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The tribulations of 58v FICM and another thanks to Ed at FICM repair
Although I'm not a regular poster, I do read the forums regularly.
I have a rebuilt, 0-ringed, studded, motor with all the updates, etc. I'm the 2nd owner. I've been monitoring everything on the torque ap from Ian Hawkins and it's been helpful.
I was so used to seeing 48V FICM Main Power, clean starts, good mileage, that I started to neglect my normal monitoring of the FICM.
Over time, and as it got colder in the mid-west I started to notice a slightly rough idle on start and slightly worse mileage. It was a gradual reduction in performance and figured it was not an issue. In fact I figured it was just the cold.
Then the POLAR VORTEX came. It was -10 F that Monday morning on my way to work when the "thinkable" happened. The truck lost power just down the street from the house. Eventually it died. I parked it let it sit for a few minutes, and checked the codes on torque (611 and 282). Luckily, it started right back up and I drove it up the driveway and examined my readings in real time.
FICM Logic Power was 12.5ish. Main was down in the mid 30s. Yikes. I came back the next day and checked again with slightly worse results: Mid 20's on start, rough idle, etc.
I have new Interstates, and always leave a battery tender on it every day.
I knew it was the FICM and took it out when the weather warmed up. I also knew the original owner had a 58V mod, but I didn't know who did the work. After removal it was pretty obvious because it had their part number and company name on it. (It was a very reputable company in TN and that's all I'll say.)
I contacted this company and they told me it was done in 2011, and since I wasn't the original owner they would offer me 5% off their exchange price. It was only a 1 year warranty. Needless to say I passed and decided to send it to Ed based on the great reviews. I opted for the most premium package with the lifetime warranty.
I figured it would be a quick fix and I'd be back in business. Not the case.
Ed calls and after hours of work diagnosing, repairing, etc., when the unit was tested it wouldn't cut the mustard. He mentioned that many 58V unit are baked and black when they come in, but mine passed the "visual" inspection. Perplexed he spent even more time investigating. What started as a normal repair of a modified unit turned out to be hours of diagnosis to finally reveal the Logic and Power boards were still toast, but not black-burnt toast.
So now I start from scratch and out almost double what I expected. The FICM arrived yesterday and I got it on today. It fired right up in 20 F with a smooth idle that was familiar.
I took a snap of the FICM outputs just after start before the alternator comes on line.
V CM 11.3
(This was on 3 month old Interstates, kept on a charge, and before the alternator came on.)
After alternator contactor closed it read.
V CM 14.1
(Cranking the FMP was 49.5)
Works great. Problem solved.
The "B" side to the story is another well-known PS company had "flashed my FICM" with ATLAS 40 when the engine was rebuilt. It was on my invoice. Since this was my first 6.0 I had nothing else to compare it too? I was always happy with my great mileage and plenty of power. I drive like a grandpa so what do I know about the extra 100lb tq?
I'd explained to Ed the FICM had ATLAS and I wanted to maintain it. He sends an email stating I had the ARZ2AL11 tune instead. WTF? I promptly contacted PHP and the installer of the tune. My FICM must have been mixed up in the shuffle.
Based on Ed's reputation alone the installer regretted the situation and I've been "taken care" of.
My opinions on ATLAS 40? Worth the $150 for the mileage alone! I've never seen these kind of numbers with my city driving! I'll keep a log of my longer trips in the future. I'll never take advantage of the increased peak torque, but who knows?
Bottom line from the long story is:
I don't recommend 58V.
If they advertise they have less than 1% return on FICMs it's because the warranty period is too short to realize all of the eventual failures.
I recommend FICMrepair.com
I recommend ATLAS 40.
Thanks for reading.