Code reader recommendations. | Ford Escort Owners Association (FEOA)
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Code reader recommendations.

Discussion in '1st Gen 1981-1990 CVH' started by Wingnut, Dec 7, 2008.

  1. Wingnut

    Wingnut Guest

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    I've tried everything that everyone on this site has suggested to figure out what the issue with my MPG's could be and I'm still only getting 15-20 mpg in my '87 EFI. The only thing left is to hook the thing up to a code reader, so...
    I've decided to pick up a code reader and figure out if the car will tell me what the problem is but I'm not sure which one to buy?
    I'd appreciate anyone's input on which one they bought and why they like it. Also, where in the heck do you plug the thing in? I'm thinking on the cluster on the driver's side shock tower but I really don't know.
    Thanks!
  2. marshpoprock

    marshpoprock FEOA Member

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    You don't need to buy a code reader. A test light, or multimeter, and/or a small piece of wire will do the trick. The best thing to do is a search for pulling codes. It would be easier than trying to explain it, since there a couple of ways of achieving the same results.

    And the plugs to do so are in front of the passenger strut tower.
  3. Wingnut

    Wingnut Guest

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    Been searching "How to pull codes on a '87 Escort", haven't found any post that describes where and how. Most of them say buy a reader or take it to an autoparts store like Autozone or O'Reilly's and they'll pull them for free. I think I know what you're talking about, jumping the terminals and using a test light to count the blinks? One thing that I've noticed is that the previous owner pulled the vac line to the EGR valve but shouldn't that increase mpg's? Thought about replacing the EGR but I've gotten mixed reviews about that. What's your opinion?
  4. Wingnut

    Wingnut Guest

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  5. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    No, disconnecting the EGR won't help mpg ratings at all. Most cases the economy will decrease.

    That link shows some of what to do, but the code numberings are off. Our cars only go up to code 99, and start with code 11. I wrote a response some time ago regarding how to build and use a DIY code reader. It requires a paper clip (or something similar), couple pieces of wire attached to a 12 volt light bulb (I use a dash light in its twist lock socket), and then count the flashes. If you search all my posts you'll find it.

    Don't just search your year, all EEC 4 based Escorts before '91 used the same codes, so other people have asked how to check codes on their years (85 or 89 for example). Try searching "error codes" or just "codes" instead to expediate your search. Sorry, I'm too lazy to keep linking to error codes. Maybe I should link it in my signature.
  6. Wingnut

    Wingnut Guest

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    Cow, you've got a lot of posts! What should I search for? DIY, Code reader, ECU codes?
  7. Wingnut

    Wingnut Guest

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    K, found it and gonna give it a try.

    One last thing and it's so bad, feel free to make fun.
    How do I know if I have EFI, CFI (says EFI on the air intake cover but that could be mis-leading) as well as model GT, GL, or pony?
    All the detailing has been removed, will it say on the title, or can you tell by the VIN number 9 or J?

    Thanks!
  8. marshpoprock

    marshpoprock FEOA Member

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    Techinically from 87 all Escorts are some form of EFI. If you have a pony, lx, or even an Exp luxury coupe, you'd have the cfi version. If you have a gt or an Exp sport coupe, you'd have the mfi. I'm not sure when the gt's or sc's went to efi before 87

    Notice how I refrain from the invitation of making fun. Not everyone in the world is an a-hole. I have to ask questions sometimes too.
  9. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    The easy way to tell is this: CFI engines will have the traditional looking black air bonnet and hoop air filter. EFI-HO engines will say just that on the intake, which is cast aluminum (not stamped steel like a CFI), and has multiple injectors. CFI only has a single injector hovering over the intake trumpet.

    If your car just says "EFI" it'll be the CFI (Central Fuel Injection) base model engine. Only GTs and select LX Escorts got the HO engine (it was optional for the LX). From what I've read, ~ 80% of late model 1st gens are CFI.

    I also won't laugh at you about this...we were all new once, and it took a kind person to teach us. That's also the whole point of a forum: to question, discuss, and collectively learn/bond.
  10. marshpoprock

    marshpoprock FEOA Member

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    I don't know about the "bond" thing. Cow, you're starting to scare me a bit. You were talking about anal something last week.


    I remember when I had my first Escort. I went to buy an air filter and bought one for an EFI, versus the CFI which I thought was for a carb. I realized what CFI was then.
  11. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    So you're interested in anal bonding, Marsh? I mean bond in the way that we get excited about people's projects, and try to give each other the best advice, as well as be friendly toward new people. Not to mention some of us meet in person, and become friends in actual life...which I would also call a bond. I'm not talking about the "male bonding" crap feminism seems to focus on so much. I'll have a beer, sit and talk Escorts, music, or whatever...but I'm not going to hug anyone. That's just....creepy and weird.

    Think of CFI as nothing but a computer controlled carb, and it makes much better sense. It's also pretty efficient, and quite reliable.
  12. marshpoprock

    marshpoprock FEOA Member

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    Oh, you mean comradery. I'm down with comradery, not the bonding thing. Bonding sounds funny ;) ;) .
  13. jfarcas

    jfarcas FEOA Member

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    Comradery is definitely a plus! I finally got to meet up with Noall the other day, and there's endless amounts of car stuff to banter about when two 1st gen weirdos get together.

    Find any codes yet, Wingnut?
  14. 89Pony

    89Pony New Member

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    :lol: I'm not a touchy-feely guy either
  15. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    Aye, it was good to finally meet someone else in person. Now I know I'm not alone :p. I'll have to bring my guitar next time; we can build a small camp fire and sing Koombaya to our Escorts.
  16. WJC

    WJC Guest

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    That sounds OK, just don't take it this far:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=umhEoIdKYm8

    Easily the most disturbing commercial I've ever seen. :eek:
  17. 89Pony

    89Pony New Member

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    speaking of reading codes, the last time I did this in my 89 Pony a few months ago, I noticed that the dash CEL light blinked in unison with the multimeter, so I decided that the multimeter wasn't necessary and I could just run a wire to the battery.

    But, after I did this, I couldn't get any codes at all, nor when I re-inserted the multimeter in the line. Well, the OBD connectors are corroded and all so maybe I just need to clean them, but you don't think I might have fried something in the process do you? Otherwise, the car runs fine so I think the ECA is still working. I think I've since disconnected and reconnected the battery, which would of course reset it, but if not, I'll do that before trying again. too cold here now, lol.

    just spent several nights trying to re-align the headlights, what a chore. Not nearly as straightforward (that's a pun) as you'd think. I'm using Sylvania Xtravision bulbs now which do seem to make things brighter though. Still though, when a car pulls up behind me, its headlights cast the shadow of my car such that it mostly negates my headlights, which bugs me to no end.
  18. UnexplodedCow

    UnexplodedCow FEOA Member

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    It's possible the CE light bulb burnt out. Connecting directly to the battery shouldn't be problematic since using a light bulb gives very little resistance initially. I don't know about sustained connection, though. It could've fried something, but maybe not. Try the light bulb trick next and see what happens.

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