Scanner info wanted

I have a 1987 Ford Aerostar. Where can I get a good, but inexpensive, scanner to run the codes on my van?
I saw a few cheap scanners at Wal-Mart for about $27.00, but they
looked like junk. Anyway, I am new to this "automotive computer thing" and I could use some help and advice.
Thanks in advance.
rr
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In article
snipped-for-privacy@hotmail.com (River Run) wrote:

Scanners display live serial data (sensor voltages etc.) in addition to extracting trouble codes and various other functions.
Code readers facilitate extracting trouble codes from the system.
Given the limited capability of the 1987 EECIV system, all you need is a cheap code reader.
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(River Run) wrote:

OK, thank you. Could you make a recommendation as to what scanner or code reader would be adequate? Would the cheap Wal-Mart type scanner be sufficient?
RR
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snipped-for-privacy@aol.com (Riverrun2112) wrote:

It's not a question of tool adaquacy, it's the vehicle system that presents the limitations. i.e., the 1987 EEC IV system is limited in its capability.
A paperclip would be adaquate, the Walmart cheapy (hopefully) gets you stepby step instructions and code definitions.
A real scan tool costs $4000+ It would also not do much more than what the $27 walmart piece does (on this particular vehicle).
Twenty seven bucks is lunch money. You might find something cheaper on e-bay or online vendors.
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(Riverrun2112) wrote:

Thanks, again. I might just go and try the Wal-Mart product, just for the heck of it, then. I saw on the package that this reader give the codes for many vehicles, including Chev, Ford, Dodge, etc.. It's a cheapy, but if it doesn't work, it does come with a warranty.
rr
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River Run wrote:

1996 model cars cost about $25.00 and dont do much but the light flashes or makes a beep... the code readers for the 1996 and later cars can cost about $150 for a low tech one to $650 for an improved one.............. the pre 1996 cars use the cheap one and i have not seen anyplace where they sold them for more than the price that you mentioned.... some might come in a facy box and have a manual, but they dont tell you much... example: you cannot put the code reader on and find that you have code 123 and you look in the book and the book tells you: go fix the blank, blank, blank.... it will guide you into what are of teh car to check, but you still have to figure out what is wrong with the system and it might be one of several things wrong with the car system and you still have to trouble shoot it down and fix the problem...
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Use your $27 to buy a decent manual.
Look at this site:
http://dalidesign.com/hbook/eectest.html
It will tell you how to retrieve the codes with a paper clip, list them for you, and add some decent explanation to the whole thing too. I have never seen the brochure which comes with those commercial $25 code-readers, but I suspect that it's not anywhere as good as what you will find on this site.
The guy who runs this site pushes his own book (that's the main purpose for the site), but I have enough books already and didn't need it, so I would't be able to tell you if it's any good. If it's as good as what he posted, it may be worth the money.
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