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Leaky88

Soliciting Recommendations for an ECM source or Rebuilder

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Upfront: I apologize for the length but I am exhausted.


I am nearly convinced my 99 is too old for parts support, or I’m the ONLY one to experience a FAILED 98.5-2002 ECM.

I have dedicated days and nights searching the Internet for a REBUILDER with phone follow-ups. 
The Internet is abound with enticing websites, pictures of pristine Integrated Circuit Boards, immaculate state-of-art facilities, complete with "experts" in uniform lab coats, headgear, and nitrate gloves peering into high powered microscopes - methodically examining/testing every component to exacting standards.  Each facility promises the "perfect", “tested under all conditions”, "sleep well at night"  product.  All you need to provide is  your VIN, Transmission, ECM Code and … your CREDIT CARD information.

Prices range from $236 for a “repair” to a RECON $2334.90 + 303.75 core available in 24 at Cummins.  And least I not forget the bone yards…which now seek all the market will bear.  For example: There’s one on EBay for 900+ and…they want a CORE in return.  

Curious, I even drove some distance and visited one of these "future technology" facilities.  In all honesty, it was nothing but a defunct run-down warehouse with questionable equipment/qualifications.

Reviews are no help.  EBay might give a facility glowing reviews, but when you drill down to the local reviews (I.e. Yelp), some actually start out with "Buyer Beware".  Many reviewers claim poor/rude communication experiences, multiple returns with endless accounts of Emails/phone calls not being answered/returned.  Some comments substituted random alpha-numeric characters for their expletives.  Included were experiences whereby the Seller/Builder tried to skirt the coveted “Lifetime Warranty” carrot. 


Alas, my question to Forum:
Has “anyone” used an ECM rebuilder/supplier that actually provided a reputable product, willingly kept their word, and stood behind it?  If so, how long has the replacement been in service and were there any issues and finally a name please?  I'll even take secretive recommendations via PM.

Thanks.

Leaky 

 

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The only place so far I've dealt with is Module Masters in Moscow, ID and they are a state of the art place. They rebuilt my ABS computer gave a good warranty for $130. I'm not sure if they will do a Cummins ECM though. I do know they do ECM's and PCM's for other vehicles.

 

https://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/

 

https://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/shop/brakes/abs-modules/abs-kh-dodge/

 

Might try a request...

https://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/repair-request/

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Mine failed at 217k. Purchased one from ASI. They preached all the same stuff you mention above. The first one did not work and actually set a 606 code which the oe one did not. After waiting for almost 6 weeks for a replacement, I installed it and everything but cruise worked. I drove it like that because i could not afford any more down time. This lasted a year and died. I ended getting one from Cummins  thru the mechanic I had it towed to. This was 2011 i believe. it cost me $1400 and the mechanic programmed it or had someone program included in that cost. I have heard Cummins does not have them any more but I have not checked. That would be my first choice unless what I read above says they want $2334 for it. That would make stop and think a bit.

 So yes I have gone that route and was sorely disappointed. By trying to save some money I spent a whole lot more going the internet route than I would have had bit the bullet and coughed up the $2500 plus programming that Dodge wanted at the time. It just galled me to think of giving them that much money and having to tow the truck to them.

 

@Mopar1973Man I seem to remember a post by Cajflynn a good while back where he mentioned someone that he had good luck with but dont have a clue as how to dig that up. 

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3 minutes ago, dripley said:

@Mopar1973Man I seem to remember a post by Cajflynn a good while back where he mentioned someone that he had good luck with but dont have a clue as how to dig that up. 

 

Some place in Florida if I remember right. Russian folks? :shrug:

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Posted (edited)

Thanks Dave for sharing that experience.

 

It sure would be interesting to hear from someone that rebuilds ECM's to find out what causes the most common failures and why it is seemingly difficult to repair them.

 

All that experienced a failure... was there any early common signs of the ECM failure?

Edited by JAG1

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The biggest ones I know of are the lift pump driver failure and the wait to start not coming on.

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12 minutes ago, jlbayes said:

The biggest ones I know of are the lift pump driver failure and the wait to start not coming on.

I wonder if it is due to the lift pump failing/ drawing too many amps and then grid heater beginning to fail with same results??

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42 minutes ago, jlbayes said:

The biggest ones I know of are the lift pump driver failure and the wait to start not coming on.

 

That is because stock lift pumps don't have protection relay. So when lockup motor occurs the high current burns the MOSFET in the ECM. As for the WTS light that is caused by high AC noise from the alternator damaging the RAM in the ECM causing boot errors that make it longer to boot as it keeps retry.

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Mine did not have the normal things I have seen most everyone with have such as delayed WTS, starting and lift pump issues. Mine acted up one night going home from work. Dont remember exactly what is was doing just running really strange. Parked for a couple days and talked to some folks and decided to drive it. Drove fine about half way there then started acted weird again and got worse quick. I had to get off the highway and park. It was undriveable. Engine surging on its own was the most noticeable. It got worse the more messed with. DTC's out the wazoo, surging, runaway temp gauge, touch the throttle and it would runaway. But it would start just fine and idle though it would surge. Lift pump functioned properly. 

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8 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

The only place so far I've dealt with is Module Masters in Moscow, ID and they are a state of the art place. They rebuilt my ABS computer gave a good warranty for $130. I'm not sure if they will do a Cummins ECM though. I do know they do ECM's and PCM's for other vehicles.

 

https://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/

 

https://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/shop/brakes/abs-modules/abs-kh-dodge/

 

Might try a request...

https://modulemaster.com/rebuilds/repair-request/

MoparMan,

On your assessment of modulemaster, I sent my ABS module to them and it has served me well since.  The customer service was EXCELLENT.  No regrets.  I think they were the first place I asked when my ECM went south.  Unfortunately they do not do these.  But, I just asked again. 

6 hours ago, jlbayes said:

"The biggest ones I know of are the lift pump driver failure and the wait to start not coming on."

Leaky said: Well, I need to be standing in that line, because that describes my symptoms exactly. 

5 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

 

That is because stock lift pumps don't have protection relay. So when lockup motor occurs the high current burns the MOSFET in the ECM. As for the WTS light that is caused by high AC noise from the alternator damaging the RAM in the ECM causing boot errors that make it longer to boot as it keeps retry.

One of the very first things I did was redo the LIFT pump for VP longevity and isolate it from ECM with a "protected" relay...my thought being to spare the ECM from high current and failure. :)  I "was" feeling so good about taking this corrective action every time I started the truck...well until ECM gave it up.    But, being new to Diesels, ECM could have been dying since day I bought it.  

8 hours ago, BBHD said:

there a couple places mentioned in this thread. Definitely worth a read. @pepsi71ocean and @winch_warrior seemed like they had some luck. 

I had seen this and sent a PM to @winch_warrior but never got a reply.  He had talked about a place in PA that did Aircraft Modules I believe.  I got a response from Rebuilder, but wanted first hand info from @winch_warrior.  

 

 

 

Forum,

I do appreciate ALL your inputs. I fully realize the ECM's an Electronic part, and subject to failure at any given moment, but more than one person (including a BIL - a professional driver) has told me they rarely if ever fail.  That said, these ECM's have been out there long enough for a "reputable" Rebuilder to know high failure components, circuits, replace/correct and provide quality products.  Especially when they espouse the stringent realist testing units they allegedly put them prior to sending out the door. It should not be an Easter Egg hunt or exercise in futility for the consumer.    

 

Thanks.

 

Leaky

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I don't personally know anything about this place, but they have posted a few things on some of the other truck forums.

www.carcomputerexchange.com. I tried to look up reviews. Bad reviews came up for autocomputerexchange in Florida. This carcomputerexchange is in North Carolina as I recall.

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Got to remember people are quick to complain about a product but rarely do they report good service or products.  

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 My trucks have lift pump relays but I don't have protection relays on either truck, should I put in say, a 5 amp fuse for temporary protection? 

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2 hours ago, JAG1 said:

 My trucks have lift pump relays but I don't have protection relays on either truck, should I put in say, a 5 amp fuse for temporary protection? 

 

Fuse alone is risky. I'm not sure what the max limit of the MOSFET is. So its best to add the relay then put a good 10-15 amp fuse in. The only thing I could think of is get a brand new pump and measure the working load amp draw and make the fuse just maybe 1-2 Amps more. Got to remember as winter comes on the fuel thickens then the amp draw goes up. Even worse if there is frozen water and locks the rotor then the amp draw goes through the roof. Like last winter I seen a FASS 150 blow 20 Amp fuses left and right because of frozen water in the fuel.

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I thought the lift pump relay was the "protection relay"

 

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12 hours ago, JAG1 said:

 My trucks have lift pump relays but I don't have protection relays on either truck, should I put in say, a 5 amp fuse for temporary protection? 

I guess I am missing something here. What do you mean by protection relays?

4 hours ago, IBMobile said:

I thought the lift pump relay was the "protection relay"

 

That is what I was thinking.

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I understand there are two kinds of relays Dave. They are all used on our aftermarket lift pumps but some have a protective diode built in and some do not. I think that is correct.

 

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I do remember now what you are speaking of. No idea whether mine has the diode or not.I thought you meant a separate relay of some sort the would protect my truck from something like me maybe.

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Posted (edited)

the link above, the article will show you what to look or on the relay to be able to tell if its the protective type. As far as I know no one ever knew about this until IBM wrote about it.

 

 

Edited by JAG1

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On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 10:34 AM, Mopar1973Man said:

 

That is because stock lift pumps don't have protection relay. So when lockup motor occurs the high current burns the MOSFET in the ECM. As for the WTS light that is caused by high AC noise from the alternator damaging the RAM in the ECM causing boot errors that make it longer to boot as it keeps retry.

Moparman,

Having never seen the inside of the actual ECM, do you know if the RAM is separate from processor and replaceable? Or does the entire Processor have to be replaced? Thanks. Leaky  

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Yes it is replaceable. Just got to get the can opened up. Then carefully unsolder the two memory chips and solder on the new ones. The Mylar PCB is glued to the aluminium can so it might make soldering challenging.

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Moparman, I have been reading past post where you were exploring these 2nd Gen ECM's.  What about getting a Chinese company to replicate the boards?  At least a prototype.  I think there would be a market for them. 

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Mopar1973Man said:

Yes it is replaceable. Just got to get the can opened up. Then carefully unsolder the two memory chips and solder on the new ones. The Mylar PCB is glued to the aluminium can so it might make soldering challenging.

 

What if you mixed copper dust with epoxy would that make a good cold solder?

 

I am assuming the aluminum case takes heat away from the solder making it difficult so that's why I ask...

Edited by JAG1

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On ‎6‎/‎15‎/‎2017 at 10:34 AM, Mopar1973Man said:

 

That is because stock lift pumps don't have protection relay. So when lockup motor occurs the high current burns the MOSFET in the ECM. As for the WTS light that is caused by high AC noise from the alternator damaging the RAM in the ECM causing boot errors that make it longer to boot as it keeps retry.

As discussed, the AC noise damages the RAM, I got it.  Would the damaged RAM also account for why the WTS does not come on at all, but after the truck sits for a couple of days, and when the switch is turned on, the WTS comes on immediately and you are able to bump the engine and get the LIFT to cycle for 25s.?  Thanks Leaky

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