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Discussion Starter #1
Hello everyone, I am in need of a little help. Here is a copy of my post in the tech forum, to give you an idea and will provide a link to the post.

OBD II Diagnostic troubleshooting on a laptop

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I have a 2004 SVT Focus and I need to know what software and hardware I need to diagnose problems with my car using my laptop. I am not talking about reading and clearing codes, I need in-depth diagnostics and troubleshooting.

The problem I am having at the moment is the engine surging during normanl accelleration and at steady speed. What is strange is that after it has been running for a while, it seems to clear up. However, I can shut it off for a minute, start it back up, and it will surge again and then smooth out after a while.

I bought the SCT Excallibrater for my car back in early 2005 from Wayne at Hypnotic Illusions, it is the old black box. Anyway, I used the custom tune for a long time and had no problems untill 3 or 4 months ago with the surging. I am using the factory tune at this time because with the performance tune the surging is far worse and doesnt go away with time.

I have replaced both O2 sensors and cleaned my MAF sensor with MAF cleaner, which did not solve the problem.

Anyway, any help with this problem will be greatly appreciated and well as info about software and hardware needed for diagnostics on my laptop, hopefully inexpensive. Thank you in advance.

BTW, sometimes when I am driving at a steady speed after the car has been running for a while and the surging has smoothed out, it will feel like I am slowly letting back on the accellerator, however I am not. I will step further down on the gas and it will chug a bit before accellerating .... very strange feeling. This does not happen very often, however.

Jayson


ok, problem with the link. LOL It is in the tech forum. Anyway, Turbo Tom suggested asking my fellow houstonians for help. I was wondering if someone here in SW houston with a newer Excal could do a little datalogging for me to send to Tom, he said he could help with my problem. I don't have much money due to loss of my good job and now working for peanuts but I can give you some gas money and a 6 pack for your help. If there is anyone willing to help out a fellow focusfanatics fan, please let me know. Thank you all in advance!

Jayson
 

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R.I.P Kona
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Ask 71shadow. He recently purchased an sct tuner. Maybe he could use that to help you datalog.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Sounds like maybe the IAC is not working too well to me?
That has crossed my mind, but the custom tune disable's it. Perhaps it is not closing all the way? I dunno. lol
 

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FF PHOTOG ENTHUSIAST
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A few of us have XCals to datalog our cars ... what part of Houston are you in?

And I see you have a Red SVT ... you wouldn't have a Red SVT lowered with a black vinyl on top of your rear bumper would you??? Saw one a couple of days ago in the Rice Village area.

-Ray-
 

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Discussion Starter #6
A few of us have XCals to datalog our cars ... what part of Houston are you in?

And I see you have a Red SVT ... you wouldn't have a Red SVT lowered with a black vinyl on top of your rear bumper would you??? Saw one a couple of days ago in the Rice Village area.

-Ray-
I am in SW houston in the w bellfort chimney rock area. Oh, and that wasn't me. lol
 

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To get what is needed to diagnose your issues on your laptop is well over $2K. I know a lot of guys on here are the "Do it yourself" types. If you don't have the tools already then the amount spent guessing and checking or the amount spent on tools may cost you more than the repair at a GOOD shop. At any rate, get the car diagnoses by a quality technician then you can still do the repair yourself. The only problem with that is you cannot hold the tech accountable of the problem is not totaly solved.
 

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FF's Night Security
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Actually you can hook the Xcal up to a laptop and record on there from what I understand. You can also record to the Xcal unit and then plug it into a computer. Heck you can buy a used laptop for 100 bucks and use that. 2k is a very high estimate IMO. More like the cost of a xcal unit and the price of a used laptop.


Whens the last time you replaced your fuel filter?
 

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I am not trying to be rude or difficult. Yes you can data log with the SCT but there is only limited ability with data logging. In order to propperly diagnose you need more than just data logging.

Why is it that EVERYONE is first to say "check the oxygen sensor". Not just on forums but at my shop. Miss fires are not caused by these, lean conditions are not ALWAYS caused by this, rich conditions are NOT always caused by this...... you get my point.

Jaykirs, the best thing if you have already replaced parts and the problem is still there is to have a professional look at it. Your problem does not sound like anything to do with the oxygen sensors. It is hard to diagnose the problems without having the car at my shop but i can do my best. Feel free to call my shop at 281-397-8633 (ask for Matt). Fords do ahve issues with the ignition coils failing and not setting check engine codes for miss fires. It looks like from what you have said that there is a random miss fire under load only. It could also be mass air flow sensor not dirty but not reading the proper amount of grams per second. It could be the EGR system opening or closing when it is not supposed to. it could be a failing crank possition sensor failing. Don't just replace these parts without having a technician look at it. I am just trying to spit out commons things we see here at the shop.

GET IT CHECKED OUT BEFORE YOU SPEND ANYMORE MONEY!!!
 

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I get where your coming from Spraypaint and I understand. Yes you can do a lot with the Xcal and you can look at even more sensors using a big expensive scan tool. My friend has a snap-on one I've used to diagnose fuel issues before. Very handy tool I must say but I can do almost everything with my Xcal that I can with that tool. Also SVT's don't have EGR valves, that's what the VCT is used for. I also agree about the O2 sensor thing. It's ussally the last thing I look at for problems. Misfires are caused by other things like coils, wires, and such majority of the time.


Jaykirs check your coil pack connector, these have been known to have the wires pulled out.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Why is it that EVERYONE is first to say "check the oxygen sensor". Not just on forums but at my shop. Miss fires are not caused by these, lean conditions are not ALWAYS caused by this, rich conditions are NOT always caused by this...... you get my point.

GET IT CHECKED OUT BEFORE YOU SPEND ANYMORE MONEY!!!
Just to let you know, I did get CEL's a little while back and both had to do with both O2 sensors. I figured that was the problem and replaced them. My car ran smooth as glass after that, but soon fell right back into the surging crap. I have no CEL's at this time. I miss my custon tune, it runs SOOO much better with it! It will start out great with the custom tune re-installed, run like a charm, perfect, then soon start that surging crap. But even worse than with the crappy stock tune. .....
 

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Discussion Starter #12
OK, about the mis-fire thing ... I forgot to mention I had a mis-fire code on #3 cylinder. I was using E3 plugs and the one in #3 looked like it had went into meltdown. DAMN, why didn't I mention that before? I have recently went with NGK Iridium's. Number 3 plug was gutted but the engine seemed to run fine and without a dead miss. I checked the plugs because of the mis-fire code. The engine seems to be running fine on the NGK's, except for the afformentioned issues.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Like a dumb ass, I just attributied it to the plug because of all the late reviews on the E3 plug causing problems in vehicles, including mis-fires ... a search in which I conducted AFTER my discovery of my melted plug .. yes, melted, never seen anything like it. It was gutted.

So, now I leaning maybe toward the coil or wire as mentioned before.

I will give you a call Matt, and thank you for your input, I MUCH appreciate it!!
 

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I am not trying to be rude or difficult. Yes you can data log with the SCT but there is only limited ability with data logging. In order to propperly diagnose you need more than just data logging.

Slow down there Matt. jaykirs is asking for authorized help from us, not certified help. Yes, all of us agree that doing work with a Certified technician and shop is the way to go, but if we could save a few bucks to at least diagnose the issue a bit or work with others who have had similar problems then it would help us a bit. Any kind of help is helpful.

In this day in age, many people have stepped away from helping others just to help get them by. None of us know each other's financial situations or knowledge of each other's type of car, so, we can't come to a conclusion that any of the help that is given isn't good enough to help the need.

I know that you have a strong feeling towards using certified techs and shops because you also work at one and know the ins and outs of using a tech.

But again, people come to forums to draw several suggestions to draw conclusions from and sometimes for some help when he/she is hurting from any issues we are not reading.

-Ray-
 

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Discussion Starter #16
If I had the money, I would take it to a certified tech. Unfortunately I don't, so I am trying to figure out a way of figuring out the problem and replacing the part, or parts as cost efectiveley as I can. I really appreciate all the replies and tips and ideas. My fellow fanatics, YOU ROCK!! Any more thought or ideas, please post away. :)
 

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Discussion Starter #18
Yes, there are no vacuum leaks. It must be a sensor. Turbo Tom is thinking about doing a xcal loaner program to help FF members that are in need of help, such as myself. I hope he does, it would help a lot of us FF members with problems we can't figure out on our own.
 

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Though that's not a bad idea ... many people may not know how to read on once they have them in their hand or some may think they can change a parameter or 2 and more likely hurt themselves more than helping.

So, it's an up and down idea.

Be best to just find a datalogger that can record the car's parameters and send them to Tom to get his professional opinion on what's up.

-Ray-
 
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