How to open PCM (ECU)

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bitbang3r

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I have a 2008 Sport Trac whose PCM/ECU has been in a death spiral for the past year (occasional malfunctions -> more frequent malfunctions -> dysfunctional more often than not). Before I replace it outright (and have to pay someone to program a new/used one), I want to open it up and see whether it's likely to just be one or more bad/dying electrolytic capacitors (overwhelmingly likely to BE the problem, and easy to fix if it is).

Assuming I can figure out how to GET it opened up. It's glued/sealed shut.

If there's a video somewhere on Youtube that shows how to do it, I haven't found it yet... all the Ford PCM-related videos seem to start with the PCM case already open. I "get" the general idea (use heat to soften the glue/sealant, and somehow pry the edges apart), but the devil's in the details, especially when heat is involved... I obviously don't want to melt or warp the plastic connectors, and have no idea just how much heat it actually takes to soften up the sealant/glue, or what range of temperatures falls between "the minimum temperature it takes to soften it up" and "the maximum temperature you can use without risk of melting/deforming the plastic parts".

Likewise, what do I need to buy in order to RE-seal it when I'm done? Repairing it obviously won't do me a lot of good if I can't seal it up again, and water/condensation destroys it 3 months later.

Thanks!
 

EddieS'04

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Not sure about the2008. The center screw will jack the connector plug out.
If you haven't you might only need to do that and wipe the connection. maybe even spray safe contact cleaner.
Generaly, there is nonthing serviceable by you, on the ECU motherboard. Miniture electronics, either epoxy sealed or clear-cote.
 

bitbang3r

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What's the "center screw"? As far as I can tell, mine has only four screws... one in each corner.

Also, is there someplace where I can see a timeline of Ford firmware updates and changelog? I'm also trying to make up my mind about "Plan B" in case I can't get the case opened, or if I succeed & ultimately can't fix it myself.

I'm leaning towards having my old one repaired, so I won't have to pay to get my keys reprogrammed on top of everything else... but if there's a really desirable firmware update I never got, and would get along with having the replacement one programmed with my VIN, that might take away some of the sting.

The last firmware update I got was sometime around 2010. I'm not sure whether it was for PCM, SYNC, or both... I just know that it completely screwed up the gas-warning system tied to the 2x8 LCD display in the dashboard. When the truck was new, it worked properly... with around 50 miles of gas left, it turned green and gave a mild warning... then every 10 miles or so, upped the ante (iterating through yellow, then orange, then red... and getting louder and longer each time). Ever since that update, it's been backwards... I get the loud, angry red warning at 50 miles, and they become increasingly green and discreet as I run out of gas. Also, that update MASSIVELY reduced the volume of the backup sensor sound, to the point where it became effectively useless because you can barely hear it over the engine noise, let alone the audio system.
 

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