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FICM, Altenator, & Cold Starts

 
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Old 01-28-2017, 09:34 AM
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FICM, Altenator, & Cold Starts

So, I've been having cold start issues for a couple of years now especially when temps get below 25 or so. It started with virtually no issues until temps got into the 20's but got to the point this year where it run a little rough at startup even in the summer. Once ECT gets up around 140* it runs pretty good.

I took it to a diesel shop last year and was told I had 1 bad injector and a bad glow plug. I couldn't afford to do the work, so I waited.

Now after researching this site, I'm more inclined to think it may just be the FICM. I've seen scangauge numbers in the low 20's up to 48.5. On cold morning FCM will usually start in the low 30's and gradually work up to upper 40's. The batteries were both replaced 2 years ago, but I probably should give them a load test. The alternator voltages vary from 11.0 to 12.5 when cold and 12.5 to 14 once warmed up. I have noticed that the AC blower will slow down a little when I sit at a red light, and then pick up again when taking off. I don't notice it with headlights or anything else.

According to Bismarc's spreadsheet, alternator numbers seem to be in the acceptable range, but I don't want to get a new FICM and fry it with a bad alternator. I can get the alternator or the FICM now, but if I need to do both at once I'll need to wait a bit longer.

Any suggestions are welcome. Thx
 
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Old 01-28-2017, 10:10 AM
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You could have a bad injector, a bad glow plug, a bad FICM, and a stock alternator that with poor reserve batteries put the FICM at risk. The list grows.

Codes should be checked for the glow plug. The best test for the injector is with an IDS which will cost money. The FICM is toast, but Ed is going to be emphatic about getting your charging system upgraded as shown in his warranty statement.

Since money is a concern, a 140a alternator such as offered by Amazon is probably your best choice, but also grab a smaller diameter pulley off eBay. It's reliable, new, and you could get away without adding a supplementary cable. Next your going to need to replace the FICM before you get stuck someplace and need an expensive tow. Ed, or take a chance on a used one at eBay. I have two spares, a four and seven screw from eBay, both test fine. Depends on your comfort level on a bet.

Both the injector and glow plug will degrade your starting. Since you took it to a mechanic and held because of funds, I'm guessing you're uncomfortable with doing the work yourself. These are the last items I'd do one your list, both can be done at the same time. Just be aware that depending on the fault within the injector if it totally fails your going to need to get it repaired to run. If your injector issue is a cold start issue only, an attempt at using Archoil 9100 may improve your situation while you're accumulating funds.
 
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Old 01-28-2017, 11:23 AM
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TRT30 for a coupon code at Advance Auto will get you a 30% discount up to $50 off a $150 purchase. Buy on line and do in store pick up.

If you use that place, good savings.
 
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:16 PM
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Old 01-28-2017, 12:50 PM
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I echo all of the statements here. That 140 amp alternator option, if purchased new and coupled with a small diameter pulley is far from a bad option. Of course, we carry higher end units, but I'm not at all certain that you need more.

Re the FICM, as Jack said, sadly your FICM is toast.

Given your experiences with blower motor RPM fluctuations, it seems clear that your charging system needs help. I'd yank the alternator and do a bench test on it just to be sure and also clean up your frame grounds.

We run a skeleton crew on Saturdays, but someone is at the office until 6pm central today if you want to cover your options through a conversation. We're at 515-887-4459. Let us know if we can help!

There's a video on FICMrepair.com with my ugly mug explaining the process for FICM removal in case that helps you. It's pretty detailed. A simple set of tools and a few minutes of time should be all you need to swap that module out and even the alternator without having to spend even more cash at the local shop.

FTE ftw!
 
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Old 01-28-2017, 06:39 PM
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Thanks for all of the replies, so I'm thinking this is my plan.

1. Order and replace the alternator with the 135a Bosch from Adv. Auto. With $50 coupon and some speedperks I already have, this is a no-brainer. I'll check batteries and clean frame grounds ASAP.
2. If the batteries check out, I should be able to send the FICM in to FICMrepair.com within the next few weeks. If the batteries don't check out, I'll have to address them first.

Hopefully 1 and 2 make a big difference. If not, I'll be experimenting with Hot Shots, Archoil, different motor oil and the like until I can get the injectors and glow plugs taken care of. I can probably handle the glow plugs, but am not really interested in doing them myself if I can get them done with the injectors. If the injectors get through the winter, then I can probably get it all done by fall.

Thank you everybody, it's a big weight off just to have a plan. much appreciated.
 
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Old 01-28-2017, 07:15 PM
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Checking the batteries is a good idea. Some of us don't make it more then 2yrs before getting uncomfortable with aftermarket batteries, and it's only on batteries at the starter engagement. If you dropping into the 9's during the cold MI temps, that's a risk for the FICM. With a hard starting truck due to inj/GP, that's really pushing the voltage, and at that point in the starting event no alternator can help.

The Advance is a good deal on the alternator, but put it into comparison to this since your in a cost crunch:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

to see where you might get the best deal.
 
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Old 01-29-2017, 09:43 AM
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Originally Posted by TooManyToys. View Post
Checking the batteries is a good idea. Some of us don't make it more then 2yrs before getting uncomfortable with aftermarket batteries, and it's only on batteries at the starter engagement. If you dropping into the 9's during the cold MI temps, that's a risk for the FICM. With a hard starting truck due to inj/GP, that's really pushing the voltage, and at that point in the starting event no alternator can help.

The Advance is a good deal on the alternator, but put it into comparison to this since your in a cost crunch:

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0...?ie=UTF8&psc=1

to see where you might get the best deal.
So true Jack, like usual. To the OP, I see you're in SW MI. There's a few members here on FTE that live/work in the GR area if you need to bounce any ideas off them or need some hands on help. One of the guys has a lift in his pole barn too. Check out the Michigan Chapter for suggestions. Although most of the conversation in the BS thread revolves around beer drinking.
 
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Old 01-29-2017, 02:30 PM
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X,
You don't indicate if you have a Blue Spring for your fuel regulation but an inexpensive way to keep proper fuel pressure and avoid injector damage.
I know you're concerned about one misfiring injector already.
 
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Old 01-29-2017, 04:57 PM
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I ordered the Alternator from Adv. Auto - almost the same price after the $50 coupon and free shipping. If I have any issues I can deal with the local store. Should be next weekend's project.

I didn't get to do the 12hr cold soak, but today I unhooked battery cables and checked out my NAPA 875 CCA batteries. Connections were all very clean. The were at 12v starting out and load tested about 10.8v or 800 CCA. The ground cables above all looked good, but I didn't get underneath to check for grounds. I'll do that when I'm working on the alt. I'm thinking these will be OK for awhile, any thoughts?

Blueheart: I'll keep that in mind, thanks!

r2, I have done the blue spring upgrade - thank you for that thought.
 
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Old 01-29-2017, 06:06 PM
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If that's how it works out at Advance then I can see you going there. Load tests look fine.

Under the truck the only easy ground location is to the pass side offthe crank pulley. That's where both the pass battery cable attaches and it's jumper to the frame. The two frame points are a PITA, and I think the same engineer that located the hfcm in front of the transfer case came up with the cable layout.

The drivers neg goes to the frame so the frame can carry the current, then there is the jumper on the pass rail to the block, spliced in where mentioned. The service manual says you can get to them under the wheelwell liners, but I tear up my hands trying that. I've gone through pulling the CAC tubes to get to them from uptop, but that's a lot of work too.

If you are going to get in there to do them, I would encourage you to put a 18-24" 1/0 cable in between the frame to the block on the drivers side. I realize your conserving dollars, but you can get that cable pretty cheap, even from Napa.

This is a good price on the overdrive pulley that will gain you about 20-30a on startup to help protect the FICM. At this price it's good insurance when you can get it.

http://www.ebay.com/itm/Ford-3G-6G-L...BVicl1&vxp=mtr
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:14 PM
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Well I put on the Bosch Altenator a couple of weeks ago and cleaned the EBP sensor and tube while I was also in there changing the thermostat.

I was a little disappointed as I had read somewhere that the stock alt pulley was smaller than the Bosch and that I could swap those pulleys. However, both pulleys measured 2.58", so I decided to stick with the Bosch pulley. I do plan to order the 58mm pulley and swap that when I do the FICM. I no longer have the voltage fluctuations I had before, occasionally I'll briefly see low 13's at startup but readings are usually between 13.9-14.2.
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 12:22 PM
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I'd like to send the FICM off to FICMrepair.com this week - depends on if the wife gets home with the EX in time for me to get it out this afternoon.

I'm struggling on whether to get the Atlas40 tune or not.

I have the Sinister Diesel EGR delete and would like to get the engine light turned off - Can FICM tuning do that?

My 31' Jayco weighs right about 8500 lbs loaded up. I do not have the EGT probe, but I only tow it a couple thousand miles a year. One of our more regular annual trips is about 500 miles one way, most of the other trips are less than 200 miles. Should I wait until I can monitor EGTs?
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:05 PM
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Originally Posted by X-70STANG-F150 View Post
I'd like to send the FICM off to FICMrepair.com this week - depends on if the wife gets home with the EX in time for me to get it out this afternoon.

I'm struggling on whether to get the Atlas40 tune or not.

I have the Sinister Diesel EGR delete and would like to get the engine light turned off - Can FICM tuning do that?

My 31' Jayco weighs right about 8500 lbs loaded up. I do not have the EGT probe, but I only tow it a couple thousand miles a year. One of our more regular annual trips is about 500 miles one way, most of the other trips are less than 200 miles. Should I wait until I can monitor EGTs?
Some 05's from what I am told you don't need a tuner to shut off the CEL if you are deleted, some you do as appears to be the case with you. FICM won't do that since it's for the injector only side of things.

I have the Atlas 40 and love it, it woke things up

You still have the EGR valve plugged in and just laying there? If not it can interfere with proper fan operation on these unless it's an early build where many report it won't(myself included)
 
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Old 02-26-2017, 02:22 PM
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I bought the truck with the EGR deleted already and no valve. I bought a used one off eBay to plug in to get rid of the light, but that didn't work so I left it out. After I did that I read somewhere that the dummy EGR wouldn't work with the most recent dealer software flashes.

Mine is a late build. What kind of fan problems?
 

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