OT/ help finding abs module repair service for '04 Explorer
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  1. #1
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    Default OT/ help finding abs module repair service for '04 Explorer

    All - I need your help...I have an '04 Ford Explorer that is in really nice shape and I would like to keep it for another couple of years. Here's the thing, I had to replace the ABS module on it and they are discontinued. So I found a compatible unit from a salvage vehicle and confirmed that it would work with the local Ford dealer. But after installing the unit (which fixed the problem) I am now getting a mismatched VIN code that also disables the ABS and the 4x4. I have taken it to two different Ford dealers to reprogram the ABS module and they are unable to clear the VIN out of it and they even called the Ford motor tech hotline and they are saying too bad so sad we don't support that vehicle because it is too old.

    The car is driveable as it is but I want the 4x4. I found a guy in California that said if I had kept the old ABS module he could have taken the info off the chip and transferred it to the new unit and all would be golden - I didn't save it.

    I have called all over the US and cannot find NOS. If anyone knows of someone that can wipe the ABS and re-program I would really appreciate that info. Thanks.

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    kenh - yes - it's unavailable through them. I have had several different sources search the nationwide network of dealers and depots - none available. The part was discontinued by Ford in 2012.

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    I thought EPA/DOT rules required a car maker to provide replacement parts for ten years. At least for smog parts? If the check engine light is on it can not pass smog checks.
    Does Ford really think 8 years is the max life of their products?
    Bill D.

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    yea those modules are a pain in the ass when they croak. We have a '92 that the module died in- no rear brakes- that was nice. found a "rebuilt' for $$$ but they are not cheap. You might check with a Napa dealer, they have some good technical contacts with the manufacturers. Bendix made the one on ours. Best of luck

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    You should have kept the old one.....

    I had one that croaked on an S10. Took it apart and found that the issue was cracked lead-free solder joints on the connector-to-PC-board joints. Thiis was a design error by the makers, caused by plastic and metal expanding with heat at different rates, and no flexibility provided.

    So I used old-time lead-tin solder to fix it, and it worked flawlessly for 12 more years.

    That "we no longer support that" line of bullshit is really starting to get common these days. They do it "because they can", in older times they would have parts or procedures.

    That all said, the VIN code is likely NOT the actual VIN in all detail, it may simply be looking to see that the ABS unit is for the same model series. So it is possible that the unit you got actually came off a different vehicle type, even though you got it from the right model. Who says the thing worked fine on THAT vehicle?

    The exact programming may be different depending on the vehicle type, and if the computer finds out (software code does not match) that it is not from an Explorer, it may reject it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by JST View Post
    You should have kept the old one.....
    And laid-in a used-but good as backup. Similar fail, here, (just not YET) and well-documented fix.

    Mind. An old all-aluminium, Connolly hides, woolens, and real Walnut Jaguar built 2005 to a HIGH budget is worth it. Could go another 20 years. More than I will myself.

    A mostly steel (and degrading plastics) Explorer built 2004 to a LOW budget that can RUST? Not so much.

    Think on that.

    What ELSE is reaching an age and degradation point that could let you down, and very BADLY? Air bag components, perhaps?

    Better you should keep the shift knob, key fob, or hood badge.

    Run a new(er) vehicle under it.

    Before it gets REALLY uncooperative, unsafe... and expensive.

    Ford doesn't walk-away from keeping spares because they CANNOT. They need that leverage to help reduce the size, and distance themselves from, the risk of the liability "pool" is all.

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    In my Suburban, it takes a Tech2 scanner (factory version) to address and change data on individual modules. Is there not a Ford version of that?

    If the dealer can't change that module, can they change the *other* modules that talk to it to the foreign module VIN? I'm not sure which ones need to agree for the car to run, but it's worth a look.

    Resoldering is usually the answer, though, if you can get it open.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Chip Chester View Post
    In my Suburban, it takes a Tech2 scanner (factory version) to address and change data on individual modules. Is there not a Ford version of that?

    If the dealer can't change that module, can they change the *other* modules that talk to it to the foreign module VIN? I'm not sure which ones need to agree for the car to run, but it's worth a look.

    Resoldering is usually the answer, though, if you can get it open.
    The abs module is working correctly. It works fine for 10 or 120 miles after the system closes the loop. Then once the computers send and receive inputs the ecm notices the incorrect VIN and it throws the code. I need to find someone that can remove the chip that has the VIN stored and replace it with a virgin chip and re-program.

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    Dealer doesn't know to get around this prob.
    Most likely they are trying to reprogram the used unit following the factory procedure for replacing the module.
    When they try to reprogram the system will just grab the contents of the installed module, then prompt to install the new one.
    Then program the module with the same wrong vin.
    So to prevent this, they need to start the procedure with the module disconnected.
    When the system can not find the module and get the incorrect vin info, it will prompt to manually enter the as built info with correct vin for your vehicle.

    Ed

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    No longer support this model?

    And we are supposed to continue to buy Fords? Perhaps you, not me.

    I may have to keep my present cars until i die.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecortech View Post
    Dealer doesn't know to get around this prob.
    Most likely they are trying to reprogram the used unit following the factory procedure for replacing the module.
    When they try to reprogram the system will just grab the contents of the installed module, then prompt to install the new one.
    Then program the module with the same wrong vin.
    So to prevent this, they need to start the procedure with the module disconnected.
    When the system can not find the module and get the incorrect vin info, it will prompt to manually enter the as built info with correct vin for your vehicle.

    Ed
    Ok - sounds promising - but who do I go to to do this. The dealer tech was the shop foreman and he was in contact with Ford's hotline for techs and he followed their procedures. Who can I go to that would know how to do this?

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    One wonders if the right dealer could change the vin in the ECU to match the ABS, maybe they are more familiar with that process

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    Sound like he has practical experience that is not covered in the book / manual they are following so print out this page take it to the dealer and get them to do what he said..i would think once it has been prompted for the vin you put it in either disconnected or at the prompt connect it ( hopefully it still lets you input it vin and flash it to memory)
    I think those would be options to explore, i have only dealt with cat gear not ford items.

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    Any Ford Dealer Tech Should be able to do it or someone that has the Ford diagnostic tools.
    Some independent techs have their own.
    Also some high end diagnostic tools ie. snapon have the capability to flash program.

    Most dealer techs only have experience installing new oem parts ie.programming a new blank module.
    Dealers do not like to mess with used parts, they also are not usually very receptive to customers telling them how to do their job.
    I know this will work have done it numerous times with not only Ford products but many other brands as well.

    Think about this scenario vehicle is new enough to be still under warranty module is damaged will not communicate with diagnostics.
    So dealer installs new blank module where do they get the data to program it? The data is pulled from the system not the module in the vehicle.
    A new blank module will not communicate with anything til it is flash programmed.
    Just have to think out of the box a little make the system think its programming a new module.

    In my experience once you get to the point that you can manually enter the data needed ie. the vin, it will flash the module.
    Most all will not check for anything just write the data to the module overwriting anything that may be already there.
    Same method is used when a module needs to be updated to improve function.

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by EPAIII View Post
    No longer support this model?

    And we are supposed to continue to buy Fords? Perhaps you, not me.

    I may have to keep my present cars until i die.
    It's not only Ford. All of the manufacturers want to sell new vehicles. They have little interest in a 16 year old truck.

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    Cardone lists a reman abs module for that vehicle.
    Rock Auto shows in stock, plug and play does not require programming.
    Not sure how they get around the vin problem.

    Ed

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    Quote Originally Posted by ecortech View Post
    Cardone lists a reman abs module for that vehicle.
    Rock Auto shows in stock, plug and play does not require programming.
    Not sure how they get around the vin problem.

    Ed
    The problem is mine has traction control and stability control. Nobody has them. I have been searching for a solution since November.

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    I have checked ALL aftermarket suppliers. The dealers are out of the question. I have been to two of them. One of them was next to clueless. The other one had the car for four days. We verified (again - for the third and fourth time) that the part that I installed is the correct part number. The technician at the second dealer was their shop foreman - not gray haired but not a kid.

    I am sure that there is someone out there that has run into this and figured out a solution. There seems to be several third party guys in California that would be willing to give it a try if I took the vehicle to them. I can't really do that.

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    Is there a good independent mechanic around? I imagine you'll need a code reader cable and use Forscan to reprogram it.

    Here is a video about changing the module codes in forscan, don't know if it'll apply to you, but I'm sure it'll be similar to writing your module.
    YouTube


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