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code "scanners"

Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
Today I picked up an Acton code scanner, but I'm not sure if it's really worth any money. It's a little module that plugs into the ALDL or whatever it's called on a Corvette and makes the SES light flash, and then provides a book of codes and interpretations. Is there anything special about the module, or does it just short two pins together in the ALDL? Can I get the same effect with a piece of wire and a good reference book?

This wasn't too terribly expensive ($30), but I'd rather put the cash into something else if I can.
Thanks...
[RICHR]
 

vms4evr

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 18, 2001
Messages
466
Location
Durham, NC
Corvette
2002 Flat Black Z06
Rich,
Take it back and get your money back. Then Search this forum for ECM, Codes, etc... You'll find a bunch of threads on the various computers in your car, the codes, etc..
A jumper on 2 pins makes the SES flash the codes. If you were to take apart that plastic thing that's all you'll find inside it.
Unless it actually displays the code in it then it's not worth it. Doing the jumper trick means you still have to count the flashes of the SES light to get codes. It's not difficult.
Graham
 
V

Velo

Guest
Scanners

I agree about the small scanner that fits into the Data Link Connector. The only thing it does is connect the two pins but for the uninitiated it may be a bit easier than fiddling around the electrics with a paperclip.
The best scanner I have come accross is the Snapon MT 2500 wchih will give you a complete readout of the different codes.
However at about $2500 is is a bit pricey and you still have to fix the problem yourself.
All the other scanners around $100-$200 are IMHO also a waist of money and for now I will use the small scanner and the shop manual.
Having said that if anybody has a Snapon MT2500 for sale cheap let me know. LOL
 
V

Velo

Guest
Snapon Scanner

Thanks I looked at it and it sure is nice but for me it would be about $1600 Canadian.
For now I am using the one from my friendly mechanic for a small fee.
 
D

Drewser

Guest
$1600 canadian...isn't that about three dollars american?:L
Just kidding--congrats on your hockey gold medal.
--Drew:w
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
I picked up an Actron scanner at AutoZone. You have to also then get the cartridge that applies to the vehicle.

I was able to get my scanner and cartridge for 84-95 G.M. (except cerntain models) for $150 or so out the door. They sold it to me on clearance.

Come to find out that it is not compatible with OBDII. So, Actron will sell the newest scanner to anybody that bought the old one with the OBDII software for about $200 with proof of purchase of the original.

As is, the current model I have works great for the 90 corvette. It has current, historical, code look up, clear codes, instant mode, record mode/play back. It is EASY to use and has a large screen to view many things at one time.

However, it won't work on the 2000 vette. So, I will have to break down and buy the other unit as described above. The new model they have out will do both the newest cars, and the older ones, so it is a better overall deal.

The really cool thing for me is I will end up with a scanner that will do my 90 and the 95 3500 truck, and then a seperate one that I can keep with the 2000 corvette for a total expendeture less than just buying the new Actron system.

In any event, it is well worth the money to REALLY see what is going on with the engine. You won't regret the purchase price after you have diagnosed a couple of problems and saved the $50-$200 diagnostic fee at the local dealer.

Plus, when you get ready to pump up the horsepower, the scanner will allow you to watch some critical functions while you adjust your timing and fuel pressure, idle settings, and running tempuratures.
 

jeepie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
162
Location
Dunmore, Pa.
Corvette
1991 Coupe Blk/Blk
You can also buy a interface cable to hook your cars aldl port to the serial port of a notebook computer, and there is also free software. I have not done this yet (its on my list, I did install the software, but no cable yet). If anyone is interested I can see if I can find the links.
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
If this were a full scanner, I'd not be questioning my purchase. It's just a code reader (and apparently nothing more than a glorified paper clip). I took it back last night.

A full scanner (like Diacom or some of the OBD-II ones - there's a cool OBD-II scanner that works on your Palm Pilot) for $30 would have been a steal. I'll still be looking for one, I guess. I'm in the same boat you are, 69myway - I have the 86, which is not OBD-II, and two other cars that are, so I need two different systems.
[RICHR]
 
Joined
Oct 30, 2001
Messages
2,273
Location
Glen Burnie, MD, USA
Corvette
1986 Bright Red Coupe
jeepie said:
the software, but no cable yet). If anyone is interested I can see if I can find the links.

Yes, please. I'm all about using a laptop or Palm for data acquisition and tracking.
[RICHR]
 

jeepie

Well-known member
Joined
Feb 6, 2002
Messages
162
Location
Dunmore, Pa.
Corvette
1991 Coupe Blk/Blk
Ok, I think you can get all the info you need from the following website. I am considering getting one of these cables myself, check it out and let me know what you think. I believe it only works on OBDI cars.

http://www.akmcables.com/

I also installed the Craig Moates software from that site on a thinkpad 360C and it loads fines.
Good luck.
 

Rob

Site Administrator
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Sep 16, 2000
Messages
13,762
Location
New Hampshire
Corvette
1990 Corvette ZR-1
D

David-F

Guest
Listen a paper clip is a very usefull diagnostic tool with it you can pull ECM(PCM), CCM, ABS/ASR, LTPWS, Active Handling, and SIR codes from an 81 to 95 corvette the only thing you can not do on a 96 is pull PCM codes because it's OBDII, not only that 90 to 96 you can do CCM diagnostics and clear codes, that's not bad. Now it's true you can pull data except for the CCM 90-96 but you would be suprised just how much can be fixed with out data readout. It's great to have a scan tool I think every Corvette Club should think about getting one but I do question the need for every owner to have to get one. Yes I have my own Tech1 and the shop has a few Tech2s but you would be suprised just how offten I use my A-B and A-G key to do most of my diagnostic. I do know what happens people get a scan tool then they find out it doesn't do ABS or CCM or they have to still use a paper clip to get LTPWS codes. If you do decide to get a scan tool the Auto X ray was one of the most usefull for the price under $200.00 for the OBDI a little more for OBDII unless you have a lot of money there is very little extra you will get from the Snap-on for the money(unless you need it for other cars). I looked at buying a used Snap-On scanner a while back but was not that impressed, again this is in referance to using it on a Corvette and in compairason to a Tech1 and MPSI there are some good things about a Snap-On but it's just to expensive but it is good if you work on different cars and car lines. A cable for your computer is fine to get codes for a 96 but unless it's a lap top you can't take it with you. Just wanted to give MY opinion.

David Fulcher
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
I agree with David 100%. Up until now I have been able to do pretty much any kind of repairs/diagnostic with the paper clip.

However, when I did this miniram engine conversion, I found it critical to keep an eye on the O2 milivolts as well as my spark retard, etc.

So, I have been using it as a performance enhancing tool more than a repair diagostic.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
Well, I finally took your advice and broke down and ordered one Chris. :D
CP9110 Scantool + GM Cartridge $220.00
  • Sub-Total (before tax & shipping): $220.00
  • Shipping (UPS Ground): $5.97
  • Sales Tax: $0.00
  • Grand Total: $225.97

_ken :w
 

69MyWay

Well-known member
Joined
Jul 3, 2001
Messages
4,364
Location
Auburndale, Florida
Corvette
1969 Killer Shark
Ken said:
Well, I finally took your advice and broke down and ordered one Chris. :D


_ken :w

Read the instruction book, and remeber to plug your car in as a 1990 Vette and life will be good.

I think you will get your money's worth. Remember how it helped us pin point your faulty air temp sensor? It was also reading pretty much dead on with the dyno air fuel meter by watching the O2 volts.

Let us know how it works for you.
 

Ken

Gone but not forgotten
Joined
Jan 30, 2001
Messages
8,236
Location
Hermosa Beach, CA
Corvette
1987 Z51 Silver Coupe
:hb :duh :hb :duh :hb :duh

Now that I'm looking at the TEC3 system, the Actron ScanTool will be totally unnecessary. I wonder if Actron will accept returns?

:hb :duh :hb :duh :hb :duh
 
E

Eagle85C4

Guest
After an extensive search of the net I have just about every free and not free program for real time monitoring of the PCM and schematics for the building of and interface and serial cable. As well as hex editors, prom readers you name it. I am willing to upload to any that want it. I offered this to Rob....but never heard back concerning the programs. Several folks on here have already gotten copies from me. Ask and you shall receive.
 

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