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How do I know if this programming harness will work for me?

One question we get once in a while from our customers is “How do I know if this harness will work for me?” There are a few ways that you can determine this. 

Automotive ECUs often talk using one method, or protocol. Common examples of this are Chrysler SCI, Ford SCP, K-Line, and OBD-II CAN bus. Some of these protocols are standardized so in the case of OBD-II, CAN bus always uses cavities 6 & 14 within the 16-pin OBD-II diagnostic link connector, or DLC. This means if you have OBD-II, all of your diagnostic tools use those same two pins to talk to the computer. 

Unfortunately for all of us, not all protocols are standardized. For this reason, for example, we have three different pass-through harnesses for the Chrysler JTEC ECU. (96-06 harness here) SCI communication is handled on different pins, depending on which vehicle you have.

fig 1a 

Another twist on compatibility is with the International EDC7C32 ECM. The ECM supports J1939, but only through the Engine Interface Module (EIM). Programming tools that show the EDC7C32 ECM as compatible may not be compatible for Bench Programming, because of this necessary module. The tool from Dimsport works with this ECU by using the K-Line protocol.


Engine Module Harness International EDC7C32 10.5L 12.4L 15.2L 16.2L

It isn’t possible for us to know every scenario, every protocol, or every requirement for the computers we offer harnesses for. We try our best to give you the basic information but it’s ultimately up to you, the expert in your field, to determine if the harness is going to work for you.

These are the two best ways you can make sure you have a programming tool that will work for your application:

  1. Check our Supported Communication Protocols chart on every harness product page (shown above, fig 1a as the SCI example)
    1. This section shows the protocols we have identified as compatible for communication based on the wiring diagrams we utilized to make the harness.
  2. Check with the provider of your diagnostic tool for protocol support
    1. Many of their websites not only offer compatibility charts showing year, make, and model of vehicles and/or ECUs they’re compatible with, but they also offer a forum full of people that may have faced the same issues as you. 
    2. The forums may have examples of people trying bench programming vs. programming within the vehicle.

You may, at least, save yourself a restocking fee, but at best, maybe you'll discover some other compatible ECUs and gain some customers you didn't know you could assist otherwise.

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