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$400 for a GEM?

CurtisK

Member
Joined
December 16, 2021
Messages
17
Reaction score
7
City, State
Washougal, WA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1995 Explorer 4WD
Hi all! Newbie here. I have read many of the threads about GEMs already, and learned a lot- thanks! They were all pretty old though, so I thought it would be okay to post a new one. Here is what I sent my mechanic:

[- I've owned it for over a year, and the instrument backlighting has never worked. Fuses seemed good, so I just lived with it.
- Also, when operating the driver's power window, it would occasionally exhibit interference with the 4WD, 4LO, 4HI indicator lights, causing them to flash, but not affecting the transmission at all. Again; just lived with it.
- A few weeks ago, the driver's window would spontaneously open about an inch, but ONLY when I first put it into gear, and ONLY when I first started it up in the morning. 😳
- A week ago, it randomly started chiming while I was driving, but didn't continue or repeat; until last night!
- This time, after I had driven a mile or so, all the previous symptoms began manifesting themselves randomly and repeatedly, but this time they were joined by the "door ajar" light flashing, the door chime chiming, the dome light flashing, the power locks clicking, (but not locking), and the alarm horn chirping, (but not sounding the alarm horn).
Pulling over and shutting off and restarting did nothing, and I returned home, (grateful for light traffic!). Even fully shut down, the chaos continued, and I was forced to disconnect the battery. 😂}

So I brought it in this morning, and it was just as bad. Fortunately my mechanic is only a mile or so away! He said that they believe it to be a bad GEM, and there are only 2 left in the US, and they're $400. He's going to look for a more reasonably priced one tomorrow. A quick search shows many used and refurbished ones for sale, and it sounds like many members here have used them with no problems.
My questions for you all are:
1: Do the symptoms sound like a bad GEM? (After reading up, I'm inclined to think so myself)
2- Is there anything I should know when buying one? (I did read the thread about whether they need programming or not, and deciphering the part number- thanks!)
3: Best sources?
Thanks
 



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Hi all! Newbie here. I have read many of the threads about GEMs already, and learned a lot- thanks! They were all pretty old though, so I thought it would be okay to post a new one. Here is what I sent my mechanic:

[- I've owned it for over a year, and the instrument backlighting has never worked. Fuses seemed good, so I just lived with it.
- Also, when operating the driver's power window, it would occasionally exhibit interference with the 4WD, 4LO, 4HI indicator lights, causing them to flash, but not affecting the transmission at all. Again; just lived with it.
- A few weeks ago, the driver's window would spontaneously open about an inch, but ONLY when I first put it into gear, and ONLY when I first started it up in the morning. 😳
- A week ago, it randomly started chiming while I was driving, but didn't continue or repeat; until last night!
- This time, after I had driven a mile or so, all the previous symptoms began manifesting themselves randomly and repeatedly, but this time they were joined by the "door ajar" light flashing, the door chime chiming, the dome light flashing, the power locks clicking, (but not locking), and the alarm horn chirping, (but not sounding the alarm horn).
Pulling over and shutting off and restarting did nothing, and I returned home, (grateful for light traffic!). Even fully shut down, the chaos continued, and I was forced to disconnect the battery. 😂}

So I brought it in this morning, and it was just as bad. Fortunately my mechanic is only a mile or so away! He said that they believe it to be a bad GEM, and there are only 2 left in the US, and they're $400. He's going to look for a more reasonably priced one tomorrow. A quick search shows many used and refurbished ones for sale, and it sounds like many members here have used them with no problems.
My questions for you all are:
1: Do the symptoms sound like a bad GEM? (After reading up, I'm inclined to think so myself)
2- Is there anything I should know when buying one? (I did read the thread about whether they need programming or not, and deciphering the part number- thanks!)
3: Best sources?
Thanks
I searched the part number on eBay and found a company that sells remanufactured ones for less then 100.00. I had issues with interior lighting and 4x4. It’s pretty easy to change. It’s behind the radio.
 






Sounds like you need to pull the instrument cluster first and replace the back lighting bulbs. Also if the light for the air bag doesn't illuminate then it will chime at you in intervals while driving. Those need to be done anyway so I'd start there. If problems persist then I'd look into a gem.
 






Why not pull a gem at the junk yard
Cheap under$20
 












Sounds like you need to pull the instrument cluster first and replace the back lighting bulbs. Also if the light for the air bag doesn't illuminate then it will chime at you in intervals while driving. Those need to be done anyway so I'd start there. If problems persist then I'd look into a gem.
No issues with the airbag light. Others have said that the instrument lights, power windows, and 4WD lights are tied to the GEM, so I don't think it's the bulbs. In my experience, there are usually several bulbs, and it's unlikely that they all went out.
 






I searched the part number on eBay and found a company that sells remanufactured ones for less then 100.00. I had issues with interior lighting and 4x4. It’s pretty easy to change. It’s behind the radio.
Thanks! That's probably what I'm going to do. I haven't heard of anybody having problems with remanufactured ones.
 






What year is your v6 explorer

I would first inspect your gem module it could easily be some messed up wiring Back there and a new gem won’t fix that

Anyone previously install aftermarket radio? Alarm?
 






Hi all! Newbie here. I have read many of the threads about GEMs already, and learned a lot- thanks! They were all pretty old though, so I thought it would be okay to post a new one. Here is what I sent my mechanic:

[- I've owned it for over a year, and the instrument backlighting has never worked. Fuses seemed good, so I just lived with it.
- Also, when operating the driver's power window, it would occasionally exhibit interference with the 4WD, 4LO, 4HI indicator lights, causing them to flash, but not affecting the transmission at all. Again; just lived with it.
- A few weeks ago, the driver's window would spontaneously open about an inch, but ONLY when I first put it into gear, and ONLY when I first started it up in the morning. 😳
- A week ago, it randomly started chiming while I was driving, but didn't continue or repeat; until last night!
- This time, after I had driven a mile or so, all the previous symptoms began manifesting themselves randomly and repeatedly, but this time they were joined by the "door ajar" light flashing, the door chime chiming, the dome light flashing, the power locks clicking, (but not locking), and the alarm horn chirping, (but not sounding the alarm horn).
Pulling over and shutting off and restarting did nothing, and I returned home, (grateful for light traffic!). Even fully shut down, the chaos continued, and I was forced to disconnect the battery. 😂}

So I brought it in this morning, and it was just as bad. Fortunately my mechanic is only a mile or so away! He said that they believe it to be a bad GEM, and there are only 2 left in the US, and they're $400. He's going to look for a more reasonably priced one tomorrow. A quick search shows many used and refurbished ones for sale, and it sounds like many members here have used them with no problems.
My questions for you all are:
1: Do the symptoms sound like a bad GEM? (After reading up, I'm inclined to think so myself)
2- Is there anything I should know when buying one? (I did read the thread about whether they need programming or not, and deciphering the part number- thanks!)
3: Best sources?
Thanks
Yes, all symptoms point to a bad gem except the instrument lighting. There is a module by the switch and you can resolder the transistors.

You can try to reseat the GEM connector, clean the contacts.
If you are good with soldering, the problem may be some bad solder in the GEM.
 






What year is your v6 explorer

I would first inspect your gem module it could easily be some messed up wiring Back there and a new gem won’t fix that

Anyone previously install aftermarket radio? Alarm?
'95. (I see now that all the info in the profile doesn't show up on the phone app.) Yes, it has an aftermarket radio installed by the previous owner, which would certainly be a possibilty. Stock alarm.) I'm having a shop that I "trust" do the work, and they looked for damage or moisture first.
 






Yes, all symptoms point to a bad gem except the instrument lighting. There is a module by the switch and you can resolder the transistors.

You can try to reseat the GEM connector, clean the contacts.
If you are good with soldering, the problem may be some bad solder in the GEM.
Thanks. I've read of others who had problems with the instrument lighting associated with the GEM though.... No garage or soldering gun at the moment, and I'm not going to pay a mechanic to solder it. ;-)
 






95!!!! Crap
That’s a tough gem module to find these days

It is quite possible you need a new gem, 95 was the first year of the gen ii and they are a little funky wiring wise. One from a 96 4.0 might work but I am not sure I think 95 was a one year thing for the gem module

Before you buy the $100 reman (good deal btw) I would pull the radio bezel and make sure it’s not just a loose plug or some monkey did some wire tapping back there

There are 3 or 4 wiring
Plugs on your gem I would inspect each one
It’s not very often a gem module just “ fails” without reason
 






95!!!! Crap
That’s a tough gem module to find these days

It is quite possible you need a new gem, 95 was the first year of the gen ii and they are a little funky wiring wise. One from a 96 4.0 might work but I am not sure I think 95 was a one year thing for the gem module

Before you buy the $100 reman (good deal btw) I would pull the radio bezel and make sure it’s not just a loose plug or some monkey did some wire tapping back there

There are 3 or 4 wiring
Plugs on your gem I would inspect each one
It’s not very often a gem module just “ fails” without reason
Thanks for the info! I may need to revisit the thread regarding serial numbers and interchangeability of the GEMs if I can't find the proper one.
 






95!!!! Crap
That’s a tough gem module to find these days

It is quite possible you need a new gem, 95 was the first year of the gen ii and they are a little funky wiring wise. One from a 96 4.0 might work but I am not sure I think 95 was a one year thing for the gem module

Before you buy the $100 reman (good deal btw) I would pull the radio bezel and make sure it’s not just a loose plug or some monkey did some wire tapping back there

There are 3 or 4 wiring
Plugs on your gem I would inspect each one
It’s not very often a gem module just “ fails” without reason
So my mechanic says that he can't find any used or remanufactured units anywhere... Not surprisingly he says the part numbers have to match exactly, but I've read where many of you have swapped them around without problems. I've searched through a ton of threads, but found conflicting information on the issue. My Explorer is a 1995, 4wd with power windows, locks, and factory alarm. As near as I can tell, those are the main things that need to match, with '95 and '96 being similar, is this correct? Anybody?

@410Fortune: My mechanic has the truck, (and the shop is closed for the weekend), so I can't inspect the GEM, but he told me that the first thing he was going to do was check for moisture or damaged wired, and their testing and tracing of circuits led them to the GEM.
 






I searched the part number on eBay and found a company that sells remanufactured ones for less then 100.00. I had issues with interior lighting and 4x4. It’s pretty easy to change. It’s behind the radio.
Thanks, but are you sure that it would fit my truck? It sounds like the right one for '95s are hard to find. I don't have the exact part number, and the shop where it is is closed atm. Please see my recent reply to 410Fortune.. ^^ Any help would be much appreciated!
 






^ Either go there and write down, or ask the mechanic over the phone for the GEM part #. If they're closed, do it Monday.

However, I'd be hesitant, depending on how much you trust this mechanic. Many shops will tell customers they need a GEM because it's a high ticket item, then sneakily replace (or repair wiring) the real problem instead, and may not even replace the GEM at all. Other times the mechanic will just assume it must be the GEM if they can't find the fault.

It does seem possible it's the GEM, but could even be frayed wiring or corrosion on the fuse contacts to it, or some wiring harness plug was pulled and not fully seated or something.
 






^ Either go there and write down, or ask the mechanic over the phone for the GEM part #. If they're closed, do it Monday.

However, I'd be hesitant, depending on how much you trust this mechanic. Many shops will tell customers they need a GEM because it's a high ticket item, then sneakily replace (or repair wiring) the real problem instead, and may not even replace the GEM at all. Other times the mechanic will just assume it must be the GEM if they can't find the fault.

It does seem possible it's the GEM, but could even be frayed wiring or corrosion on the fuse contacts to it, or some wiring harness plug was pulled and not fully seated or something.
Thank you. :-) I don't have any reason to not trust him; he first checked for bad connections, (in fact his first question was if I knew of any moisture issues), and when he decided that it was probably the GEM, he attempted to find a cheaper one on his own. What I would really like to find out is if another one would be compatible, as he naturally feels like he MUST use the exact number... I will certainly talk to him on Monday, but would like to be armed with some solid information first.
 






THANKS to all of you guys - I must find out now - WHAT'S A GEM????????????????????????????????????????????????????????
 






^ A body control computer, handles anything that uses momentary or timed activation, including many circuits running through the battery saver relay which can, as implied, cut power to save the battery. That relay is also not too uncommon to fail so I'd definitely try swapping a different relay into that position before buying a GEM.

 



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