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Chip Install - 1994-1997 Power Stroke FAQ

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Chip Installation
Courtesy of: Dale Isley -Tymar Performance

Remove the negative battery terminals from both batteries. Whenever working on any electrical system of your truck, take extreme precaution to protect the electrical system of the truck.

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Remove the front driver's side tire for more room to make the install easier. Whenever youwork on your truck without the tires supporting the weight, you need to put safety first and use a jack and a jack stand capable of supporting the weight of the truck.

Take off your chrome trim piece around the driver's side fender well by removing the five Phillips head screws from the edge of the fender well. To allow access to the firewall area where the PCM (Powertrain Control Module) is placed, you must bend the inner fender well forward. Remove the rear three of the six small 7/32" screws along the edge of the fender well. Remove the single 5/16" bolt that is located low, inside rear, of the back of the fender well. Remove the last bolt located under the truck toward the rear of the fender. (If you have factory running boards, they will have to be removed to get to the last lower bolt under the truck.) You should now be able to move the inner fender well forward and see the PCM.

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Now that you have prepared the lower area, go back up through the hood and reach down behind the fender well and loosen the 10mm bolt that is in the center of the wiring harness plug attached to the PCM. The wiring harness retaining bolt will not come completely out but will allow you to remove the wiring harness from the PCM. Remove the wiring harness plug from the PCM and place the wiring harness plug up and out of the way. Then, remove the two 10mm nuts, one on top and one below the PCM, which holds the PCM mounting plate to the firewall. You can reach the upper nut through the hood and the lower nut through the fender well access. After the PCM mounting plate is released, you pull the PCM straight out of the firewall and lower it through the fender well access. Once the PCM is out of the truck, it is time to clean the contacts and install the chip.[

Once out, you can remove the plug on the back of the PCM that has your code sticker on it. Inside, you will see the end of the circuit board that you will be plugging the chip into. If this is the first time you have had a chip in your PCM, the edge of the board where the contacts are located will be covered in what looks like white grease. The contacts also have a harder plastic-type film protective coating on them besides this "white grease" coating. Although you can clean both coatings off through the PCM data port, it is much easier to split the PCM case, which allows for better access to clean the contact area.

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Remove the six 5/32" bolts holding the cover plate on the PCM. Remove the lid to the board, which will also allow you to split the PCM case. The bottom half of the housing will separate from the top without removing an additional screws. Wipe the white grease from the contact board. To remove the plastic film coating, I used a small knife (exact-o knife or razor blade) to carefully scrape the coating off the board contacts. Be careful to only remove the protective film. Use short strokes starting at the base and scraping away from the board. You are able to see the plastic coating scrape off the area. If you start to see metal shavings, stop. As overkill, we cleaned the contacts with fingernail polish remover and wiped thoroughly clean.

Install the base and lid then tighten the six 5/32" bolts. You may now install the chip into the PCM, which will save you from having to take the parking brake off later. Coat the chip and board contacts with dielectric grease. Most chip install problems are due to a poor cleaning procedure or a poor chip connection.

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Place the PCM back into the firewall. Tighten the two 10mm mounting plate nuts that hold the PCM into the firewall. Attach the wiring harness to the PCM and tighten the single 10mm bolt in the center that holds it securely to the PCM. Attach the inner fender well back to the fender. Attach the fender trim piece to the edge of inner fender well. Install driver side wheel (might be a good time to rotate tires). Attach both negative battery cables and enjoy your new power!

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Editor's Note

On some older chips, most notably some "one-bank" chips, the chip housing is too large to fit through the hole in the firewall once the chip is installed in the PCM. If you have never had a chip installed in your PCM, it is a good idea to follow the steps above for removing and cleaning the PCM. If the chip housing is too large to fit through the hole in the firewall, follow the steps below to install the chip.

Remove the parking brake assembly by removing the three 13mm bolts and disconnect the brake light electrical connection from the parking brake assembly. The parking brake needs to be released in order to remove it so be sure to chock the tires of your truck while working on the assembly.

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Pull the parking brake assembly away. The hardest bolt to clear is the lowest one. Once the parking brake assembly has cleared the studs, you can lay it on its side.

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Behind the parking brake is the access to the PCM. Install the chip into the service port of the PCM.

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Place a strip of duct tape over the chip to hold it in the service port of the PCM. This will prevent the chip from coming loose and losing contact.

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Replace the parking brake assembly with the three 13mm bolts. Remember to re-attach the brake light electrical connection on the top of the parking brake assembly.

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