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Diagnostics reader? (Ford, but non-Mustang)

531 Views 3 Replies 3 Participants Last post by  i967mustang
Sorry to post a truck question on this board, but the Fordtrucks forum is pretty lethargic, and I trust you guys. I recently picked up an 89 F-250. I've never dealt with engine computer diagnostics before, and I'd like to be more self sufficient with this truck. Should I buy a fancy diagnostics reader (~$200 from JC Whitney) or a simple flashing light one (~$40)? I've heard that I can read diagnostics with a multimeter, true? Do I need to worry about trying to read that diagnostic port at all? Will that info really buy me anything? Nothings wrong with the truck yet, I just want to be prepared when it does. Any advice regarding electronic diagnostics would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

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"Imagination is more important than knowledge. It is a miracle that curiosity survives formal education" - Albert Einstein
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Get the cheap one, make sure it has the code book with it. When I bought my "scanner" the book in the box was used a few times.....
The scanner is really just a jumper to get the codes flashing on the dash, the code book has all the info.

Can you smellllllllalalalala........?
66 coupe 289 2v C4 needs restore
70 coupe 351W 2v c4 almost done (?)
Some shop manuals have code charts and instructions for how to test with a voltmeter or test light. Or you can visit this site:
Hi, go to they have forum boards over there and have a procedure for retrieving codes without the meter it is pretty cool it is like here but for ford trucks. John

Opal frost pearl metallic 67 coupe
also have a 95 opal frost pearl G/T BOSS edition convertible belongs to swmbo
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