Snap On MT2500 Diagnostic Scanner Rebuild

I have an INNOVA 3120 Diagnostic Scan Tool that I use now and again. It does the job resetting Check Engine lights and finding out what 's up with the car when the light does go on. Their are lots of cool options out now since I picked up the INNOVA 3120, it does have OBD1 and OBD2 or is that OBDI and OBDII? Never the less lots of new technology is out and some can use Bluetooth with your iPhone/Andriod and cost only a few buck with a low cost app (I have not yet tried them) all the way to the other end of the spectrum, the professional tools that might be made by Snap On, OTC, and other automotive manufacturers.

Years ago I had a mechanic do some work on a car and he pulled out this RED BRICK looking thing from Snap On, very nifty looking and l though that's a cool tool, does all kinds of crap beyond the regular code reader/scanner. At some point I saw them on Ebay for cheap compared to what they cost new. They were getting old and outdated and most of the new cars were getting too advanced to use them. Snap On also came out with a bunch of better (and much more expensive) diagnostic tools so these were hitting the auctions like crazy.

They made a similar unit to the MT2500, the MTG2500 which has a larger color display, shows some graphics, but essentially the same unit. It does feature a rechargable battery instead of the always dead 9v that the MT2500 has. Both have a serial port for a printer. You can find the Snap On printers on Ebay now and again, but if you look for the Seiko models (414 and 411 I recall) you can find them for under $50 bucks. You just need to make your cable for a few bucks (at some point I'll show how to make one, it's pretty easy). So the good is their are plenty of these units floating around.

Now the bad... These units require cartridges and keys to enable specific scanner functionality. For example you need the Import Asian Cartridge to be able to look at the computer on Asian cars. Later vehicles with OBDII functionality can used a generic cartridge but sometimes it's less detailed then the specific make/model/years type of cartridges. Their are also 2 types of cartridges the primary and the troubleshooter (I guess that's what you call it). You only need a primary to access the computer, the troubleshooter tries to help you figure things out, I have not tried it as yet. So now you need to find these cartridges that work for your car, wait, you are not done yet, you need these special keys that go with each cartridge. Getting complicated. I guess Snap On wanted to make it so you only pay for what you are using, remember this $hit was expensive when in production.  So before you get all excited and decide you want one, make sure you understand how the cartridge and key work and which ones you will need.

My best tip is pay more for a complete unit that has updated cartridges and the keys! If you have to piece meal one together it's just not worth it. Figure about $200-$300 depending on accessories, cartridges, and keys, and what seems like the holy grail of accessories now is the CAN OBDII adapter and K20 key. These can run with the cartridge around 200 bucks, again better to get one with a scanner it will be less costly.

So what am I doing here with a MT2500? Well I picked up a very nice MTG2500 with a few accessories and a fair assortment of cartridges (up to 2000 for GM-Ford-Chrysler). Well I have a 2003 Ford Excursion Diesel and I though it should work just fine, and it seems to I just had to fudge the VIN code to the Scanner and it worked just fine. So I have a nice MTG2500 but I don't have every adapter they make, and I really wanted more modern cartridges with the CAN OBDII adapter.

So back to eBay! The individual components were just too expensive, so I waited and found a fully loaded MT2500 that had a LOT of keys, and a couple of very recent cartridges with the hard to find CAN OBDII adapter. The tool was picked up actually for a few bucks more then the MTG2500 but it was in rough shape. I'll say that the tool was well used and collected no dust. I cleaned up the cables, adapters, cartridges and stuffed them into the MTG2500's large case. Then looking at the poor tired MT2500 I figured I would take it apart and clean it up. Who knows, might come in handy for someone that likes Snap On tools! 

So after all this here is the disassembly and cleaning and then re-assembly of the MT2500. I would guess the MTG2500 is similar but it likely has some different stuff inside.

The only thing that looked like a problem with the unit was the scroll wheel was intermittent, and I'm guessing just worn out. I did some research and have a test replacement on the way, and will give it a try to see if I have a cheap replacement part for the rotary encoder that the wheel actuates. Other then works just fine.

Enjoy and it's pretty easy to do, just be careful removing and installing the connectors, I broke a wire and had to re-solder it, not a problem for me but if you can't do that type of work pry them out carefully!

I have a Snap On Counselor and will be working on that next!
Snap On MT2500 Ebay Special

The Snap On MT2500 as purchased from eBay

This is what it looked like. It's looks a lot cleaner in the photo then when I got it. It has some nice cartridges, and the OBDII CAN adapter for later model cars as well as many plugs and keys for a ton of vehicle makers. It really needed to be taken apart for a cleaning (yeah, that's it)
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Tools needed for this project

You will not need much here is the list -

Phillips Head Screwdriver with a small fine tip
Needle Nose pliers
Dish Soap
Simple Green or other safe for plastic grease remover
Clean Rags

That's about it. If you do break a wire you will need a soldering iron.

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