Yet another GEM module issue. | Ford Explorer Forums - Serious Explorations

  • Register Today It's free!

Yet another GEM module issue.

spacini

New Member
Joined
February 18, 2009
Messages
6
Reaction score
3
City, State
Pleasanton, CA
Year, Model & Trim Level
1997 XLT
Hi, I just joined recently after researching for hours problems with my 97 Expl XLT 4 x 4, which sounds to be a GEM module issue.
Lots of info out there from various sources, some of it conflicts and other info is somewhat incomplete.
For example, some sites say you have to have a replacement GEM module reprogrammed with your old GEM units data...others say no, or only for models 99 and newer...
It would be nice to find a link that describes step by step how to replace the unit and any 'gotchas' along the way.

Also, along with the typical GEM unit issues (4x4 controls whacked out, no window controls, etc.) will a new unit fix my instrument panel lights that went out at the same time or is that a separate issue? Thanks
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.











I wouldn't jump on your GEM to quick unless you like throwing money at parts. Do some measuring and checking around one specific problem at a time. Most who claim is a "GEM" usually find its "coal" in the form of a relay, fuse, or broken wire.
 






Due diligence

Thanks for your reply, budwich. I've been reading your other posts today for another member of this forum and you had some goo d advice.
I just replaced the multi-function part last night to correct issues I had with hazard lights, buzzing turn signals, etc.
That was a pretty easy operation....about an hour, but replacing the GEM looks a little more difficult. I'll check ground wires and other connections first before I plunk down any more money on parts.

Just as an FYI, here's the symptoms: We went up to Lake Tahoe about 2 weeks ago and it was snowing like crazy--6 feet over the weekend. The Explorer worked great on the way up to the mountains, but 4WD would not engage first thing the next morning...also no wipers, no window controls, no key buzzer, no interior lights. We were stuck. I checked every single fuse. After I let the truck warm up for about 20 minutes, suddenly the interrior ights came on and eveything else worked too. Weird....same thing the next 2 mornings....once the truck was hot, it seemd to work OK. Maybe it's condensation on the switches/relays.....I suspect that because I had our windshield replaced a few months ago and this is the first time it's been really cold and wet.........I'll keep checking....
 






Thanks for your reply, budwich. I've been reading your other posts today for another member of this forum and you had some goo d advice.
I just replaced the multi-function part last night to correct issues I had with hazard lights, buzzing turn signals, etc.
That was a pretty easy operation....about an hour, but replacing the GEM looks a little more difficult. I'll check ground wires and other connections first before I plunk down any more money on parts.

Just as an FYI, here's the symptoms: We went up to Lake Tahoe about 2 weeks ago and it was snowing like crazy--6 feet over the weekend. The Explorer worked great on the way up to the mountains, but 4WD would not engage first thing the next morning...also no wipers, no window controls, no key buzzer, no interior lights. We were stuck. I checked every single fuse. After I let the truck warm up for about 20 minutes, suddenly the interrior ights came on and eveything else worked too. Weird....same thing the next 2 mornings....once the truck was hot, it seemd to work OK. Maybe it's condensation on the switches/relays.....I suspect that because I had our windshield replaced a few months ago and this is the first time it's been really cold and wet.........I'll keep checking....

It sure sounds like the GEM. Maybe reseat the GEM connector. Remove the radio, it should be near your left hand inside the dash.
 






Well your full list of "symptoms" seem to point to the "GEM area".... that doesn't mean the unit itself is bad. Why was your window replaced...leaking???? Anyways, with your list of symptoms, I would check the seating of the GEM. Not sure of the effort involved but maybe removing and cleaning contacts as it sounds like more of a contact issue that a totally failure.
 






As far as having to have the modules programmed by a dealer...let me tell you my experiences with that.

I have had to switch modules in Fords that said you must swap the programming from the old module to the new module. However, I believe you will find in most cases this is mainly to swap over the data for personal information from the owner. They may be other reasons too...the climate controlled seat modules in an Aviator for example says it needs to be programmed, but there are no personal settings to be saved. I believe in these cases it ties the modules to the 'network'. But here's the deal...I can't remember ever having a new module not work when it didn't get programmed. They all worked. Now, that may not be true of swapping used modules...and it may not be true in all cases...but the ones I've seen have never needed it. Even though it says it does. I would be surprised if the GEM did too. Just my thoughts...
 






As far as having to have the modules programmed by a dealer...let me tell you my experiences with that.

I have had to switch modules in Fords that said you must swap the programming from the old module to the new module. However, I believe you will find in most cases this is mainly to swap over the data for personal information from the owner. They may be other reasons too...the climate controlled seat modules in an Aviator for example says it needs to be programmed, but there are no personal settings to be saved. I believe in these cases it ties the modules to the 'network'. But here's the deal...I can't remember ever having a new module not work when it didn't get programmed. They all worked. Now, that may not be true of swapping used modules...and it may not be true in all cases...but the ones I've seen have never needed it. Even though it says it does. I would be surprised if the GEM did too. Just my thoughts...

A 97-97 swap from a 4X4 will work with no issues. But the GEMs do vary thru the years. A 95-96 has a different 4X4 strategy with the CAD axle. Later years may have other issues...
 






Thanks much for your responses, guys. All good information. I'll pull the radio and check the existing GEM unit's connections for corrosion, etc.
FYI: Budwich-I had a new windshield installed because the previous one was badly cracked..my fear is that the new windshield may be leaking near the GEM unit, causing the issues I've recently encountered. But, who knows.
Anyway, thanks again for your feedback.
 






That's good information 96. GEM compatibility has always been confusing to me at best. It's been said here that there are basically two different GEM's to worry about. But I've never looked into it one way or the other.
 






Do I have a GEM issue ?
95 XLT - Won't go in to 4wd H or L. Dash lights flashed when it first happened.
Rear window defoster will not work.
Won't drop out of Overdrive.
Driver's window will not do "one touch" operation to lower, I have to hold the button down.

How do I test the Module ?
 






Looking for Used Gem Module

My 97 Explorer is exhibiting all the indicators of a bad GEM module. The 4wd indicator light blink on and off, my keyless door lock only works sporadically, and I can only put the passenger side window down from the driver's side. With all of that I'm looking for a
source to purchase a used module from.

Thanks
 






I bought a used module off of ebay for $25 and switched the old one out.
Cured my problem. I have a 95 and did not have to reprogram the module. You might have to reprogram any new/used module you get.
 






You might try the U-Pull-it next to the Olympia Airport.
 






All these problem sound all to be the same as I am having here to.In the summer no problems now all kinds of issues.No 4wd no dome lights of any kind no windows no wipers. today the gem comes out and I shall clean all contacts and see if that helps.
 






Finally bit the bullet

Well, after 2 years of living with intermittent GEM related problems, I finally bit the bullet and ordered a used GEM modeule on eBay, which shipped yesterday. I'm hoping this works before I make my annual trek up to the Sierras to ski (hopefully with working 4WD this time!).
So, what pushed me to finally fix this issue was 2 totally unrelated issues----a recall for the speed control on my 97 and failed dash lights. I brought the truck in for the recall work and asked the dealer to troubleshoot the dash lights at the same time.
He confirmed it wa a bad dimmer switch, which I replaced. I also had him test the GEM mdule, which he confirmed was bad. He informed me that there are no new GEM modules available and offered to search for used ones, but I knew of 2 vendors on eBay that had them listed for either $39 or $59, plus shipping.
Being cheap, I opted for the $39 unit, which matches my existing GEM (same part number, features, etc.)
My only question is, does anyone know where to purchase a new GEM module in case this used one doesn't pan out? Thanks in advance.
 






well, keep your fingers crossed. "blindly" replacing parts can/does work but it usually better to test things a bit before heading down the "parts path". The GEM basically switches grounds (in most cases) so that usually a good place to look.... BUT it does this "knowing" something about the "current powering status" of the vehicle. Cleaning contacts is a good thought. Anyways, as you (spacini) found that problems may or may not be related (lights and other things "at the same time"). As for the dealer, hopefully his tests were good although I don't see him making much in your case so maybe you are good (he should have been able to tell you exactly what was "bust" in your GEM as opposed to "its bust").... leaving me kind of suspicious. Good luck, its been a long time coming... :-)
 






budwich-who said anything about blindly replacing parts? As I mentioned above, I had the module tested at my local Ford dealership and they confirmed it was bad. Heck, for $40, after 2 years of inconvenience, it's worth taking a chance, dontcha think? Worst case is, I have an extra GEM laying around waiting for the day the thing inevitably fails, as I've seeen in any other posts.
In any case, this gives me a good excuse to upgrade my radio, since I'll have to pull it out anyway.
Thanks for wishing me luck.
 






my "blindly comment" wasn't meant for you. You are doing the "dealer thing", the other poster that "piggy backed" on posts hasn't done much in determining what his problem is. Anyways, good luck to all "GEM abused" people.
 



Join the Elite Explorers for $20 each year.
Elite Explorer members see no advertisements, no banner ads, no double underlined links,.
Add an avatar, upload photo attachments, and more!
.





96 Ranger 2.3L stick shift

Looking for some answers...problem started yesterday...I lost the speedometer, wipers, brake lights, dom light. while driving i could smell an ever so faint burning smell....not a wire burning smell. After reading a lot of post im leaning towards the GEM unit...but i want to do a little trouble shooting first...Any suggestions of where to start.
 






Back
Top