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As I said before, electricity is not my friend, and I have not studied our Nanocom with the intention of making changes to the programming of the ECU. I would have to get a technician to help me do that and would never attempt to do any but basic tasks with the diagnostics tool. We have used the Nanocom as a diagnostics tool, to check for faults and fault codes which will detail system failures which will need repair. After the repair of any faults, we are then able to clear the fault codes. We have also used the tool to measure turbo boost and particularly coolant temperature.


When we had our radiator cap problem in the Andes, we were able to drive with the Nanocom plugged in after refilling the coolant tank. We could see the temperature of the coolant in real time. The temperature would slowly climb as we drove higher and higher, looking for the mountain pass which led down to a town in a valley. After every five kilometres the temperature would climb to 90, then 95, 98, 105, 110, and exactly at 112 the Little Black Box alarm would sound, announcing that the water had again flowed out, past the faulty water cap. Luisa would update me on the temperature of the coolant and I was allowed the luxury of being able to predict when the LBB alarm would sound and therefore could find a safe area to pull off that bloody, icy road and top up the coolant. We were starting to worry as the road verges were covered with thick folds of ice and we knew that the night time temperatures would be extreme, perhaps too extreme for our little family in a roof tent. A combination of the


real time information digitally displayed on the Nanocom, the God awful Little Black Box alarm and some water sourced from a pool alongside the road we were able to drive up to the crest of the road. A few hundred metres from the summit the temperature reached 112 and the LBB screeched, I muted the alarm and continued to drive, up and then down, down, down. The LBB alarm light continued to flash but we could read on the Nanocom that the coolant temperature was dropping, from 112 down to 105, 98, 95, 90, 86 before eventually settling at 69. Not once during through the entire five-hour long debacle did the Defenders standard temperature gauge needle move past the middle of the arc towards red. Without a drop of water to spare to refill the header tank, we made it down to the town, called Chivay where we booked into a smelly little hostel and slept the sleep of the dead. In the morning we came up with a plan to relieve the pressure on that pathetic water cap by bypassing the thermostat, in it’s sealed housing, with plumbing pipes. The bush fix worked and escorted by my good friend Bill Rayner (a fellow Defender driver who found us wandering around Chivay and refused to continue to Cuzco before we permanently resolved our problem), we drove 200 km’s back to the nearest city, all the while using the Nanocom to monitor the coolant temperature. The problem was resolved after a week long wait for a $5 replacement cap sent in from Lima.

overlanding, travel books, tarvel books


The Nanocom is a diagnostics tool, roughly the size of a small, fat calculator, which plugs directly into the Defenders ECU. The powers that be thought it unwise to invest in this gadget before we shipped the Landy across the Atlantic, the result being that when we absolutely had to buy it we had to add international bank charges, courier fees and an 80% customs duty to the purchase price. The moral of the story is, do not leave home without it, or similar, if you have a rig with an ECU.


The Nanocom allows an ordinary Joe to plug into his ECU and check for faults and then clear the faults, check the turbo boost, the coolant temperature, the cylinders, the voltage from the alternator and a host of other super nerdy, ultra-high tech things. A confident nerd could even remap the ECU using the Nanocom, I believe, which will alter the torque and power.


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