Opinions: diagnostic tools for 05’ and 08’ Cummins ISX

Here are a few opinions for those who want to purchase an otc code reader for Cummins isx (the trucks: one is an 05 and other is 08).

Before you purchase a tool, you have to ask yourself what you want to look at. If you want to look at ALL the electronic modules on a truck, you do NOT want Cummins software, as it will only “talk” to a Cummins engine. On the other hand, if you buy a generic tool that will talk to every module on the truck, keep in mind that a tool like this will have limited ability to perform special tests, like cylinder cutout or other types of actuator tests.

A ProLink (also named Nexiq USB Link 2) http://www.chinacardiags.com/wholesale/nexiq-2-usb-link-software-diesel-truck-interface-with-all-installers-33696.html  is one of the few generic tools available for the HD market. Based on what you are telling me, this is likely what you want. You could also look around on e-bay or Craigs list and try and find an older ProLink for less money. Make sure that if you do, you get one with the heavy duty standard cartridge. This will talk to everything on a standard HD J1587/1708 data link, but it will only give you codes, and some limited data.

Cummins Insite http://www.chinacardiags.com/wholesale/cummins-inline-7-data-link-adapter.html is the ultimate Cummins engine software, but again, is useful only on a Cummins engine. Not only will this software cost you nearly a grand, you’ll also need to spend almost another grand buying the adaptor to go between your laptop and the engine. Then of course, you gotta figure out how to use it…

On the older Cummins engines in the Dodge trucks, you could use Cummins software if you knew where to plug in at (not under the dash). I hear Dodge has pretty much shut that feature down now though.

With Cummins Insite software and communication adaptor, you’ll be able to do almost anything a dealer can….almost. All for 2,000usd for the genuine. But, if your budget is limited and you’re looking for a tool that is working well, good China clone should be another option. All for 700usd or less: http://www.chinacardiags.com/wholesale/cummins-inline-7-data-link-adapter.html

It’s not as intuitive to use as Detroit DDDL, Cat ET, or International MD/SM. Having said that, it’s the best there is for anything Cummins, like it or not.

HP uprates usually require $$ and factory passwords. Even if you worked at a Cummins dealership, you couldn’t do it without the blessing of mother Cummins.

I can’t imagine anything else you would want to do with it that a customer level version wouldn’t do.

I honestly haven’t tried to shop for one, since I already have one at the school. I do know this: I wouldn’t give you even 25% of what they go for new, for a used one. Those things are WAY overpriced for what they do. The individual cartridges for each engine were like 6 or 700 dollars EACH last time I checked. When you stop to realize that you can almost buy factory software for that, it’s like, “why?”

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