FORScan | How to Modify/Program Module Data - Taurus Car Club of America : Ford Taurus Forum
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Post FORScan | How to Modify/Program Module Data

Hello all! So I personally get asked a lot about how to program modules in the Taurus as well as what programs are needed to do this, required hardware, emotional reassurance, etc.

In a nutshell, there unfortunately is extremely minimal material available for the Taurus (and I'm sure we all know why) regarding FORScan and known modifications, or just programming in general for this car. Without further ado, here it is. This is where it starts. This will be completely open to any and all knowledge given by you, the community. This tutorial will describe what's required to program, how to program, and key points to look out for when performing these procedures. My plan for the future is to get together an online spreadsheet for the Taurus with all known modifications with FORScan!


Programming Checklist:

  • Windows laptop or Windows tablet
  • OBDII USB adapter (Wired or Bluetooth)
  • FORScan w/ extended license key


This solely relies on the cost of the adapter granted you own a Windows laptop. Until further notice, FORScan is free. You can generate unlimited extended licenses for the time being until they finish their beta phase and go full beans. In the future, they plan on charging for the licenses which is why the extended licenses are generated at a valid time frame of a couple months before needing to generate another.


The 2010-2019 Taurus Modification Spreadsheet is under creation! Link is at the bottom of the tutorial!
Latest update as of 6/11/19 includes global open and global close windows from your fob.



Hardware:


OHP OBDII Wired Adapter: Amazon Link
or
OHP OBDII Bluetooth Adapter: Amazon Link


Personally, I prefer the wired adapter over Bluetooth. If the Bluetooth adapter were to disconnect for whatever reason during a procedure, you're gonna have a bad time.

These two adapters are wonderful and support both MS and HS communication. Some modules, such as the GPSM or HVAC, only communicate through MS CAN which most adapters don't support.
Be careful when searching for an adapter if you choose to go with something else. There are a lot of clones and fake adapters out there!



FORScan has been utilized to perform modifications such as:

  • Enable gauges on the dashboard (IPC) such as the AWD Gauge, TPMS Gauge, Digital Speedometer.
  • Enable OEM remote start and remote start climate control features.
  • Enable or disable Daytime Running Lights.
  • Disable horn honk when the door closes while the engine is running.
  • Disable seatbelt chimes.
  • Disable interior lights turning on when shutting off vehicle.
  • Disable automatic engine shutdown.
  • Enable HD Radio and/or Sirius XM.
  • Enable or disable features within the SYNC radio interface.
  • And much, much more!


Modifying as-built data on really almost any module can be done to accomplish different tasks.
The cooler part, the FORScan team has added some of the same procedures and programmable features from Ford's IDS tool used by technicians from the factory. These features will be described further in the tutorial.

For the time being, there have been multiple spreadsheets with known modifications made for the Explorer, Fusion, and F-Series trucks. Module programming is shared between all vehicles as the same procedure. This means a procedure for a Ford Explorer to turn off DRLs would be the same procedure for the Taurus. There have been a lot of modifications discovered, but beware that not all of them work for the Taurus. More of this will be described at the bottom of the tutorial.

All of these changes are easily reversible. On all modules, they should be tested with the car ON, but the engine NOT running. If you start the vehicle with invalid or incompatible settings, it is possible to screw something up. However, as long as a module does not lose connection to the adapter, you can always change data back to it's original form and the vehicle will be perfectly fine. I've made hundreds of changes messing around with modules. I've done changes awful enough that at one point my car's fuel pump lost communication with the BCM, Traction Control broke, ABS didn't work, and the wrench light was losing it's mind on my dash all at the same time and I was able to put it all back to the original data without harming the car. Just, please, always make backups. It's worth the four seconds of time to make one.




Software:


First thing's first, you must download FORScan from their website. After doing such, you will need to request an Extended License and load the received license file into FORScan which I will demonstrate shortly.
For the license key, you will need to register a free account on FORScan's website.

FORScan Program Download: Link
FORScan Account Registration: Link


As of now, all account requests are manually approved by the team. It can take up to around 24 hours before your access gets approved. The FORScan team is in Russia, so the timezone is much different and they are active during the evening here in the U.S.
For myself, it took about 2 hours to get approved and obtain the extended license key to load into the application.

After your account is registered and approved, you must obtain an Extended License key. This is a file emailed to you and you load said file into the FORScan application to activate it.
This step is further in the tutorial and will be described shortly.


After installing FORScan, open the program and click the Settings icon on the left panel.





Uncheck Demo Mode (if checked). You may also change your measurement between Imperial and Metric, as well as your desired interface language.





Next, click the Connections tab at the top.





You should now be presented with the following screen:





It's best to leave the settings as it shows in the screenshot. You can leave the connection type on Auto or you can use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi depending on your adapter type. Choosing a device type will allow the program to connect faster when opened so it isn't going through the list of connections.

If you're using a Bluetooth adapter, you should now pair the adapter to your Windows laptop through the Windows settings. Then select Bluetooth in the drop down menu for the connection type. Afterwards, select your adapter in the Bluetooth Adapter drop down menu.
If the drop down menu is blank or the OBD adapter is missing, close FORScan and reopen the program. It should then appear after restarting the application.


Next, we will obtain and load our Extended License key file into the application. Click the About (last option) option in the left panel.





This next step will require you to fill out a short form to have the license key emailed to you briefly after submitting the short form.

FORScan License Generator: Link
Extended License Information: Link


This is going to require you to copy your Hardware ID (location shown in the next picture below) and fill out a short form.
After obtaining your new license key, download that to your computer wherever you know you can find it.


Next, click Load license key and locate the license key file you saved to your computer from the email sent to you.





Afterwards, you will have a full license loaded into the application. It should look just like this:







Programming:


Alright, now for the fun stuff. Go ahead and turn on your car to Run mode but DO NOT START THE ENGINE.

If you plan on using FORScan for a while, I'd recommend hooking up a charger to the vehicle's battery. The Taurus does have a battery monitoring system. Hook the positive connector to the battery and the negative connector to the chassis, like bare metal or a bolt. DO NOT hook both connectors to the battery. FORScan does notify you if your battery voltage is too low to perform a procedure. However, I usually don't rely on those features when it's something that can catastrophically damage your car. If your battery dies or drops below 11 volts while writing to a module, that's potentially a dead module right there and that's probably not going to be covered under a warranty if Ford figures out how that module died.


With your OBD adapter connected to the computer, from the main screen click the little connection icon at the bottom left.





After establishing a connection, it will list it's successful communication with your car's modules. If you got the adapter with the MS-CAN switch, FORScan will ask you to flip the switch to MS-CAN mode during the connection process to read the rest of the modules that don't communicate through HS-CAN.


After the list of connections appears and all is successful, click the Modules tab at the top.





This will then show an easy-to-read list of modules discovered and what CAN network they are located on. As you can see, all those modules in the MS-CAN category will not be present if you do not have an adapter capable of reading the MS network.





Once you're all connected and you are done seeing what modules you can access, click the Computer Chip icon in the left panel. This is the programming screen.








As you can see, some of these say Module configuration, and others say Module configuration (AS BUILT format). The ones that say Module Configuration are pre-discovered values mostly taken from IDS to make changes in those modules.
For example, the BdyCM Module configuration will have the Enable/Disable DRLs option as well as others. The BdyCM Module configuration (AS BUILT Format) is strictly hexadecimal format.


Once you have decided which module you would like to modify, click the module so it's highlighted and then click the Play Button at the bottom left.








Each module has a memory address. The BCM is at address 726. There are memory blocks within multiple lines.
For example, 726-01-01 means BCM, Memory Block 1, Line 1.

Here is where you can make any as-built changes desired. I CANNOT STRESS ENOUGH how important it is to be careful with what data is entered. Unless you know what you're doing, only change something that has been discovered to accomplish the desired change.

If you want to change something in a single line, make your change and click Write at the end of the memory block. If you change data in multiple lines, click Write All at the bottom.
I recommend working one line at a time to see what effect the change has. Editing a single digit can completely change what the block does, let alone an entire line.

You can use the Save All option at the bottom to make a backup before making any changes. I would highly recommend doing this. You may also use Load All to load from a saved module file. You must also click Write All after loading from a file.

The last two digits on each line are a mathematical checksum If a line is modified, you will always get an error upon clicking Write. This is essentially a safety check. If you are positive you have entered a valid change in the correct location for the line you are editing, click OK and FORScan will automatically recalculate the checksum to the proper value. These two checksum digits do not help with any modification and they will change automatically when clicking Write if they are an incorrect value.


After you are done making your changes, click Write All (unless you clicked Write one line at a time) at the bottom. Afterwards, click the Stop button at the bottom to end the module programming for the selected module. This must be done before performing any other procedures within FORScan.





After making any changes, it's absolutely possible to trigger some DTC codes. You can also use FORScan to simply just check for DTC codes in general.
FORScan pulls codes from each individual module and gives a basic description. More detailed steps to resolve or test can be found in the Ford Workshop Service Manual (paid access), other service manuals such as ChiltonDIY, or of course through our friend, Google.


Click the DTC option in the left panel to proceed to check for codes.








The First Triangle icon at the bottom reads the modules for codes, while the Second Triangle icon clears DTCs and resets the modules. You can also save the list of DTCs with the Save icon near the triangles. The box next to the save icon that says "All" gives you the ability to select which specific module codes to clear.

Don't mind my three DTCs in the SCCM. My car is a bit pissed at me for swapping the steering wheel to the 2018 Explorer wheel and it's gonna show that for the rest of it's life now so it can deal with it.


FORScan is also able to do module self-tests that IDS can to check for problems or DTCs in individual modules. It's an excellent tool to use when trying to track down the source of a problem or if something just isn't acting the way it should.
These features are found by clicking the Checklist icon in the left panel as shown below:





There is also the ability to do module resets. Basically, this is the equivalent of turning something off and back on again. It forces a module to reboot or reset to it's normal state if it's acting up.
(This can cause DTCs afterwards that may need to be cleared.)


These features are found under the Wrench icon in the left panel as shown below:





My favorites in the picture above are the Clear Transmission Adaptive Tables and Reset All Adaptations options. I call that dual-clutch mode because after performing those two procedures, the transmission shifts faster than I can snap my finger and it's glorious.




Resources:


Essentially, module programming is the same across all Ford vehicles. For example, editing block 726-01-01 should perform the same discovered changes across all Ford vehicles that have that block.

2015-2018 F-150 Spreadsheet: Google Sheets Link
2013-2017 Fusion Spreadsheet: Google Docs Link
2011-2018 Explorer Spreadsheet: Apple Numbers Link
2017 Super Duty Spreadsheet: Google Sheets Link


Personally, I used the Explorer spreadsheet as it's the most complete and shares a lot of the same electrical architecture with the Taurus.

Another thing I cannot stress enough, if you see a modification you'd like to perform from one of these spreadsheets and the required block to edit is not present in the Taurus, it is not a modification that can be performed at this time.
For example, adding the TPMS gauge into our gauge cluster cannot be done. Our IPC is too old because Ford said nada and it doesn't have as many blocks as the exact style IPC in the Fusion and Explorer. Therefore, we do not have the block to edit for the TPMS gauge. We cannot have one.

Again, performing a modification from one of these spreadsheets into a module with the existing block on our Taurus SHOULD perform the advertised change. If it does nothing or if something goes wrong, revert back to the original values your module had before you made the changes and everything will be back to normal. There has not been a lot discovered for the Taurus so it's up to us to find out what we can do.



Modify Step-by-Step:

  1. Open a spreadsheet and find your desired mod.
  2. Connect your laptop to your adapter, open FORScan, and connect to the car.
  3. Go to the Modules area and connect to the module you're wanting to perform your desired modification to.
  4. Find the block that needs to be edited, such as 727-04-01 or 721-02-02.
  5. Change the required digit in the block to the digit advertised from the spreadsheet.
  6. Click Write. Then turn off the car and turn it back to Run. Do not start the Engine.
  7. Verify your desired modification was successful.


Most of the spreadsheets show the modification in a certain format. They are usually written as 7D0-01-01 x*xx-xxxx-xxzz, where as "x" represents the amount of digits in the block, "*" represents which digit in the sequence must be edited, and "z" represents the checksum which we don't worry about.

Example: I would like to edit my APIM to show the heated steering wheel option. I'm going to go to the Taurus spreadsheet (bottom of tutorial) and click on the SYNC 3 tab at the bottom. I will then find the option for Heated Steering Wheel & Cooled Seats. It specifies the module as APIM at block 7D0-01-01 (first block) to be edited. The line sequence follows as XXXX-XXXX-X*ZZ. The "*" being where I replace whatever digit is there with my desired value. Entering "E" will give me the heated steering wheel, heated seats, and cooled seats in the APIM. The spreadsheet shows I can enter values for just the heated wheel, or heated and cooled seats, or even just heated seats. However, I'd like all three so I will enter "E". I will then click Write, click the Stop button at the bottom when it's done writing, turn off my car completely and start it back to Run mode, and verify my SYNC3 radio now shows my desired options.

If you are in a situation where you require your original as-built data for your entire vehicle or for just a certain module and you did not make a backup before making changes, Ford has it covered. You can download your factory as-built from the Motorcraft service website.

Original As-Built Data Download: Motorcraft Link
As-Built File Deducer: Download Link


The Deducer linked above is a very popular tool to compare as-built files. You can obtain a VIN and use said VIN to download the factory as-built from the Motorcraft link above and compare files. This is especially useful for deciphering data and finding possible mods for the Taurus.



Currently, I'm working on the Taurus specific spreadsheet and it is completely open to the public for viewing. I'd like anyone who wants something added to message me or post here and it will be added! Just please only request additions that are verified to work.

2010-2019 Taurus Spreadsheet: Excel Online Link


Of course I have a 2013 so I know a few things that are and aren't compatible with the 2010-2012, however I'm not sure if there are differences in the BCM, SCCM, etc.
That honor will go to whoever has a 2010-2012 Taurus and is willing to spend some time finding out what works and what doesn't. At this time, I'm assuming the BCM and other modules are the same between both model generations.



Alright, that pretty much sums up how to use FORScan for the Taurus and what's all possible! I hope I didn't leave anything out and if anyone has any questions, PLEASE ask. I'd rather you be cautious than screw something up. Feel free to post in the comments below or message me! If anyone has any input as well, all knowledge is more than welcome!

Hopefully this gives those who aren't comfortable editing their modules enough knowledge and confidence to do so! Thanks for reading!
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Last edited by AdmiralSparklez; 06-11-2019 at 09:51 AM.
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post #2 of 98 (permalink) Old 07-10-2018, 10:18 AM
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Wow!!!
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"Modifying as-built data on really almost any module can be done to accomplish different tasks.
The cooler part, the FORScan team has added some of the same procedures and programmable features from Ford's IDS tool used by technicians from the factory. These features will be described further in the tutorial."


Now from IDS Licensing:

You may not reverse engineer, decompile, attempt to derive the source code of, modify, disassemble or create derivative works using the product or part thereof.....etc etc

How do you think the Forscan people have done what they do with the windows software?

No one seems to care though.

If you use Forscan, you owe Ford $850/yr.
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post #4 of 98 (permalink) Old 07-10-2018, 08:01 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jmr061 View Post
"Modifying as-built data on really almost any module can be done to accomplish different tasks.
The cooler part, the FORScan team has added some of the same procedures and programmable features from Ford's IDS tool used by technicians from the factory. These features will be described further in the tutorial."


Now from IDS Licensing:

You may not reverse engineer, decompile, attempt to derive the source code of, modify, disassemble or create derivative works using the product or part thereof.....etc etc

How do you think the Forscan people have done what they do with the windows software?

No one seems to care though.

If you use Forscan, you owe Ford $850/yr.

I appreciate your input, but considering I've never personally seen nor heard of such legality or licensing issues, this is not going to be a thread on such subjects. This is strictly for the purpose of how to use FORScan and for the creation of a Taurus spreadsheet.

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post #5 of 98 (permalink) Old 07-11-2018, 12:30 PM
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GREAT write up! THANK YOU!

It concerns me I would be giving access to my Bull's Brain and my laptop to Russian hackers,
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dougboffl View Post
GREAT write up! THANK YOU!

It concerns me I would be giving access to my Bull's Brain and my laptop to Russian hackers,
You're welcome!

Eh, I wouldn't be worried. Our car's computers aren't smart enough to get a virus or anything.

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About time the Taurus got a spreadsheet. 😄
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Originally Posted by COMpulse View Post
About time the Taurus got a spreadsheet. 😄

Everything I confirmed working is currently in the spreadsheet except for the SYNC3 page. That page is almost done!
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Update on the Excel sheet:


I've been extremely busy for a few weeks so I apologize if anyone has expected the sheet to be complete sooner. I'm actually the new owner of a '15 Mustang GT in bright freaking yellow. (don't worry, I'm keeping my land whale of a Taurus. I love that thing dearly)
I'll try and find some time today to finish the SYNC3 page on the tracker and anything else I may need to add! I'll post another update once complete.
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Update: All confirmed working pages are complete on the spreadsheet. Check it out!


I will also be adding a model number reference list for SYNC3 APIMs in the SYNC3 tab of the Excel sheet.
They will represent verified part numbers for navigation and non-navigation APIM units to assist in searching for units for replacement/upgrade.
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