: I looked into doing an XTS to ATS LCD Cluster swap. Details within:



roadpie4u
06-19-13, 01:54 PM
After several inquiries about the XTS and ATS LCD Cluster conversion idea, I started to tap into it and here's what I found. As I'm an engineer with experience in the automotive field and the J1939 protocols I figured I was a good choice for someone to look into this.

I'm not debating whether you or anyone (or even myself) even WANT to do this swap - the point was simply is it possible and what would it take.

So far:

First off, the list on the ATS cluster is about $520. The LCD cluster in the XTS lists at a cool $1000. It's one heck of an expensive mod for a new cluster.

Despite the fact that the ATS looks like it has only one cluster, there are over a dozen cluster part numbers to all trims/models of the ATS. What does this mean? Nothing and everything. The problem is as all major auto manufacturers line-sequence their vehicles, the clusters come in with the software pre-installed for that vehicle configuration. While the cluster is physically the same part, the 1s and 0s are not the same. The big question is what can the dealer re-program via a Tech2, and my dealer has not been forthcoming. We saw in pre-production ATS cars there was a "boost" gauge in the display reading the MAP value off the CAN bus. This was removed - I'm guessing the cluster can see every parameter on the network - the only question is what it does with it and I believe it is updatable via software and has its own internal controller. If there are dealer guys out there willing to look into what the tech2 can reprogram on both ATS and XTS clusters, I'd appreciate it.

Despite the fact that the XTS cluster looks like it only has two... see where I'm going? But there is only one part number for the LCD XTS cluster. The problem is none of the base trim XTS cluster part numbers match those for the ATS - they are all unique so I cannot guarantee you right now that they are interchangable - but I believe they are based on what I've found (again, software).

The XTS-V and ATS-V will be the next hints toward this mod - if the XTS-V gets a manual transmission and/or if the ATS-V gets the LCD cluster as an option, that'll give precedent that this is more likely possible.


Even IF this is physically possible, there are some issues:

The first problem is cost. The LCD cluster is expensive and there's no way around it. If I gave you a grand to mod your ATS and you spent it on buying a cluster... I'd probably tell you that you're nuts. That said, it would be really unique.

The second problem is that no dealer is going to really warranty the part - most dealers say if the part is electrical once you sign the slip for it you can't return it and for clusters the rule is twice as true as they have to be pre-programmed with miles and VIN.

The third problem is a dealer is going to want to void the warranty on the whole electrical system of the car if they see this. While in theory the cluster just reads data off the network and doesn't transmit commands/controls back (thats what the steering wheel module does), there's no telling what would happen between the modules. While I am familiar with J1939 networks and the protocols and know a few J1939 engineers elsewhere in the industry, I am not familiar with the LTG or Alpha or the XTS and have no contacts into those groups - and until I talk to the engineers that designed the stuff I don't feel confident about blessing the idea.

The fourth is that I'd bet the software for the XTS LCD right now is only for automatic transmissions - so the PRNDM can't be turned off (it can be on the ATS). Unless GM offers an XTS with manual or decided to leave that option in the software as it stands today, you'd always have that displayed and I don't know what impact it would have other than being annoying. Would that cause issues as the cluster never receives a selected gear to indicate?

The fifth is that without the same style shroud on the XTS, placement in the ATS might get more glare and make the cluster harder to read. While most people would dismiss this, it is a valid concern.

Next Step:

If I can get a contact to someone in the ATS engineering team willing to answer some vague questions, we can hopefully figure out if this is even possible - then I need a dealer willing to look into what can be done with a Tech2. Then I'd need that dealer to contact their cluster provider and see if the guys sending them the cluster would be willing to program an XTS cluster with an ATS VIN.

If all three of those are possible, I go back to my dealer and try to get them to NOT void the warranty if I did it. This would likely mean going up the service food chain past district level and probably contacting specialists.

If all of that is possible, I get the pinout of the cluster and make a custom harness to plug the cluster into the J1939 network without removing the old one to see if it'd communicate and function on the ATS's network. I don't know if it would. Once I have the harness...

I'd be looking at dumping $1000 in parts and $500 in labor to have it done and there'd be no guarantee it'd even work - so I'd probably start a kickstarter or indygogo to raise the funds to cover costs. If the cluster can't work on the network via my adapter, there's no reason to take the dash apart. The cluster then gets shelved till GM releases software updates and I try again.

So until we start seeing wrecked platinum XTS cars in yards and I magically get PM'd engineer contact information within GM this isn't looking likely!

:histeric:

thebigjimsho
06-19-13, 02:06 PM
There will be no XTS-V.

roadpie4u
06-19-13, 05:25 PM
There will be no XTS-V.
Well as it looks like the CTS also gets the LCD dash, and again, assuming it is the same/similar assembly as the one in the XTS...