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Discussion Starter #1
I have an '04 F-450 that I have had recent trouble with hard starts and rough running after the start. This seems to be a common topic so I thought I would share my experience. This 450 has all new injectors (last year) thanks to careless employees who told me the oil had been changed when in fact it hadn't. It's possible the oil went for more than 2 years without actually being changed. Lesson learned there. After the injector change things were great for 1 year and 1 month when out of the blue it became hard to start. This seemed odd since the weather was finally warming up. I'd say the overnight low was around 55 F when the trouble started. For a couple of days it was a little harder than usual to start but would start after a few tries. Once it was started it would run just like it did with bad injectors; super rough, and it had a hard time getting over 2500 RPM. Eventually it would warm up enough and run perfect for the rest of the day. 2 days ago it just wouldn't start. If the batteries hadn't been nearly new I doubt it would have started before they died. We're talking maybe 30 minutes of intermittently trying to get the thing going. It finally did start when I was about to give up. Same thing this morning, after sitting all night it just wouldn't start at all. When it finally did, it was so rough it barely kept going and it was blowing so much white smoke it was incredible. I bought a code reader and it had no codes; no old codes, and no pending codes. Looking around the boards it looks like bad FICM's throw codes. One post I read indicated if it would start and blow tons of white smoke without codes it was likely the glow plug circuit. This makes some sense because of all the white smoke indicating unburnt diesel. However, the problem didn't go away quickly and glow plugs only give you that initial heat for start up. I checked the glow plugs with a meter and they seemed ok. I decided to check the FICM as well even though I wasn't getting any codes. I happen to have a 7 pin unit and I had 48v with the key on. I had someone cycle it from off to on and it dropped to 21 volts during the initial buzz. It was also around 21 volts while cranking. This is an obvious sign the thing is bad as reported on other threads around here. I took it out and took it apart on my electronics bench. Unfortunately it didn't just have bad solders. 2 of the 4 power MOSFETs were completely blown.
Essentially the unit would only be able to deliver half the amperage needed. I've been looking around the net to see if I can find the exact MOSFETs it needs. I've been a electronic bench tech for over 15 years and I've seen much worse, but I wouldn't recommend this repair to a novice.
Since my experience was contrary to what some of the threads on the subject have to say I thought I'd post for any that find themselves in my position.
To summarize:
2004 6.0 Powerstroke
Very hard starts
Runs very rough once started until quite warm
Blows excessive amounts of white smoke until roughness is gone
Once warm runs fine all day.
No codes at all.

Solution: FICM needs to be repaired or replaced.

Probably I'll try to get one tomorrow from the dealer since it's a work truck and I can't be without it. Once I find the correct MOSFETs I'll repair the old one and see if it works.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
I ordered a new FICM online since I hadn't found the MOSFETs and I needed the truck back to work. After installing the new FICM (it came pre-programmed) It fired right up and ran like a champ. I have since found a source for the MOSFETs, so I'll fix my old one and have a backup.
 

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Yeah, it's like that
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Where did you get a new FICM pre-programmed? Might be interesting info for people around here, the only ones I could find were blank when mine went out?
 

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The ficm are vin specific, but they will run if installed. It will just throw a code that you will only be able to read with the ford scanner. Won't throw a light or anything.
 

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I Just Break Stuff
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The ficm are vin specific, but they will run if installed. It will just throw a code that you will only be able to read with the ford scanner. Won't throw a light or anything.
Never thought about that. Guess that explains why I get a vin miss match message when I hook up to my truck with AE.
 

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Discussion Starter #7
I found and ordered the Infineon MOSFETs. I should have them Monday June 14th. I'll probably have them installed by Tuesday and I can post a report.

Todd
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I installed the new MOSFETs and swapped the units. The old unit appears to work perfectly with the bad MOSFETs replaced. I wouldn't suggest this repair to anyone who isn't well versed in surface mount component replacement. You need special tools (beyond a simple soldering iron) to replace the MOSFETs. If you felt like modifying the PC board you could probably make do with a decent iron. Either way, it's not a job for beginners. Looks like I have a backup FICM now.
 

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Good to hear. What is the part number of the mosfets you ordered?

Also, FICMs are not VIN-specific, but are specific to the individual PCM strategys. You will get a strategy mismatch code (does not set CEL), but they will still run.
 

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You will get a strategy mismatch code (does not set CEL), but they will still run.
The above info only applies to a used FICM

A "New" FICM (or reman) does not come pre programmed ready to go, these must be either installed and then programmed by a dealer or with the remote programmer from PHP.... or send the FICM to Swamps or Innovative to be programmed before installing.
 

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Correct, but since they were talking about used or pre-programmed (not OEM) FICMs, I wanted to clarify the compatibility.
 
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