?..
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Postby cboles » Thu Apr 05, 2007 8:25 am

How does one actually obtain this software though?

Colby
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Postby Jon [in CT] » Thu Apr 05, 2007 9:15 am

cboles wrote:How does one actually obtain this software though?

Colby
Call Subaru's Service Technical Information Company, toll-free, at 1-866-428-2278 and tell them you want to purchase the Subaru J2534 Pass-thru Reprogramming CD-ROM. The software is on the CD-ROM. Cost is $75 plus S&H and any applicable state sales tax.

See question #4 at http://techinfo.subaru.com/html/specialToolInfo.jsp.
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Postby salex » Mon Apr 09, 2007 10:26 am

The J2534 protocol seems like a good solution to learning a lot for ECUs we know nothing about. Not only for Subaru, but also for all the other manufacturers who have to provide this type of support to smaller garage shops.

I wonder if anyone has got into the trouble of trying to reverse engineer a pass-thru device... :P
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Postby Jon [in CT] » Mon Apr 09, 2007 11:01 am

salex wrote:The J2534 protocol seems like a good solution to learning a lot for ECUs we know nothing about. Not only for Subaru, but also for all the other manufacturers who have to provide this type of support to smaller garage shops.
Yes, this might be a technique for discovering how to reflash other brands. For instance, you can download Nissan's J2534 Windows program for free from http://www.nissan-techinfo.com/Nissan/consult2/Nissan-CONSULT-II-J2534.exe (9 MB). But you have to buy each data file containing the ROM data that will be reflashed.

I guess if you're good at disassembling Windows programs you might not even need a data file in order to figure out how to reflash using the J2534 API. And, hopefully, the car manufacturer's Windows program would read back what it reflashed to insure everything was written properly, which would teach you how to read the ROM, too.
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Postby cboles » Wed Apr 18, 2007 4:04 pm

I'll definitely be checking these out. I should be able to write a J2534 DLL for the OpenPort as well.

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Postby gabedude » Sun Apr 22, 2007 6:47 pm

This is awesome.
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Postby gteclass » Tue May 22, 2007 5:24 am

gabedude wrote:This is awesome.


And the understatement of the year award goes to... gabedude!

No seriously, I've been saying this since I found out about this project. Just about every car made after 1996 supports J2534. Universal flashing should be possible without dealing with all the processor specific crap that has been haunting us H8 owners. Mitsubishitechinfo.com lists every car except a select few as being flashable using the same tool and protocol.

The problem is that the mitsubishi tool is a few thousand dollars then you have to pay for a subscription to the techinfo site so you can use it for flashing.
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