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Baby Jeep Blog

An off-road journey from petrol to electric.

September 2018

Baby Jeep is what I would call a "modern car", complete with air bags, anti-lock brakes and a data network. The ultimate plan would be to remove the transmission control module (TCM), and the powertrain control module (PCM), but there are probably some modules that require communications from the PCM (like the dash). It turns out that Chrysler uses what they call the PCI Bus, which is actually SAE J1850 VPW for communications in my year model and I came across a great primer from Kristoffer Smith.

I needed a way to communicate with this data bus, and so I purchased a USB ELM327 device from ebay. This would allow me to communicate with my car using a serial port and good old AT commands. It turns out that there are probably more cheap knock-offs of the ELM327 that real ones, and the one I purchased did not support MA (Monitor All), which effectively made the device useless. I reached out to the Canberra Branch of the Australian Electric Vehicle Association mailing list, and was able to borrow a wifi OBDII device that worked (Thanks Ben). Now all I have to do is reverse engineer the protocol, and luckily Juha Niinikoski has travelled this path before.

I thought I may as well start dismantling the Starion, so out comes the Kostov 11" DC motor.

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