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How to get engine codes without a scanner? 94 Trans Am Rate Topic: -----

#1 User is offline   BlackOut94 

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  • Year: 1994
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  • Model: Trans AM
  • Engine: 350 lt1
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Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:04 PM

I have heard there is a way to "jump" where the scanner plugs in under the dashboard using a paperclip? Is this true? And if so, how exactly is this done. I have a 1994 pontiac firebird trans am with a 5.7 lt1. I believe thats the OBD1 scanner. Any help is appreciated!! Thanks guys.


#2 User is offline   Injuneer 

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  • Year: 1994
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  • Model: Firebird Formula
  • Engine: 381ci LT1 stroker
  • Transmission: TH400 + GV O/D

Posted 07 November 2010 - 01:26 PM


1993 was the last year you could flash the codes on the SES light by shorting the pins in the ALDL connector. For 94 and 95, you need a "real" OBD-I scanner (the 93 was OBD-I also, so that's not what determines how you pull the codes). You can also use free software to pull the codes and data log the PCM, using these:

FreeScan (free):


TTS DataMaster (Free download and 20 free uses):


Good source for a cable:

Interpret the data:

Do not be fooled by the Actron 9001 code scanner. It is simply a $35 switch that shorts the ALDL pins, so it won't work on anything after 93. I believe the box indicates it works on 94, but it doesn't. Even if you have a 93, there's no need to spend $35 on the Actron 9001, when a 1-cent paperclip will do the same job.

Auto Xray made a decent OBD-I scanner that you can sometimes find used for $100 or less. There was a scanner called the "Scanmaster LT1". Excellent - not sure if they still make it. I still have one mounted on my dash.

My suggestion would be to get a good quality scanner that reads both OBD-I and OBD-II. Sooner or later, you will have an OBD-II vehicle.

If anyone reading this has a 95, you have the red-haired step-child - an OBD-I PCM with a 16-pin OBD-II ALDL connector, that takes a special 12-pin to 16-pin adapter plug, or jumper wires as shown here:


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381ci all-forged stroker - 10.8:1 - CNC LT4 heads/intake - CC solid roller - MoTeC engine management - 8 LS1 coils - 58mm TB - 78# injectors - 300-shot dry nitrous - TH400 - Gear Vendor 0.78:1 O/D - Strange 12-bolt - 4.11's - AS&M headers - duals - Corbeau seat - AutoMeter gauges - roll bar - Spohn suspension - QA1 shocks - a few other odds 'n ends. 800HP/800lb-ft at the flywheel, on a 300-shot. 11.5 @ 117MPH straight motor

#3 User is offline   sloper10 

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Posted 10 November 2010 - 02:39 PM

Thanks, great info......

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