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Six electronic control units (ECUs) are used: the engine control module (ECM), instrument control module (ICM), Vehicle Electronic Control Unit (VECU), transmission control module (TCM), the gear selector control module (GSCM) and the aftertreatment control module (ACM). Together, these modules operate and communicate through the SAE J1939 data links to control a variety of engine and vehicle cab functions. The ECM controls such things as fuel timing and delivery, fan operation, engine protection functions, engine brake operation, the exhaust gas recirculation (EGR) valve and the turbocharger nozzle. The VECU controls cruise control functions, accessory relay controls and idle shutdown functions. The ICM primarily displays operational parameters and communicates these to the other ECUs. All have the capability to communicate over the SAE J1587 data link primarily for programming, diagnostics and data reporting.
In addition to their control functions, the modules have on board diagnostic (OBD) capabilities. The OBD is designed to detect faults or abnormal conditions that are not within normal operating parameters. When the system detects a fault or abnormal condition, the fault will be logged in one or both of the modules’ memory, the vehicle operator will be advised that a fault has occurred by illumination a malfunction indicator lamp (MIL) and a message in the driver information display, if equipped. The module may initiate the engine shutdown procedure if the system determines that the fault could damage the engine.
SAE J1587 Data Link Communication
The electronic control units (ECUs) also communicate on the SAE J1587 data link. These ECUs communicate according to the SAE J1587 standard. The standard has been extended with MACK’s supplement (PPID, PSID). The diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs) set by the ECUs contain information that is described by the following abbreviations.
System Electronic Control Unit (ECU) Overview
The engine control module (ECM) monitors and models (using physical principles) engine parameters to monitor the engine system’s performance in real time. This is performed to aid the ECM with its self diagnostic capabilities. Many sensors are used for input to the emission control system.
The system contains the following “emission critical” ECUs that are monitored:
- Engine Control Module (ECM)
- Vehicle Electronic Control Unit (VECU)
- Aftertreatment Control Module (ACM)
- Aftertreatment Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) Sensors
- Engine Variable Geometry Turbocharger (VGT) Smart Remote Actuator (SRA)
These ECUs all communicate with the ECM via data links. The VECU communicates across the SAE J1939 (CAN1) data link while the others use the SAE J1939-7 (CAN2) data link. The OBD systems use SAE J1939 data link protocol for communication with scan tools but, MACK trucks still are capable of communicating via the SAE J1587 data link for diagnostics. The use of a scan tool is necessary to perform diagnostic work as well as clearing of any diagnostic trouble codes (DTCs). DTC(s) can no longer be cleared using the vehicles instrument cluster digital display and stalk switch control.
There are other ECUs such as the Instrument Control Module (ICM), Transmission Control Module (TCM) and Anti-lock Brake System (ABS) Module that provide data to the emission control system or the diagnostic system but are not “emission critical”.