2003 Ford 6.0L Power Stroke

Shop Talk: Tech Tips from a Lifetime Under the Hood…

Vehicle background: The repair shop called with a 6.0L truck that, during cranking, the starter disengaged and engaged rapidly causing a hard start. However if the key was held in the crank mode, the engine would finally start. During the diagnostics they decided the ECM was causing the problem. The customer purchased an ECM from Ford. They had the truck towed to M&D for ECM installation and re-Hash which we did. However this did not fix the starting or starter problems.

M&D Diagnostics / Symptoms

  1. There were numerous DTC codes. Two specific codes caught my attention, EGR circuit and cylinder #6 misfire. These 2 codes served as the basis for the diagnostic path.
  2. With the key on and the engine off, the battery warning light, the cruise control light, and a couple more warning lights Hashed on and off rapidly for a period of about 10 – 15 seconds.
  3. With the key on and the engine off several relays started clicking off and on rapidly in the fuse box and dash
  4. I was unable to perform an injector buzz test.
  5. I was able to bypass the starter circuit and then apply direct voltage to the starter solenoid. This caused the starter to perform normally.
  6. White using the IDS and watching the PID data stream, the IDS screen would freeze like the ECM was powering down.

M&D Diagnostics / Repair Steps:

  1. We were going on the assumption that the ECM was Losing power or a short was causing the ECM lockup.
    We then studied an engine performance wiring diagram to determine a starting point for this repair. We then
    decided to unplug the C1282 connector. After doing this is a still allowed the supply voltage flow to the ECM
    and also CUI off voltage to the EGR valve (EGR DTC code) glow plug module, lPR valve and FICM. Since I
    wanted to divide the ECM supply voltage circuit and with the C1282 unplugged. The result was that we had
    no blinking lamps and no relays clicking
  2. I then plugged the connector C1282 back together and then unplugged one at a time. Along with the EGR
    valve, glow plug module, IPR valve and then turned the key on/off which disconnected the load. This
    produced the same results of the blinking warning lights.
  3. I then plugged everything back in and then unplugged the first connector at the FICM. The first connector
    carries the supply voltage and also grounds the FICM through the C1282 connector, The C1282 connector
    is a black 12 pin connector located under the engine fuse box. With the key on there W(!re no blinking tamps
    and we thought the problem was fixed. Unfortunately it wasn’t.
  4. The next step was to install a test lCM and we got the same results. I unplugged the center and rear FICM
    connectors to remove the load from the FICM. I turned the key on and no blinking lamps. I plugged both the
    center and rear connector back in and the warming lights started blinking again. I then unplugged the #6
    injector connector (#6 injector DTC code) along with all the FICM connectors. The engine finally started with
    no blinking warning lights, no clicking relays and the starter stayed engaged during cranking..

A shorted injector was the problem the entire time.

Jimmy Finch

Dallas Branch Manager, M&D Distributors

Jimmy Finch has over 33 years of experience in Diesel Engine Sales, Service and Repair. His experience started early in life at Texas Fuel Injection Service (an early acquisition of M&D) as a job with a means to an end. Somewhere in that 33 years this job turned into a fulfilling career. He started in the injector clean up department and has held practically every position leading up to his current role as Branch Manager of the Dallas, Texas location.

In his spare time, Jimmy enjoys spending time with his wife of 24 years, Priscilla. They are currently getting ready to make their way into the empty-nesters stage of life. He also enjoys the occasional hunting trip with friends and family and chasing down potential customers by the names off their trucks.

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