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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
hi guys,

now I know there has been a lot of debate and questions about converting a JDM MFD to English, and it seems like it just cannot be done at all. BUT I was speaking to a software programmer and we may have came up with a (slight) fix.
Basically, if the programmer can get access to the coding, then he can swap the jap text on each button for English text (with help from my translator). This way, we are not "reprogramming" the software in any way, we are simply just swapping the text on display.

NOW, the main stumbling block here is (and I'm hoping you guys can help me here)..... is there anyway you can attach the MFD to a PC??? If there is, then how do you do it?
My programmer reckons that if he can attach the MFD to a PC then he can access the coding and swap out the display text.

Cheers guys
dunc1n
 

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hi guys,

now I know there has been a lot of debate and questions about converting a JDM MFD to English, and it seems like it just cannot be done at all. BUT I was speaking to a software programmer and we may have came up with a (slight) fix.
Basically, if the programmer can get access to the coding, then he can swap the jap text on each button for English text (with help from my translator). This way, we are not "reprogramming" the software in any way, we are simply just swapping the text on display.

NOW, the main stumbling block here is (and I'm hoping you guys can help me here)..... is there anyway you can attach the MFD to a PC??? If there is, then how do you do it?
My programmer reckons that if he can attach the MFD to a PC then he can access the coding and swap out the display text.

Cheers guys
dunc1n
PM Charles Charlie on the forum here as he is a wizz with this sort of thing.

Satan
 

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Take the hard drive out?

It wont be as simple as this, otherwise it would have been done.

Pretty sure it will be all encrypted and basically impossible to access anything meaningful.

It's been tried, I wouldn't waste your time.
 

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To add the Hard Drive ONLY contains the Navi Data, which can be updated via CD. Everything else is System on a chip. The IO port is basically a Serial port and can be used but there is a propitiatory interface that needs to be used and no one outside the manufacture has.

Can it be done? Yes anything can be done, but without inside knowledge, NOPE
 

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To add the Hard Drive ONLY contains the Navi Data, which can be updated via CD. Everything else is System on a chip. The IO port is basically a Serial port and can be used but there is a propitiatory interface that needs to be used and no one outside the manufacture has.

Can it be done? Yes anything can be done, but without inside knowledge, NOPE
Like he said.

The MFD controlling software is hard coded onto the chips inside the AV unit. AFAIK it would be practically impossible to dump that code, decompile it, recompile it, then hard code it back again.

It isnt a simple case of attaching the AV unit to a PC. These units are not designed to be interfaced in this manner so you'd need some major hardware hacking skills to do it, similar to the guys who hacked the xbox 360 and ps3 for instance.
 

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Discussion Starter · #11 ·
damn!
when I spoke to my programmer, he did ask if it was hard coded to chip and if it was, then he wouldn't be able to do it!

Ok, so vernonjones and Charles Charlie, you guys say it CAN be changed to English but I spoke to Iain Litchfield (from Litchfield imports) and he said it absolutely cannot be done?!?

if it can be done, then who can do it for me? have you guys had any success with this?
I would be willi g to travel and pay someone to do this if they are confident they can do it.

on another note, how do I update the Sat nav using a disc?

Cheers guys
 

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When they are saying it can be done, they mean if you have a few embedded/reverse engineers working on it for a year or two, preferably with a bit of info from the factory, then it can be done. In other words, many times what the car was worth even new.

For context, I spent a few years decompiling and modifying the C in the engine control unit for Cobb. When I came to it, they could already read and write the flash memory, had some table definitions and could do datalogging. I had previous exerience with the same chip on the Evo, and knew my way around engine management strategies. The flash was only 1MB and not full.

The effort:reward ratio of the MFD is on another scale, so many parts of the puzzle are missing that make it unlikely to be feasible. Occasionally you get someone that does something quickly in this industry that seems impossible to others, there are some very skilled people out there, but that this hasn't been done so far suggests it isn't anyone's priority.

I hope this puts it into context. The dream would be you plug the hard drive in and find an xml file with the text you can alter, slightly less dreamy would be trying to work out Japanese character coding from a binary, and the situation we have as the reality is far more difficult than that.
 

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Not sure how relevant this is to your discussion, but when I had an R34, I played about with the MFD buttons and found that it had hidden menu's that allowed you to select pre-programmed options like 2 bar boost rather than 1.2 bar.

It may be that the information you require is already in there.

I also needed to hack the R34 speedo on my GTR to modify the output to match R33 diffs.

The speedo has a programmable chip that was soldered to the board, I tried to re-programme it while it was attached but could not do it. After unsoldering it it was a no brainer to re-programme.

Obviously you have to know how to modify / what programme to stick in there, but I imagine there are enough brains on here to have a stab at that.
 

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There maybe are enough brains Hugh, but the size and complexity of the chips makes reverse engineering very time consuming. I hope I don't sound defeatist, but I learned lots about Mitsubishi ECUs from an open source DSM disassembly that was a fully commented 32K ROM image and even when described it was quite overwhelming in scale. The number of pages of code was about a thousand IIRC. The Evo 7-9 was 256-512K, the GTR 1024 to 1536K, the flash is part of the MCU protected by seed key algorithms that can take some cracking, surface mount multi hundred pins, sometimes JTAG is a way in. So they are better brains than I by far, and I don't pretend they don't exist by any stretch, but it requires a lot of investment to take apart modern CAN bus modules with oodles of flash and sprawling code.
 

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Basically, if the programmer can get access to the coding, then he can swap the jap text on each button for English text (with help from my translator). This way, we are not "reprogramming" the software in any way, we are simply just swapping the text on display.
If he could get hold of the source code then it would be a piece of piss. But the source code won't be in the MFD, only the compiled code.

What type of programming does he do ?
 
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