2003 Bird turns over but won't start

I have a newly acquired 007 edition '03 TBird. After driving it home from Miami to Sarasota, it now won't start. It turns over and runs for just a second, then dies and won't start. I have it at the Ford dealer now, and they are telling me something to do with the ACM (I think maybe they meant automatic control module???). They said that the parts are no longer made and their latest idea was to disconnect the radio buttons on the steering wheel and they were going to try that. That didn't work, so they are now tracking down the problem by isolating one thing at a time. I wondered if anyone here has ever had a similar problem? Driving it home, we noticed that the dash lights and gauges went crazy once or twice, the A/C quit working (although I was able to get it going again after stopping for gas, but then it quit again soon thereafter). The headlights were blinking on and off if it was in the AUTO position. The car has 98k miles on it, but is in very nice condition. I have it's full service history due to carfax. It spent it's first 10k miles in TX, and then the rest of it's life in Vero Beach FL. Passenger door lock isn't coming up. That's about all we've seen thus far in driving it home. Does anyone have any ideas and/or know what module the dealer is talking about? Can a new/aftermarket/rebuilt part be obtained to replace it with?
Yes from the treads here on the forum do a search for FEM (front electronic modular) which is located in the driver side kick panel down by your left foot.. Mine is still working, knock on wood, but your symptoms sure point to that FEM.. there is a tread running right now as to where to get it rebuilt..
Hello Sarasota007, I had the same issue last year with my Tbird 2004. The engine did not start. I ordered a new PCM at Flagship One (refurbished) and the problem was solved. And this summer, we enjoy driving the Tbird !

Best regards from France
Now the Ford dealer is telling us that they need to replace the instrument panel. I am not sure whether they have checked out the FEM or not yet. I am assuming they have. But does that sound reasonable? To the tune of $2,400 and the part is still available they say. This sounds crazy to me. Does anyone know whether or not anything with the instrument panel would cause the car to not start?


2004 Merlot
Sounds like they are not actually diagnosing anything - just replacing parts (hoping to solve the problem). I would want to know if they have checked out the FEM before doing anything. (As noted here and elsewhere, Lincoln dealers tend to be more knowledgeable about our T-birds due to their experience with the LS.)
I would first put a volt meter on the fuel pump, see if you have voltage. If you do, then you have a bad
fuel pump. If no voltage work back wards.

Sounds like your Ford dealer is changing parts till problem goes away. Good for them, bad for you.

I does sound like your FEM is going bad.