CANBus – A module to learn with

4 min read

One of the easiest ways to start to learn with CANbus messages of a specific module is to buy a second hand one, eBay being my favourite store. To add the Range Rover Gen2.1 functions on to a Freelander2, we will need to access them through the infotainment screen so let’s start with one of them.

Using eBay for research

Where do we start when trying to find the right module for our car? We’re going to need to determine the part number. We could strip the vehicle down and figure out what with have now, but with so many second-hand parts available for the Freelander2 the easiest place to start is eBay. Simply typing in “Freelander2 display screen” starts the journey down the rabbit hole.

eBay search for "freelander2 display screen"
eBay search for “freelander2 display screen

Breakdown of a part number

Straight away we start to get some useful information. What we really want here is a part number and you can see we have identified a couple of part numbers already. But how do we determine the correct part? Because of historical ownership, LR part numbers from around 2004 use the Ford Motor Company WERS numbering system, which makes our lives a lot easier!

FORD WERS simplified breakdown
FORD WERS simplified breakdown

The Ford “World Engineering Release System” is applied to Land Rover parts since around 2004. The LR part number is made up of the model year, vehicle model code, part family, variant and revision. The image above shows a simplified break down of a typical part number. With Gen2.1 being introduced in 2013, and the model year being in HEX format, we need a part that starts with a ‘D’. The vehicle model remains the same, the part family applies to all front display screens, and right now we worry about the variant or revision.

Finding the right part

eBay search for "freelander2 display screen DH52"
eBay search for “freelander2 display screen DH52

Okay, this is a pretty good indication that we are in the right place. The title of the listing specifies 2013, but it is always a good idea to check the part number shown in the listing. This isn’t any sort of guarantee as more than once I’ve been sent an item that wasn’t the one pictured. Let’s have a look at the image of the part number.

Example part number sticker for a CANBus module (FCDIM) to learn with
Example part number sticker for a CANBus module (FCDIM) to learn with

So in the example above, outlined in pink, we can see the WERS part number. It starts DH52 which is what we want and we have the right part family (10E889). Some regular eBay scanning would show you that the Freelander2 always has an ‘A’ part variant for Gen2.1 screens, and some cunning sleuthing would show that a ‘B’ variant is for a Dual View setup as found in the Range Rover. In this case, the revision is ‘G’. Generally, the revision is a combination of the hardware and installed software and the higher the better. In the blue box, we see the manufacture date, with the year first, which puts us well into the 13MY build phase.

Finding a bargain

This screen at £200 is a little overpriced unless you’ve broken the screen on your car! I typically pick up a front display screen for around the £100 mark by being patient, submitting cheeky offers on eBay and using the part family number to quickly find all the modules that MIGHT fit. You’d be surprised how many parts have the correct part number but wrong description. Equally, there are many eBay listings with no part number. My record for a Range Rover display was £60, and it works!

Buying an inventory

This process of searching has worked very well for me and helped secure some real bargains. It might end up cheaper to just buy another car with the number of modules I have lying around. Tackling one ECU at a time has helped to build up a good understanding of the system as a whole.

Now we just need to wire it up and connect it to BusMaster, how hard can that be? We’ll find out in another article.

M

prev: Interpreting Frames
next: Connecting to a module

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