Gus Gutz

Active Member
Joined
May 9, 2017
Thunderbird Year
2002
2002 Tbird in inspiration yellow. Just recieved a FEM from Ford in Dearborn. It did not come with instructions, wich is not an issue, I dont think. But I am curious if anyone who has replced a FEM has had any issues, ie FEM needing programed after install. Anyway thanks in advance and happy Birding.
From what I understand, it is plug and play. I would make sure the battery is not connected and everything is discharged.
 
Joined
Mar 3, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2003
I'm having some weird electrical issues in the dash that my mechanic can't figure out and I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. It started with the entire dash lighting up while I was driving, every darn light, speedometer would bounce between 160 and 0, other gauges would also max out and then drop to zero/empty. Then it would go back to normal for awhile, then it would do it again a while later. When I got home, turned off the car and when I tried to restart, the dash was black, nothing lit up at all and car wouldn't start. Prior to this, I'd been having some weird issues with a check engine light that my mechanic traced back to fuel pressure getting too high when coasting downhill, but he couldn't figure out why that was happening. And I will randomly have the airbag light flash, as well as the volume buttons on the wheel change stations instead of volume. Don't know if all this is related or a bunch of other problems, but I'm mentioning it all here, just in case it's one of the control modules and this list of issues helps narrow it down. So, anyway, I sent the car to my mechanic. He came back stumped. Again. He says that it's something in the gauge cluster that's messed up but isn't sure if he needs to replace the whole thing or the control module associated with it or just one specific component within it. He did discover that when he left his scanner plugged in it, then the dash would light up and he could start and drive the car, which just mystified him further. Any ideas out there on what's going on??? I need help! I love the car but the electrical issue is driving me crazy!
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
I'm having some weird electrical issues in the dash that my mechanic can't figure out and I'm hoping someone here can point me in the right direction. It started with the entire dash lighting up while I was driving, every darn light, speedometer would bounce between 160 and 0, other gauges would also max out and then drop to zero/empty.
See post #10- https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...ectronic-module-fem-2002-2005.5560/post-35306

Airbag light can be the clock spring.


Instrument cluster thread-
 
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CBBIRD

2005 Steel Blue Tbird
Joined
May 3, 2006
Thunderbird Year
2005
Dash lights and light on the shifter went out in November. I shipped the FEM to automotivemodules in December. Recieved the re-built FEM in January. Easy install and all my problems fixed for $595.
 
Joined
May 30, 2019
Thunderbird Year
2004
I fixed my problem, or at least I understand it. My arms are too long.
Somewhere in some thread in this forum, someone had suggested checking for burned out lights. Whether that would solve my problem or not, I thought it was a good idea. As I walked around and around reaching into the window to try different settings, I bumped the steering column control knob. It moved out quarter of an inch, and the turn signal stalk snapped back into place from where the dash board had been touching it. Everything working fine. No one laughing harder at me than me. As always, grateful for the forum. First sign of real trouble, and I'll check out those FEM's
 
Joined
Jun 28, 2020
Thunderbird Year
2002
I have read most of the posts on this thread and have not seen any mention of the Radio Unit 1W6Z18806BA having to be installed in addition to the FEM Unit (1W6Z14B205AA).
The dealer said I needed both to repair the problems I am having. Dash Lights out, window not going all the way up, door not closing correctly, windshield wipers running when they
feel like it, and now radio is staying on when shutting off car and opening door. I have contacted AutomotiveModules.com, but have not heard back from them yet. Any ideas about the radio unit? Sounds strange to me.
Don
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
Dash Lights out, window not going all the way up, door not closing correctly, windshield wipers running when they
feel like it, and now radio is staying on when shutting off car and opening door. I have contacted AutomotiveModules.com, but have not heard back from them yet. Any ideas about the radio unit? Sounds strange to me.
Don

The power windows probably just need to be recalibrated, instructions are in the owner's manual. See https://forums.fordthunderbirdforum...ase-power-windows-not-working.8363/post-53100

I don't see what the radio has to do with anything. What if it was aftermarket? It's just a victim of circumstances. Fix the FEM first.

Some of the Most Common Problems that are fixed by FEM:
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.
 
Joined
Jul 26, 2021
Thunderbird Year
2002
View attachment 1515
Our 2002 Torch Red D3 T-bird sleeping..

View attachment 1516
For you southerner's, that's a matching Torch Red Snow blower at the ready

View attachment 1518
Oops, a nipple slip.. :)

The middle of February in Central New York.. We had the ever faithful prognostication from Punxsutawney Phil just 2 weeks ago, again, like clock-work, he saw his shadow on a cloudy snowy day in PA. And predicted 6 more weeks of winter... I think he went Hollywood and the only reason he sees his darn shadow every year is from the beaming 5000 watts Arie Lights that floods the area for cameras... That being said, our T-bird is still nestled in it's sleeping quarters waiting for about the middle of April, when around here, all the sweet rides start to emerge from hibernation, yes, right now we get one day in the 40's and 5 in the 20's.. But the days are getting longer, the sun higher on the horizon, we are getting there.

FYI I tried to post this (above ) from my ipad, but when I upload the photos they were upside-down.. So I tried it again from my computer.. Sorry for the repetition and use of bandwidth.. I just wanted to make it correct.. For some reason whenever I post photos taken with the ipad, they are correct on the ipad but end up upside down when uploaded..
Hello fellow T bird lovers, my first post.
I fell in love with the T bird when I watched American Graffiti years ago. I got my 02 in 2008.
I love this car! So many people appreciate its style, I have a black beauty with some red interior features. This last week I have have had the front end module replaced, my dash cluster lights were out. I have read on line others have had the same problem, total cost 1800. 00
At my local Ford dealer. Glad I found this site.
Looking forward to many pics. Of The coolest car to come off the Ford line. Did you know,
I'm sure you did, I'm kinda late, that the the names hepcat and beaver were the first names purposed for the the great Thunderbird.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
This last week I have have had the front end module replaced, my dash cluster lights were out. I have read on line others have had the same problem, total cost 1800. 00
At my local Ford dealer. Glad I found this site.
Too bad you didn't find it before you went to the dealership! You could have easily removed and send the FEM off for repair and put it back in yourself for less than 500.00, some reporting as little as 200.00.
 

biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
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
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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biddle

Forum Moderator
Staff member
Joined
Mar 9, 2003
Thunderbird Year
2005
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/
 
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
Aug 14, 2004
Thunderbird Year
2004
I have now done the FEM song and dance. My car is a 2004. My only symptom was inoperable right side low beam headlamp. I checked all other above indicated symptoms; I had none. I tried three different bulbs in the right headlight socket. None worked on low on the right; all three worked on the low on the left. So below is some information based on my experience.

First, as everyone knows, the 2002 is different from the 2003-2005. This is not only in the FEM itself but also the instructions in the Ford Workshop Manual for the cars. The '02 instructions require removal of the lower instrument panel and courtesy lamp. This is not part of the instructions for the '03-'05 and was not something I needed to do.

Second, even after removing junction box, the removal of the FEM was tough because of those two long studs. It is frustrating but possible. It would have helped if the studs had been shorter but eventually it did come out. The length of the two studs was not an issue when I put the FEM back in the car. I feel there is not a need to shorten those two studs by cutting.

Third, the four horizontal and two vertical connector plugs to the FEM are very brittle (my car is in the very hot/dry southwest and that may make those plugs more fragile). I could not pull any of them out by hand; I needed leverage. Depending on the plug I used some sort of pliers and I did damage, in some measure, the plug plastic perimeter on each one. The two vertical plugs are easier to get off once the FEM has been released from the mounting studs/bolt.

Fourth, putting the FEM back in was easier than taking it out. The length of the two studs did not present a problem; I do not feel that the two studs need to be cut in anticipation of having to do this job again.

Fifth, once the FEM has been re-installed putting the junction box back without cutting/grinding of corner plastic housing that surrounds the left most of the two studs onto which that junction box mounts was not possible for me. Therefore have a Dremel and be ready to cut the junction box plastic.

Sixth I will advise that the following are tools that I needed (some of which I had to buy): interior trim tools; deep 10mm and 8mm sockets; ratchet; extension; Dremel tool with cutting and grinding attachment; two LED flashlights (one with a magnet on the back); variety of pliers; much patience.

It is hard to get in and out of the workspace - for both body and fingers. A dentist much younger than I could do the job quickly. It was work for me.

The company ModuleMaster in Moscow, Idaho did the rebuild of the FEM and I am quite satisfied and can recommend them. The car now works correctly.
 
Joined
Jan 24, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
My 2002 developed the problem with the dash instruments and shifter indicator light problem. I had my FEM pulled by the local dealer (Reynols Ford of Norman, OK) and shipped to <OUT OF BUSINESS>. Once they got the module, they ran a diagnostic test and determined that the #1 pin was the problem. They also told me that they could not fix it. The part number for my original FEM is 1W6T 13B525 AH. The dealer told me that they could get another, but that it did not have the same part number, as that part was no longer available. I authorized the installation of the new module, and it worked perfectly. The new part is numbered 1W6Z 14B205 AA. The dealer had to flash the module with the original FEM program (S154), but it worked. The cost was $900 total, and I was glad to pay it as my car is fixed. ECM To Go was a complete bust.

Happy days!
I had same issues. I sent mine to Module Masters in Moscow Idaho. Got it back in 5 days ( I’m in NC). They replaced everything inside the module. Only paid $199.00. Five year warranty on top of that. Very pleased with results of repair.
 
Joined
Apr 8, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2003
I sent the FEM module to AutomotiveModules.Com in MI. Upon reinstall it works perfectly! I am grateful! Certainly much less expensive than what Ford wanted to "REPLACE". the unit and reinstall. With shipping time it took a little over a week to receive the unit back. I found that sellers wanted $600-800 for a used unit from a wrecker vs. $190 for the repair with a 1 yr. warranty. It was not fun to get the thing out (see picture).
 

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Joined
Sep 5, 2022
Thunderbird Year
2002
My '02 Tbird instrument cluster panel just started NOT to illuminate at night. Can anyone assist? I have tried to rotate the interior light switch left /right to no avail. It just stopped working.. Car has 35K miles..Garage kept .

The contortions are killing me! I think I'll be removing the lower finish panel for more access, this evening.

This picture from the instructions I've found in the forums was throwing me for a loop, but I think its just behind that finish panel!
Correct me if I'm wrong, of course!
AJB.PNG

I had the Fem sent out for repair and it returned. I installed it and that did not fix the dash lights or shift indicator lights. Any other suggestions. I checked all the fuses. I even pulled shift indicator light and it did not have power. At my wits end on what else to do.

No map light does not work with dimmer switch. I sent it to two places both said it worked.
 
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