Returning deleted truck to stock condition can be tough, especially if you’re not familiar with the process. But is it impossible? No, and you can restore your vehicle to its original state.
What is a Deleted Truck?
In the context of diesel trucks, “deleting” means removing certain components, specifically those related to emissions control, such as the Diesel Particulate Filter (DPF), Exhaust Gas Recirculation (EGR) system, and the factory tuning.
The primary reason is to increase the performance and fuel efficiency of the diesel truck to get it to pass emissions testing. However, due to emissions regulations, you might need to return your truck to its stock condition.
Can a Truck Be Undeleted?
Yes, a truck can be “undeleted,” which means reversing a “delete” and returning the truck to its original, factory settings.
There are several reasons why you might want to return a deleted truck to stock. One of the most common reasons is to comply with emissions regulations. In some states and countries, it’s illegal to operate a vehicle on public roads without these emissions control devices. Failure to comply can result in hefty fines and penalties. Nobody, not even emission stations want to end up like these 11 men and 3 companies who faced federal charges for ‘deleting’ emissions controls from hundreds of semi trucks in Michigan.
Another reason could be due to a recall from the manufacturer. For instance, if there’s an s47 emission recall, it has to be completed before you can get new tags for your truck.
Returning Deleted Truck to Stock: Steps
The process of returning a deleted truck to stock involves reversing the steps taken during the delete process. Here’s a general outline of the steps you might need to follow:
1. Prepare the Necessary Tools
Start the process of returning your diesel truck to stock by gathering all the necessary parts and tools. This includes the original parts that were removed during the delete process, such as the DPF, EGR system, and any other related components. If you don’t have these parts, you’ll need to purchase them.
You’ll also need various tools, including:
- a wrench set
- socket set
- a code reader
- a service manual for your specific truck model on hand
Keep an eye on online marketplaces like Craigslist or eBay for parts. You might find someone selling the parts you need. However, be cautious and make sure the parts are in good condition. For example, if a DPF was removed after an engine failure, it might be coated with oil and ruined.
2. Flash the ECM with the Stock Tune
The process of returning to stock begins with reinstalling the original software settings of your vehicle. This is often referred to as the “stock tune”. You can do this using an autocal device, which is a handheld tuning device that allows you to flash tunes onto your vehicle’s Engine Control Unit (ECU). The stock tune can be obtained from your tuner or a reliable online source. It also helps the truck’s ECU to operate under the manufacturer’s original parameters.
Make sure that you can flash the Engine Control Module (ECM) with the stock tune. That’s because the ECM was likely reprogrammed during the delete process to optimize performance without the emissions control devices. When returned to the stock tune, it ensures that the ECM can properly control and monitor these devices once they’re reinstalled.
3. Reinstall the EGR System
The EGR system is responsible for reducing the amount of nitrogen oxide that your truck emits. To reinstall it, you’ll need to reconnect the EGR valve and cooler to the exhaust and intake system. Make sure to replace any gaskets to ensure a proper seal.
4. Reinstall the DEF and DPF Systems
When reinstalling the DEF system, as one of the processes of returning deleted truck to stock, you need to see how much of the DEF (Diesel Exhaust Fluid) system is left. Depending on what’s left on the truck, you might need to order parts from Ford or find used parts from someone who’s deleted and doesn’t want them anymore.
The DPF (Diesel Particulate Filter) is another component you might need to replace. It captures and stores exhaust soot to reduce emissions from diesel vehicles. Reinstalling it involves connecting it back to the exhaust system. Again, ensure that all seals and gaskets are replaced to prevent leaks.
If you’ve deleted an emission component like the Selective Catalytic Reduction (SCR), it will need to be reinstalled since it controls the vehicle’s emissions and is legally required in many jurisdictions.
5. Have the Dealer Flash the ECU
After you’ve reinstalled the stock tune and emission components, have the dealer flash the ECU with the newest stock file. This will make sure that the ECU is up-to-date with the latest software from the manufacturer and recognizes all the reinstalled components correctly. You should ideally have a professional at a dealership or a certified mechanic handle this step when returning deleted truck to stock.
6. Consider Tuning
If the smell of the exhaust is the main issue, you might want to consider getting a better tuning setup. Some users reported that they have a deleted truck but don’t notice any smell worse than a stock truck, inside or out.
If you’re not satisfied with your current tuner, you want to try different ones. Some experts recommend Tyrant for the GTX tunes.
You can also alter the exhaust chemistry to cut down the smell. However, you have to add a DOC (Diesel Oxidation Catalyst) to the exhaust.
7. Check All Connections and Test the Truck
After reinstalling the parts, you also need to check all electrical connections and hoses. This is to ensure that everything is connected correctly and securely after returning deleted truck to stock.
Finally, start the truck and let it run for a while. Monitor the dashboard for any warning lights and listen for any unusual sounds. It’s also a good idea to take the truck for a test drive to ensure it’s running smoothly.
8. Seek Professional Help
If you’re having trouble getting the tuning right, consider finding a good independent shop that has access to both the IDS codes and good tuner solutions. They can reflash your PCM (Powertrain Control Module) to dealer stock and then install a good tuner and tunes setup.
Returning a deleted truck to stock isn’t without its challenges. You might encounter issues with parts not fitting correctly, needing new parts like gaskets, or having issues with the DEF tank. It’s also possible that the truck might not perform as well as it did when it was deleted.
How about if the ECU is “unlocked” during the deletion process and whether it can be “relocked”? The consensus seems to be that even if the ECU remains unlocked, it doesn’t prevent you from returning the truck to stock condition and re-tuning it to the stock settings. However, note that an unlocked ECU might be a red flag for dealerships or potential buyers. It simply shows that the truck may have been modified.
Legal and Warranty Considerations
Depending on your location, there may be legal implications that come with selling a diesel truck that has had its emission components removed. Some states require all emission components to be intact for a vehicle to be legally sold. Additionally, modifications such as unlocking the ECU and deleting components can void your warranty.
Let’s end this guide by tabulating the problems of considerations of returning deleted truck to stock:
|Availability of Original Parts||If original emission components were discarded, finding replacements can be difficult and expensive. These parts are often specific to the vehicle’s make and model.|
|Technical Expertise||Reinstalling emission components and flashing the stock tune onto the ECU requires technical knowledge. Incorrect installation can lead to performance issues or damage.|
|ECU Unlocking||If the ECU was unlocked during the deletion process, it might not be possible to relock it. This could be a red flag for dealerships or potential buyers.|
|Legal and Warranty Implications||Modifications such as deleting can void your warranty. Depending on local laws, it might be illegal to sell a vehicle that has had its emission components removed, even if they’ve been reinstalled.|
|Time and Cost||The process of undeleting a truck can be time-consuming and costly, especially if replacement parts need to be sourced or a professional needs to be hired.|
|Residual Effects||Even after undeleting, there might be residual effects on the vehicle’s performance, fuel efficiency, and longevity. These effects can vary depending on how long the truck was running in the deleted state and the quality of the undelete process.|
Read also: How to Avoid Emissions Testing in Colorado