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B-Cack

Code Reader.....

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So anyways, most of you out there know that I am a pretty crappy shade tree mechanic.... LOL and it was offered several times that I "simply pull the codes..." SO today I strolled down to the Auto store and purchased a code reader for a cool 20 bucks..... well I tried following the guide book in there as well as my Haynes manual, and once connected to my 1993, Full size, OJ White Bronco the only thing it would do is show a solid light. No flashes, no codes no nothing.... so CODE reader 1, B-Cack 0. Has anyone had this problem, and what am I doing wrong? Any help would be appreciated, as always thanks Guys

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what code reader did you buy and do you have a check engine light on?

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It is amazing how easy it is to pull codes yet how difficult it is to do so the first time.

I am in the process of writing a tutorial for how to pull codes, and it looks like my proof reader jumped ship, so I will try to do so with you, and if you would be so kind to help me clarify things that are not clear we can create the perfect easy to read instructional piece for others to follow.

 

For $20 I expect that you got the bottom of the line actron unit. IT will flash codes (just like your in the dash check engine light will) AND send a sound signal, I guess in case you are an auditory learner. In either case you will have to count flashes or beeps. I will present methods of how to do this without the reader, so that all of the members here may pull codes without having to purchase the same unit as you did.

 

THere is no doubt that it is a bit confusing, and I am far from an expert, but I should be able to get you to understand it enough that you will be able to do it.

 

Introduction:

Your engine and transmission are computer controlled.

The computer uses sensors to tell it a number of different things and it controls actuators that push or pull mechanical levers (kinda). If one or more sensors aren't working properly, the computer goes "blind" and doesn't know what to do. If the computer can "see" but one of the actuators is broken and therefore can't follow the commands of the computer; the engine won't run correctly. The computer is preprogrammed with set values for each of its sensors, and each of its actuators. It will run a self check of all systems, like the space shuttle; it will compare its set value(s) to the value(s) it recieves from its sensors, and actuators. If any sensor or acutator is out of the "normal" range the computer will generate a "code." It will generate some codes on the fly, and others will be stored while you are driving. There is a simple method to "pull codes" out of the computer for one to use for diagnostic purposes. The ability to "pull codes" sets mechanics apart from being a troubleshooter or just a parts changer.

 

Fortunately all it takes to "pull" codes (find out what sensors or actuators are not working) is one piece of wire, a pencil and paper, and the ability to count to ten.

 

So now.. go out to your truck and locate the plugs you will use to do the self test.

They are located in the engine compartment on the driver's side just above the wheel well, (between the fire wall and the air filter box) it looks like this picture.

Note: in 1985-86 EFI; it is on the "right side" (passenger) behind a black EGR Vacuum Reservoir

 

post-9476-1209779750_thumb.jpg

 

 

OK now you need a short length of wire. Four inches will do. I put nice little ends on mine (parts I got at radio shack)

 

post-9476-1209779822_thumb.jpg

 

In ten minutes you will shove that wire into the connector, but first you have to check your coolent level and then start your truck and warm her up. In the mean time make sure that you do not have any vacuum leaks.

 

 

Checking for vacuum leaks.

Some of the sensors and some of the actuators either read the amount of vacuum, or use vacuum to move controls, therefore it is important to the proper functioning of the engine that your vacuum system is fully intact. Otherwise one may get codes falsely indicating that there is a problem with a controller/actuator, or a sensor when in reality it is caused by a lack of vacuum.

 

Look at your rubber vacuum hoses (they are about 1/4 - 3/8 inches in diameter, if they are dry rotted or cracked, replace them. IF they slip on/off of their connectors too easily, they may have stretched out a little bit, cut the ends off, and put them back on.

 

You may listen for a leak. Sometimes using a cut off piece of garden hose is a good aid to listen with. Sometimes a cardboard tube (like from gift wrapping paper) is helpful. Just remember that whenever you stick your head inside a running engine compartment, that you are not wearing any loose clothing or jewelry that can get caught.

 

Another suggestion is to use a spray can of carb cleaner and spray around the bottom of the intake manifold, and the base of the throttle body assembly. IF there is a leak, you should hear a change in your engine.

 

OK now that you checked for vacuum leaks your engine should be up to operating temperature.

Edited by BroncoJoe19

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There are three types of codes we will discuss

KeyOnEngineOff (KOEO)

When you initiate this test, the computer will test certain sensors and actuators for shorts, open circuits, and to see if they are within acceptable range values. You may hear some clicking under the hood as it flips some levers and tests the actuators. Really cool !

 

The computer will tell you what it found out by testing your sensors, and also any stored information it saved from anything that went wrong during the last 40 trips to the store. It will tell you by flashing your "check engine light" if your truck is 1988-1995 or if your truck is 1984-1987 by sweeping the needle of a cheap voltmeter. If you are lucky enough to have a 1996, it has a newer alpha numeric diagnostic system that may be read for free by some auto parts stores such as AutoZone.

 

OK.. so codes are usually two or three digits, such as 63 or 122 (possible short in the Throttle Position sensor) see.. space shuttle stuff.

Code 63 would be sent as six flashes or needle sweeps, a two second pause, and three more flashes or needle sweeps then a four second pause.

 

Code 122 would be

1 flash- 2 sec pause-

2 flashes 2 sec pause

2 flashes 4 sec pause.

 

Got it? So let's get out tools together and get set up to start the test.

Get a pencil and paper to write down our codes.

Get your little 4 inch jumper wire.

And if you have an '84-'87 get your little voltmeter out.

OK for the '84-'87 crowd this is how you set up your voltmeter so you can read needle sweeps.

Set the VOM on a DC voltage range to read from 0 to 15 volts

 

Connect the + positive lead to the + terminal on your battery.

Connect the - negative lead to "Self Test Output" in the diagram.

 

OK now everybody.

We already checked for any vacuum leaks, and your coolent level,

Now we want to make sure the engine is warmed up.

Shut off all electrical accessories or disconnect them (radio, CB's, lighting, etc.).

Turn her off.

Wait ten seconds

Put the jumper wire as indicated between "Self Test Input" and "Signal Return

post-9476-1209780173_thumb.jpg

Edited by BroncoJoe19

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Next we'll do the KeyOnEngineRunning KOER self test.

 

You preheat the engine and turn her off.

Shut off all electrical accessories or disconnect them (radio, CB's, lighting, etc.).

set your jumper wire and start her up.

After you get four flashes, or sweeps (three flashes or sweeps for a 6 cyl).

you depress and release the brake pedal, turn the steering wheel 1/2 turn, push the OD on off switch, THEN after a single flash... snap the throttle (push it all the way to the floor once) See Edit Below.

Then get ready to read your codes.

FYI a code of 11 or 111 is a pass code.

 

 

OK.. time for more ice cream! :)

Now bring your codes here, and we'll help you work it out.

 

EDIT... prior to doing the throttle test, one should wait for the signal to do so. The signal is a single quick flash. Aparrantly some trucks do not require it, and it should not be performed without being prompted to do so.

Edited by BroncoJoe19

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OK first off, Bronco Joe no wonder you have a picture of Yoda on there... you are the man... OK so you are right, and yes, cheapness is someting I fight with every day ha ha I did buy the El Cheapo from the auto store, and actually, it fits the 6 sided EEC test plug perfectly.... now ... I didn't find the STI wire under my hood, I may have to go back and find that one to connect to the single port on my ghetto checker? ( sounds like I boned myself out of 20 bucks and should have just got a single wire). I will try on saturday to pull some codes, yeah I have an intermittent CHECK ENGINE and ABS light..... will let you know what I find out, thanks

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OK first off, Bronco Joe no wonder you have a picture of Yoda on there... you are the man... OK so you are right, and yes, cheapness is someting I fight with every day ha ha I did buy the El Cheapo from the auto store, and actually, it fits the 6 sided EEC test plug perfectly.... now ... I didn't find the STI wire under my hood, I may have to go back and find that one to connect to the single port on my ghetto checker? ( sounds like I boned myself out of 20 bucks and should have just got a single wire). I will try on saturday to pull some codes, yeah I have an intermittent CHECK ENGINE and ABS light..... will let you know what I find out, thanks

IF you follow the wiring of the larger connector down the harness about four inches you should find the wiring of the STI.

Please, as you go through the test consider sending me improvements to my instructions so that everyone can learn how to run this simple, yet extreemly valuable test.

 

BTW... the ABS light is usually caused by a faulty sensor mounted on top of the rear.

Oh.. you did good.. Last year el' cheapo would have cost you $40 :)

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great write up joe! So wise you are. Only one thing i would add/change. the 84-87 people, i know you said watch the needle sweeps with the voltmeter but you just might want to clarify that you need an Analog meter since they are actually kind of hard to find sometimes. I know you can get $5 digital ones and how many people want to read 10 different scales on an analog meter:)

 

I think in place of the Meter you can use a test light and just watch the bulb flashes right? The actual voltage isn't important right since we are pulling from Batt+ and just grounding out through the self test output or what is the actual signal?

 

again great writeup and thanks for taking the time to do that!

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great write up joe! So wise you are. Only one thing i would add/change. the 84-87 people, i know you said watch the needle sweeps with the voltmeter but you just might want to clarify that you need an Analog meter since they are actually kind of hard to find sometimes. I know you can get $5 digital ones and how many people want to read 10 different scales on an analog meter:)

 

I think in place of the Meter you can use a test light and just watch the bulb flashes right? The actual voltage isn't important right since we are pulling from Batt+ and just grounding out through the self test output or what is the actual signal?

 

again great writeup and thanks for taking the time to do that!

Yep Matt... all good points.

 

Here is an $8 analog meter obtainable at RadioShack

post-9476-1209819027_thumb.jpg

One doesn't need to read the actual voltage with it, only count the needle sweeps.

 

I have read that one may also use a digital voltmeter. I have not tried using a digital one, but I am a little concerned that the one that I have is slow to present its reading and may not do it fast enough for the rate of speed of the flashes.

 

Also I have read that one may use a "logic probe" with an LED light. I tried using a regular 12v clearance marker light bulb and it did not work. I read somewhere that a .5 watt light would work, (I guess that is in the LED category)

 

I was a little concerned about giving all the options available for fear of having the readers eyes start to whell up with tears. ;)

 

There are additional tests that can be run, but I haven't done them yet myself, and completing this much of the test is a great start, and much more than what many do.

Edited by BroncoJoe19

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you mean like testing the fuel pumps and divertor valve :-D

 

Im not sure if any of this would work on my 85, there isnt very much still connected and the only light that turns on in my dash is the emissions light. and thats very random:)

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Ofcourse there is still the commercial option.

Here is one, I see that it currently is listed online at $33 from the manufacturer's website.

 

post-9476-1209824031_thumb.jpg

 

It has a built in sound and light indicator, (instead of watching the in dash CEL light, or hooking up a voltmeter) and a "test/hold" switch.

 

It appears to me that toggling the test/hold switch is the same as connecting, and disconnecting the jumper wire.

Therefore, one *should* be able to use their instructional manual to perform the additional tests listed within it using the same equipment we discussed above.

 

The manual also lists a trouble code reference list.

ActronCodeReaderManual.pdf

It is in adobe acrobat format. IF you can not open it, you must obtain the FREE acrobat reader from www.adobe.com and install it on your computer.

Good luck, and happy troubleshooting :)

joe

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YODA, I pulled the code from my Bronco, found out that the code says "Throttle position sensor voltage low." Now this wouls seem to make sense since my Bronco has been kind of sick lately.... idling funny ( no vacuum leaks) and tending to die when at a stop light, but will start back up just fine... so has anyone changed out a TPS and how much of a pain in the butt is it?

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what motor do you have? ive swapped the one on my 4.9fi motor. Just a matter of two screws. Some TBs require an adjustment (dial the idle voltage into a certain range) I cant remember if mine was that way or not.

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YODA, I pulled the code from my Bronco, found out that the code says "Throttle position sensor voltage low." Now this wouls seem to make sense since my Bronco has been kind of sick lately.... idling funny ( no vacuum leaks) and tending to die when at a stop light, but will start back up just fine... so has anyone changed out a TPS and how much of a pain in the butt is it?

Yahoo!!!! for you!

 

Please let me know if there was anything in the tutorial that needed a little clarification.

Thanks

 

Not too long ago I did my TPS.

Please read through this post and then follow the links.

One is particularly nice in that it is a pictorial.

USe some carb cleaner to clean off the inside of your throttle body while you have it off.

http://broncozone.com/forums/index.php?s=&...ost&p=72071

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OK i will try it out when I get some time next weekend, unfortunately I am working this week, damn job gets in the way of my play time you know! I will let you know how it goes, BTW I have the 5.8 in my Bro

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OK i will try it out when I get some time next weekend, unfortunately I am working this week, damn job gets in the way of my play time you know! I will let you know how it goes, BTW I have the 5.8 in my Bro

Man.. I HATE it when that happens!

 

Regarding the 5.8, it doesn't matter.. its the same, the TPS needs to be adjusted. You will need a digital voltmeter.

I needed to use a third hand the first time I did it, later I used some push pins, and aligator clamps.

Did I give instructions on how to do it in that thread?

joe

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Man.. I HATE it when that happens!

 

Regarding the 5.8, it doesn't matter.. its the same, the TPS needs to be adjusted. You will need a digital voltmeter.

I needed to use a third hand the first time I did it, later I used some push pins, and aligator clamps.

Did I give instructions on how to do it in that thread?

joe

 

 

good to know they are all the same joe. Only other ford Fi motors i had were a 302 and a 3.0. everything else had a carb:) i dont remember a tps on my 71 351m :lol:

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ok thanks I do have a voltmeter, I guess in the Haynes manual it states how to adjust it... think its supposed to be 1.0 volts right

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ok thanks I do have a voltmeter, I guess in the Haynes manual it states how to adjust it... think its supposed to be 1.0 volts right

Yes in my edition of the book on page 4-22 it states to check it, it should be between 0.50 volts and 1.0 volts at idle. Later on page 4-23 it states when replacing it "rotate the sensor until the output voltage is 1.0 volt."

 

Well I couldn't get it exactly at 1.0 volt! A little above or below, but NOT just 1.0

So I opted to set it between 0.5 and 1.0 as close to 1.0 as possible, I think I am at .96

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Yoda Joe,

 

I read your other thread about getting a new gasket for the Throttle Body, just curious as to how long it took you to replace yours and the TPS. I started looking under the hood today and it seems like quite a project. Also when the TB was off, did you just spay it down with carb cleaner or what... and then just put it back on? Like I said I am off to the store to see if they have any gaskets, hopefully so... I am planning on going to the lake this weekend and need to decide if I am going to tear it apart before or after.... I have to admit I read your other thread about how your Bronco ran better and am interested in trying to clean that throttle body as long as I won't mess anything up? thanks

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Yoda Joe,

 

I read your other thread about getting a new gasket for the Throttle Body, just curious as to how long it took you to replace yours and the TPS. I started looking under the hood today and it seems like quite a project. Also when the TB was off, did you just spay it down with carb cleaner or what... and then just put it back on? Like I said I am off to the store to see if they have any gaskets, hopefully so... I am planning on going to the lake this weekend and need to decide if I am going to tear it apart before or after.... I have to admit I read your other thread about how your Bronco ran better and am interested in trying to clean that throttle body as long as I won't mess anything up? thanks

In order to do the TPS, you HAVE to pull the throttle body off. They didn't make that magic little ratchet upside down twisted screwdriver with a mirror and screw holder yet.

I read that some have done the job in as little as 20 minutes. Honestly it took me about 2 hours. I wasn't rushing at all, and spent a good amount of the time cleaning the throttle body, and being environmentally friendly to not get any fluids on the ground.

 

I didn't have a can of carb cleaner, but had a bottle of injecter cleaner, so I just brushed it on and off with an old toothbrush. It worked fine. If I had carb cleaner I would have used that.

 

Overall.. it was an easy job.

Hope this helps

joe

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Joe,

 

Thanks for the tips, since it took you two hours I think it will take me about 4 or as I like to say " a twelve pack" to get through with the job... of course I am by no means a good mechanic. I did see some small hoses that I am going to replace too while I'm dirty. I am hoping to get it done either mostly this evening when it cools down or tomorrow depeding on if I can sham out of work early or not. Thanks again

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Joe,

Congrats!

 

Good pics and tips as well!

 

Only one suggestion I can offer;

Shut off all electrical accessories or disconnect them (radio, CB's, lighting, etc.).

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Joe,

Congrats!

 

Good pics and tips as well!

 

Only one suggestion I can offer;

Shut off all electrical accessories or disconnect them (radio, CB's, lighting, etc.).

 

Miesk5,

Thanks for taking the time and reviewing.

I edited post number 5 to reflect your comment.

Thanks again,

joe

Edited by BroncoJoe19

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