Hacking the computer interface of a Ford Focus Mk2

You can do some neat stuff to the way your Ford Focus Mk2 works, but first you have to gain access to the data system. If you know some Russian, and don’t mind a bit of dongle rewiring, this guide will have you hacking the car’s CAN bus in no time. It was written by [Preee] and he has already added Radio RDS and CD Track information to the speedometer display panel, implemented hands free control for his cellphone, disabled the sounds the car makes when he goes into reverse, changed the door locking speed from 5mph to 10mph, and much more.

To gain access to the system you need hardware to bridge from a computer to the CAN bus. He hit eBay and bought an ELM327 cable which plugs into the On-Board Diagnostics port (ODBII). There are two different ways these dongles can be configured and since this isn’t the right one for the Focus he had to alter it. His hardware changes are illustrated in the second post of the forum thread. Instead of just switching over to the other configuration, he wired up a toggle switch to select between the two.

With hardware in place he grabbed some software and started hacking away. But as we hinted above, it’s not as simple as you might think. The software is in Russian. [Preee] did his best to add translations to a few screenshots, but it’s still going to be a bit of a bother trying to find your way around the GUI.

[Thanks Fred]

Comments

  1. addidis says:

    Nice, more can hacking please! Incredibly a very much respected engineer I know didnt know what it was for. Its like “the final frontier” lol

  2. SFRH says:

    “disabled the sounds the car makes when he goes into reverse”

    Uh, why? Way to make the car more dangerous, I guess. Good work!

    • denis says:

      cause the sound is annoying as shit if you reverse regularly into a space, and if your to dumb to tell you have put the car in reverse you shouldnt be driving imho. This is a sounder that sounds inside the car, not like a truck reversing buzzer to warn pedestrians.

      right up there with manual cars that wont start if you dont have your foot on the clutch in terms of annoyingness.

    • Max says:

      If you’re stupid enough to need a sound to tell you you’re in reverse, it’s just a matter of time before you do something else bad. At least in reverse, you aren’t going very fast, whereas you could easily be rolling along the motorway at 100MPH and pull out without looking and wipe out several other vehicles.

  3. octel says:

    “Ford Forcus”

    Nice.

  4. David says:

    What is the need of adding the switch?

  5. Lund says:

    this is a super cool hack do you think it would work with other cars models

  6. Lund says:

    and could it be usede to encrease the preformance of the car

  7. Alan Kilian says:

    If you want to learn more about the details of decoding the CAN bus on a MINI Cooper 5-speed, I have a presentation here

  8. betalyte says:

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