FICM fix

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One of the first things I did with the f250 after I got it was to pick up a bluetooth dongle and use Torque on a spare cheap kindle fire to monitor a whole bunch of shit.  The general idea is to catch a small problem and fix it before it becomes a huge problem.  I had been seeing the voltages for the FICM registering low for quite some time now.  They would start off in the mid 30’s then work their way to the expected voltage after the truck warmed up.  I was content to just keep an eye on this until we had a spring cold snap.  The 250 cranked for longer than I expected before it fired up and when it finally did it was running extremely rough.  The FICM voltage showed mid 20’s.  I decided to shut her down and get the FICM fixed.  If I let it go too long like that it could take out injectors and/or leave me sitting along side the road somewhere.

I decided to take it out myself and ship it off for repair.  I could have paid almost 2x as much and get a unit shipped to me, then I ship the core back…but since I don’t use the truck for commercial operations I opted to just let it sit for awhile while I wait for my unit to get repaired.  Also, I have the RAM to run around with while I was waiting.  I also opted to so the “58 volt” upgrade.  This ran me an extra 50 bucks, but it’s suppose to help keep the injectors a little cleaner and it touts extra horse power!…whatever, more volts has to be better!

It took about two weeks for the shipping and repair to be completed.  Monday I got to attack the task of putting things back together.  This thing is located on top of the engine towards the back on the driver’s side.  I’m not sure if me being a large man made this job a bit more of a task or not…but what a pain in the ass.  There is really nothing technical about the install that makes it difficult to install.  You plug in 3 couplings and put on 4 nuts.  The hard part is the extremely confined space along with the lack of any extra slack in the cords.  I ended up wedging a large screw driver between the couplings and the engine block…lining things up carefully and then pushing down get them clipped in properly.  It took a litany of profanity but they did finally snap in.  Slipping the nuts back on took slightly more profanity and an extra joint in my arm…but that’s done too.

Now the real hard part of the whole project…putting the god damn air filter back together.  Since I had to take it out to get at the FICM I decided to put a new one back in.  Everything has to go back together the same way anyway so no biggie.  I must have tried for 20min to get that som’ biatch lined up before I finally gave up and hit up youtube.  I watched a guy there do it and he took the whole pipe off up to the turbo to get things lined up properly.  That did make things possible, but it was still a pain in the ass…but eventually I did get it all slapped back together.

I fired it up for the initial run and she started up quite a bit quicker and ran much smoother.  The voltage only reads 54.5, but after reading a bit I see that the ECU can only read up to 54.5, so anything over that isn’t going to show.  If I want “true voltage” I’ll have to take a reading straight from the FICM…I’m not that concerned.  After running it around a little bit and letting it idle I also noticed that it doesn’t seem to be kicking in to the “high idle” state as much as it did before.  I’m not sure if that was related to the FICM or not…but it was something that annoyed me.  Hopefully it holds.

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