Get codes with a paper clip?

Discussion in 'Chevy Truck Forum' started by Stitz Love, Jul 29, 2009.

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  1. Stitz Love

    Stitz Love Senior Member

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    Well, this is embarrasin'.

    I was about to post how great my truck was doing since it's recent resurrection and... ugh! It's like I jinxed it!

    So... now, I have read enough of this forum to know that when I start describing symptoms, you will ask me '...what code(s) the truck has given?' as a clue to where the trouble might be.
    And that is why I'm asking for the 'paper-clip code getting' technique.

    Now I tried searching archives for this operation, but I must not be asking the right way... So I thought, "If I name this thread 'get codes with paper clip', then the next ya-hoo like myself who wants to learn how to that, and types it in as such, he will find THIS thread... and there will be much joy in the land."

    So.. while we wait for the step-by-step, easy to follow, coloring book play-by-play for this paper-clip action... I will give you the main symptom... the truck does not idle normal anymore.
    I started it up Monday like normal, 1 turn of the key to let her know we're goin somewhere... second turn she fires up. But this time, she acts like.. hard time gettin' fuel! stumbling and rolling thru idle like wants to shut off any second.
    warms up and runs okay.. but push the gas pedal hard and oops... too much (gasp) fuel? hesitates before moving on.. etc.
    Tuesday the 'check engine soon' light came on for 15 miles or so... got home, idled while I moved a few cars around to make room for her.. and when I hop back in to back her up into place... 'check engine soon' light is off . BUT she still idles poorly.
    I parked her and am driving my econo-box until I have time to look into this and aproach her with a paper clip and note pad.
    What are your thoughts?
     
  2. crabtruck

    crabtruck Senior Member

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  3. zembonez

    zembonez Senior Member

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    Was this a 1906 Howard Special built in Chicago by Austrian immigrants out of old locomotive parts?
     
  4. cool42025

    cool42025 Full Member

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    leave the paper clips to paper for real,u can burn up the ecu in a snap,if its 97 or newer just take it to auto zone they check for free, if older just go buy a handheld there not that high, cheaper than a computer ive seen burnt up being hauled into the dealership by a paper clip.
     
  5. Stitz Love

    Stitz Love Senior Member

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    oops! right, what kind of truck.. D-uh!

    Sorry 'bout that ... I was in a hurry, earlier...
    It's a 1990 Chevy Cheyenne with a 1994 5.7 (police cruizer) TBI with AC. 2wd, TH400 trans.

    Soooo 'burnt up computer with a paper clip'....?

    Tell me about the "idle sensor" I read of in some other posts....

    Also, does this sound like a fuel filter sypmtom? ...or something far more sinister...

    Thanks.
     
  6. cool42025

    cool42025 Full Member

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    u stick that paper clip in wrong hole and wham i figured u had newer tryuck do as u please but they made paper clips for a reason
     
  7. BernieB

    BernieB Senior Member

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    [​IMG]
     
  8. crabtruck

    crabtruck Senior Member

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    i'm going to somewhat disagree with cool's concern,
    although he is right that doing things wrong is unhelpful.

    Of the 12 holes you could stick something in:
    at least 4 have no connection.
    1 is likely no connection, but may be being used as ground.
    1 is the ground you are supposed to use.
    1 is the hole you are supposed to ground.
    1 is for fuel pump and error should only blow a fuse at worst.
    1 is shift light or TCC ground depending on trans - no problem there.
    1 is the ground for the SES light.
    2 are serial data outputs that should have drivers capable of handling shorts.
    This last is the only I see as somewhat of a special caution.

    Pay attention, put the clip to the right holes.
    All you get with a handheld is your hand held
    with a fancy case to short the holes for you.
    Save your money, if you're responsible enough to focus.
    Neither electricity nor electronics is spooky magic,
    Black Boxes are for airplanes. :idea:

    While I am willing to believe that an ECM failed at the time of clipping,
    I am very hesitant to believe that was the cause, maybe fluke of timing.
    That guy's wife may have been eating pie from the crust side at the time,
    but nobody's blaming her for the ECM. ;)

    Unless of course, I am totally off base. BWIA
     
  9. RollTidenIA

    RollTidenIA Full Member

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    Taking a wild shot in the dark here...

    Sounds like a timing issue. Vac. not advancing timing correctly? Bad distributor (not just the dist. cap)?
     
  10. Case 7230

    Case 7230 Senior Member

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    Do the paper clip thing. The fact that your SES light was on means that there are stored trouble codes, it would be handy to know what they are.
     

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