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How to find PCM updates for your Ford!!

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Moderator Emeritus
January 26, 2004
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City, State
Mechanicsville, Virginia
Year, Model & Trim Level
2004 Acura TL
This is basically what I do at work, but more on the GM side (since they are a lot easier). Ford put catchword stickers or "tear tags" on their PCMs and either under the hood or in the door jams of the front doors. They are usually hard to find, but for my 2000 4.0L SOHC it was right on the computer/connector (passenger firewall).

go here: http://www.motorcraftservice.com/vdirs/retail/default.asp?menuIndex1=2 and then click on Quick Guides in the left hand column, and then Latest Calibration Information (read that if you must) but then click on the bottom link on the page that says "Latest Calibration Information in Excel"

Here's a pic of the tag you need:

So lets use that for an example. So the code is JFA8. What you do is bring up your Excel sheet and type CTRL + F (which is FIND). Type in your code: JFA8

What it'll do is take you to the catchword that goes with your vehicle. These catchwords are model specific.

What you see should be your vehicle. In this case it's a 2000 Ford Focus with a Zetec 2.0L

Now what about those part numbers?

Well the part number on the left (98AB-ZJ) is your old one (which is probably in the vehicle - unless you know it's been updated). The one on the right is the new update YU7A-DTA. Now, before you think that's too easy...you're right. What you have to do is try to find that "new part number" in the old part number section. If you find it (which you will), and theres another part number to the right, that means the update has been updated (basically two updates for your vehicle). If it has a hyphen in the New Part Number section then that last part number you looked at is the newest update. It sounds hard, but it isn't.

So on the Excel line 6950 you see YU7A-DTA in the Old Part Number section. And then in the New Part Number section you see a hyphen. That means YU7A-DTA is the latest update for that vehicle.

What sucks about this system, it doesn't tell you what the update does. GM's website tells you exactly what the update does. Ford will not until you get into the whole reprogramming ordeal. Also what sucks, is that to find EXACTLY what software part number is in your PCM you have to hook up a scanner (I have used a factory NGS for older vehicles, but the new laptop based Ford software IDS will work - I have not had to use it yet). The NGS will work on mostly everything 2005 and back, while the IDS will work on 05-06+ due to it being CAN capible. The NGS can be updated to CAN, but if you are going to get the IDS software then there's no reason.

Hopefully that gives you a little idea of how things are done. Enjoy. Let me know if you have any questions.


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