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Yes Virginia, there is such thing as an Italian Tune Up

Meriden

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1996 Explorer
Had some problems with a P401 "EGR Flow" message on my 96 Explorer not clearing and decided to try the old Italian Tune Up to see if that would fix it. So today, I was driving the two hours to the bee yard and once I was off of the interstate and out of traffic started to cycle through a series of 30 to 70 mph accelerations at full throttle followed by compression breaking back down to 30. I erased the P401 and drove it around until the full drive cycle had completed, then took it for an emissions inspection. The truck is running great and the code has not come back. FWIW
 
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koda2000

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Had some problems with a P401 "EGR Flow" message on my 96 Explorer not clearing and decided to try the old Italian Tune Up to see if that would fix it. So today, I was driving the two hours to the bee yard and once I was off of the interstate and out of traffic started to cycle through a series of 30 to 70 mph accelerations at full throttle followed by compression breaking back down to 30. I erased the P401 and drove it around until the full drive cycle had completed, then took it for an emissions inspection. The truck is running great and the code has not come back. FWIW

LOL, I thought I was the only one familiar with that term. Growing up we had a neighbor (who was a truck mechanic by trade) and his favorite way of tuning up his personal car was to rev the crap out of it in his driveway. I was always saying, "Sounds like Pete's doing an Italian tune-up again".
 
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chefduane

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Had some problems with a P401 "EGR Flow" message on my 96 Explorer not clearing and decided to try the old Italian Tune Up to see if that would fix it. So today, I was driving the two hours to the bee yard and once I was off of the interstate and out of traffic started to cycle through a series of 30 to 70 mph accelerations at full throttle followed by compression breaking back down to 30. I erased the P401 and drove it around until the full drive cycle had completed, then took it for an emissions inspection. The truck is running great and the code has not come back. FWIW

How do you compression brake a 1996 Ford Explorer? When I was a kid we had a neighbor who was a OTR CDL and explained to me what 'compression release braking' was, but how does one accomplish compression release on an Explorer?

PS: Never heard of 'Italian Tuning' either. This is a good learning thread for me!!
 
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boominXplorer

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Lol in south east Va we call it a Carolina tune-up. Start it up and blow the carbon out of it before it even warms up.
 
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Meriden

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How do you compression brake a 1996 Ford Explorer? When I was a kid we had a neighbor who was a OTR CDL and explained to me what 'compression release braking' was, but how does one accomplish compression release on an Explorer?

PS: Never heard of 'Italian Tuning' either. This is a good learning thread for me!!

There is compression braking on diesel engines, a Jake Brake, and then compression braking on gasoline engines. Most diesel engines need a compression release to use the engine for braking because the way the engines are designed. Without a driver pressing the accelerator, gasoline engines will try to return to idle causing compression braking while diesel engines will keep sucking fuel/air at the rate the transmission is spinning the crank. A real mechanic can explain it better than I.

I learned of this by accident when I borrowed my mother's Buick as a teenager. She said it ran better after I spent a Saturday night driving it like, well, a teenager. Later, when sports cars came along it was a common practice among that crowd. Ah the good old days. Na, somehow I don't miss, points, condensers, carburetors and wire wheels.
 
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chefduane

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So you're using the term 'compression braking' as the same as 'engine braking'? I thought you meant actual compression release braking aka Jake Brake on an Explorer. I think that was the reason for my confusion.
 
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toypaseo

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Please describe in detail this "Italian Tune-up". P0401 is one of the codes I have...
 
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Meriden

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Please describe in detail this "Italian Tune-up". P0401 is one of the codes I have...

What I did was drive about 100 miles at interstate speeds to get the car up to temperature. On a road that had no traffic, that was flat and otherwise safe, I accelerated from 30 to about 70 with a heavy throttle, then let off the throttle until the car decelerates back to 30. Did this three or four times, and then repeated using full throttle three or four times.

I checked the oil first and was prepared for something to break under the load. The Explorer has 240K on it. I'm in Texas where farm to market road speed limits are 70 MPH. The road I was on had long sight lines and good quality pavement.
 
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toypaseo

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@Meriden, did you decelerate by downshifting, or just left it in Drive?
 
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