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How To: Pull Trouble Codes on a 1st Gen Explorer (paperclip method)

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Old 10-03-2009, 07:49 PM   #1
doonze
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How To: Pull Trouble Codes on a 1st Gen Explorer (paperclip method)

Ok, so recently we've had a lot of questions about how to do this. MrShorty has a great How To on this already but it seems it's a little advanced for some people, so I'm going to make a simple "How To" with pics. This isn't a full how too, this is just to get you started, for the advanced stuff I'm going to link to MrShorty's post!!

----There is now also a video at the bottom of this post made by our own Joe Dirt, it details the process as well. So if you like video over pictures, or are still unsure, check it out!!!!----

*** This should work on 1st Gen 91-94 Explorers and also 95 2nd Gen. The 95 got a face lift but uses the same 1st Gen brain. From what I read if you have a 96+ you HAVE to have a code reader.****

So you've got a CEL light that likes to wink at ya, and you don't have a code reader!!! NO PROBLEM! All you need is a paper clip (or a bit of wire), your keys, your eyes, and your Check Engine Light.

First you have to locate your EEC test harness... It's back behind the Power Dist box on my 93...I've heard it's on the other side on some 1st gens, so I'm hoping someone will post up some pics for those models. It's the black box to the left of the air box in this picture...




What your looking for is a harness that plugged into the EEC TEST holder attached to the back of that black box. You pull the harness DOWN out of the holder, the holder stays attached to the Power Dist box. If the harness isn't in the holder (I don't put mine back) then it's laying loose just right behind this box.



Now this is what the harness your looking for looks like, you need both the black large one, and the single gray one....



You'll need a paper clip, or do like I do and use a piece of wire....



Now your going to "jump" the #2 slot in the main harness with the single gray harness like so...



Now you just get in the truck, turn the key, and watch this thing flash the codes at ya....



That's it, your done, and you now can get your Check Engine Light Codes from your 1st gen Explorer.

***Word of advise/warning... pulling the jumper off while the key is on (test mode) will erase all memory of all codes from the system. It's the same as leaving the battery unhooked to clear the codes. Don't pull the jumper during the test unless erasing the codes is what you are trying to do. It won't damage anything really, and is how I clear MY codes. Just be aware you'll lose your codes if you pull it during the test.****

I'm going to go over this REAL fast, then link you to MrShorty's post for the real deal. This is the process for the KOEO test (Key On, Engine Off). Get a piece of paper and a pen, make sure your jumper is in place, turn the key to "on" but DON'T start the truck. You'll start hearing some relays clicking and the fuel pump whine and after a few moments your CEL will "flicker" that's the "fast codes" out putting, those are for code readers and you ignore that "flicker". Then the real codes will start. The first codes will be any faults that are happening while the Key is on, but the engine is off. For example if you had a 157 fault from the MAF for example the CEL would flash once....*small pause* Five times *small pause* Seven times *small pause*, then repeat a second time (157). If you had two codes like 157 AND 158 it would flash both codes the repeat them both (157,158,157,158).



After the last code it will pause about *6 seconds* then flash once to tell you it's getting ready to give you the CM Codes. (that one flash is called the seperator flash) These are the codes that get thrown while driving but go away. In other words, if your driving and the CEL comes on, then goes off, this it where you retrieve that code. It will process just like above.


You will only get codes in the first part of the output phase (before the CM codes) if there is a CURRENT KEY ON FAULT, other wise you will get 111, that means everything is "ok" with just the key on, no faults the CPU could find. It will repeat just like normal codes. So lets say there are no current faults, but that the MAF went "high" while driving (158), this is what will be output... *flicker fast codes* (start of KOEO codes) 111,111 *6 second pause* 1 (seperator flash) *another pause* (start of CM codes) 158, then a repeat of 158, then no more flashes.


It takes some practice to get used to. But it's easy once you've done it. Just use a piece of paper and copy each code as it flashes, then figure out what you've got once you finish.

Ok, so here is the advanced instruction, and more general info on how to read the codes, and also how to do the KOER (Key On, Engine Running) test.

MrShorty's awsome thread about pulling codes!

And here is a link to what the codes MEAN!

Brooklynbay's list of OBD I CEL codes!

Here is a great video about how to do this made by our own Joe Dirt, enjoy!!!!
YouTube Video
If you are able to see this message it means that you don't have flash installed or that the video server is down.

Last edited by doonze; 07-25-2012 at 12:59 AM. Reason: Joe Dirt's Video was no longer active, corrected to new address
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Old 10-04-2009, 01:05 AM   #2
pony4896
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THANKS YOU SO MUCH FOR DOING THIS! BIG TIME HELP FOR VISUAL FOLKS LIKE ME. I did the test with key on engine off, and here is what it pulled:
I will use the number1 to signify a beep of the check engine light:
1-slight pause-111-slight pause-111-longest pause-1-six second pause-111-slight pause-111-END... I still have no idea what this means though? I would think its 133, but i seen nothing on the chart that says three digit code for 133? Maybe someone else out there knows? Thanks for anyone that can help. My ride is a 1992 Explorer 4x4 with a 4.0.. One thing i also noticed tonight while looking at my rig and listening to the sounds it makes while running, but in park, "idleing", is this- While the engine is at idle if i mash on the brakes the engine instantly has a fast idle speed for that second, with the brake pedal still mashed down not letting up the idle drops back down again, then as i let off the brake, for that instant the engine speed idles up again. All this is done while the engine is on but the vehicle is in PARK. No matter how many times i do this, its the same senerio. Up down, up down with the pressing down of the brake pedal and then letting up on it. Whats this mean? Is this a vacuum leak? Well, to anyone reading this, and replying to it, Thanks... Jason....
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Old 10-04-2009, 02:00 AM   #3
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Great writeup doonze, I was poking around under the hood on my explorer yesterday and found three plugs and thought to myself. "these must have something to do with pulling the codes." I would never had a clue if it was not for explorerforum.com I enjoy this site.

I was attempting to adjust my headlights when I found them. I have to find a 5 32nds ratchet wrench to get the side to side adjustment otherwise I'm SOL.




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Old 10-04-2009, 08:11 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by pony4896 View Post
I did the test with key on engine off, and here is what it pulled:
I will use the number1 to signify a beep of the check engine light:
1-slight pause-111-slight pause-111-longest pause-1-six second pause-111-slight pause-111-END
Code "111" is the KOEO "pass code", after that there should be a six second pause, and the CM (continuous memory) codes will be output. Once you have those, perform the KOER (key on, engine running) test. It requires a small amount of input from you, like pressing the brake and gas pedals. Read MrShorty's write up it's quite thorough.
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Old 10-04-2009, 11:52 AM   #5
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Good job Doonze- I was going to do a writeup on my '95 for this, and my lazy tail never got around to it. Yes- this does work with a Gen II '95 Ex. ('95 only)

As an addidtion, I have the wire, and crimped 2 small spade connectoras to each end, and they slide perfectly into the connectors. I keep it in the glove box. Yes, I could keep a paperclip, but I like the wire.




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Old 10-04-2009, 04:22 PM   #6
doonze
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Good job Doonze- I was going to do a writeup on my '95 for this, and my lazy tail never got around to it. Yes- this does work with a Gen II '95 Ex. ('95 only)

As an addidtion, I have the wire, and crimped 2 small spade connectoras to each end, and they slide perfectly into the connectors. I keep it in the glove box. Yes, I could keep a paperclip, but I like the wire.
Yeah, I was about 90% sure on the 95, but wasn't 100%, thanks for making that official, I'm going to add that info.
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Old 10-04-2009, 04:55 PM   #7
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Removing the jumper while the key is on will erase the codes IIRC. I did this with my 95, will never know why the OD Off light was flashing.




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Old 10-04-2009, 04:59 PM   #8
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Removing the jumper while the key is on will erase the codes IIRC. I did this with my 95, will never know why the OD Off light was flashing.
yes, that is true, that's the "other" way to clear the codes. The one most people use is leaving the battery unhooked for like 5 mins. I should add that....
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Old 10-05-2009, 05:02 AM   #9
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THANKS MAN, Now that I UNDERSTAND!!!.... I'm going to do this as soon as I get off work this morning!! THANKS A LOT!!
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Old 10-06-2009, 01:36 PM   #10
doonze
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Glad I could help, seems more people then I knew were having trouble figuring this out.
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Old 10-06-2009, 10:18 PM   #11
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I know that there wasn't really a good, clear method written out for people that hadn't done it before, let alone those not familiar with cars in the first place. I think it's one of those things that once you do it, you'll wonder why you thought it sounded so difficult, but I know the first time I did it years ago, it was daunting. Now I've owned enough SHO's and now the Ex, that I'm a code reading expert whether I like it or not.

Still a great writeup though! Super helpful for a LOT of people.

I think it should be linked to the forum acceptance email sent out to new members to run codes before they post on a problem, since codes eliminate so many variables and "what-if's"




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Old 10-07-2009, 04:29 PM   #12
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Thanks Joe, I rewrote some of it, and made the KOEO section what I feel is a little more clear, but I don't think there is a GOOD way to explain it until you DO it....
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Old 10-07-2009, 04:38 PM   #13
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I recorded my light, can somebody read it for me?? This is with the engine off, key on
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OctoPSSc_pY
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:29 PM   #14
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111 No faults on KOEO

and you CM (memory) code is 186

your flashes showed you 111 twice

seperator flash

then your 186 code twice...
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Old 10-07-2009, 05:31 PM   #15
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Oh, and BTW

186
(M)
Injector pulse width longer than expected or Mass Air Flow (MAF) lower than expected - Fuel control
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Old 10-07-2009, 09:51 PM   #16
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For anyone wanting to do this, it makes it a lot cleaner if you put a couple of male end wiring clips onto the jumper wire- less chance for the wires to fray apart and not send the signals properly.

Thanks a lot for this post, man- I've actually tried searching for this exact thing a few times but didn't have any luck. Now I'm getting 10.5mpg and want to see if the ECM can tell me anything about WHY.




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Old 10-07-2009, 10:40 PM   #17
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For anyone wanting to do this, it makes it a lot cleaner if you put a couple of male end wiring clips onto the jumper wire- less chance for the wires to fray apart and not send the signals properly
Amen to that- I've had many people see this in my glove box and say "What the hell is this thing for?"





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Old 10-07-2009, 10:46 PM   #18
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Thanks for taking the time to help everybody out. This thread is now a sticky.
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Old 10-08-2009, 01:20 PM   #19
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Truth be known guys, I though about it, even got the crimper and the spade connectors in the tool box....it's just I don't plan on USING it that much..... (wishful thinking). If my CEL becomes a problem, then yeah, I'll put connectors on it so it doesn't mangle my wire but so far, it's been ok...LOL
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Old 10-14-2009, 09:27 AM   #20
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I beat the absolute crap out of mine- I like to have it ready to go like Joe Dirt, just in case.




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