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Discussion Starter #1
It's gettin up there in age but low (66,000) on miles. It doesn't make sense for me to drag it in to the shop every time because of it's age so I try to do all the work on it I can. Got a couple manuals as well as a diagnostic procedures manual. Should I invest in a DRB II scan tool or is there a better alternative that makes more sense?

Thanks
Bill
 

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If you have all the manuals and intend to keep the car, then yes, it is a good idea, and it can be used for other vehicles, too.
 

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Depends on the price you can get one for. Years ago when I bought a SnapOn MT2500 with cartridges that covered OBDI and OBDII domestic and Japanese vehicles. I think mine were up to model year 2000, the new cartridges go to 2003. The one I bought had all the cables for the domestics, I never used it on any Japanese cars. The OBDII cable has "personality" keys for the different manufacturers. Just make sure an MT2500 has all you need with it as cartridges and cables can be expensive even on eBay used.

While not a DRBII, this box would read codes from and diagnose the engine, transmission (A604 included), ABS and body systems. I still use it on my 1999 Dakota.

Over the past 10 years I had the box, I loved to buy a car where the previous owner was told "the A604 transmission is junk, that will be $xxxx to replace it". I could pick these cars up for $500 or so and correct the transmission issues (only 1 really needed a new transmission) drive them a year or two and sell them for more than I paid. Throw in the occasional ABS issue or reading codes for Fords for friends and I more than recovered the $600 I spent on the SnapOn unit.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Doesn't the DRB 2 scan tool do stuff that the others like the snap on can't. In other words, doesn't t do a more complete job on the chrysler products than to non Crysler models. I've got a Diagnostics Procedure Manual, and it walks you through these tests using the DRB 2 and it looks like no other tool can duplicate the accuracy abd ease of use on the Crysler product especially when used in conjunction with the Diagnostic manual.
 

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The procedure may not be exactly the same, but there are troubleshooting routines in the MT2500 which work quite well. I've used the SnapOn to follow the ABS diagnostic procedure from a Chrysler manual, same for A604 diagnosis. About the only things I've found it can't do that a DRB can are:
1) Reflash new software (which you can't do with a DRB because you would not have the software source)
2) Program the first keyless remote (for my 1999 Dakota)
3) Set the pinion factor for the 1999 Dakota, but I could for the 1999 minivan I had.

You may find the DRB can be had for a good price, given the age and the number of surplus ones that were dumped on the market in the bankruptcy. If price is somewhat similar, I'd far prefer a DRB over the SnapOn but if a SnapOn is much cheaper I'd get the SnapOn.
 
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I picked up a DRB for my 1994 Grand Caravan a few years back and I've used it more than I expected. On models before 1996, the transmission computer memory is erased every time you disconnect the battery, so I used to avoid removing the negative battery cable when I worked on the car, which is potentially dangerous. Since the DRB enables me to do a quick learn on the transmission in seconds, it has saved me a bunch of time and I no longer hesitate to remove the negative battery cable. It does some other worthwhile things like retracting the idle speed motor when cleaning it out or replacing it. I think it's worth having one if you can get it at a reasonable price and you are likely to keep the car for a while.
 
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