Hacking a Ford OEM navigation HU
I am working on the factory OEM navigation system from Ford. This is the 2009-2011 unit manufactured by Clarion. All I am trying to do at this point is to simulate the required CAN BUS signals so that the unit can be powered up on the bench. Although I have so far done a considerable amount of reading I do not yet have a clear idea of what I need or how I would do this.
As mentioned previously these units are manufactured by Clarion for Ford. They are available in many Ford vehicles with various different features and controls. For instance when installed in a Ford Edge they may be configured to provide (via MS-CAN signals) control over the climate control system of the vehicle while the same unit installed in a Super Duty truck would not be configured for this option. The point is that the units have a large number of configuration settings that determine what user features and graphical elements are actually present. Ford has these devices locked down so that they can only be programmed (have the aforementioned configurations set) by an authorized Ford service center using a proprietary tool built by Ford. Currently there are only two companies in the USA that are authorized by Ford to do this.
Further these unit have a built in hard drive which stores the nav software and all of these configuration values and other device required files. This hard drive is a 40gb drive of which 10gb is available for the user to store pictures and media files. The only way for the user to get media files on the device is to load a CD and instruct the unit to rip it. The unit has a built in Gracenote metadata database that it uses to lookup the CD and tag the files so that the user interface can display the album art, track titles and the like when the user selects the internal jukebox as the media source. This is a neat feature but is virtually useless since there is no way to mass load media files. The only way to load the jukebox is to rip each CD individually into the unit. At approximately 6 minutes per CD a person could spend an entire weekend just loading a few CDs.
As I say all I am trying to do at this point is to "spoof" the required CAN signals to get this thing to power up on the bench. However eventually I would like to figure out how to manipulate the configuration values and find a way to mass load media files. Problem is I have no idea where to even start with this project. I am not exactly ignorant on electronics but it certainly is not my area of expertise. I am a software engineer who has worked in the corporate environment for many years. I mention this only to point out that I am experienced writing Windows desktop and client server applications using VB (both classic and .Net) and C# but have very little knowledge of embedded programming.
Can anyone here provide me with any direction as to how to get started on this project?