Gus Gutz

Gus Gutz

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
My lights went off and my drivers window would not go down. The radio would not turn off when the door was opened and the windows do not drop. this happened twice in two days.

I am sure it is the front electronic module. Anyone know what to do and where to take it?


MODERATOR NOTE 2020- We've found a direct source for the FEM's!
You can now purchase a remanufactured FEM directly from a Ford dealer with a 2 year warranty! These FEM’s we are remanufactured by Ford and are covered by the nationwide Ford warranty for 2 years/unlimited mileage. The part numbers listed below are all of the versions of the FEM modules. They all carry a $1200.00 core. When a core is returned they will not refuse to refund the customer's money provided you follow the core return instructions. They do not list all of the part numbers on the site to avoid customer confusion. Since a VIN is required they just provide the correct product to the customer when the linked item is purchased
.


1W6Z14B205AA
1W6Z13C788BA
3W6Z14B205AB
6W6Z13C788AB

Used units available on ebay occasionally:
2002 Ford Thunderbird Front Lighting Control. Click here to purchase on eBay.
2003-2005 FORD THUNDERBIRD Front Lighting Control Click here to purchase on eBay.
Part number 1W6Z 14B205 AA -


Get it rebuilt at Module Master which currently has 4.9 stars on Google- https://g.page/modulemaster?share
Link to rebuild- https://modulemaster.com/products/f...q=my_car-truck~yr_2003~mk_ford~md_thunderbird

Automotive Modules- http://www.automotivemodules.com/Thunderbird.html

FEM-1.jpg
FEM-2.jpg
 

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Gus Gutz

Gus Gutz

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
Thanks, Gus. I will look into this as I need to get it corrected, but hesitated to just take it to a garage and let them have free will to repair. I have been down that road before where they just change parts until they finally correct the problem.
Thanks for the reply, Alan
Look for other strange things happening. My wipers would just go off every now and then. My radio did not shut off when the car was turned off. Driver's window would not go up or down and the window drop didn't work. the top would not go up. A couple of times the headlights just went off and of course I would get off the freeway and the steering was still stiff. These were all intermittent. There were no codes in the computer pointing to a bad fem. The ford dealer couldn't find a problem but I had them change the FEM and no problems since.
 
tbird

tbird

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 15, 2001
Thunderbird Year
2005
You can have your FEM rebuilt by these professionals:

http://www.automotivemodules.com/Thunderbird.html

Some of the Most Common Problems that are fixed:
Instrument Illumination Problems (No Dash illumination & Shift indicator)
Headlights issues.
Front Turn Signal Problems.
Window inoperable (driver side).
No Wipers, No Horn.
Convertible. Top
Power Steering Assist.(stiff) Code C1925 .
Also Codes such as :B1342,B1438,B1446,B1676.
 
V

vcionetti

Active Member
Joined
May 22, 2006
Thunderbird Year
2004
Look for other strange things happening. My wipers would just go off every now and then. My radio did not shut off when the car was turned off. Driver's window would not go up or down and the window drop didn't work. the top would not go up. A couple of times the headlights just went off and of course I would get off the freeway and the steering was still stiff. These were all intermittent. There were no codes in the computer pointing to a bad fem. The ford dealer couldn't find a problem but I had them change the FEM and no problems since.

Does anyone know what the actual part number is for the Front Electronic Module? THANKS!
 
Gus Gutz

Gus Gutz

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
Kearny Pearson Ford in San Diego replaced mine . I was like you and not sure I had the technical knowledge to take it on. Here is the removal instructions. Kearny Pearson Ford gave me the core. I was thinking of getting it rebuilt as a spare.
fem removal_1.jpgfem removal_2.jpg
 
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coat1971
Joined
Apr 15, 2011
This list is an attempt to put many possibilities in front of users to possibly shorten their search/decision making. None can be construed as a recommendation but rather beginning info from which to investigate.

nomenclature list:
Powertrain Control Module (PCM)
Restraints Control Module
ABS Control Module
Front Electronic Module
Rear Ambient Lighting Control Unit
Remote Keyless Entry Module
Instrument Cluster Module
Electronic Automatic Temperature Control Module

(2018) our friend DavidA just added this as a source:
https://carcomputerexchange.com/ford...d/cat_258.html

http://www.automotivemodules.com/Thunderbird.html

this is the one that provided the PCM that got me running again. (Linear also used in January 2017 with favorable results).

http://www.fs1inc.com/
516-766-2723
 
jimtcrowe

jimtcrowe

Active Member
Joined
Nov 5, 2016
Thunderbird Year
1992
I recently developed all the symptoms, erratic wipers, window problems, power steering problems. Found info on this forum and self diagnosed. Contacted Ross at http://www.automotivemodules.com/Thunderbird.html for $220 including postage he had my module repaired and returned with no programming needed in 1 weeks time. Super nice guy, and super helpful. I highly recommend. He also works on other modules for this model.

I tried to find a module initially and found almost impossible to locate and the ones I did find were $800 to $1700. Ford dealer wanted another $300 to install and program.

Ross saved me about $1500!!
 
steelers12
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Thunderbird Year
2002
If you are having issues with your Dashboard Lights and Shift Indicator lights not working, I highly recommend sending your FEM to http://www.midwestteckmart.com/ . They worked on my FEM and it was repaired and back to me within less than 10 days and only cost $208 which included the return shipping. Super knowledgeable, honest, and courteous, would do business with them again. Very thankful.
 
F
Joined
May 19, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
I just installed the FEM in my 2002 after sending it to Midwesttechmart for repair. I was a little leary but after researching my options I thought the $208 was worth a shot. I was pleasantly surprised to get my rebuilt unit back about 3 weeks after shipping to them. I am happy to report all electrical functions are restored and my T-bird is running like new. I would recommend their service to anyone with FEM issues. It came back with seals on the unit that void the 4 year warranty if removed. If I have issues with it under warranty or not, I will be sure to return it to them for repair.
Fran
Swansea, MA
 
steelers12
Joined
Feb 23, 2012
Thunderbird Year
2002
I just installed the FEM in my 2002 after sending it to Midwesttechmart for repair. I was a little leary but after researching my options I thought the $208 was worth a shot. I was pleasantly surprised to get my rebuilt unit back about 3 weeks after shipping to them. I am happy to report all electrical functions are restored and my T-bird is running like new. I would recommend their service to anyone with FEM issues. It came back with seals on the unit that void the 4 year warranty if removed. If I have issues with it under warranty or not, I will be sure to return it to them for repair.
Fran
Swansea, MA
I did the same and feel the same way. Great people to work with and did a wonderful job.

Thanks for the info as to where to get the FEM rebuilt. we are sending it off today.
I don't think you can go wrong sending your FEM to http://www.automotivemodules.com/Thunderbird.html and or
www.MidwestTecKmart.com
 
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Bark624

Bark624

Active Member
Joined
May 20, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
I will probably send it to these people. Their website puts the cost at $208 plus a few bucks for shipping and insurance. http://www.automotivemodules.com/Thunderbird.html

I highly recommend these people. Shipping should run you about $15, they pay for return shipping. They seem extremely busy, count on a good 2 weeks or so. But well worth it for the problems it solves.
 
B

Bobberoo

Active Member
Joined
Aug 4, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
After reading some of the posts I think I’ve answered my question but I want to throw it out there anyway.
I lost my tach and speedometer lights but all other dash lights work. Also had my parking lights came on very dim one time but killed my battery overnight.
Also I had a no start once but tried it several times and finally it started. Also steering is very stiff.
My assumption is the FEM is failing.
Any thoughts? Thank you in advance!
 
Brian B.

Brian B.

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Thunderbird Year
2004
I need help with my Front Electronic Module (FEM) situation. I am not one who is comfortable working on vehicles, so I must rely on an auto service provider to help me with my 2004 T-bird that is experiencing issues that, based on my review of all the related threads here, I am pretty certain is an issue with my Front Electronic Module going bad. So, here are my questions and my specific situation issue:

(1) Reading through all the threads, I am still somewhat confused as to the specific part number I should be asking for that would work to replace the FEM on a 2004 T-bird. Can someone clarify the part number(s) that would reference the specific part I need for my 2004.

(2) I have already contacted two Ford dealerships in the area (Las Vegas) and talked to both parts and service people at dealerships and they don't seem to have any clue about knowing even what the Front Electronic Module is, where it is located, what it would cost to replace one, etc. and this is after I spent extensive time on the phone describing all of the things that I have learned via review of the Forum threads (thanks for that).

(3) What I seemed able to do via talking to one dealership is to confirm that the Ford parts list status has the needed replacement part status as on "indefinite backorder" and the dealership was unable to tell me when it would be available from Ford.

(4) When I talked to the Ford service people I was told that they could perform the service of replacing the bad FEM with a new one, but would NOT do this unless the part was a Ford OEM part.

(5) So, my situation is that I am not skilled enough to remove the part, send it for repair, and put it back in the vehicle. Ford would likely be willing to remove the part for me to send it in, but they won't put a part back in the vehicle that has been repaired by a non-Ford entity. No part is available from Ford.

(6) So, it seems like I have found myself in the midst of an excellent example of a Catch-22. I can'd do the remove and replace work myself and since the part is not available from Ford and the service people refuse to replace FEM with one that came from elsewhere including a Ford FEM that was repaired by someone other than Ford, I am at a lost at what to do next.

(7) I have read conflicting info in the various threads concerning how much reprogramming/resetting is needed when the new FEM is put into the vehicle. I point this out because one possible option would be to go to a local auto service center I have used before that is not a Ford Dealer service center and rely on them to remove the part and replace it after I have sent it to one of the entities that repairs these modules. However, I just don't know if this is something that I could count on a (reliable, highly rated) local auto service center to do. I have not discussed this option with the service center, because I wanted to get feedback from this forum before pursuing this option.

So, if you were in my position, what would you do given the assumption that you, like me, were unable to do this remove and replace work yourself? My wife is getting pretty tired of us having to survive with only one vehicle and it has only been a week since the T-bird starting acting up. So, I know I need to do something soon. Any help would be appreciated. Thanks.
 
Brian B.

Brian B.

Active Member
Joined
Oct 30, 2015
Thunderbird Year
2004
Yet more questions:

(1) So, for those people who removed their FEM and sent it in for repair, did they have to take the vehicle into Ford to reprogram the module when they reinstalled the refurbished FEM? Maybe, reprogramming is required if you replace the module with a different one, but it is not required if you install the same module after it has been refurbished?

(2) I have read that the vehicle can be driven with the bad FEM (albeit with all the issues experienced because of the bad FEM). However, I was wondering if the vehicle can be driven when there is no FEM in the vehicle at all (or will it not start or will there be too many issues with the vehicle to make it safe to drive)?
 
cobrajeff

cobrajeff

Active Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Thunderbird Year
2002
My Retro Thunderbird is my daily driver, so I was concerned about sending my FEM out for repair and driving the car without lights. I bought a used FEM off of eBay, and installed it myself yesterday. While I had the FEM out of the car, I confirmed that the car would start and run. The headlights, supplemental lights, and front turn signals did not work. I also confirmed that the rear tail lights, brake lights, and turn signals DID work.

The cluster illumination in my Thunderbird quit working quite some time ago. I tried all of the easy things first, check all of the fuses, disconnect and reconnect the battery, etc., to no avail. I talked to a Service Advisor at my local Ford/Lincoln Dealer, and was completely unimpressed with his answers to my questions: “Have you serviced many retro Thunderbirds with cluster lighting issues?” “No”; “Can you give me a rough idea what it might cost to diagnose or repair my cluster lighting?” “No”; “Do you have a Ford authorized electronics repair shop that you deal with to have electronic modules repaired?” “Uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about”. He certainly did not make me feel comfortable about leaving my car with them for diagnosis and repair.

I developed a simple “work-around” temporary fix for my cluster lighting. I bought a cheap battery powered light at Walmart, painted it Black to make it less obnoxious, and velcroed it to my cluster finish panel below the speedometer. When driving at night, I turn that battery-powered light on, cruise up to the posted speed limit, turn on my cruise control, then shut the light back off. This worked well for me while a I sought a cost-effective solution to my cluster illumination issue.

I was pretty nervous about having this repair done upon hearing several horror stories about people paying anywhere from $1200 to $2500 to get their cluster lighting fixed, on top of the fact that FEMs and clusters were out of stock and no longer serviced by Ford. After reading everything on the internet I could find about cluster lighting issues, I was fairly confident that my FEM (Front Electronic Module) was bad. I had the symptoms most reported associated with the FEM – cluster lights out, PRNDL light out, stiff steering. I’ve read about some electronic module repair shops – along with some horror stories about modules that couldn’t be repaired, and some that got lost in shipping. I decided to take a gamble on a junkyard FEM, and started watching for one on eBay. A couple showed up on eBay a few weeks ago, and I made an offer on one that was accepted. I finally got around to installing it yesterday, and now I have cluster illumination! I plan to send my original FEM in to be repaired, and then keep it for a backup.

For anyone thinking about removing their FEM module themselves, here are some pictures and tips I learned while doing this procedure. The first thing you should do is disconnect the negative cable of your battery.

Removing the cowl side trim and close-out trim panels under the dash requires a little tugging and a trim panel tool to release the plastic rivets. Once you’ve removed these trim pieces and folded the carpet back, you’ll be able to access the FEM module. I zip-tied the dangling footwell light to the steering column shaft to get it out of my way. You will need to unbolt and remove the dash brace that blocks access to the FEM – a 13mm nut and a 13mm bolt hold it in place. You will also need to unbolt the junction block at the corner of the toeboard and swing it out of the way – two 10mm nuts hold it in place. Disconnecting the electrical connections to the FEM is a finger-numbing exercise. I was able to disconnect the four hardshell connectors at the bottom of the FEM while it was still bolted in. The FEM is bolted in with two 10mm nuts and an 8mm bolt. Remove all of them and wiggle the FEM out. I released the two connectors on the rear-facing surface of the FEM after getting the FEM loose so that I could access their release tabs and get a little more leverage to disconnect them.

When reinstalling the FEM module, I had a great deal of difficulty getting the junction block bolted back in. It was hitting the corner of the FEM module, making it impossible to seat on the studs in the floorpan. I ended up grinding a half-moon shaped relief in the wall around the left bolt position so that I could squeeze it past the corner of the FEM module and bolt it back in. If I do this again, I’m thinking that I will cut about ½” off of both of the FEM mounting studs to make R&R much simpler. They are much longer than they need to be, and made removing and installing this module for service even more difficult than it should be.


Temporary light
Cluster 1.jpg

I painted the lamp Black and attached with VelcroCluster 2.jpg

Temporary light affixed to cluster finish panel under the speedoCluster 3.jpeg

Temporary light in useCluster 4.jpeg

Cluster lights again with my junkyard FEM installedCluster 5.jpeg

FEM module exposed (junction block with heavy Red wire needs to be moved over)FEM 3.jpeg

Upper mount for dash brace
FEM 2.jpg

Junkyard FEM on left, my original on right
FEM 4.jpeg

Grinding a clearance notch in the junction blockFEM 5.jpeg
 
M
Joined
Oct 23, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
My 2 cents about Thunderbird Specialties and Philip Wegener - cheat and crook, don't by anything from this company!

Our 2002 T-Bird wouldn't start this spring, it would just crank over but not start. I just thought it was a low battery even though the tender is on and it shows it was charging just fine. I began some self diag thinking it was maybe a fuse or relay, have spares on hand, replaced each that it could be but still nothing. I looked around on the internet and after lots of reading it sounded like it could the REM module. Figuring it was beyond what I could fix, I put the T-Bird on the trailer and took to Bison Ford in Great Falls Montana, my local dealership who I have bought many many cars from. They diagnosed it and said it was either the REM or fuel pump, it acted just like the owners 2 T-Birds and his daughters T-Bird when their REMs went out. I said lets start with the fuel pump and that wasn't it so it looked to be the REM was bad. They used to send to a place in Detroit but they don't fix these anymore and at the time there wasn't any available from Ford. So we began a horrible route of trying to contact this company to fix. We sent the REM to Philip in agreement he could repair it, for an original cost of around $1100 though his website said charges began at only $250. Here is where everything went south...... After he received the REM in early June he didn't try to fix or repair, we mailed him multiple times and received no reply, we began to worry if this was a legit company, more on that later. Finally in late July/early August he replied saying he couldn't fix it but gave no answer as to why, don't think he even tried to repair it, he said for another $200 plus additional costs he could get a reman REM from Ford, now we were really confused, as Ford said none where available. Bison looked at their site and oddly they showed some were now available, we tried to order one, but couldn't as Philip locked up my VIN with a dealership in NC trying to get one ordered. We contacted dealer and said here is what Philip is trying to pull, they agreed that once they received my REM from him, they would ship the new REM directly to us, well he never sent my original REM to them and still has it. After some time of working with Ford, they released my VIN so we could do an order for a REM through Bison, after a few weeks we received the REM and our T-Bird is running again, with no help from Philip Wegener or Thunderspecialties.com. We have sent messages to him only to have him state that during the summer he sent mails to Bison and they never replied to him, he considers the matter closed but I have communicated with him that how can you consider it closed when you are still holding onto my REM and won't return it.

Long and detailed but after this encounter and hearing of others who have had similar encounters, I'd steer clear of Thunderbird Specialties and Philip Wegener, he will cheat you out and never get you your parts you paid for.
 
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