handheld scan tool for engine/trans 1994 s600 does one exist ? - Mercedes-Benz Forum
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post #1 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 07:44 AM Thread Starter
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handheld scan tool for engine/trans 1994 s600 does one exist ?

posting this question here in this forum, because perhaps it will get more hits and replies here, being it's a W140 car, new to forum this is my 2nd post:

recently rescued an ailing 1994 S600 coupe with V12. complete car except for owners manual, right side distributor cover, and battery. no fuel pressure, but it would start and run on ether starting fluid. towed to friends garage. changed both fuel pumps, filter, battery, hit key varoom it started right up. front brake calipers were locked from sitting. changed those along with brake hoses and pads, fixed that too.
it will need rear brake lines, and the hydraulic lines in front left inner fenderwell.
I'm 57, been working on cars and as mechanic for 40 years now. built a ton of engines from bare block up, all American V8's, and a few V6's. body off restos, transmissions, rear axles, paint jobs, total suspension rebuilds, alignments, exhaust, interior, glass, you name it. built cars from bare frame up since I was in my 20's.
but I never owned a Mercedes, or worked on them much. there was an old '73 V8 OHC 4 door at the lot I worked at, in 1984. it always intrigued me, should have bought it. it was only $1500 back then, and ran like a top, but was getting rusty...
anyway, I'd like to get a handheld scanner for this '94. I have no intentions to reprogram any modules online, or use a laptop. IMHO, when it gets to the point you're connecting a laptop to your car, it's no longer a car. it's become an aircraft or space shuttle and too complex. want to keep it as simple as possible. I just want to see datastream info, isolate the bad sensor or part or wiring, and replace it, if need be.
as of now I don't even know if the sensors are working properly or communicating with the ECM's. I have an OBDII scanner, I can adapt it to the underhood 38 pin plug, but have been told my scanner will not recognize the language. haven't tried it yet, the adapter is on its way.
I do have access to the latest $15,000 Snap-On box black box scanner, but the shop does not have the Mercedes 38 pin cable adapter. we will try my adapter when it arrives (I've ordered it).. but I still want my own handheld scanner to use at home on the car, and keep in the trunk.
what vintage or new handheld scan tool, will display/erase codes, and give datastream information on the engine/transmission primarily ? if it did other modules too, great, but not a necessity. I'd disable any superfluous systems before I'd spent a lot of time diagnosing or repairing them. I just want to get it running good, and step on the V12, and have some fun. when you're banging on 60, time becomes a factor, cuz at that age, you're running out of time. any help from you guys would be great and really appreciated.
thanks much, looking forward to any and all replies, no matter how rudely awakening they may be....I'm expecting a "no" answer.
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post #2 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:29 AM
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Sadly, your '38 pin adapter' cable that seems such a bargain will not convert the old analog electrical voltages to interface with modern digital OBDII scanners.
There is a reason they don't supply that 38 pin cable with the scanner.
While the plugs will physically fit, the electrical and data protocols your vehicle and the scanner speaks both are entirely and wildly different.
Even if your Snap-On scanner would support the protocols, you will probably find that the current version of software would only go back to the late 1990s anyway.
How do I know? Asked and wondered aloud at the local mechanics. Got a fleabay OBDII plug and a 38 pin adapter cable, and they didn't work with the scanner the mechanic had.
Experience and hindsight is a wonderful teacher!
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post #3 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 10:32 AM
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With my 1992, Ive had great luck with my LED blinker tool. Ive also found it extremely usefull to pull computers and measure voltages, resistance and waveforms directly from the pins the computers plug into.
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post #4 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 02:13 PM
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Originally Posted by 1994v12 View Post
posting this question here in this forum, because perhaps it will get more hits and replies here, being it's a W140 car, new to forum this is my 2nd post:



recently rescued an ailing 1994 S600 coupe with V12. complete car except for owners manual, right side distributor cover, and battery. no fuel pressure, but it would start and run on ether starting fluid. towed to friends garage. changed both fuel pumps, filter, battery, hit key varoom it started right up. front brake calipers were locked from sitting. changed those along with brake hoses and pads, fixed that too.

it will need rear brake lines, and the hydraulic lines in front left inner fenderwell.

I'm 57, been working on cars and as mechanic for 40 years now. built a ton of engines from bare block up, all American V8's, and a few V6's. body off restos, transmissions, rear axles, paint jobs, total suspension rebuilds, alignments, exhaust, interior, glass, you name it. built cars from bare frame up since I was in my 20's.

but I never owned a Mercedes, or worked on them much. there was an old '73 V8 OHC 4 door at the lot I worked at, in 1984. it always intrigued me, should have bought it. it was only $1500 back then, and ran like a top, but was getting rusty...

anyway, I'd like to get a handheld scanner for this '94. I have no intentions to reprogram any modules online, or use a laptop. IMHO, when it gets to the point you're connecting a laptop to your car, it's no longer a car. it's become an aircraft or space shuttle and too complex. want to keep it as simple as possible. I just want to see datastream info, isolate the bad sensor or part or wiring, and replace it, if need be.

as of now I don't even know if the sensors are working properly or communicating with the ECM's. I have an OBDII scanner, I can adapt it to the underhood 38 pin plug, but have been told my scanner will not recognize the language. haven't tried it yet, the adapter is on its way.

I do have access to the latest $15,000 Snap-On box black box scanner, but the shop does not have the Mercedes 38 pin cable adapter. we will try my adapter when it arrives (I've ordered it).. but I still want my own handheld scanner to use at home on the car, and keep in the trunk.

what vintage or new handheld scan tool, will display/erase codes, and give datastream information on the engine/transmission primarily ? if it did other modules too, great, but not a necessity. I'd disable any superfluous systems before I'd spent a lot of time diagnosing or repairing them. I just want to get it running good, and step on the V12, and have some fun. when you're banging on 60, time becomes a factor, cuz at that age, you're running out of time. any help from you guys would be great and really appreciated.

thanks much, looking forward to any and all replies, no matter how rudely awakening they may be....I'm expecting a "no" answer.
Back in the day, there were a few handheld tools, chief among them the Mercedes Handheld Tester (HHT). It was discontinued by Mercedes, and emulation software written for Windows, called HHTWin, replaced it. It is the portion of the software that is still used to diagnose W140s by Mercedes. It requires a laptop and a multiplexer unit. I've not seen an actual HHT for sale. There is one YouTube video I've seen of one in use. HHTWin is pretty much an exact duplicate of the old HHT.

There were also a couple of aftermarket handheld units sold that did W140s, but they are long out of production and very scarce. They were marketed by Tresco and Baum tools. I have one of the ones made by Tresco, and I looked for a couple of years before I found it. I bought it as I thought it might be more convenient to take on trips. It's adequate, but HHTWin is far better. Support for the old scanners is non-existent, and there is at least one late model function it doesn't cover. The one I have is handheld in name only, and is pretty big and bulky. A small laptop and multiplexer is easier to use, covers all functions, and really isn't much bigger. I take it with me in a small computer bag.

I don't know of any aftermarket scanner that covers all W140 functions, particularly early cars. Late W140s have OBDII, but only for the engine and emissions items. You can use a blink code reader, but that won't give you live readouts like HHTWin.

One last word, stay away from Carsoft. Multiple reports say it doesn't work at all.
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post #5 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 05:32 PM
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I've access to over dozen hand held scanners at my old work and if they had the 38 pin connection with a Mercedes multiplexer box then they stood a good change of working, if you are trying to use a standard OBD>38pin then its not going to work.

We had a Hanatech P1 and a older Autel Maxisys and both worked on my W140 using the supplied multiplexer. One of the newer scanners i cant remember had the multiplexer but didn't support W140 as they must of phased support out.

Nothing beats the Chinese STAR clone on a laptop for the price (plug and play with the correct laptop). You are also guaranteed compatibility and access to everything. Scan tools do tend to miss a lot of useful factory features.
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post #6 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-07-2019, 06:30 PM
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With my 1994 V8 Coupe, I totally get what you mean about attaching laptops to cars and them becoming more than just something with four wheels.

But unfortunately with the W140 it's like an F-14 from the 1980s. Filled with computers that speak in an analog way, unlike today's cars that are pretty much digital speaking computers.

The W140 has a complex arrangement of computers in what's called a CAN bus. They all speak to each other like they're on a network. Even more so with the V12s with master/slave throttle bodies and twin fuel injection computers for each bank.

I can echo what has already been said. I myself use the laptop with multiplex arrangement, simply for HHTWIN, which is an emulation of the handheld scanner Mercedes used.
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post #7 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 03:57 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Thirsty View Post
Sadly, your '38 pin adapter' cable that seems such a bargain will not convert the old analog electrical voltages to interface with modern digital OBDII scanners.
There is a reason they don't supply that 38 pin cable with the scanner.
While the plugs will physically fit, the electrical and data protocols your vehicle and the scanner speaks both are entirely and wildly different.
Even if your Snap-On scanner would support the protocols, you will probably find that the current version of software would only go back to the late 1990s anyway.
How do I know? Asked and wondered aloud at the local mechanics. Got a fleabay OBDII plug and a 38 pin adapter cable, and they didn't work with the scanner the mechanic had.
Experience and hindsight is a wonderful teacher!
I fully expected this, but got the connector anyway, there are old red box model 2500 snap on scanners for sale relatively cheap used, 1990's vintage. going to give it a shot for the non-engine ECM's see what it may pull up. thanks for verifying with first hand experience. a tech on another site stated it may work on non-engine ECMs. it seems to me a company like snap-on woulda have something for the car back then, they were and are widely considered the go-to scanner company for shops in my area of the country. every independent shop has a black box Snap On scanner now. that one will almost definitely NOT work. asked them where's your old red box ? answer: they trade them in and get money back when they upgrade, nobody keeps them.
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post #8 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:17 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by scottpeterd View Post
With my 1992, Ive had great luck with my LED blinker tool. Ive also found it extremely usefull to pull computers and measure voltages, resistance and waveforms directly from the pins the computers plug into.
when Computer Command Control first came out in early 1980's, with solenoid operated carburetor metering and fuel injection on American cars, we used to jumper 2 terminals on the underdash ALDL, and the check engine light would blink the codes, counting the blinks. those systems still exist on what few older cars are still running out there. they came out with a 3 prong plug that just plugged in and jumpered it and blinked the codes, but I always used a bent paper clip. when the early OBD1 scanners came out around 1990, hey we thought we were real big time cuz we got a little box with a cord and buttons to plug in....
it's funny now to see those little 3 wire boxes to blink codes, for sale on Ebay, for Mercedes. it's like back to the future or something. wanna make some money ? design and build an OBD1 scan tool for 1989-95 cars, that actually works and does everything. no online support needed, axe the reprogramming thing. it would sell, there's a lot of these cars out there yet.
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post #9 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:27 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by jal1224 View Post
emulation software written for Windows, called HHTWin, replaced it. It is the portion of the software that is still used to diagnose W140s by Mercedes. It requires a laptop and a multiplexer unit. I've not seen an actual HHT for sale. There is one YouTube video I've seen of one in use. HHTWin is pretty much an exact duplicate of the old HHT.
HHTWin is far better. A small laptop and multiplexer is easier to use, covers all functions, and really isn't much bigger. I take it with me in a small computer bag.
You can use a blink code reader, but that won't give you live readouts like HHTWin.
One last word, stay away from Carsoft. Multiple reports say it doesn't work at all.
now we're getting to the meat of the subject....QUESTION: what HHTWin system do you use, is it a bona fide Mercedes Benz vintage laptop system you obtained ? if so, how can I get one ?

could you post some pictures of the kit ?

seems to me a guy with that setup could make some money today, just about every car out there has some little gremlins that need to be fixed in that system. it's so complex vegas odds say, none of them run 100% unless they're low mile, garage kept examples. let's face it, what the dealer wants to fix these old cars, you could buy another car, or at least half a really nice car. there are cherry examples out there for only $10,000 now.
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post #10 of 40 (permalink) Old 05-08-2019, 04:34 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by NZJay View Post
Nothing beats the Chinese STAR clone on a laptop for the price (plug and play with the correct laptop). You are also guaranteed compatibility and access to everything. Scan tools do tend to miss a lot of useful factory features.

I almost bought one of those yesterday, but started this thread instead, wanna make an educated decision. thanks advice taken. they are somewhat affordable, I think without the HDD and laptop they are down to around $200-$300 new ? and around $500 for a complete one ? hesitated cuz I read reviews online and quite a few guys had problems with them, depending on vendor.
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