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SL500 Engine ECU Coding

Discussion in 'Electrics, Vacuum, Ignition and ECU' started by Lowe712131, Aug 10, 2015.

  1. Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    Hi All - working through all the problems with my SL500, it all seems to stem from a major water ingress into the Drivers side footwell. Unbelievably, although the heater box drain was virtually blocked, there is absolutely no sign of water ingress into the Passenger (UK) side, bone dry and actually looked quite new and clean under there! Upon removing all the fuseboxes, SAM units and ECU's from both front corners, they are all showing signs of corrosion and moisture damage, including the main engine ECU. removing the cover off the ECU, there is pretty serious corrosion and damage all over the main PCB, including a couple of suspected blown components, so it is looking like I'll have to replace it.
    I have STAR, and although I haven't yet had a go at coding any ECU's, I feel fairly confident at having a go at the SAM's, but my question is this :-
    Is it possible to code the main engine ECU just using STAR? What are the implications for the DAS and immobiliser/key info - is this information copied over when you recode it, or is some special 'dealer-only' magic required as well? I have found a couple of cheap ECU's for sale, but just want to be confident about recoding before I buy. Any help or info would be greatly appreciated. Cheers
     
  2. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    I do not believe that you can re code with STAR, just return to normal, and clear codes.

    Did you run a test on both front SAMs, they are both linked together, usually when the SAMs have water/condensation damage you get silly faults say like 1 headlamp coming on through no reason.

    How did the car get this damage.
     
  3. OP
    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    SL500 Water Ingress Damage

    Hi Malcolm, thanks for your reply.
    The guy I bought the car off originally bought the car in 2012 with a few faults that he hoped he would be able to sort and have a nice car out of it. Unfortunately it has had water leaks all round, both at the back (leaking C Pillar seals) and somewhere at the front. The rear leaks have taken out the PSE pump (twice!) and there is an ever increasing tally of damage from the front leak(s). I think he bought it with just the PSE pump blown, thought he could just stick a new pump on it and all would be well in the world, but unfortunately the PSE pump was a symptom, not the problem! As a result, the car just sat there for nearly 2 years, getting wetter/hotter/colder through the seasons - not good conditions for a car like this!
    I picked it up as a project, knowing about the C Pillar seals etc.. and not being too phased by sorting other issues but I must admit, the water damage is worse than I thought it'd be. I'm putting together a load of photo's & info to post on water damage, so people know what to look for - this car seems to be a perfect example of what can go wrong!
    I've now taken the carpet out, it was absolutely wringing wet on drivers side, the CANbus connector was all green and furry and there was a small amount of corrosion on the transmission and ABC ECU's. I read on here somewhere about a couple of large rubber grommets on the bulkhead that may be missing, accounting for water on drivers side only, so I will be checking this, I also found blockages in the drains by the wiper motor and heater box, which won't be helping.
    The worst damage appears to be in the main, drivers side fusebox. Almost every connector has green corrosion, the SAM connector pins were all green, the PCB's on the SAM and engine ECU were all grotty too. What I think has happened is that water has got into the drivers footwell (through whatever orifice), soaking the carpet. That moisture, in hot weather has travelled up the main bulkhead hole into the fusebox, creating a very damp environment inside the box, causing all the corrosion. This has just run unabated for 2 years, the car smells very damp inside.
    The car is showing some very strange faults - some headlights on all the time, fuel gauge not working, COMAND not working properly, windscreen wipers not working but washer jet is ... etc. This all looks SAM related (mainly Passenger side) to me and when I hooked it up to STAR, sure enough, couldn't get any sense out of either front SAM unit, with many communication errors. To be honest, I factored in replacing both front SAM's when I got the car so I'm not too fussed about that - I certainly got the car cheap enough anyway. It's a great project to have and certainly a good way to learn more about how these things work! :)
     
  4. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    I first had this problem while in Sweden, it was very warm, and so was the car when I washed it with a high pressure washer, and a few days later I got odd non plausible faults. When I got home I found the passenger side SAM looked like the photo. I removed the covers and it was bad inside and a lot of damage, so bad that it blew the drivers side SAM.

    Water from the drivers side is a hard one as the heater box drain is on the other side. Yes it must be condensation causing all your damage as there is no way that water can get into the boxes.

    CAN signals carry no current, just data streams. All the CAN connectors are joined together, so shorts in the drivers side X30/16 connector will affect the passenger side both the X30/15 and the X30/18 wake up connector, plus the rear X30/17 rear one as well.

    It is a problem to know how the water is getting into the drivers side unless the car was not laid up on even level ground, and the heater box drain is blocked. I would get some lighter fuel and using a tooth brush clean the connector and SAM connections up, then apply a non drying switch cleaner, as the SAMs could be OK.



    [​IMG]
     
  5. OP
    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    SL500 Water Ingress Damage

    That looks exactly like mine, on both sides! I followed your advice from last time regarding the non-drying switch cleaner, but also tried the vinegar/salt then bicarb flush for the connectors, as they are difficult to get 'into' - worked a treat! Just left them soaking in the solution and it removed all the corrosion - CAN connectors all clean as a whistle now. I've been using Caig Deoxit on the contacts as well, that seems to do the trick and it is also non-drying (in fact is purported to improve the connections!). The actual fuseboxes themselves were in a terrible state,with green gunge, so I have bought a couple of replacements anyway. When they turn up, I'll put it back together and give it a test and see what happens. Got a new PSE pump, so I'm kind of getting there with all the bits I need, I reckon I'm just going to get the engine ECU cleaned up, tested and maybe repaired, as I'd rather not swap it out for a different one if I can help it, due to potential DAS/immobiliser issues. From my somewhat limited but ever growing experience, the more you can do yourself and stay away from main dealers, the happier both you and your bank account will be! Cheers Malcolm.
     
  6. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    You could ask Actronics if they can fix the engine ECU, are you sure actual components are damaged.
     
  7. OP
    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    SL500 Water Ingress Damage

    Not 100% sure, the surface corrosion looks pretty grotty and there are two areas that look blackened, as if a component has blown, but hard to tell if that's just part of the corrosion. I'll take a close up pic later and show you. I am hopeful it is ok, the engine was working ok with no fault codes showing, and STAR seemed to hook up to Motronics ok as well. Fingers crossed just needs a clean! Thanks for that, will send them an email - can they fully test the ECU then?
     
  8. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    If it runs, then just clean it up and re varnish the PCB with clear lacquer. water does turn the copper tracks black.

    You could do the same with the SAMs.
     
  9. OP
    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    Thanks again Malcolm, I'll check it out later. I'll get everything cleaned up and put it all back together and test again, it can't hurt any more than it already is!
     
  10. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Do open up the SAMs and make sure there is no corrosion on the PCB.s, the car could all be just fine when cleaned up, so good luck with it all.

    I would still cut off the ears on the heater box drain.
     
  11. OP
    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    engine ecu.jpg
    This is the state of the engine ECU!
    Will give it a clean up and see what it looks like after :)
     
  12. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Wow that has been very damp to do that, it could be just fine cleaned up, you just never know.
     
  13. OP
    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    cleaned ecu.JPG

    Well, given it a damn good clean and a blow off with compressed air, doesn't actually look as bad as I expected! Under a 10X inspection eyepiece, the chip bottom left on the picture has some badly corroded legs on it, but still seems almost intact. Guess there's only one way to find out! fingers crossed!
     
  14. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    What I do is to re solder the legs with new solder, then use a desoldering sucker to remove it from between the pins, or you could leave well alone :D

    It is only because it has been used like it that the damage is there.
     
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    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    yes, I'll give it a shot back in the car I reckon, worst case I'm actually no worse off anyway! Great position to be in! Ha. Cheers Malcolm.

    close up.jpg
    managed to get a close up of the damaged pins through the loupe - I'm guessing a good ecu company might be able to swap out that chip maybe?
     
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    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    I think it's a Vector Signal Generator chip .... whatever that is! :)
     
  17. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Leave it as is, if you get a problem then you could change it your self.

    Again what I do is to cut the old one out, de solder the remains of the legs off.

    Fit the new IC in place and just go round with solder, and the iron, any bridges just de solder, the pins will still make good contact as the legs are still soldered down.
     
  18. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    Yes Vector amps etc, a specialized line and nothing I have ever used, I think its all HF stuff.
     
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    Lowe712131

    Lowe712131 Active Senior Members

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    Awesome - I'll put it back in and see how it performs. Any problems, I'll know what to try first!
    Had a look at the front SAM units, not nearly as bad as that, just some minor green corrosion showing, will clean up and try them as well, although the spurious faults showing in the car don't leave me much hope they are not toast! Time will tell!
    I'll refit as soon as the new fuseboxes arrive. Quite enjoying this actually! :) Thanks for your help and insight Malcolm, much appreciated. Cheers
     
  20. television

    television Always remembered RIP

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    When disconnecting batteries on this car, always the rear one first, then the starter battery, joining up the starter battery with the rear one connect can throw up a charging fault.
     

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