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CAN Direct Wire Installation Info

Details for directly wiring D-Shift to the vehicle’s CAN bus.

Where supported, the OBD Plug and Play cable will provide a much faster and simpler installation experience. We recommend that option wherever suitable. The option described in this document, to directly wire to the CAN bus, is a more involved and advanced installation option, useful when the OBD port doesn’t provide CAN data broadcasts.

CAUTION: Incorrect CAN bus connection, or any wiring damage caused during installation, may cause improper vehicle operation and/or damage. Dauntless Devices LLC is not liable for any consequences of improper wiring, incompatible configuration, or damage. This type of installation should only be attempted by properly trained and qualified installers who are willing to accept the risks. The information herein is provided as-is, without any guarantee of any kind, and is intended only as general guidance. All wiring locations, colors, and functions must first be verified for the specific vehicle. Installations must be verified and tested in a safe environment.

Disconnect vehicle power before unplugging modules or making connections, and do not reconnect power with any modules disconnected, as they may provide important vehicle functionality.

Please scroll further down for information on specific vehicles, where available.

How to Identify CAN Wires

  • Wiring diagrams will often refer to them as CAN High and CAN Low, or an abbreviation thereof
  • These will typically be two wires twisted together, but some manufacturers don’t do this.
  • Voltage levels should be no more than 5 volts when measured between CAN High and CAN Low, no more than 3.5 volts when measured between CAN High and Ground, and no more than 2.5 volts when measured between Ground and CAN Low.
  • With the vehicle powered off, a multimeter should measure about 60 ohms of resistance, as 120 ohm termination resistors are supposed to be installed on the two ends of the bus. This may not function properly if certain modules are not plugged in (especially the gateway), as a termination resistor is sometimes contained within a module.

Common CAN Wire Locations

  • OBD-II Port under driver side dashboard. Sometimes Pins 6/14 will have useful broadcast data on it, sometimes it’s only used for OBD requests, and sometimes (older vehicles, pre-2008) we don’t get anything useful on it at all. There may also be additional CAN busses exposed via other pins of the OBD port.
  • Gateway Module: This is typically a nexus that connects to multiple CAN busses and routes data between them as appropriate.
  • Engine Control Module (ECM): Being that RPM is the main data we want here, the engine computer is the most likely module to transmit that.
  • Other Powertrain Modules: If the Engine Control Module and Gateway Module aren’t easily accessible, consider others that likely receive the data we’re looking for.
  • Instrument Gauge Cluster: This unit will typically be receiving RPM data via a CAN bus, however some vehicles may do this via a separate CAN bus and with different encodings than the Powertrain CAN that our decoders are typically setup for.
  • Steering Angle Sensor: These are commonly a straightforward connection with just CAN High, CAN Low, Power, and Ground, however some vehicles may have this on a non-Powertrain CAN that might not contain RPM data.

Please note that there are often multiple CAN busses on a vehicle, each containing different data. For this product, we’ll typically need one that services the Powertrain modules and/or OBD, so that we can get RPM.

CAUTION: Avoid connecting to, modifying, or disturbing any wiring related to Airbags / SRS or other safety systems. These will sometimes use yellow or orange connectors or cabling, but not always. Again, you are responsible for knowing the correct wiring information for the vehicle and making appropriate connections. If you’re not sure about something, don’t do it.


2022+ Subaru BRZ / Toyota GR86

This information was developed during our R&D with a 2024 Toyota GR86 Trueno. Other years, models / trims, or configurations may differ.

Although the OBD Plug & Play option supports this vehicle well, you may desire a simpler and more compact CAN Direct Wire install, which will also free up your OBD port.

There are multiple CAN busses on this vehicle, and multiple places to tap into them. We found that the Steering Angle Sensor is connected to a CAN bus with compatible signals and provides power. It is easily accessible on the bottom of the steering column, once you remove the plastic steering column cover. Use care to avoid airbag and other wiring, which uses similar wire colors into different connectors.

Optimal CAN Settings (in D-Shift app):

  • CAN Type: Subaru 2
  • Allow OBD Query: Off

Connections at GR86 Steering Angle Sensor:

  • +12V Power: White (Pin 4 on connector; switched ignition power)
  • CAN-High: Green (Pin 3 on connector)
  • CAN-Low: Pink (Pin 2 on connector)
  • Ground: Black (Pin 1 on connector)

Volkswagen Golf / GTI (Mk4 – Mk6 generations)

While this information was developed during our R&D with a 2002 GTI 1.8L Turbo, we believe it is generally applicable to the Mk4 through Mk6 generation VW Golf, spanning approximately 1999 through 2012 model years. Other years, models / trims, or configurations may differ.

There are multiple CAN busses on this vehicle, and you will need to tap into the Powertrain CAN that connects the ECM (aka DME) and the Instrument Cluster, which is different from the CAN wires on the OBD port. Behind the Instrument Cluster is likely the most suitable location, as the ECM’s wires are on the engine side of the firewall, and other modules may be less easily accessible.

Known Locations (Mk4): Instrument Cluster, ECM, TCM (if automatic), Airbag Control Module, ABS Module, Steering Angle Sensor

Wire Colors: Orange/Black (CAN-High), Orange/Brown (CAN-Low)

Note: These CAN colors are not unique. The Mk4 Instrument Cluster can also have these same wire colors on pins 27/28, and the OBD-II port on pins 6/14. We did not find either of those to be functional for this product on the 2002 GTI (Mk4) we tested on, however they likely serve OBD requests on the Mk5 and Mk6. When connecting at the Mk4 Instrument Cluster, make sure you are using the pair connected to Pins 19 and 20. For Mk5 and Mk6, look at your wiring diagram to get the correct pin numbers and make sure you’re tapping into the pair that connects to the ECM.

If you encounter an Orange/Green and Orange/Brown pair, that is likely the Comfort/Body CAN, which does not contain the data we need for this product.

Optimal CAN Settings (in D-Shift app):

  • CAN Type: Volkswagen/Audi 1
  • Allow OBD Query: Off

Connections at Mk4 GTI Instrument Cluster:

  • CAN-High: Orange/Black (Pin 19 on green connector)
  • CAN-Low: Orange/Brown (Pin 20 on green connector)
  • +12V Power: Black/Violet (Pin 1 on blue connector; switched 5A power)
  • Ground: Brown (Pins 9 and 24 on blue connector)

Porsche 911 (991 generation)

This information was developed during our R&D with a 2014 Porsche 911 GT3 (991.1). Other years, models / trims, or configurations may differ.

Although the OBD Plug & Play option supports this vehicle, you may have a more optimal experience with a CAN Direct Wire install, as the 991.1’s OBD port access is under the fuse box cover, and its OBD data is not refreshed as often as we’d prefer (only 5 Hz actual change rate on the 991.1 GT3, versus up to 100 Hz with this CAN Direct Wire).

There are multiple CAN busses on this vehicle, and you will need to tap into the Powertrain CAN that connects the ECM (aka DME) and the Gateway module, which is different from the CAN wires on the OBD port. The gateway module (driver side footwell, above fuse box) is likely the most suitable location. If you unplug the connector from the module, you’ll be able to more easily access the wires.

Wire Colors: Orange/Red (CAN-High), Orange/Brown (CAN-Low)

Optimal CAN Settings (in D-Shift app):

  • CAN Type: Porsche 4 (for 991.1 GT3, others will vary)
  • Allow OBD Query: Off

Connections at 991.1 GT3 Gateway Module:

  • CAN-High: Orange/Red (Pin 20 on connector)
  • CAN-Low: Orange/Brown (Pin 10 on connector)
  • +12V Power: Red/Yellow (Pin 1 on connector; constant power)
  • Ground: Brown or Brown/White (Pin 11 on connector)