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May not be FECM

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  • May not be FECM

    We were visited by our nephew over the holiday, who happens to be a certified Ford tech. He brought his computer with him from the dealership to check out my FECM before I send it off to the guy highly recommended here. The software in it goes way beyond reading codes. Turns out not to be in the FECM. So he pulled the instrument cluster and did a resistance check. Apparently I have a short in the circuit board or bad solder joint. Since My only issue is back lighting on instruments I may let it go. We never drive it at night and even if we did we can read gauges.

  • #2
    Wow! How nice is that, wish I had a certified Ford tech in the family.
    Mike

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    • #3
      Originally posted by steelblue5505 View Post
      Wow! How nice is that, wish I had a certified Ford tech in the family.
      Do you have any idea how many of us wish we had you as a neighbor? With your knowledge on Tbird mechanics, and willingness to provide detailed instructions, you are a real asset to our Thunderbird community. Even better would be the ability to drop the car off at your house and pick it up after you finish repairing it.

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      • #4
        I can see it now. “Mike’s T-Bird Repair”
        .

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        • #5
          We hd same problem, turned out to the light dimmer switch on the instrument panel
          Steve&Donna

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          • #6
            New member - Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
            Purchased an 03 black Bird last march; 34,000 miles; extremely good shape; but revs extremely slowly in park/neutral but is fine in all other gears. Could it be the rev limiter? reverse/park switch? ECM? Any ideas would be appreciated.
            Bob Cronin

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Bob Cronin View Post
              New member - Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
              Purchased an 03 black Bird last march; 34,000 miles; extremely good shape; but revs extremely slowly in park/neutral but is fine in all other gears. Could it be the rev limiter? reverse/park switch? ECM? Any ideas would be appreciated.
              Bob Cronin
              How low is extremely low?
              .

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              • #8
                Originally posted by Bob Cronin View Post
                New member - Kitchener, Ontario, Canada
                Purchased an 03 black Bird last march; 34,000 miles; extremely good shape; but revs extremely slowly in park/neutral but is fine in all other gears. Could it be the rev limiter? reverse/park switch? ECM? Any ideas would be appreciated.
                Bob Cronin
                Yep, it's the rev limiter. I think it kicks in about 3K rpm in neutral & park.

                RBIRD
                Be just what you is, not what you is not. Folks what do this is the happiest lot.....Mr. Wizard the Lizard

                The trouble with quotes on the internet is that you can never know for sure if they are genuine.....Abraham Lincoln

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by valkyrie View Post
                  We hd same problem, turned out to the light dimmer switch on the instrument panel
                  Right He thought before he checked it that may be the problem. Apparently that's a common issue. I couldn't believe what it took to pull the instrument panel'.

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                  • #10
                    The 3000 rpm in neutral and park isn't a problem. I believe it was designed that way to keep people from over revving their engine and causing damage. These motors are rev limited to around 6250 in every forward gear, wide open, and that is where they shift in automatic mode. Don't ask how I know that.
                    sigpic

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                    • #11
                      I pulled out cluster and sent it out to be repaired after ford diagnosed it was the problem, I can vouch for how hard it was.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RBIRD View Post

                        Yep, it's the rev limiter. I think it kicks in about 3K rpm in neutral & park.

                        RBIRD
                        My concern is that it takes about 3 seconds to go from idle rpm to the 3k rpm limit in both park and neutral only.

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                        • #13
                          Gauge lighting is one of the most over-engineered systems on the retro birds....to the point of being ridiculous...

                          Your dash dimmer switch sends a signal to the instrument cluster which in turn sends a signal to the FEM over the SCP communication buss to the FEM which itself then sends a PWM (Pulse Width Modulated) signal to the gauge and shifter console light. And yet, the OTHER lights (e.g. odometer, etc) are separately dimmed....through a different circuit.

                          There are MANY reasons why the lights may not light including bad connections in the harness - a short is unlikely.

                          You can see if your lights can operate by bypassing the FEM in 10 minutes.... Just make a jumper with a 5 amp fuse in it and take the console apart and attach the jumper to the black wire on the shfiter light bulb (you may have to pierce the wire insulation) and connect the other end of the jumper to a 12V source; if the dash lights work you can do an FEM/harness connection bypass to get the lights working. I've guided others through the process.

                          If the fuse blows then indeed, you do have a short.

                          I've been through this whole horrible drill because somebody hot-wired my cluster to make the lights work when the FEM failed. I spent days unfornicating the mess and all works as factory now... Modified_Cluster_1_Marked.jpgIMG_1946.jpg

                          I also converted all the instrument cluster lights to LEDs while I was in there; I'll never have to mess with this again (I hope)

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                          • #14
                            Rondor, Was it his computer or his car dealer's? He could be out a job if we tried something like that where I work. I don't believe the other dealers I worked at would put up with that kind of "conflict of interest". It's probably not in your Nephew's best interest to do such things. Be very careful here.

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                            • #15
                              He can always land another gig. Every shop around here is looking to hire techs.
                              .

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