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99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke Engine and Drivetrain Discussion of the 99 & up 7.3L Power Stroke diesel engine and drivetrain in the 1999-Up Super Duty trucks and Excursions. No gas engine discussion allowed except on transmissions and drivetrain that pertain to all models. Please confine discussion of topics in this forum to those items that are specific to the 7.3L Power Stroke engine.

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Old 12-19-2012, 12:33 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Hurricane Sandy victim

I stupidly left my 2003 F-250 at the Jersey shore since it was still fishing season, and the water never gets that high (NOT).

The water reached the bottom of the dash but missed the fuse box.

I have replaced the starter and fixed the starter cable which allowed the engine to crank, but not start.

I popped the CPS out and checked for bad connection, but found nice shiny connections without a trace of salt water corrosion. Likewise with several of the connectors on the driver wheel well, so I am concluding that most of the connections held up, but I could be wrong.

When I first got access to the truck (Martial Law - Access Delay) the door locks worked, the radio worked, the buzzers worked, the windows worked, and the lights worked. The buzzers no longer work, but the rest do, but the battery is getting drained from somewhere. The check engine symbol stays on after the initial test of the dash lights.

I don't have a scanner and am hesitant to have it towed somewhere to start a forever drain on my wallet one piece at a time. Considering the symptoms can someone recommend a diagnostic scanner for me to buy that might point me in the right direction.

If anyone has any other suggestions, I would love to them hear from you. I am particularly interested in finding out what equipment or modules might have been affected with the type of flooding my truck sustained. The actual depth of flooding was 43" which comes to the bottom of the rocker covers.\

There is no sign of water in the engine, or the fuel, although I know the tank had to have been submerged, at least for the period of the highest tide during the storm. I guess I am going to have to drain the manual transmission and the two differential housings to elliminate any water which might have gotten in.

Although I am not a mechanic by trade, I do like to tinker, and am able to take things apart and put them back together. Any help will be appreciated.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:08 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Check all the fuses. Also keep in mind that the PCM sits on the floor next to the drivers kick panel. You might want to pull it and check it out.

As for a scanner, you are looking at AE, which will run about $400
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The first part to be thrown at these trucks should be a PSD compatible scanner

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Old 12-19-2012, 01:09 PM   #3 (permalink)
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The IDM might have been submerged. It's located behind the F250 emblem on the driver's side fender. The air bag control module is located center front of the firewall near the floor, so that definitely got soaked and may be the cause of the CEL. Also the ABS control module is located below the driver's side headlight.

As far as checking for a battery drain problem, you need to do a battery drain test by connecting an ammeter in line with one of the battery connections, then disconnect the second battery and start pulling fuses to see when the amp draw drops. To do that, you need to be sure that the body control module (that controls the interior lights, etc.) has gone to sleep. Leave the door open till the lights go out so you have access to the fuse box.

AutoEnginuity is a good scan tool. You need to get the Ford Enhanced package for it to work with your truck. Cost is about $350, and you'll need a laptop to run it on. Some of the site sponsors sell it, or you can buy it directly.

Maybe you need to get it to a freshwater lake and give it a bath to wash away the salt residue. Sorry!

on edit: Forgot about the PCM. That's been submerged also. Thanks for bringing that up, Tom.
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Old 12-19-2012, 01:47 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Your big problem is that the truck was dunked in salt water. Even after you get it running you are going to have a continuous set of problems coming up with the electrical that was under water. The only want to fix it completely is to replace all the wiring that got wet.

Klhansen really didn't have a bad idea of taking the truck to a lake and giving it a fresh water bath
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Old 12-19-2012, 02:02 PM   #5 (permalink)
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The only recommendation I have is to wash down as much of the truck as you can with Salt Away. You fish, so you are probably familiar with it already.
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Old 12-19-2012, 03:11 PM   #6 (permalink)
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You also have to drain your front and rear end.

Presumably your crank case and transmission as well.

But yeah, you got salt water into every electrical connector underneath the truck, so slowly they'll rust away causing huge amounts of resistance into the circuit.
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Check your wiring harness: Chaffed wiring at driver's valve cover.

Keep everyone (and yourself) updated:7.3 mileage and repair thread

If you insist on throwing parts at your truck to fix the problem, go big--don't forget the driver's side frame rail.

If your ICP connector has oil in it, change it. Don't argue, just change it. Don't check other things first, just change it.
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:01 AM   #7 (permalink)
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Thanks to all who responded.

Your help is appreciated. Now all I need is time, money, and good weather
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Old 12-31-2012, 03:25 PM   #8 (permalink)
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I bought the Auto Enginuity scanner and attempted to check the truck a litlle while ago on this dreary last day of the year.

It could not communicate with the truck. It worked just fine talking to my Ranger, so the installation and device are OK.

There was green corrosion on the Data port under the dash, but I am guessing that the problem is at the PCM, since it was underwater for some undetermined time. I will take a closer look at it with more light to make sure the connection plugs are still intact.

My game plan is to replace the PCM with the Big Hoss module from Banks.

What I am uncertain of at this time is whether it is advisable to just replace it and then diagnose other problems, or look for other issues first. Does anyone have a suggestion.
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Old 12-31-2012, 04:13 PM   #9 (permalink)
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I believe that the Bank Big Hoss module is just a performance chip that attachés to the PCM and doesn't replace it. If the PCM was under water it is toast and will need to be replaced

The green corrosion that you saw on the OBD II port will be on every electrical part and connection that came in contact with water. Once that corrosion starts you either need to neutralize it or it will eat away until there is nothing left, along with causing problems along the way.

That is where you are more than likely going to have to replace every thing that came in contact with the sea water.
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Old 01-07-2013, 02:53 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Thanks, Bugman.

When I spoke with the salesman at Banks, he indicated to me that the Big Hoss replaces the PCM. Reading the on line manual seems to confirm what you said. What is the best source for a PCM replacement if the Big Hoss isn't really what I need?

I am planning to replace the parts that went under water and am in the process of ordering parts. I found that one of the wires had already separated from the Data Port, and have ordered a replacement from Rock Auto. There is similar corrosion on the terminals of the PCM. Interestingly enough, it seems that the terminals under the hood that I checked, were coated with clear grease which seems to have protected them.

Reading the service manual indicated that the PCM comes out with the removal of the connector under the hood and the removal of the two screws under the dash. I have done this, but the PCM doesn't seem to want to come out.

Do you know if there is a secret to getting the old one out because it only moves about a 1/2 inch and won't come any further.

I already broke the plastic bar on the rear of the PCM plastic housing which otherwise seems to be loose, so I am hesitant to yank any more.
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Old 01-07-2013, 05:59 PM   #11 (permalink)
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If you got the connector completely loose and all the bolts under the dash (there may be more than two - it's been a while since I had my PCM out), it should come out. There is one bolt up on top that's a bear to get at. Get under there with a good strong light.

It's easier on Auto trucks, because there isn't a clutch pedal in the way.

The Banks guy probably meant that their module replaced the PROGRAM in the PCM, but it sure doesn't replace the PCM itself.
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Old 01-07-2013, 06:33 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Did you have insurance on the truck?
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Old 01-07-2013, 09:43 PM   #13 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TightPenny View Post
Thanks, Bugman.

When I spoke with the salesman at Banks, he indicated to me that the Big Hoss replaces the PCM. Reading the on line manual seems to confirm what you said. What is the best source for a PCM replacement if the Big Hoss isn't really what I need?

I am planning to replace the parts that went under water and am in the process of ordering parts. I found that one of the wires had already separated from the Data Port, and have ordered a replacement from Rock Auto. There is similar corrosion on the terminals of the PCM. Interestingly enough, it seems that the terminals under the hood that I checked, were coated with clear grease which seems to have protected them.

Reading the service manual indicated that the PCM comes out with the removal of the connector under the hood and the removal of the two screws under the dash. I have done this, but the PCM doesn't seem to want to come out.

Do you know if there is a secret to getting the old one out because it only moves about a 1/2 inch and won't come any further.

I already broke the plastic bar on the rear of the PCM plastic housing which otherwise seems to be loose, so I am hesitant to yank any more.

The best/cheapest bet for a PCM is carpart.com, find your PCM part #(once you get it out)and do a search. I just recently bought a replacement from a yard in NJ, you can search by regions.
If you fully removed the PCM bolt and plug from the engine side, it will just pull out from the inside. Use a light to see you must be hung up or hitting something, it does have a snug fitting rubber gasket that seals it as it goes thru the fire wall.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:33 AM   #14 (permalink)
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That is the one glint of silver in this mess. Progressive wrote the truck as a total loss, and after deducting salvage to keep my truck, I got what I believe to be enough to replace the wet stuff and get some education as I go along.

The hardest part of this whole process so far was dealing with the insurance issues on the truck, not to mention those same issues on my house, my parent's house, their shore house, and my two boats. It has been an interesting end of 2012.

I am finally beginning to figure out how to find things on the computerized service manual from Helm, which only shows two screws inside of the cab for the PCM, but I will look for more later today.

Thanks for the input.
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Old 01-08-2013, 09:16 PM   #15 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by TightPenny View Post

I am finally beginning to figure out how to find things on the computerized service manual from Helm, which only shows two screws inside of the cab for the PCM, but I will look for more later today.

Thanks for the input.
You'll need to locate the 10mm bolt,which is center of the plug engine side, and loosen it. It won't come out of the plug as it has a keeper clip, but it does thread in there quite a bit. You can usually tell it's completely unbolted by using your hand to undo it after you get it loose enough with a socket wrench. Use a 1/4" drive ratchet with 10mm socket.
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