Help needed Front Electronic Module FEM 2002-2005

According to the Ford Workshop manual, the PATS is controlled by the instrument cluster, which then tells the
PCM whether to start the engine.

There is an built in antenna around the ignition key switch which reads the transponder chip in the ignition key.

When you insert the ignition key, turn key on, but do not start car, see what the instrument cluster does, do the
gauges, and idiot lights light up?
I dropped by the Ford dealership that has my car now and gave the service manager printouts of your and Frankie's suggestions. He told me the line to Ford or their website or something was down yesterday and he will give the hints to the mechanic. Yesterday, the mechanic got an error code indicating something regarding the instrument cluster. The mechanic will get back on it when he can get back in touch with what I think is Ford's help line.

While I was there, I asked the parts manager if a new FEM was available for my car. I fear that Midwest Tec Mart screwed mine up and I might need to get a new unit, if possible. He checked my VIN and gave me part number 1W6Z14B205AA but none are available. (Some seem to be available online.) The one in my car is part number 1W6T13B525AJ. Is the new number a replacement?
 

Frankie the Fink

Well-Known Member
The 2002 part number ends in AJ, the 2002-2005 numbers end in AG; here is the correct info (attached pic) - the dealers often DONT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE ! The 2002 FEMs are NOT interchangeable with the 2003-2005 FEMs.
Capture.PNG
I hope the FEM is the issue as its a LOT easier to deal with than the Instrument Cluster. I haven't found anybody that reworks the Instrument Clusters short of Thunderbird Specialties (they claim) and their charge is $1,595 IF they even fix it.

Moreover, the "smarts" for the PATS security system is in the instrument cluster along with the car's stored mileage, so most places are reluctant to even swap in a good used one as mileage gets into Federal regs...
 
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The 2002 part number ends in AJ, the 2002-2005 numbers end in AG; here is the correct info (attached pic) - the dealers often DONT KNOW THE DIFFERENCE ! The 2002 FEMs are NOT interchangeable with the 2003-2005 FEMs.
View attachment 11991
I hope the FEM is the issue as its a LOT easier to deal with than the Instrument Cluster. I haven't found anybody that reworks the Instrument Clusters short of Thunderbird Specialties (they claim) and their charge is $1,595 IF they even fix it.

Moreover, the "smarts" for the PATS security system is in the instrument cluster along with the car's stored mileage, so most places are reluctant to even swap in a good used one as mileage gets into Federal regs...
The Ford dealer's service manager called to say that they had run all the diagnostics and they point to the Instrument Cluster. Ford doesn't have any new ones, of course. However, he said they've had good luck getting them repaired by United Radio in upstate New York. He said this company supplies and repairs electronic modules for several car companies. Their website looks like they're a legitimate company: https://www.unitedradio.com/. It'll take at least a week to get it back. My intuition is that it will take longer.
 
Let us know if that outfit fixes you up. It’d be great to know someone repairs this component successfully.
This is my newest car so I don't have any experience with all the electronics in them. It's scary to think we can't get repair parts for them. It seems to me that with all the new cars having all these computer/electronics modules there would be an opportunity to make money repairing them. Let's keep our fingers crossed that United Radio can fix this thing.
 

Frankie the Fink

Well-Known Member
Modern cars are commodity items (not like my 63 Corvette) they have a ton of electronics in them and the complexity grows each year. These components are rapidly eclipsing mechanical parts as the biggest maintenance headache. Same with boats, etc. My 2010 Yamaha jet ski was hit by lightning last month and the electronics got fried, it’s being declared a total loss with just 30 hours of use due to the cost of replacement computers and wire harness. This is just the way things are heading now.
 

Bobberoo

Active Member
I dropped by the Ford dealership that has my car now and gave the service manager printouts of your and Frankie's suggestions. He told me the line to Ford or their website or something was down yesterday and he will give the hints to the mechanic. Yesterday, the mechanic got an error code indicating something regarding the instrument cluster. The mechanic will get back on it when he can get back in touch with what I think is Ford's help line.

While I was there, I asked the parts manager if a new FEM was available for my car. I fear that Midwest Tec Mart screwed mine up and I might need to get a new unit, if possible. He checked my VIN and gave me part number 1W6Z14B205AA but none are available. (Some seem to be available online.) The one in my car is part number 1W6T13B525AJ. Is the new number a replacement?
Check with Lakeland Ford (863) 686-5126. I went thru Thunderbird Specialties and while I got an FEM from them it was overpriced and so far he has screwed me out of the core charge. I would steer clear if at all possible. The FEM I got from him came from Lakeland Ford.
 
Check with Lakeland Ford (863) 686-5126. I went thru Thunderbird Specialties and while I got an FEM from them it was overpriced and so far he has screwed me out of the core charge. I would steer clear if at all possible. The FEM I got from him came from Lakeland Ford.
Phil likes to buy up NOS surplus from dealers and then mark them WAY up. Worth a shot but he probably bought Lakeland out.
 
I got a call from the Ford dealer this afternoon. United Radio found nothing wrong with my Instrument Cluster other than some corroded contacts. As a result, they billed me only a minimal charge and returned my unit to the dealer. The dealer reinstalled it, reprogrammed it and the keys. So Far, so good. United Radio must be an honest outfit. They could have said they had to do things to it, other than clean contacts, and I'd have been none the wiser.
 

Bobberoo

Active Member
I got a call from the Ford dealer this afternoon. United Radio found nothing wrong with my Instrument Cluster other than some corroded contacts. As a result, they billed me only a minimal charge and returned my unit to the dealer. The dealer reinstalled it, reprogrammed it and the keys. So Far, so good. United Radio must be an honest outfit. They could have said they had to do things to it, other than clean contacts, and I'd have been none the wiser.
Do you have a contact number or email address I can get so I can contact them? Thanks for your help in advance!
 
Indeed thanks...
United Radio was one of the names given to me by my Clermont, FL Ford dealer but I wound up fixing the instrument cluster myself. Good to know there is some recourse for repairing the instrument cluster. Again, it presents unique problems because the mileage is recorded there and it is a key component of the PATS security system.
I don't know if United Radio did anything with the odometer reading or not but it's not much more than what it read before. It was driven a few miles for road tests by the mechanics.
 

Frankie the Fink

Well-Known Member
The issue is that they should NOT tinker if it can be avoided with the mileage as it gets into Federal regulations...
To wit, putting a replacement cluster in your car with lessor mileage and not documenting it could get you into some serious legal difficulties if discovered... Hearkens back to the "good old days" of people turning odometers back to boost the price of a heavily used car...
 
I don't know what the alarm led is doing. When the FEM arrived, I drove my car back to the mechanic's shop. After he reinstalled the FEM, the keys wouldn't work. I don't know what error indications he got. He called the closest Ford dealer who told him it would take them an hour to get it working. I had the car towed to the dealer. They're to work on it tomorrow.
Key not starting after battery disconnect....????
1st lower drivers side window down
2nd put key in run position in the ignition and lock the car with the key fob
3rd make sure the anti-theft signal is blinking on the center dash
4th leave set for about 10 minutes then open driver side door from the inside handle.... the alarm should go off. close the door and turn off the alarm with the key fob
5th leave set again for 10 minutes and repeat the last step.
6th leave set for another 10 minutes .... this time when you open the door the alarm should NOT go off and the Key should work. If you change this sequence in any way it will not work. I know it sounds like voodoo but it has worked for me every time.......
 
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Hi There: We are the original owners of a 2002 Tbird in Thunderbird Blue and she has 27000 original miles and has been pampered her whole life. Recently the air bag light on the dash began flashing and then staying illuminated. I changed out the clock spring and it solved that issue. Unfortunately after I finished the install and hooked the battery up the hi beam lamps will not shut off. Key in, key out, headlamp switch on or off no difference. Let me add the instrument cluster lights have not worked for at least a year and recently the auto lamp feature stopped working. This is pointing me to the FEM being bad. But the only thing stopping me from having it rebuilt is the DTC is showing no codes. Anybody out there in Birdland have any thoughts or ideas? Thanks
 
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