Car Tech forum: JEEP PCM / ECM...REPLACEMENT LESSON LEARNED

by: Cat5 Cane January 5, 2009 7:29 AM PST

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JEEP PCM / ECM...REPLACEMENT LESSON LEARNED

by Cat5 Cane - 1/5/09 7:29 AM

A COLLECTION OF POSTS AFTER REPLACING MANY PARTS AND DOING THE MAGIC SCREW THING, WE COME DOWN TO REPLACING THE PCM... BUT FIRST....
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Good Luck
by askyward - 11/16/08 7:55 PM In reply to: SPREAD THE WORD!!!!!!!!! STALLING / NO START PROBLEMS FIXED by pla4kps
If your long joyous path to success included disconnecting the negative battery cable or disconnecting the connector(s) going into the PCM... all you have really done is reboot the PCM. All the sensors you replaced will get the credit for success until the PCM relearns its evil ways. I wish you luck, but let us know in a about a month. Most of these problems ultimately are the result of a crack/old solder joint that intermitently shorts the circuit panal inside the decades old PCM. Getting a refurb PCM is a 50/50 shot at getting someone elses bad core PCM as your $300 replacement. I would go with a new PCM... or a toyota.
dw


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Buying a PCM Replacement - New!

by askyward - 1/4/09 10:14 PM
I now have a 96 4.0L JGCL that runs great, finally. And I hope forever.
I have a "new" PCM installed after jerking around with two "refurbished" PCMs over the last 12 months.
PCMs: I dont think you can find a new/virgin PCM, anywhere. Even a friend that is the parts manager at the Jeep Dealer admitted that a new MOPAR PCM is actually rebuilt. BOTTOM LINE: If you come to the conclusion that your problem is the PCM: Only buy a "completely rebuilt PCM" with a lifetime warranty. I learned the hard way that going the cheap way is the long way and more expensive. I bought a refurbished PCM, twice. Rebuilt and refurbished, sounds the same, but its not. Regardless, when you are shopping for PCMs demand to know if the circuit board has been stripped down and all the electronics are new and tested. Bench testing an old PCM and replacing one transistor and selling it as refurbished is the norm....don't do it.
So you get my point, dont go cheap. For those that want to hear my story read on.
Decision time: Jeep Dealer or Internet Shopping. Dealer is going to be $450 plus $85/hour labor to remove PCM/flash the VIN/install PCM plus the joy of dropping it off at the dealer. You will get a MOPAR Rebuilt PCM and a one year warranty. Internet: Go cheap like me $199, +30 SH and you get a refurbished PCM already flashed with your VIN ready to plug and play. One year warranty, sweet...wrong. Two months later the PCM starts to fail. Pay another $30 SH to swap for another refurbished PCM, glad I got that 1 year warranty. 6 months later the 2nd PCM starts to fail. Now you learn that the fine print says that the value of the warranty drops 50% after 6 months. So to get my 3rd crappy refurbished PCM it will cost me an extra $100 plus ANOTHER $30 SH.(Thats $400 total so far) I wont even begin to explain the joyful process of getting your warranty honored.
REBUILT PCM: In the process of getting a 3rd PCM two key things happened: My dealer admitted that MOPAR can only supply rebuilt PCMs. The Internet PCM guy said that he could get me a rebuilt "never been in a car" PCM for $379 plus $30 SH minus a $100 credit on my refurbished crappy PCM. $409 final value. Cost me $309 + $229 for PCM #1 + $30SH for PCM #2 = $568 aargh! $229 is alot cheaper than $409 but dont do it. Plus my rebuilt PCM did come with a lifetime warranty.
PCM SELLERS: Google and Ebay will have you connected to 5 or 6 PCM ECM resellers in the US.
MINE: AutoComputerExchange.com (ACE)in Davie Florida. 888 664-8787 or 954 983-4948. BetterBusinessBureau BBB of Broward Co gives them a big fat F, yep F. If you cannot get past the sales person to speak with a tech rep, say goodbye. If the tech rep cant clearly explain the difference between a refurbished and a "start from scratch rebuilt PCM", say goodbye.
FINAL: My "Rebuilt PCM" only has a 3 month track record, not very long considering my history. But my jeep runs stronger and more confident than ever before. "Confident" seems like a wierd choice of words for an auto, But if you have had issues with a Jeep PCM, then you and I both know that "confident" is the KEY word. I wish that I had gone with the Jeep dealer a year ago. I stayed with ACE to recoup $100 from my investment, plus I finally talked with "G" at ACE and he explain that the PCM was new inside, no better/no worse than MOPAR.
*** I hope this helps. You can cross ref my previous posts, I have done it all. PCM screws, sensors, wiring, all the vodoo auto fixes in this forum. Ultimately it is the 12 year old circuit board that is at the end of its life. Its lived a hard life strapped to your firewall for 200K. I don't know why we accept the fact that the alternator, starter or water pump has a limited life. But the PCM causes a serious case of denial when its time is up. Probably because its some serious beer money, a set of tires or shocks. But if you cant drive it out of the garage, whats the point.
Cheers, dw

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Thanks you for your in-put. All of us who have gone thru your plight understand your anger. Hope everyone reading this will gain from your lessons learned and also contribute back to the blog, after they find their fix... CAT5

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