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I need a new/rebuilt ECM--where to look?

Discussion in 'Explorer, Ranger - Computers, Chips, Tuning' started by rockylaurence, February 8, 2006.

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    1. rockylaurence

      rockylaurence Active Member

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      Hey guys, I have lost the 3-4 shift signal and I traced it back to the ECM. At P52 and P57 I only have .18VDC and I have a burnt capacitor on the ECM board. The bad cap may not be the cause of the loss of the 3-4 shift but it tells me there is issues. Where should I look for a rebuild? I found a place on the web but they want $249. Is there a place in Florida that works on them and what should I expect to pay?
      Thanks
       
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    3. Positive Vibes

      Positive Vibes Elite Explorer

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      Pick and pull or a junkyard.
       
    4. south59

      south59 Active Member

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      eBay is a great place. Good luck
       
    5. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Ebay, yes, I bought a spare 98 302 PCM for $50. Good luck,
       
    6. Gofast

      Gofast Moderator Emeritus Moderator Emeritus

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      Ask me....

      I have one I would let go for $50.00 Send me a PM if your interested.

      Thanks Rob
       
    7. south59

      south59 Active Member

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      I think mine was $10.99 ;)
       
    8. Glacier991

      Glacier991 EF Tranny Guru Moderator Emeritus

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      The PCM provides a ground to activate the solenoid as I recall, not +12V. Before you go replacing it check all your grounds.... If Mr. Shorty reads this he can pipe in with cogent info. (Now a ground is ALSO not .18v, I admit - and you might be on the right track... yet .18v DOES sound like a floating voltage, looking for a ground). Failing him showing up you might PM him. He is the site expert of electrical issues of this sort. He is the guy *I* go to.
       
    9. BrooklynBay

      BrooklynBay Staff Member Moderator Elite Explorer

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      In Ford computers, there is a "true ground", which is (-), and then there is a sensor ground, which is a little bit off of that, with a small deviation in the (+) direction. I once had that problem with the wiring on the power steering pressure switch. When I shorted the sensor's ground wire to a true ground, the check engine light went off. It is probably controlled by a resistor divider network inside the PCM. Autozone sells remanufactured ECMs made by Cardone. In my past experience, I've had no luck emailing their company. Here is the information on their website with contact information: CARDONE Industries USA
      Corporate Headquarters • 5501 Whitaker Avenue • Philadelphia, PA 19124-1799
      Phone: 215-912-3000 • Fax: 215-912-3700
       
    10. ExplorerDMB

      ExplorerDMB Moderator/Technician Moderator Emeritus

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    11. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      Does anyone know the part number for a 98 build SOHC PCM? Ford UK want $1600 for one so I was going to look on ebay but I need to know the part number and in the UK Ford use different part numbers. Please help!
       
    12. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Andy, the part numbers for all Ford PCM's will have the same base number, the middle section. The other numbers, 1st and last, both signify the vehicle type, model year, engine, and calibration.

      Unless there is something odd about the PCM of a non US Ford, you should be able to use any PCM from a SOHC Explorer/Mountaineer from 1999 to 2001, and very possibly the 2002+ Sport Trac and Sport models(same body size).

      Why do you need a new/used PCM? The 98+ Fords have PCM's which are married to an anti theft module, called PATS in those years. If you replace either then they will have to be reprogrammed together. Meaning that a Ford dealership tool is required to install those two modules. You can swap the modules, but the engine will not start until the modules are programmed together.

      If you do need one, I would simply buy a 99-01 model 4.0 SOHC Explorer PCM, and take it with the truck to a dealership. A used PCM should not cost more than about $75 here, I bought a spare 98 V8 PCM two years ago for $50 on eBay.

      The PCM can be swapped in a few minutes, I don't know how long the reprogramming would take. Good luck,
       
    13. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      I have a poor idle with codes relating to too lean and too rich on both banks and both O2 sensors detecting both banks lean. I have had a new MAF, TPS and inlet manifold gaskets. A Ford dealer also confirmed there are no leaks and a cylinder compression test was fine, they recommended that it was almost certainly the PCM.
       
    14. jah81592

      jah81592 Well-Known Member

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      One thing to remember is when you swap the pcm your vehicle will not start due to the interference of the PATS system. There are two ways to eliminate this.
      1st) Tow vehicle to dealer and have the PATS programmed after the new pcm installation or
      2nd) Purchase an ExCal2 which can turn PATS off and not only this you will have custom tuning to boot.
      Contact me if interested in the ExCal2.
       
    15. jah81592

      jah81592 Well-Known Member

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      This can also be something as simple as a vac leak in the brake booster,bad vac lines,leak in the inlet tubing between the maf meter and throttle body,throttle body gaskets,etc. Before swapping a computer I would definately determine the source of the problem. I don't believe you have a computer problem.
       
    16. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      The main thing that leads me to believe my local Ford dealer is that I was also advised this is likely by another garage. Also, Ford had the vehicle for 3 days and could not find anything mechanically wrong with the engine which point towards PCM or sensors. The other garage are LPG conversion specialists and I spoke to them as my vehicle is converted to run on LPG due to its cost in the UK relative to petrol.

      They advised me they have seen quite a few Explorers that have been LPG converted with this problem, almost always due to the PCM. They claim that the PCM does a test every 60 days and that if it is running on LPG at the time of these tests, due to the different burn characteristics, the PCM can rewrite its base parameters. They advised that these need to be rewritten back to factory parameters but Ford UK will not support this as they can make more money by selling a new PCM. I have found a few places that may be able to remap the PCM but this is to gain performance which is not what I am looking for. Does this sound like something the PCM could do? I understand its basic job but not all the features.

      On a different note would this ExCal then mean the immobiliser/remote unlocking is inoperational?

      Thanks.
       
      Last edited: June 9, 2007
    17. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      That's a hard one Andy. I don't know enough about the OBDII PCM and how it can work with LPG. I would have thought that a reprogrammed PCM would be required as part of the conversion to LPG. I know that LPG is best used with much higher engine compressions, like 15:1, and the SOHC is in the mid range for a gasoline engine. A static compression ratio of 8:1 would be low, and over 10:1 is high for gas engines today. What I'm hinting at is that the best air/fuel ratio is different for LPG versus gasoline use, and the compression ratio is also part of the equation. That is why LPG conversions are rare, the best conversion requires higher compression, a much different rebuilt engine.

      I agree with James, I don't believe that the PCM is defective in your truck. The O2 sensors are used to determine what the A/F ratio is, and the PCM does a fine job of obtaining the programmed A/F ratios for various conditions.

      If you have a stock programming PCM, then I think a better program would be the first thing to obtain. The stock PCM will not be running the engine for best LPG efficiency, it will be trying to adjust the fuel to obtain the best gasoline A/F ratios.

      Do some research into LPG conversions, specifically related to needed air/fuel ratios. Try to find a source for programmers who can build you an LPG program for your PCM. The Xcal2 is the current best PCM programmer device, also called a flasher, and made by SCT. You can buy them from many sources for $350ish new. The key is the person who installs the programming into it, which can be sent by email. Consult with Doug of http://bamachips.com/ to see if he has heard of any special programming for LPG engines. Good luck,
       
    18. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      The LPG system does not have its own PCM and is not controlled by a PCM at all. There is one box which cuts off the injectors and loops a good signal from the injectors back to the PCM. The LPG is then supplied into the air pipe just after the IAT sensor. The amount supplied is based on airflow, it is basically sucked in by the air passing across the end of the connection, ie more air, more LPG. Until September last year this was working fine with a perfect idle, despite the kit having been on there for 5 years. Also the problem occurs on petrol as well as LPG, I ran the truck for 2 weeks just on petrol and it made no difference. Because of this I have pretty much ruled out anything to do with the LPG system. This is set up to run the same on LPG as it does on petrol so a problem on petrol will be replicated on LPG. When it was running fine it felt exactly the same on LPG as on petrol.

      If I decided to try a PCM would you advise a used (with 30 day warranty) or reconditionned PCM? I found this 1999 one that I was thinking of trying as it is reasonably cheap. http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/ws/e...RK:MEWA:IT&viewitem=&item=280112341895&rd=1,1
       
    19. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      I see, the LPG use is about tricking the PCM with injector signals. Then the actual A/F ratio is determined by the conversion parts, I had not been exposed to the details of such a system before. It leaves a lot of possibility for less than ideal A/F ratios for various conditions, very much like a carburetor. It sounds like the original design has worked very well, that's good. It is possible that the O2 sensors cats, or even other sensors have deteriorated over time, which happens with or without gasoline being used.

      I would still doubt the PCM to be the problem, although I recognize that the PCM has very little control when LPG is used. That it works with gasoline does suggest that the PCM is okay. Generally a PCM doesn't fail partially, they usually will fail completely, or the symptoms will be very large.

      If you do still want to try another PCM, know that basically they either work or not. An old or high mileage PCM is almost equally likely to be good or bad, compared to a low mileage PCM. New PCM's used to be just over $200 some years ago. They are more now I'm sure, but to get a used PCM for under $75 is a good deal. The reputation of the seller is more important than the vehicle mileage of the PCM. Good luck,
       
    20. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      Just to clarify, all the same faults are present regardless of fuel used at the time. Thanks for your help and advice.
       
    21. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      What does PATS consist of? I don't really want to lose the alarm and immobiliser as it would invalidate my insurance.
       
    22. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Andy, have you checked the fuel pressure with the engine running on gasoline? I just finished changing my fuel pump after having codes P0171 and P0174 for several months. Just recently I discovered that my fuel pressure was low. I had 55psi at idle, dropping below 50psi with winging the throttle.

      The 99+ fuel pressure should be 56-65psi, mine has been just on the edge, so I have had random times when a code would appear. If you have a 99 truck, you need a 99+ PCM, if that is the problem. There are no mid year PCM's, don't go looking for a 99 PCM made in 98, forget that waste of time.

      The bottom line is that you should baseline your engine. You need to get it running properly on gasoline, before diagnosing things which are different with LPG. The symptoms you are getting with LPG will likely cloud the troubleshooting, experts can help get the gas system running correctly very fast. Get the truck running with gasoline first, find and fix the problem, then switch back to LPG. Check the fuel pressure, good luck.
       
    23. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      My truck was built in August 1998 but not registered and sold until May 1999. Would I be better off with a 98 or 99 PCM? I do not beleive the fuel pump is the problem as this is not used for LPG and the problems are the same on petrol and LPG. If the pump was the problem then the truck should run fine on LPG when the pump is bypassed.
       
    24. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      I didn't think of the fuel pump being out of the system with LPG.

      Check your door jamb, or the decal on the radiator support. Your registration, those tags, and all paperwork should all properly identify the truck as a 1998 or a 1999 model. Buy parts based on that model year, regardless of the manufacture date. You must use the matching PCM, the 99 is much different than the 96-98 PCM. In the USA that is a 1999 model for sure.

      Still you have a problem which would be far far easier to diagnose if it is running on gasoline. There are thousands of competent mechanics who can figure out what it is, when it is running on gasoline. There are countless member here who can. My point is that there are an insignificant number of competent LPG experts here, or where you are looking.

      You may have more than one problem. I suggest that you run the truck on gasoline, get it to run properly as a stock engine. Then switch back to the LPG and see if anything is better. I'm sorry that I don't know the magic answer that you need. Good luck,
       
    25. andypalmer

      andypalmer Member

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      How would I check these leaks myself? I don't want to throw any more money at a garage but I have not really had to work on a car before. I have heard of spraying something around pipes to check for leaks but would this work for the brake booster or vac lines?
       
    26. CDW6212R

      CDW6212R Elite Explorer

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      Hello again Andy, still no luck? Most of that checking amounts to basic cleanliness and double checking items. That is most often when you will find other problems. It is somewhat common to find a clamp screw loose on one of the inlet hoses, start with those. You can pull one or more of those hoses off and check, or clean the MAF sensor or throttle body.

      I don't know how dirty your engine is, but it is much easier to work on a clean engine, and that is a ten minute job, if there are no odd exposed electrical devices. So if you have any added devices with unprotected electronics, don't clean the engine without experience doing that. Basically that is as simple as spraying it all down with engine degreaser, and after soaking for 5-10 minutes, rinsing it all off, including the hood and fenders.

      You should be able to dig around everything under the hood looking for anything loose, appearing odd, finding an excessive amount of residue from oil, etc. If it is so filthy that you are afraid to touch anything(cold), then the mechanic will treat it the same way. They will not look hard for issues.

      General good maintenance will find most problems before they become bigger.

      FYI, the 2nd gen. Explorers(your SOHC PCM) does not relearn or alter its own programming like the dealer has told you. Those PCM's didn't begin until the 2002 4dr. Explorer models. Thus ignore what they tell you about reprogramming because of the PCM changing over time, that is BS. Disconnecting the battery will take your PCM back to its base settings, it will not adjust dramatically like the 2002+ models. The difference will not be what others have told you. That is only helpful(slightly) when you make a significant change, like a high flowing air cleaner, MAF, throttle body etc. Good luck,
       

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