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Turboprop
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I've always had an issue with the remote entry on my 2004 Excursion. The day I bought it (used) from a Ford Dealer, the salesman went inside and tried to get better-functioning key fobs. All of them pretty much did the same thing...

When I click unlock, it often takes 3, 10, 20 clicks at close range for the vehicle to unlock all the doors. It's literally hit-and-miss. I thought for a long time that I should get some aftermarket or used OEM replacements. I eventually did, now that I've had the truck for over 8 years. The ones I got on eBay work the same as the old ones... not too surprising since this is what happened the day I bought it. Sometimes I can get it to work, but mostly it is just a frustrating extra 20 seconds or so waiting for the remote entry to work. Curiously, I think the horn/panic button is almost always good on the first try.

So I need to replace that module that controls this... now that a lot of these are junkyard vehicles and the price should be reasonable. Anyone have any knowledge of the unit and whether it will need a programmer? You know, I was thinking that it is the same module that I had to seek out behind the radio that has the 5-digit "key-less entry" master code written on it. I was even wondering if there is an antenna that could be messed up, but to me it doesn't seem to be a range issue. Also, will I be able to use one from a pickup truck, or would that disable the PATS?
 

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Project Shamu
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Did you try and put a new battery in the remote? Mine does this every 2-3 years and it needs a new battery... exact same symptoms
 

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Any cheap Amazon Bluetooth adapters in your truck that are on all the time?

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Turboprop
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
1. I did one better than replacing the batteries (which of course I did) by adding in some aftermarket remotes. The new, old, and the original key fobs all do the same thing. I am very, very confident that the remotes are not the problem. I just did the relearn procedure a few days ago with the eBay remotes and the old ones all active.

2. As for Bluetooth... no, there isn't usually any bluetooth things going on. I bought this truck and had problems long before Bluetooth was a thing, by the way.

When I bought the Excursion, I tested the remotes on the keys I was given and had problems, which is why the salesperson went inside to their fishbowl full of key fobs and grabbed some spares, trying to get me better ones, and set them up. He thought that the ones he swapped in were better, but the fobs aren't the problem. Something in the controller is not receiving all the time or the circuit that detects a paired remote has a glitch.
 

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Ok. I asked that because of previous experience.

I bought a Bluetooth hands free kit adapter from Amazon a while ago and installed it.

I had two problems.. one was noticeable right away the other took a while to diagnose.

1) My antenna got unplugged from the stereo during the install. I didn't notice it till I went to sue the radio a few days later. However, with the antenna unplugged my key fob stopped working altogether. Fixed that.

2) I had wired the adapter to an always-on power source. When the truck was just turned off I had very little range. The unit had an auto-sense feature where it would turn itself off after a period of inactivity and the remote would work again. I fixed that by finding the auxillary power lead hidden up in the dash.

So, mentioned all this to help someone in the future if it doesn't help you.

OP- I think you might be onto something with what you're talking about doing. Keep us informed when you find out what fixed it. Mine can still occasionally be finicky. I had to get right up to my truck the other day to make it work. However, I bumped the keys in my pocket the other day and it worked from inside the house. I'm starting to wonder if these trucks are really sensitive to RF interference.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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Turboprop
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #6
No changes really. Those aftermarket key fobs I bought on eBay are maybe a hair better than the Ford ones. It's often a surprise whether it will be one/two push or 20 to unlock or lock the doors.
 

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What happens with the under-the-chin touching your jawbone trick? Does it respond better to that?

I used to think that was weird but it works in some cases..

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Turboprop
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4 Posts
Discussion Starter #8
I learned the trick as a "center of forehead talisman" style. And its usefulness is random and debatable. Range doesn't always seem to be a factor, but I'm not sure. I guess I could do a double-blind study on it... but...
 

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If it's random I'd think you have some sort of interference there somewhere but have no idea what it could be.. sorry man.

Sent from my Pixel 3 XL using Tapatalk
 

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I had this exact problem @ 3 years ago and it turned out to be the solderless connections on the wireless entry module to existing truck harness. I recrimped the offending connector and problem solved until this last week. Same problem reared it's ugly head so I'm going to remove the lower dash panel, remove the solderless connectors and do a proper solder connection and seal with heat-shrink tubing. It hasn't been mentioned yet but Ford has a terrible problem with electrical connection corrision. Use dielectric grease after cleaning terminals at reassembly.
 

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I had this exact problem @ 3 years ago and it turned out to be the solderless connections on the wireless entry module to existing truck harness. I recrimped the offending connector and problem solved until this last week. Same problem reared it's ugly head so I'm going to remove the lower dash panel, remove the solderless connectors and do a proper solder connection and seal with heat-shrink tubing. It hasn't been mentioned yet but Ford has a terrible problem with electrical connection corrision. Use dielectric grease after cleaning terminals at reassembly.
Any chance you can advise exactly where that sucker is located? I've been looking for mine for a while and it doesn't seem to be where Ford says it should be. lol
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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VSM - Vehicle Security Module - against the firewall behind and below the sound system.

Also called the Multifunction Anti-Theft Keyless Entry Module. Also controls horn functions
 

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Ford really needs to label these things AND place them all in an easy to access location. Spend a few bucks for the extra couple feet of wire and make maintenance easier! lol Thanks for the tip. I'll try to figure out which of the black boxes this is.
 

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"resident smarty pants"
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It should have the part number on it - I believe it is 4C7T-15K602-AJ
 

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VSM - Vehicle Security Module - against the firewall behind and below the sound system.

Also called the Multifunction Anti-Theft Keyless Entry Module. Also controls horn functions
Thanks bismic1- thats where I found mine even though mine was aftermarket (viper)-
VSM - Vehicle Security Module - against the firewall behind and below the sound system.

Also called the Multifunction Anti-Theft Keyless Entry Module. Also controls horn functions
 

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Not sure why the double quote- oh well operator error.
Mine was above the AC/HEAT control unit but below the radio unit- toward the firewall- it has a good number of wires coming out of it and spliced into the dash harness. It doesn't look like there is much excess wire between the splice and harness. It might be interesting getting to it even though I can see it with a lite.
 
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