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98 Ford Explorer GEM Module.

explorer1998

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Joined
January 18, 2010
Messages
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City, State
Birmingham, AL
Year, Model & Trim Level
'98 4.0 4WD
my 98 explorer has a major drain on the battery, but it is not consistent. I took it to the shop to diagnose and they said it could be a bad connection in the GEM module. How do i change out the GEM module and about how much would it cost in parts?
 



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the GEM. my car was put in the shop for a electrical problem. the fuse for the transmission was constantly blowing (fixed that). but while they were there they noticed the battery problem and went ahead and found it for me. i told them to hold off on fixing it, i figured i could try doing it myself
 






Im not sure what the problem with yours is. I found that the factory amp was a major drain when the engine wasnt running. Not a repair, all amps do that, the surprise was that it had a hidden amp....... lol
 






hevyg if you are taking about the factory amp that is in the passenger side panel in the trunk, i dont have one. but i do have an amp i installed with my subs (they checked that and said it was not the problem).
 






I'd get a second opinion, find the current draw precisely. A GEM module is not hard to change, and not bad to find used.
 






the shop told me it would be close to $500 dollars to change. why so much. how much does the part cost itself?
 






the shop told me it would be close to $500 dollars to change. why so much. how much does the part cost itself?

The part from a dealership and reprogrammed with your vehicle's specs is probably $450 of that $500 charge. Swapping it out takes 15 minutes if you know what you're doing. Pop the stereo out, remove the one screw that holds the HVAC register duct in, and the one screw that holds the GEM to the IP. Unplug the three connectors, reverse to install.

I would personally want them to diagnose the problem, not just throw expensive parts at it on my tab.

Also, the stereo amp (assuming you have a subwoofer) should not draw anything with the key off.
 






Yes, because of the cost suggested, get a 2nd opinion. Karl here has lots of Explorer parts, a used GEM is very reliable and likely under $35 or so.

There is no programming to be done on those GEMS. There are only two for all 1998-2001 Explorers, either 4WD, or everything else. No other options besides 4WD affect GEM choice in a 98-01 Explorer. An AWD GEM is the same as a 2WD GEM, same part.

The older 96/97 are more complicated due to the disco front differential of some. There may be more than two for 95-97 trucks, people with those should ask a little more.
 






i believe i can get one for under $20 at a salvage yard w/ warranty. that would be worth trying if it does not require reprogramming?!?
 






tail gating

nah, the engine was off, but the ignition was on. Just went dead way faster than it would have if it hadnt had an amp. At least i was in the driveway instead of the camp site.
 






1998 98 FORD EXPLORER 4X4 GEM MODULE F87B-14B205-CF
Location: Tamaqua, PA Watch this item
Buy It Now $78.95
Free shipping 28d 10h 57m

Did you see this? its on Ebay right now.
 






Ask Karl here first, after confirming that it's the problem. Karl is listed on the bottom of the main forum page, he's a great vendor here.

The GEM does not fail very often, almost never.
 












could moisture from a cracked windshield or something cause the GEM to fail. or is it possible for moisture to reach there?
 






No it's buried in the dash, on the right side of it, left from the radio. Check harder for a current draw on the battery, other things are more likely.
 






any suggestions on other things to check for? until last week i had never herd of a GEM module
 






The common way is to check for current draw at the battery while pulling fuses from the main Power Distribution Box, the PDB. That narrows down the current drain to small circuits that you can easily trace through. I have not done that except for one time, but others here have. Most will come from added circuits like stereos or remote starters. Begin with anything that you know of that isn't stock, or things that don't work right now or before.
 






i do have an after market stereo that i installed, it was checked and was not the problem. i will look at other fuses though
 



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well I wouldn't say that water would cause a GEM failure... BUT there have been posted that water ("known problem") causes problems that "look" like a GEM failure. I would suggest you check around the area for "signs" plus as mentioned, try to isolate to a specific "fused circuit" (ie. pull fuses tell you get little / no draw). Odds are low that the GEM is your actual issue.

Having said the above, your "inconsistent drain" is unlikely to be a GEM issue as the GEM is very consistent... :-) you need to find the "trigger" of your "inconsistency".
 






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