Originally Posted by Pntyrmvr
...Discussions like this further impress upon me the depth of Michael's skills and his boneheaded dedication to seeing it through....
Boneheaded!!!!??? Um...I prefer stubborn yet persistent...
Keeping all of the systems in tact is definitely the challenge. They're going pretty deep into that car's architecture so I imagine that they've had some pretty tricky things to sort out. What a fun project though.
The Cummins project is similar in a lot of ways but I've gone to great lengths to strip away the Chrysler portion of the Cummins engine electronics in order to simplify things. It would have been a nightmare had I tried to integrate the Ram trucks electronics into the van. Totally unnecessary for one but also Chrysler's wiring scheme is over-complicated compared to the Ford van. I didn't see any reason why I couldn't make things work with the Ford wiring as long as I had a fundamental understanding of each system...which over the course of the last 3.5+ years, I've been able to wrap my head around pretty good.
CAN bus isn't that complicated to understand at a data processing level but the automakers definitely go the extra mile to make it very difficult to figure out how they're handling data via their proprietary formatting. It takes hours of data logging to just to get the low hanging fruit. It can takes months of work to figure out the hard stuff. After my van is running and driving, I fully expect it to take until spring/summer to get the A/C functioning properly since there are so many things affected by that system being on. Same with the exhaust brake. I know which data packet turns it on in the ECM but I'm still trying to sort out how to tell the Allison to activate it's engine braking algorithm via a data link.
I wish I had the opportunities that shop has. They build some cool stuff for some very wealthy clients. That's so incredibly rare to have those kinds of opportunities.