My usually wonderful 97 F150 Lariat has developed some strange electrical problems. All at once I have no use of the following: windshield wipers, power windows, interior lights, open door warning, ignition key ding ding. There may be more, but that is what I am aware of.
All of my fuses are good. I swapped all of my relays around and still no good.
We had the same problem with an older Ford truck. The radio and dome lights would not work, and they had for the ten years before. Even though the fuses looked good, we changed them and everything worked. The truck was a 1990 F350 (a little older than yours), but for some reason the fuses just seemed to ware out. I would just put in fresh fuses and see what happens. Good luck, Levi
I tried the new fuse theory and replaced them all - no help. Ever since these items stopped working there has been absolutely no sign of life in any of them. I keep thinking it is something common to all of the problems. I will look at the trailer wiring. I have got to look somewhere. It is getting real old quick, stopping at a drive thru and having to open the door because the power windows do not go down.
I think it was my post you were referring to about seeing the information about your problem. I too have the problem with the wipers, washers, chimes and so forth. I have pretty much determined that the trouble lies in the GEM module, however, I am hoping that the guy's suggestion about it being located behind the interior fuse block is correct. The other day I did some exploratory work to see if I could access the fuse block, take it out, and see if the GEM module was on the back. There is certainly something attached to the back but I couldn't really see it because I could not get the fuse block out of the truck. I got the fuse block loose but I could not detach the two wiring harnesses that attach to the back. There is one screw for each harness and as you loosen them the harness seem to come away from the block but I could not get them to fully separate. I am going to post another question to see if someone may know how to get these harnesses detached. Anyhow, it seems me and you are in the same boat so if you have figured out how to solve the problem let me know. You know its funny that you are from Atlanta because I am also from Tyrone. (a suburb south of Atlanta) Maybe they figured they could get away with this, us being red-necks and all. Please write back! If anyone else can shed any light feel free.
My husband and I have had the same problem with our '97 Lariat. We keep blowing a fuse that takes out the wipers and the radio. The part is around 180 dollars from the dealership. Just ask for a GEM module-they know exactly what you are asking for. There was a recall of some kind in Nov. of 98 but I don't know details. That's all the information I could get off of an AllData site.
Anyway, the module is located on the back of the fuse block. My husband hung upside down under the dash for quite a while to get ours out. He said that you take the fuse block loose and let it hang by the wires. You have to flip the block upside down and remove two 8 or 10mm bolts and the GEM should just come off. Hope this helps.
Any further advances in your problem solving? I have similar gremlins in my dashboard: sometimes the radio/CD buttons don't do anything, sometimes the display doesn't light, sometimes the radio doesn't work, sometimes the chimes are chiming, sometimes the gremlin makes funny little clicking noises that sound just like a relay chattering... and sometimes for months on end everything works like it's supposed to.
So, since your problem may be similar to my problem, would you please post any further info you have gathered? Thanks.
It sounds like you have water in the GEM and/or the fuse box. Usually the windshield leaks water and it drips onto the GEM/fusebox causing the problems you've described. Most of the time they have to be replaced and the winshield resealed.
The G.E.M., huh? Hmmm...
So, feel like giving me any leads to where I might learn more about this GEM? It's only reference I can find in my Chilton manual, is in the wiring diagram for my truck where it shows lead #14 off the powertrain control module going to the GEM or 4x4 low switch (which there ain't one of on my 2WD). I read the other posts, regarding digging around for it behind the interior fuse box, but I don't see a positive posting regarding finding it, R&R, and a return to full fault-free functionality.
I hate to just dive into something blindfolded, especially electrical components, but if you say I have to- then I will.
(Will wait a while longer and see if it goes away, that is.)
Seriously, though; do you know of any technical references on the web or have experience with a manual other than Chiltons that has good details (why not comment on decent manuals anyway, if you got the time?).
Thanks for any replies guys (& gals).
97 f150 xlt stepside
"I love my truck."
It's in absoluitely perfect mint condition. Well, except for the intermittent electrical bug-a-boos. and the electric window that sticks. and the front brakes that lock when steering while emergency stopping. and the groovy front rotor surfaces. oh yeah, and the seat belt that needs an adapter strap. and now, now a possible leaky front window and wet GEM unit. (GEM units are like Gremlins: don't get them wet or feed them after midnight.)
Doesn't matter, I still love my truck.
Jesus probably owned a Ford, you know... and it was forgiven.
After rereading your post I should say that I dont think your radio problems are caused by your GEM. Chances are the problem is in the radio unit itself. The other problems could easily be the GEM or fuse box though.
The GEM is attached to the back of the fuse box or as the manual calls it the "instrument fuse junction panel". I guess "fuse box" was too easy
Look carefully above the fuse box for any signs of water that has dripped down....stains, clean lines in the dust etc.
I've never had any luck drying out fuse boxes but some people have.
As for what manuals are good.....some people here highly recommend Haynes manuals but I always use genuine Ford ones.
Apparently the Ford cds and dvds can be found easily on Ebay and sell for not too much money. The Ford cds usually cover only one year of either car or truck while the dvds covers many years of all lines.
Also take a look at motorhaven.autoanything.com and see if you can find a manual for your truck there.
A site with some online manuals that isnt too bad is
As for what the GEM controls here is what the manual says....
GEM Features and Functions
The GEM controls the following features:
Illuminated entry and courtesy lamps.
Driver power window.
I cant post the pictures from the manual here but the instructions for replacing the GEM/fuse box are.........
Remove the cover from the instrument panel fuse junction panel.
NOTE: On vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions, move the shift lever to the 1 position to ease removal.
Carefully press the (A) clips and remove the (B) steering column opening cover.
Postion the hood latch release handle aside.
Remove the screws.
Position the hood latch release aside.
Position the parking brake release handle aside.
Remove the screws.
Position the parking brake release handle aside.
Remove the lower instrument panel steering column cover (044F08).
Remove the six lower instrument panel steering column cover bolts.
Remove the lower instrument panel steering column cover.
Remove the two (A) bulkhead electrical connectors from the (B) instrument panel fuse junction panel.
Remove the two (A) instrument panel fuse junction panel bolts and remove the two (B) interior fuse junction panel nuts.
Disconnect the three (A) GEM/CTM electrical connectors from the (B) GEM/CTM.
Remove the three GEM/CTM screws and the GEM/CTM.
NOTE: When the battery (10655) is disconnected and reconnected, some abnormal drive symptoms may occur while the vehicle relearns its adaptive strategy. The vehicle may need to be driven 16 km (10 mi) or more to relearn the strategy.
To install, reverse the removal procedure.
Check for proper operation.
Install the lower instrument panel steering column cover.
Position the lower instrument panel steering column cover.
Install the six bolts.
Install the parking brake release handle.
Position the parking brake release handle.
Install the screws.
Install the hood latch release handle.
Position the hood latch release handle.
Install the screws.
NOTE: On vehicles equipped with automatic transmissions, move the shift lever to the 1 position to ease installation.
Carefully press the (A) clips and install the (B) steering column opening cover.
Once again, Mr. Moderator,
Mr. Saint Fordicus Fixeruppericus,
your attention proves your intention: to help all of the sad and unfortunate, all the misbegotten souls of the world whose Fords are failing because they either lack in knowledge, or lack in skill.
And I know that you do this not for money, but for love; yes, love for the fine Ford automobiles and trucks, and love for the faithful consumers who buy and drive them. Surely you will be remembered long past your years, as a man of good grace and good guidance.
May your gas tank never empty, and may your idle never be rough.
This is a sorta fun way to kill some time and maybe help some people and learn a few things myself. There are a lot of other people on here besides me that have a great deal of knowledge and help out when they can too
I just wish they would come out of the woodwork a little more often
I too am having some strange electrical issues with my 97 Lariet. The truck has only been driven about 3K miles in the last 3 years. It will no longer shift into 4 wheel. When I shift the transfer case to neutral, it is in neutral, but I can't get it to engage in 4 wheel. No light on the dash. I also can't adjust the temperature anymore. The air stays where I put it (that swithc still works), so I don't believe I have vacuum issues. The driver side window goes down when it wants to, never when I push the button. Passenger side works from both door controls. I am beginning to believe I also might have GEM issues. My windshield was leaking until I resealed it late last fall. Is there any way to test the GEM? Is there a diagram and/or procedure for doing this that is available to me? I don't mind spending the time or money to fix it, but I would hate to invest a couple of hundred bucks before I am sure that the GEM was the problem. Any help you can give me will be greatly appreciated.