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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
New to the forum trying to get some advice. I have a 2004 6.0 F350 DRW 4x4 with 211K. (I should have never traded in my 2001 7.3 Excursion).

I am the second owner of a well maintained rig that even the Ford Dealer felt good selling. Had run fine with no issues for 4 months albeit with minimal use. One day it failed to start with no warning in the morning after sitting for 3 days. Crank no start. No codes, I see oil pressure, I see Tach reading. Tried several times that day, let it sit overnight, no start. Tried the 3rd day before a tow, no start.

Towed it to the Dealer and the next day it started no issue. They kept it for a week. Started 2nd day. They let it sit for 4 days, still started. Went to go pick it up with no idea the issue. Truck started that morning but when they went to pull it up front, crank no start again. (Thank god I wasn't crazy). Tech went to hook it to computer and try to start and see what readings he would get but the darn thing started again. Ugh. They've had it for 2 more weeks and they try it randomly and it starts every time. Afraid to bring it home as I live on a hill and the tow service will not come get me again.


Again, no codes, glow plug lights off, injectors charging, fuel pressure good (I have a gauge at the pump). Will the FICM randomly fail? Any thoughts to why it randomly won't start. Only happened when cold and only twice. Thanks for any help you can offer.
 

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It would be nice to know the IPR% and ICP (in PSI and V) during a no start. I certainly understand why you may not know those values.

I am assuming that the dealer techs aren't idiots and have checked things like loose battery connections, FICM connectors, bad FICM relay, and the like. FICMs can fail. I would think that the dealer would loan you a FICM on principle since they don't have any other freakin' clue, it appears.

That said... with the instantaneous and intermittent nature of the failure, I'm putting my money on an electrical problem. With no codes, I'd typically go with the fuel system or the IPR valve and/or wiring. You have ruled out the fuel system, so that leaves us with the IPR subsystem.

The trouble is that you don't want to drive it and that it how you find an intermittent electrical problem. You drive it until it stalls and then you move wires and connectors until it starts. So... I recommend the opposite. Get a stick and start the truck. Then wiggle, move, push, and tap on things to see if you can get it to stall. If you can make it stall twice on purpose, there's your problem.

This thread might help:

https://www.powerstroke.org/forum/6-0-motor-problems/1096562-6-0-harness-chafing.html
 

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What scanner are you using?
If you are truly seeing no codes you are going to have to go old school.
But you need a good coder scanner/reader I just downloaded FORscan software v2 for microsoft n/c j just to beta test it, you will also need to order a ODB2 CONNECTOR find them on Amazon i personally prefer usb cable for a laptop they also have a bluetooth version
I rely on AutoEnginuity to run my diags on with Ford enhanced system module
Get all your values together as follows
FICM koeo input voltage (should be 13-14volts make sure batteries are fully charged and cables cleaned)
FICM output vboltage (48 volts)
Google online 6.0 no start or long start issues you will find all kinds of diagnostic procedures
Google 6.0 problems and repair procedures there is a lot of info out there alot good but some nothing more than bs by people that dont have a clue.
These are the mandatory tools you will needed to start with:
Digital VOM for acurate readings (not a harbor freight version)
Analog VOM just to see switch trigger and needle movement (free harbor freight version perfectly acceptable)
Continuity test light carefull this light has a battery involved and can cause damage to electronic sensors.
Voltage test light
The one thing you dont want to do is just throw parts at it, it will get very expensive real fast if you do.
You want to get that crap ford gold coolant out and flush the system out with restor and restore plus to clean cooling system out then flush with distilled water and drain then fill with rotella elc coolant or any other cat 5 rated coolant (red)
DO NOT USE ANY OIL, FUEL, AND TRANSMISSION FILTERS but Motocraft
Do not use any other oil filter cap but ford
I use only Rotella t6 and hot shot secrete to prevent stiction in the injectors
I wont give you all the perticulars on my engine as its a 2006, i know there is some differences fromm 2004 to 2006
The last thing I can tell you is once you get it going and reliable drive it like you stole it it dont like wimpy pretty boy drivers that just want to look good its designed to be worked, i have 468000 miles on it I've replaced 1 injector thats right 1 injector, replaced 2 egr coolers and then deleted egt cooler and replaced 2 oil coolers
Still gets 20 mpg this truck has pulled loads from Texas to Montana and Tennessee
This will get you started theres a lot of us old grey headed farts that will be happy to help you out. Wait i kinda resemble that comment
Have a good evening bud
Gater J


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If you have a good set of tools, a monitor, and an air compressor, you should be able to fix this at your house. After you check the, harnesses, I'll tell you to replace the stand pipe / dummy plugs (if your '04 has them), the STC (If it has it), and the FICM just to be sure. That's a lot of bucks and there's a chance that fixed your problem, but that's really nothing more than throwing parts at the problem.

Like they said above about the monitor, the FICM volts, the IPR%, and the ICP are all key on where to get started. Otherwise just throwing parts and money into it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
2004 6.0 Randomly wont start

It would be nice to know the IPR% and ICP (in PSI and V) during a no start. I certainly understand why you may not know those values.

I am assuming that the dealer techs aren't idiots and have checked things like loose battery connections, FICM connectors, bad FICM relay, and the like. FICMs can fail. I would think that the dealer would loan you a FICM on principle since they don't have any other freakin' clue, it appears.

That said... with the instantaneous and intermittent nature of the failure, I'm putting my money on an electrical problem. With no codes, I'd typically go with the fuel system or the IPR valve and/or wiring. You have ruled out the fuel system, so that leaves us with the IPR subsystem.

The trouble is that you don't want to drive it and that it how you find an intermittent electrical problem. You drive it until it stalls and then you move wires and connectors until it starts. So... I recommend the opposite. Get a stick and start the truck. Then wiggle, move, push, and tap on things to see if you can get it to stall. If you can make it stall twice on purpose, there's your problem.

This thread might help:

You guys are wonderful! Thank you all for the quick responses. DJMAGUIRE and I am still laughing at your post, I am assuming too that Dealer are not idiots LOL.

Because the darn thing always starts (weird how I want the opposite), we can't get any values during a non-start. I have surfed the net and all articles seem to address no start, not random starting. I concur that this may be electrical in nature and I like the poke and shake idea. The Dealer stated they had checked all connections.

I have newer Altima batteries and the coolant system has a filtration system. I had no previous indications of imminent failure. Short crank times cold or hot. No hesitation or sputter, never even had to try and restart after glow plug light clears. It's been a rock given the mileage. To the one post, I just don't want to throw parts at it but I can't risk a drive with a bed full of rock or whatever and then have to tow it. Ugh.


So back to this question. Can FICMs have intermittent failures? I thought they just quit and that was the end of it. I asked the Dealer about getting a FICM and they would have to order one. I am assuming given it's electrical they are not on the loan program. I can look to buy a spare (preferably not at Dealer prices. ANy recommendations where I can get one? Most rebuild places want the core. Or just put my big boy pants on and buy from Dealer!? Thanks again all.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Lets try this again because I am posting illiterate this morning. DOH

You guys are wonderful! Thank you all for the quick responses. DJMAGUIRE and I am still laughing at your post, I am assuming too that Dealer are not idiots LOL.

Because the darn thing always starts (weird how I want the opposite), we can't get any values during a non-start. I have surfed the net and all articles seem to address no start, not random starting. I concur that this may be electrical in nature and I like the poke and shake idea. The Dealer stated they had checked all connections.

I have newer Altima batteries and the coolant system has a filtration system. I had no previous indications of imminent failure. Short crank times cold or hot. No hesitation or sputter, never even had to try and restart after glow plug light clears. It's been a rock given the mileage. To the one post, I just don't want to throw parts at it but I can't risk a drive with a bed full of rock or whatever and then have to tow it. Ugh.


So back to this question. Can FICMs have intermittent failures? I thought they just quit and that was the end of it. I asked the Dealer about getting a FICM and they would have to order one. I am assuming given it's electrical they are not on the loan program. I can look to buy a spare (preferably not at Dealer prices. ANy recommendations where I can get one? Most rebuild places want the core. Or just put my big boy pants on and buy from Dealer!? Thanks again all.
 

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Try icm repair dotcom ive got one of there's and never had a problem and a lot less than stealar pricing.
Also the stealer will not sell you one preprogrammed says they have to transfer the strategy from yours to the new one thru there computer while still installed in yourt truck which is absolute BS
They also sent it out ready to work and you send in your core or they will repair yours if time is not an issue
Gater J

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Why couldn't a FICM fail intermittently? There's a procedure out there to open it up and resolder it and it may fix it. If it's simply a bad soldering joint, then it certainly could be intermittent. Also with the voltage needing to be above 46, it will still work below that, but at some point it quits. Outside the FICM, its not unheard of for the connector not to be on the FICM correctly causing intermittent problems, and its not unheard of for the FICM harness to be routed bad.

My FICM failed suddenly without warning a mile off road and about 10 miles from a shop I did a 4WD tow to, another 30 miles from a shop that said they could fix it, and the third tow was 5 miles to the Ford Dealer to actually get it running. For me, in my circumstances I had to get an OEM FICM and its working 4 years later. If I were to do it again and I had warning mine is going bad, I would get the BPD 3 phase 58 V FICM. I consider that top of the line and would have been much cheaper than what I went through.


I really don't think you're at the point in troubleshooting to justify the FICM.
 

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Do the meter test on the ficm as follows: BEFORE YOU SPEND A PENNY ON PARTS
CM testing procedure
Clean your battery cables and fully charge the batteries it is very important to do this as low voltage and dirty cables will kill a FICM or at least hurt it bad
The bad solder joint is more fiction than fact does it happen yes, common no, heat related absolutely.
Heat will cause component failure and desoldering, ford venfors are sslways looking to cut cost all the time as long as it qc's ford says just compare fords ficm, oil cooler, egr cooler, ipr, and ipc sensors to international parts who actually designed them case closed (how many times have you seen a school bus white smoking going down the road)


Copy and pasted from bismics post in 11-2009*

Here is a fairly straight forward procedure to test your FICM (this is the same information posted in an earlier post, but this post will document the information for Tech Folder)

Thanks to SWAMPS who posted this procedure in another forum (link below). It follows TSB 08-26-3.


6.0’s, FICM’s and cold-start issues.

If your 6.0 will not start cold, the issue may be injectors, the*glow*plugs*or*glow*plug*controller, or it can be the FICM (Fuel*Injection*Control*Module). If after a long cranking with no start you get a lot of white smoke (raw unburnt fuel) out the*exhaust, the problem is probably in the injectors or*glow*plug*system. If you do not get any smoke, the problem is probably in the FICM. It is usually accompanied w/ multiple injector codes and a p0611 code.

The 6.0 injector has two*solenoids*on it; one turns the injector on (open) and the other turns it off (close). A few years ago, Ford came out with a new program referred to as inductive heating for the FICM, intended to combat issues with missing and rough-running during cold startup due to sticking spool valves in the injectors. This program works by running “extra” current through the close coil to generate heat and warm up the spool. On paper it was an excellent idea, and I advised a lot of potential injector customers to have their FICM’s reflashed rather than buy a set of injectors.

Based on my testing, it appears that the early models of FICM’s only used the inductive heating when the EOT was less than 48*F or so.*
The “first” updated heating strategy turned it on any time the EOT was less than 184*F:*

meaning every time you started the truck (if it had been shut off for more than 10 minutes) that the inductive heat was used!

Ford’s newest update to the heating strategy has it coming on below 148*F; better, but that’s still a lot of current draw.

Unfortunately, there have been some very serious consequences.
Although the FICM on the 6.0 is way more “intelligent” than the IDM on a 7.3, its basic job is to convert 12VDC to*48VDC*and deliver this to the injectors at the proper time. Under normal operating conditions, the FICM typically draws 6-7 amps at 12V into the*FICM*power*supply, which is well within its design limits.

However, with the inductive heating active this current draw increases to 24-32 amps—it pegs the 30 amp meter on my*test*bench! Although the*FICM*power*supply*is capable of sustaining this load for short periods of time (1-2 minutes) it eventually gets very hot.

If this was all that happened, things wouldn’t be too bad, but there are several components on the printed circuit board that were not properly soldered during the manufacturing process, and as the PCB heats up and expands, the solder under these components cracks and they lose their electrical connection.

The FICM’s 48 volt power supply is actually four separate or independent units; if one of the four goes down, the other three can supply enough current to run the truck, even with the inductive heating active. If two of the four go out, the truck will start and run normally as long as it is warm out. i.e. as long as the inductive heating does not turn on.

If three of the four go out, the truck will probably not start or run unless it is at full operating temperature, and even then it may not start.*
If the injector voltage is over 35 volts, they run OK, although not as well as when it is 48 volts.*

If the voltage drops below around 24 volts, the injectors cannot fire.*
While most scan tools will display the FICM voltage, they do not always show the correct value.

For instance, AutoEngenuity can only display voltages between 40 to 56 volts, so if the voltage is 35, it will display 40.

How to check your FICM for proper voltage output.
(Perform this check when the engine is completely cold.)

1. Remove the two bolts that hold the*coolant*reservoir*to the cowl and push the reservoir out of the way forward and to your right. You do not need to disconnect any of the hoses.

2. On top of the FICM is a small cover held on by two #20*Torx*screws; remove these two screws and pry the cover off.

3. On 2003 and early 2004 trucks, you will see 7 screw heads under the cover. On 2004 and later trucks you will see 4 screws.

PROCEDURE for 4 SCREW FICM
wwwdotford-trucksdotcom/forums/p...ictureid=19314

4a. Take a multi-meter set on DC volts and connect the ground lead to battery negative, and with the key ON measure the voltage at the screw on your right—closest to the driver’s side fender. Do not let the probe short against the case! The voltage should be right at 48 volts. Anything between 47 and 49 is good.*

5a. Have an assistant cycle the key and measure the voltage during the initial key-on buzz test. Voltage should not drop below 46 volts.

6a. Next measure the voltage while cranking the engine. If voltage stays at or above 45-46 volts, the FICM is fine. Abnormally low battery voltage can give a false low FICM voltage reading, so make sure your batteries are good.

The procedure is the same for FICM’s with 7 screws, except that you will be checking voltage at a different screw, as shown in this picture.

PROCEDURE for 7 SCREW FICM
wwwdotford-trucksdotcom/forums/p...ictureid=19315

4b. Repeat step 4 above (multi meter step) but put the positive lead on the left-most screw in the row of 4 screws.
Do not let the probe short against the case!*

5b. Same as 5a above

6b. Same as 6a above

If the voltage is above 46 volts in all the tests, your FICM is in excellent condition.*

If it is between 36 and 45 volts its OK, but not great. If it is between 25 and 35 volts, you have serious FICM problems.

Swamp’s states that they able to repair most FICM’s with low voltage problems, but some units may be either fried beyond repair, or the time it would take to repair them would be more than a good used FICM costs. If you send your unit in to them for repair, the price is $350.00. There is no charge if it cannot be fixed

They can also step the voltage up from 48 to 58 volts for an additional $50.00. All units have a 1-year warranty. Due to a lack of FICM cores, you will have to send your unit in for repair



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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
Do the meter test on the ficm as follows: BEFORE YOU SPEND A PENNY ON PARTS
CM testing procedure
Clean your battery cables and fully charge the batteries it is very important to do this as low voltage and dirty cables will kill a FICM or at least hurt it bad
The bad solder joint is more fiction than fact does it happen yes, common no, heat related absolutely.
Heat will cause component failure and desoldering, ford venfors are sslways looking to cut cost all the time as long as it qc's ford says just compare fords ficm, oil cooler, egr cooler, ipr, and ipc sensors to international parts who actually designed them case closed (how many times have you seen a school bus white smoking going down the road)


Copy and pasted from bismics post in 11-2009*

Here is a fairly straight forward procedure to test your FICM (this is the same information posted in an earlier post, but this post will document the information for Tech Folder)

Thanks to SWAMPS who posted this procedure in another forum (link below). It follows TSB 08-26-3.


6.0’s, FICM’s and cold-start issues.

If your 6.0 will not start cold, the issue may be injectors, the*glow*plugs*or*glow*plug*controller, or it can be the FICM (Fuel*Injection*Control*Module). If after a long cranking with no start you get a lot of white smoke (raw unburnt fuel) out the*exhaust, the problem is probably in the injectors or*glow*plug*system. If you do not get any smoke, the problem is probably in the FICM. It is usually accompanied w/ multiple injector codes and a p0611 code.

The 6.0 injector has two*solenoids*on it; one turns the injector on (open) and the other turns it off (close). A few years ago, Ford came out with a new program referred to as inductive heating for the FICM, intended to combat issues with missing and rough-running during cold startup due to sticking spool valves in the injectors. This program works by running “extra” current through the close coil to generate heat and warm up the spool. On paper it was an excellent idea, and I advised a lot of potential injector customers to have their FICM’s reflashed rather than buy a set of injectors.

Based on my testing, it appears that the early models of FICM’s only used the inductive heating when the EOT was less than 48*F or so.*
The “first” updated heating strategy turned it on any time the EOT was less than 184*F:*

meaning every time you started the truck (if it had been shut off for more than 10 minutes) that the inductive heat was used!

Ford’s newest update to the heating strategy has it coming on below 148*F; better, but that’s still a lot of current draw.

Unfortunately, there have been some very serious consequences.
Although the FICM on the 6.0 is way more “intelligent” than the IDM on a 7.3, its basic job is to convert 12VDC to*48VDC*and deliver this to the injectors at the proper time. Under normal operating conditions, the FICM typically draws 6-7 amps at 12V into the*FICM*power*supply, which is well within its design limits.

However, with the inductive heating active this current draw increases to 24-32 amps—it pegs the 30 amp meter on my*test*bench! Although the*FICM*power*supply*is capable of sustaining this load for short periods of time (1-2 minutes) it eventually gets very hot.

If this was all that happened, things wouldn’t be too bad, but there are several components on the printed circuit board that were not properly soldered during the manufacturing process, and as the PCB heats up and expands, the solder under these components cracks and they lose their electrical connection.

The FICM’s 48 volt power supply is actually four separate or independent units; if one of the four goes down, the other three can supply enough current to run the truck, even with the inductive heating active. If two of the four go out, the truck will start and run normally as long as it is warm out. i.e. as long as the inductive heating does not turn on.

If three of the four go out, the truck will probably not start or run unless it is at full operating temperature, and even then it may not start.*
If the injector voltage is over 35 volts, they run OK, although not as well as when it is 48 volts.*

If the voltage drops below around 24 volts, the injectors cannot fire.*
While most scan tools will display the FICM voltage, they do not always show the correct value.

For instance, AutoEngenuity can only display voltages between 40 to 56 volts, so if the voltage is 35, it will display 40.

How to check your FICM for proper voltage output.
(Perform this check when the engine is completely cold.)

1. Remove the two bolts that hold the*coolant*reservoir*to the cowl and push the reservoir out of the way forward and to your right. You do not need to disconnect any of the hoses.

2. On top of the FICM is a small cover held on by two #20*Torx*screws; remove these two screws and pry the cover off.

3. On 2003 and early 2004 trucks, you will see 7 screw heads under the cover. On 2004 and later trucks you will see 4 screws.

PROCEDURE for 4 SCREW FICM
wwwdotford-trucksdotcom/forums/p...ictureid=19314

4a. Take a multi-meter set on DC volts and connect the ground lead to battery negative, and with the key ON measure the voltage at the screw on your right—closest to the driver’s side fender. Do not let the probe short against the case! The voltage should be right at 48 volts. Anything between 47 and 49 is good.*

5a. Have an assistant cycle the key and measure the voltage during the initial key-on buzz test. Voltage should not drop below 46 volts.

6a. Next measure the voltage while cranking the engine. If voltage stays at or above 45-46 volts, the FICM is fine. Abnormally low battery voltage can give a false low FICM voltage reading, so make sure your batteries are good.

The procedure is the same for FICM’s with 7 screws, except that you will be checking voltage at a different screw, as shown in this picture.

PROCEDURE for 7 SCREW FICM
wwwdotford-trucksdotcom/forums/p...ictureid=19315

4b. Repeat step 4 above (multi meter step) but put the positive lead on the left-most screw in the row of 4 screws.
Do not let the probe short against the case!*

5b. Same as 5a above

6b. Same as 6a above

If the voltage is above 46 volts in all the tests, your FICM is in excellent condition.*

If it is between 36 and 45 volts its OK, but not great. If it is between 25 and 35 volts, you have serious FICM problems.

Swamp’s states that they able to repair most FICM’s with low voltage problems, but some units may be either fried beyond repair, or the time it would take to repair them would be more than a good used FICM costs. If you send your unit in to them for repair, the price is $350.00. There is no charge if it cannot be fixed

They can also step the voltage up from 48 to 58 volts for an additional $50.00. All units have a 1-year warranty. Due to a lack of FICM cores, you will have to send your unit in for repair



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GaterJ-Great info (I might have a slight glazed look at the moment) but I can follow directions. The truck will grace the stealer lot for the rest of the week and see if I get lucky on a no start there so the can capture some data. Agreed that throwing money at parts is ridiculous and expensive. I will inspect all electrical for good connections or frayed wires once home if they find nothing. That's my suspect lean at the moment. That and I may have to park at the bottom of the driveway for the next tow. LOL. Thanks again everyone for the great support.
 
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