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Thread: Recommendation OBD Software - engine missing

  1. #1
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    Recommendation OBD Software - engine missing

    My handheld OBD tool just doesn't cut it - my Ford 2001 F150 is missing and has never produced a code, hard or pending.

    I've replaced COPs & Injectors, the truck still misses.

    What tool/software/hardware would I need to diagnose the vehicle to discover the problem?

    I am very computer literate and comfortable with Linux & Windows.

    Thanks for your help!

  2. #2
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    It all depends where you live.
    In the United States this vehicle must be OBD2 compatible.
    In Europe it has to be EOBD compatible.
    But in for instance Australia there were no rules in 2001 and this Ford produces some funny DTC replies.

    Does the engine respond to anything? Live data, clear codes, etc.?
    Can you see the automatic gearbox?

  3. #3
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    Having a few forum issues with posting so excuse if this results in a double post.

    I live in the United States, so it is OBD2.

    My handheld Actron CP9125 OBD2 scanner is a 2-button device, and does not appear to have a live data mode. If there is no code, it shows all systems to be good.

    If a vehicle is not running correctly, and will eventually produce a code, it stands to reason there is some counter deep within the onboad computer that is tracking potential issues. I would like to see those potential problems.

    I was far out of my home state and developed a problem last year, no codes, just missing badly. A mechanic connected what he said was a $11,000 Snap On diagnostic hand-held computer. He said he could see the history of all my components and commented that all 8 factory COPs were intermittently failing. Wow. He replaced the worst culprit COP and cleared up my problem, letting me travel back home. That is what I want to see, the history of struggling components. For less money of course.

    Will the Laptop based software systems like those on eBay diagnose the vehicle to discover the problem or should I look elsewhere?

  4. #4
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    With a cheap 2-button OBD2 device you will never see more than what you get now - basically nothing.
    With a little bit more expensive OBD2 PC-based scanner program you can also see some data.
    One of those data-items is the so called "Long Term Fuel Trim". For this discussion we will say that it's a counter tracking a potential mixture problem.
    The reason I asked you if you could read live data, was to check the above Long term fuel trim.
    Misfires can be caused by failing plugs or coils, but can also be the result of mixture problems.

    If you want access to the fault code history then you need something that works with the factory protocol - not OBD2.
    Something like this, with the extra Ford module: http://autoenginuity.com/products-software.html#EI01

  5. #5
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    Side note: I replaced the plugs when I replaced the COPS. Should have mentioned that.

    So I need to spend $450 with AutoEnginuity to "see" the Ford codes? I don't need to see the airbags, etc., just the engine data.

  6. #6
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    Side note: I replaced the plugs when I replaced the COPS. Should have mentioned that.

    So I need to spend $450 with AutoEnginuity to "see" the Ford codes? I don't need to see the airbags, etc., just the engine data.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Neo1 View Post
    That is what I want to see, the history of struggling components. For less money of course.
    You have to agree that 450 dollar is a lot less than 11.000 dollar.

  8. #8
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    Granted, but if $450 doesn't solve my problem, I'm better of paying someone else who knows their way around a scanner.

    I'd really like to have this tool in my arsenal, but I was just asking on this board if any of the software bases OBD2 scanners would address my truck's problems - since missing is pretty fundamental.

  9. #9
    Constant Bitrate Rickk's Avatar
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    I know this is an older thread, but having been down this road with my Ford Triton V-10 in my F350 a dozen or so times (Tritons are notorious for this), I thought I would share my experiences.

    Most of the time, if you lug the engine way down on a hill and get the engine to miss really bad, it will set a code. This is easier done with a manual transmission as with an automatic it will simply downshift before you can get the engine rpms to drop way down.

    If you cant get it to set a code, here is what you do...

    Using a scanner, monitor the short term fuel trim reading and the engine RPM.

    One cylinder at a time, unplug the primary wire connector from the each coil. What you SHOULD see is the engine rpm drop down for second or so, the fuel trim readings will go up on one bank, and then the rpms will go back to "normal".

    When you get to a cylinder that doesn't cause any change whatsoever, you have found your bad cylinder.

    When you say you changed your coils and plugs, did you also change the rubber boots that run between the coil and the plug? Most of the time the problem is that the end of the rubber boot has deteriorated and allowing the spark to arc thru it. The "spring" that makes up the connector (inside the boot) is usually all rusty by then as well.

    Good luck. The Triton's ignition system is definitely a problem design, which is probably why they dropped it in the last year or so from there engine lineup on everything but the really big F650's and such.

    Rick

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