The F350 lives! Why you should double check the obvious.
My F350 has been parked since June, a combination of bad luck and bad events. And a failure to double check the simple and obvious.
Last spring, it was getting harder to start. Finally wouldn't start at all. After checking codes, I found low voltage on all injectors - looks like the FICM power supply packed it in.
In the meantime, a well intentioned but sadly misinformed older in law dropped by while I was gone, heard it wouldn't start, and gave it shot of ether. Works in his tractor, he thought. Oh, it started... briefly... he's an in law, so I can't kill him, but I figured at that point I'd lost a HG or two, because it sounded funny when cranking.
Took the old FICM down, sure enough, the resistors peeled off with the orange goop, so the power supply was toast. Went ahead and bought a brand new 'half shell' power supply for the FICM. Ford charged me a pretty penny for that - they must have put the gold plating on the inside, because I sure couldn't see it. Got it all back together, got the FICM reinstalled which is a tougher job than it needs to be. The fellows that design them should have to work on them.
But no joy, wouldn't start. Code reader cant even read anything... the whole FICM must be dead. Spend another seven or eight hundred only to find I've lost the HG's? Nope, money is a bit tight, so I just left it parked. When I can scrape up four or five grand, probably in a year, I'll get a head job done and studs.
A few days ago, I ran into a buddy in town who was telling me about a guy he knew that was parting out a 6.0. He got a FICM, I asked. The guy got him on the phone, yes he did, in unknown condition, and he'd sell it for the princely sum of $50. Okay, I'll take it, for that price it might fire the engine and tell me what's really wrong. It was a seven screw rather than my four screw FICM, but the plugs are the same, let's see what it does.
So... I go to remove the old FICM, always fun to do wedged in where it is. Got it loose, now I gotta pry the plugs off blind and that's a bear, so I reach under the FICM and... one of the plugs was hanging loose.
You gotta be ess'ing me... Well, I'm feeling about nine tenths stupid at this point. As long as it's out, lets try this second hand FICM I got, and it clattered to life.
Took it for a quick run to town, by the time I got home the brakes are smoking and two of the four discs are glowing red, so it looks like the brakes are partially frozen from being parked all summer, but that's easy to fix. Nice to know that even with glowing red discs, it still stopped.
Nothing but coolant in the degas bottle, and it cranks even and fine now, so it appears the shot of ether didn't do any permanent damage. I'm guessing the faster cranking was because it wasn't getting any fuel, I guess with no fuel being squirted in the cylinder, it wouldn't compress as much and crank faster.
Can't believe it - all this time, and it was a loose plug. Granted, those plugs are impossible to see, but still... that was boneheaded. Must not have fully seated the plug last June, and it popped loose while I was wrestling the FICM into place.
The moral of this story is: if you think your problem is complicated and tough, don't overlook the simple and obvious.