Cloning Continental MSD85 ECUs: The Comprehensive Guide


ECU programming and ECU Repairing for MSD85 is a highly complex and challenging task that necessitates expert-level expertise in the field of automotive electronics and engine management systems. MSD85, being a specialized Electronic Control Unit utilized in certain BMW models, adds an extra layer of intricacy to the process. To delve into ECU programming for the MSD85 effectively, a profound knowledge of the underlying principles governing engine management systems is essential. This includes an in-depth understanding of various engine parameters, such as fuel injection, ignition timing, air-fuel ratios, variable valve timing, and other critical aspects that directly impact engine performance, efficiency, and emissions control.

Moreover, the process of ECU Programming demands a meticulous approach to ensure accurate and safe modifications. It often involves using advanced diagnostic equipment and reliable ECU Programming Tools like Hexprog II capable of securely interfacing with the MSD85. Hexprog II enables professionals to access the ECU's memory, analyze existing data, and make precise adjustments or upload new code to achieve the desired performance goals for every ECU tuning Job.

Due to advanced security feature and the presence of a tricore password in MSD 85, performing ECU Cloning pose significant challenges. Enhanced HexProg II ECU Chip Tuning and Programming Tool is highly recommended as a top choice for efficient and secure ECU Cloning and ECU Programming as it focuses on preserving the ECU password during the entire process, and it ensures a smooth and reliable operation every time.

Hexprog II primary capabilities lie in ECU Cloning and ECU Read/Write on MSD85, it boasts an additional special function known as READ ISN, which further enhances its versatility and utility. The READ ISN function is a unique feature that enables users to access and retrieve the ISN (Individual Serial Number) from the MSD85 DME in both Bench and Boot Modes. This unique capability is valuable for diagnosing and programming BMW vehicles, especially in challenging scenarios where direct vehicle access is not possible. The software's user-friendly interface and regular updates ensure it stays current with the latest advancements in automotive technology, making it an indispensable tool for automotive professionals and enthusiasts working with BMW models.
In the case of many Bosch ECUs, a cloning process can be achieved by generating a backup of both the original and donor ECUs and then restoring the original backup onto the donor ECU. This approach guarantees the transfer of crucial data since these ECUs are equipped with a TriCore password stored in the OTP (One-Time Programmable) section. As a result, the data in these OTP sections remains unchanged, enabling the cloning process without any risk to the integrity of the TriCore password.

To perform a successful clone, follow these simplified steps:

HexProg II Tuner MSD85
HexProg II Tuner MSD85
  1. Start by creating backups of both the original and donor ECUs in Hexprog II Tuner software. 
  2. Connect the original ECU to your computer.
  3. In the software interface, click the "Clone" button to begin the cloning process.
  4. The software will prompt you to follow the on-screen instructions to connect the original ECU and click “OK”.
  5. Once the software reads the data from the original ECU, it will ask you to connect the donor ECU.
  6. Connect the donor ECU to your computer.
  7. Click the "OK" button in the software to proceed with the cloning process.
  8. The software will transfer the data from the original ECU to the donor ECU without modifying the password stored within the donor ECU.

Wait for the cloning process to complete. The duration may vary depending on the data size.

Once the cloning process is completed, the software will display a notification confirming the successful completion. At this point, you should disconnect both the original and donor Electronic Control Units (ECUs) from Hexprog II.

Next, proceed to test the cloned ECU by installing it into the appropriate vehicle or system. It is crucial to ensure that the cloned ECU functions correctly and meets all the necessary requirements. Conduct a comprehensive evaluation to verify that all the desired functionalities are operational and that there are no errors or malfunctions.
During the testing phase, monitor the ECU's performance, and check if it communicates correctly with other components in the vehicle or system. Test various functions and features to validate its behavior under different conditions.

To ensure proper functionality and meet all the necessary requirements while doing ECU Programming, it is of utmost importance to follow the prescribed method meticulously and without deviation. Failure to do so may have serious consequences, including the alteration of the donor Electronic Control Unit (ECU) password, rendering it unreadable in Bench Mode, and potentially causing various issues in the vehicle's performance. The ECU, as a crucial component of modern vehicles, plays a vital role in managing and controlling various systems, such as engine performance, fuel efficiency, emission levels, and more. It contains vital data, configurations, and security protocols that must be handled with extreme care.

When attempting any modifications or updates to the ECU, it is crucial to have a comprehensive understanding of the specific procedures and precautions. Any minor mistake during this process can have a cascading effect, impacting the overall vehicle functionality and safety. In Bench Mode, the ECU is removed from the vehicle and accessed externally for diagnostic, ECU Programming, or ECU Chip Tuning purposes. While this method provides enhanced control and flexibility in managing the ECU's parameters, it also introduces a higher level of risk, especially if proper protocols are not followed. One of the critical concerns is the alteration of the ECU password, which is usually encrypted to safeguard against unauthorized access and tampering. If the password is inadvertently modified during the bench procedure, it can lead to data corruption or the inability to communicate with the ECU, potentially leaving the vehicle inoperable.

HexProg II Tuner employs a secure method of storing each ECU password both in the PC's database and on the company's server when performing unlock operations for read/write purposes. This precautionary measure ensures that, in the event of a password loss, users can restore it using the Boot Mode operation as long as they have access to the original ECU file. By effectively resetting the password in the ECU's P flash, this process resolves any issues and brings the ECU back to its normal functionality.

However, it is essential to note that there are instances where the ECU may have been poorly cloned by other tools or individuals. In such cases, unlocking and reading data becomes impossible without having the original file available. This limitation is due to the nature of the cloning process and highlights the importance of maintaining the integrity and authenticity of ECU files. Users should exercise caution and rely on genuine, reliable sources when working with ECU data to ensure a successful tuning process.

Different versions of MSD85

Unlike other ECUs found in BMW vehicles, the MSD85 ECU is unique in that it is used in both the F and E series. While the physical appearance of the ECU might be the same, the internal data and memory locations differ between the two series. Therefore, accurately identifying whether the ECU is for an F series or an E series is crucial. The nomenclature of the ECU will exhibit slight variations, denoted by MSD85.x, corresponding to the specific model.

It's worth noting that the E series MSD85 lacks an external flash in the module, whereas the F series version is equipped with an external flash. Despite both versions utilizing the TC 1796 microcontroller unit (MCU), the key distinction lies in the presence of the external flash component. Consequently, when cloning ECUs, it's imperative to match an E series ECU with another E series model and an F series ECU with an F series counterpart. This ensures compatibility and optimal performance for the respective series.

Other Services Supported

Apart from its outstanding capability to replicate the MSD85, HexProg II ECU Chip Tuning Tool and ECU Programming Tool offers a comprehensive and user-friendly interface that provides advanced features for modifying the internal flash of ECUs, catering to the specific needs and preferences of users. This cutting-edge tool ensures that automotive enthusiasts, mechanics, and tuning professionals can unleash the full potential of their vehicles by customizing various parameters within the ECU. 

Our all-in-one online service platform,,  serves as the ultimate destination for a variety of ECU-related services specifically tailored for this designated ECU, including the efficient removal of Diagnostic Trouble Codes (DTC). By accessing these services through their personal accounts, users can conveniently optimize their vehicle's performance and address specific issues they might encounter.

Additionally, third-party software enables stage performance tuning for this ECU. HexProg II Tuner software empowers users to easily and securely write modified flash data to the ECU. The software's intelligent algorithms automatically perform checksum calculations, guaranteeing the accuracy and reliability of the modified data, preventing potential issues that might arise from incorrect programming.

Its strongly emphasize the importance of backing up all ECUs before initiating any modifications or cloning procedures. Creating backups safeguards against potential data loss or unforeseen issues, and it serves as a precautionary measure for future safety purposes. This practice grants user’s peace of mind, knowing that they can effortlessly revert their ECUs to their original state if necessary.

More Info about MSD85

Hexprog II is a specialized ECU Chip Tuning Tool that can read and write all contents of the MSD85 ECU using various methods. For more detailed information about the MSD85 and the capabilities of Hexprog II tool, you can refer to the following links:

Hexprog II ordering page: Hexprog II Order

Please visit the provided links to learn more about the MSD85 ECU and Hexprog II tool for ECU chip tuning

Last Update: 12/10/2023
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