biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Where did u get it done for $1200. The dealer in Quincy I’ll. wanted that just for the module another $1000. To download program and 1.7 hours labor.
You don't need a dealership to do the FEM repair, all they do is send it off for repair probably. I'm pretty sure there are no FEMS for sale anymore.
Also, I'm not aware of anything that needs to be programmed by the dealership. You plug it in and it works many owners here can confirm this.

All you have to do is remove the FEM module and send it away for repair and then reinstall it. Anybody with basic mechanical skills can do this and we have the directions here- https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...d-front-electronic-module-fem-2002-2005.5560/
 
Joined
Sep 19, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Howdy folks,

My name is Kerrigan and I hope you’re all doing well!
It’s my first time here and I decided to try my hand at an ‘02 Tbird. Here’s what I learned from the previous owner, and where it’s at now. Would you kindly share your thoughts please?

• Has about 35k~ and spent a good deal of time outside with top on. Was told of driver side electrical issues due to “rain water” , and this also somehow caused the chrome to bubble a bit. Altogether car is very clean.

Current Problems:
• Last mechanic diag quoted a few $ thousand for replacement of parts. I was not the person who took it in, so I’m not sure which parts or why.

Here’s the deal:

• Parking brake light stays on
• E-brake light stays on
• Driver side ‘door ajar’ light stays on
• Passenger side ‘door ajar’ light absolutely won’t come on
• Driver side window, no response to button press
• Passenger side window, however, works from either door


• I checked every fuse box and tested each one with results good.
• Admittedly I opened the driver side door interior wide open and checked cables, but have not identified any visible damage from pests or otherwise.
• Central harness (going back to trunk of course) appears fine.

I have not inspected the area beneath the “boot”.


The car drives fine.
That’s all for starters. Any insights would be very welcome indeed!

Sincerely Yours,
Kerrigan A.C.

[Edit]
Oh boy. It’s the FEM isn’t it. Would that be accurate?

Here’s what’s installed -
1w6t-13b525-aj

Needs? -
1w6z-14b205-aa

D92900BE-9330-4E57-9B2A-E8567E6A888B.jpeg
 
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Joined
Sep 19, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
Well I’ll be. I think that’s the problem, but, I just turned her over and suddenly the Door Ajar lights are gone after reseating the battery a couple hours ago and reseating all the Driver Side door wiring.
No DS window though. Sigh!
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
No DS window though. Sigh!
Which is one of the failing FEM symptoms. They have capacitors inside them that go bad. Back in the day, they had a bunch of crap capacitors in various electronics including Dell computers.
 
Joined
Nov 3, 2007
Thunderbird Year
2002
Before I sent the FEM out for repair from my parts T Bird, I decided to open up my FEM. All the capacitors were fine, two of
the transistors were bad. I did a search for those transistors and one was available, the other I could not locate any where.

The FEM printed circuit board is a multi layered circuit board, which makes it very difficult to remove components from with
out damaging the circuit board. I paid $395.00 to have mine repaired, and feel it was worth every cent. It has been back
in the car for a full year now, and works great.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
Hello all- Im trying to replace the F E M on my 2002- I must say, its accessibility is in a place no human should ever have to go. My questions are:
Has anybody done this?
Does the box on the firewall to the lower right of the F E M with the large red wires have to be removed first? I can easily take it off but I fear I may never get the lower nut back on.
Please see enclosed picture- After this Im replacing the fuel pump- Another bad dream!!!!

THANK YOU in advance, Tbird Brothers and Sisters,

Brock
panel.jpg
 
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Joined
Apr 27, 2020
Thunderbird Year
2003
Hello all- Im trying to replace the F E M on my 2002- I must say, its accessibility is in a place no human should ever have to go. My questions are:
Has anybody done this?
Does the box on the firewall to the lower right of the F E M with the large red wires have to be removed first? I can easily take it off but I fear I may never get the lower nut back on.
Please see enclosed picture- After this Im replacing the fuel pump- Another bad dream!!!!

THANK YOU in advance, Tbird Brothers and Sisters,

Brock
I changed the front FEM out on my 2003 and do not remember any difficulties other than standing on my head to get to it. I believe that I took the lower box loose to gain better access to the FEM fasteners but it was not a big issue. All of the connectors on the FEM are individually keyed by their connector configuration so you cannot miss-connect anything. Have not done a fuel pump, so no help there.
Dick
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Hello all- Im trying to replace the F E M on my 2002- I must say, its accessibility is in a place no human should ever have to go. My questions are:
Has anybody done this?
Does the box on the firewall to the lower right of the F E M with the large red wires have to be removed first? I can easily take it off but I fear I may never get the lower nut back on.
Please see enclosed picture- After this Im replacing the fuel pump- Another bad dream!!!!

THANK YOU in advance, Tbird Brothers and Sisters,

Brock
See post #1 for removal instructions. https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...d-front-electronic-module-fem-2002-2005.5560/
 

Angry Bird

Angry Bird's 64'
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Thunderbird Year
1964
Hello all- Im trying to replace the F E M on my 2002- I must say, its accessibility is in a place no human should ever have to go. My questions are:
Has anybody done this?
Does the box on the firewall to the lower right of the F E M with the large red wires have to be removed first? I can easily take it off but I fear I may never get the lower nut back on.
Please see enclosed picture- After this Im replacing the fuel pump- Another bad dream!!!!

THANK YOU in advance, Tbird Brothers and Sisters,

Brock
View attachment 19506
Where did you find a replacement?
 

cobrajeff

Active Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Thunderbird Year
2002
Where did you find a replacement?
I purchased a used FEM on eBay two years ago for about 300 bucks. New FEM's from Ford have been available sporadically over the past couple years' typically around $1000 (for the module alone - installation is extra) and if you buy a new one, it must be programmed by a dealer. My experience, and several others, has been that a used FEM with a matching parts number, or your original FEM rebuilt will NOT require reprogramming.
And YES, that junction block needs to be unbolted and pulled out of the way. I had so much trouble getting that junction block back in place that I had to grind a corner on it so it would clear the FEM.

Another issue with R&R of the FEM is the length of the mounting studs for the FEM on the cowl side - they are WAY to long, and hinder getting the FEM out and back in place. If I ever did this procedure again, I would shorten those studs. I have removed FEMs from several Lincoln LS's in the junkyard, and their mounting studs are not nearly as long, making R&R much simpler. You can see in the second picture where the FEM gets "hung up" due to the length of the studs. IMG_2934 (Large).jpeg IMG_2935 (Large).jpeg IMG_2958 (Large).jpeg ch simpler.
 
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Joined
Oct 14, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2003
I purchased a used FEM on eBay two years ago for about 300 bucks. New FEM's from Ford have been available sporadically over the past couple years' typically around $1000 (for the module alone - installation is extra) and if you buy a new one, it must be programmed by a dealer. My experience, and several others, has been that a used FEM with a matching parts number, or your original FEM rebuilt will NOT require reprogramming.
And YES, that junction block needs to be unbolted and pulled out of the way. I had so much trouble getting that junction block back in place that I had to grind a corner on it so it would clear the FEM.

Another issue with R&R of the FEM is the length of the mounting studs for the FEM on the cowl side - they are WAY to long, and hinder getting the FEM out and back in place. If I ever did this procedure again, I would shorten those studs. I have removed FEMs from several Lincoln LS's in the junkyard, and their mounting studs are not nearly as long, making R&R much simpler. You can see in the second picture where the FEM gets "hung up" due to the length of the studs. View attachment 19531 View attachment 19532 View attachment 19533 ch simpler.
R&R looks like a real pain in the @$$! But actually appears to be a piece of chocolate cake compared to R&R of a fuel pump (and there are TWO fuel pumps!).

WRT your statement " a used FEM with a matching parts number, or your original FEM rebuilt will NOT require reprogramming" any idea on how many "matching parts" exist for the various FEMs installed on all the 2002-2005 Birds???
 
Joined
Feb 9, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
I've replaced two FEMs on 2 different 2002 cars; its not complicated but you have to be careful of the electrical connector housings in that confined space, you don't want to break any of the securing tabs off on those 19 year old plastic parts. Its a good idea to shoot some DeOxIt electrical cleaner on the connectors while you have them off (available on Amazon).

Neither FEM required reprrogramming. I can't apeak to the later years.
THe 2002 FEMs have a one year only number, 2003-2005 have a different number but its the same for all 3 years:
FEM_Numbers.png
 
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Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
I purchased a used FEM on eBay two years ago for about 300 bucks. New FEM's from Ford have been available sporadically over the past couple years' typically around $1000 (for the module alone - installation is extra) and if you buy a new one, it must be programmed by a dealer. My experience, and several others, has been that a used FEM with a matching parts number, or your original FEM rebuilt will NOT require reprogramming.
And YES, that junction block needs to be unbolted and pulled out of the way. I had so much trouble getting that junction block back in place that I had to grind a corner on it so it would clear the FEM.

Another issue with R&R of the FEM is the length of the mounting studs for the FEM on the cowl side - they are WAY to long, and hinder getting the FEM out and back in place. If I ever did this procedure again, I would shorten those studs. I have removed FEMs from several Lincoln LS's in the junkyard, and their mounting studs are not nearly as long, making R&R much simpler. You can see in the second picture where the FEM gets "hung up" due to the length of the studs. View attachment 19531 View attachment 19532 View attachment 19533 ch simpler.
Thank you VERY much for your info and pics, sir- I can see this is no easy job but certainly doable- I actually thought there were 4 fasteners on the FEM and then it struck me there might be 3- sure enough! At this point, all Ive done is remove the fasteners and I can see that the grinding down of the junction box lower left corner will help immensely as I was unable to remove it but Im hoping with its fasteners removed I will be able to move it just enough to get the F E M out. Again- THANK YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Brock

I've replaced two FEMs on 2 different 2002 cars; its not complicated but you have to be careful of the electrical connector housings in that confined space, you don't want to break any of the securing tabs off on those 19 year old plastic parts. Its a good idea to shoot some DeOxIt electrical cleaner on the connectors while you have them off (available on Amazon).

Neither FEM required reprrogramming. I can't apeak to the later years.
THe 2002 FEMs have a one year only number, 2003-2005 have a different number but its the same for all 3 years:
View attachment 19560
Hello Fink- Thanks very much for your additional info- MUCH APPRECIATED!!!!!!! Sure enough, the number on my 2002 is the one you posted- My aim is to send it out for a rebuild and then on to the fuel pump.
 
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cobrajeff

Active Member
Joined
Aug 9, 2011
Thunderbird Year
2002
R&R looks like a real pain in the @$$! But actually appears to be a piece of chocolate cake compared to R&R of a fuel pump (and there are TWO fuel pumps!).

WRT your statement " a used FEM with a matching parts number, or your original FEM rebuilt will NOT require reprogramming" any idea on how many "matching parts" exist for the various FEMs installed on all the 2002-2005 Birds???
As far as I know, there are only two part numbers for the FEM used in production for a 2002 Thunderbird: 1W6F-13B525-AH AND 1W6F-13B525-AJ (this number would be on the tag of the actual module). Based upon my years in Service Engineering at Ford Electronics Division in Dearborn, I would say these parts are interchangeable. Unfortunately, someone at Ford Parts & Service decided to completely change the base part number AND the nomenclature for the service part, to a new Service Part Number of 1W6T-14B205-AA, and now calling it a "Lighting Control Module" instead of a "FEM", which has only added confusion to an already difficult situation. For the 2003-2005 Thunderbirds, the FEMs used in production were 3W6T-13B525-AE; 4W4T-13B525-AA; and 6W4T-13B525-AA. All three of these modules are serviced with a special service part number with YET ANOTHER unique base part number: 6W6Z-13C788-AB.
 

Angry Bird

Angry Bird's 64'
Joined
Jan 21, 2014
Thunderbird Year
1964
As far as I know, there are only two part numbers for the FEM used in production for a 2002 Thunderbird: 1W6F-13B525-AH AND 1W6F-13B525-AJ (this number would be on the tag of the actual module). Based upon my years in Service Engineering at Ford Electronics Division in Dearborn, I would say these parts are interchangeable. Unfortunately, someone at Ford Parts & Service decided to completely change the base part number AND the nomenclature for the service part, to a new Service Part Number of 1W6T-14B205-AA, and now calling it a "Lighting Control Module" instead of a "FEM", which has only added confusion to an already difficult situation. For the 2003-2005 Thunderbirds, the FEMs used in production were 3W6T-13B525-AE; 4W4T-13B525-AA; and 6W4T-13B525-AA. All three of these modules are serviced with a special service part number with YET ANOTHER unique base part number: 6W6Z-13C788-AB.
Of course when I bought this car 16 years ago I never anticipated that getting parts would be so difficult and for a Thunderbird that was that expensive and go obsolete so fast. I should have known what was coming; I was part of the Ford Historical Society in Oakville, Canada when Ford shut down the program and laid off the Co-ordinator with only a weeks notice in 2004. The attitude from the then President of Ford Canada was the they weren't interested in the "Past" because they were only focusing on the "Future". My parting argument with him was that, if you forget your past you may not have a future. The annual All Ford show in Oakville was cancelled which used to feature cars from all of North America with cars from 1903 to 15 years and older is long gone just like the Thunderbird; a dead Mark.
 
Joined
Jun 25, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2002
Of course when I bought this car 16 years ago I never anticipated that getting parts would be so difficult and for a Thunderbird that was that expensive and go obsolete so fast. I should have known what was coming; I was part of the Ford Historical Society in Oakville, Canada when Ford shut down the program and laid off the Co-ordinator with only a weeks notice in 2004. The attitude from the then President of Ford Canada was the they weren't interested in the "Past" because they were only focusing on the "Future". My parting argument with him was that, if you forget your past you may not have a future. The annual All Ford show in Oakville was cancelled which used to feature cars from all of North America with cars from 1903 to 15 years and older is long gone just like the Thunderbird; a dead Mark.
@cobrajeff I think you are correct that these cars are doomed to all but a few brave and very knowledgeable people. With only 68,000 made its not worth it for anyone to start making parts. I have finally removed all fasteners from my F E M and have spent the last 2 hours trying to get it out and Im assuming the 6 connectors have to be removed AFTER the F E M is out of position and Im also assuming whatever clips that keep them attached are on the back side of the F E M? Im a patient guy with an almost non- functioning back (when it has to bend over) so working on this is fast becoming a nightmare and I am seriously considering selling it for parts if I am unable to remove the F E M after a few more tries.

THANK you all for all this info- Id be floundering even worse than I am now if not for all of your knowledge and help- Luckily Im in Floriduh so the cool weather is on my side today so Im heading back out to it to try removal again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and again, and yet again!
 
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