Swamps Diesel Hot FICM Tests - Page 3 - TheDieselGarage.com
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post #21 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 02:11 AM
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Originally Posted by Wekiwa View Post
I'll bet bet my Fluke is as accurate if not more than anything a dealer has. I do check it from time to time against a Tektronics O-scope though. Is it lab quality? No, but it is close enough for what I need.


I've seen the same results several times, which is why I offered to share the data. It never hurts to have another pair of eyes, maybe someone will "fix" a FICM and offer there data?


What would you like to know TMT? Short of sending you my "fixed" FICM, and no I can't, I don't know what else to say? Could you maybe ask some of your testing manager contacts for there input?

As many know, rarely IF EVER will an OEM admit anything negative relating to a product. In fact, if one asks a dealer about the FICM failure issues, the canned answer will be; "we're not aware of any significant failures?"

I'll keep digging until I find the answer if I have to test ever last component on the board.
Until then, the Hot FICM with Eric's flash is one of the best upgrades availble for about $600.00



Wekiwa
Ahhh your getting all testy on me now.

You didn't state if you were using a Fluke (what grade) or a WalMart analog guage. And honestly, not knowing where the charging circuit was at the time, as an automotive vehicle test R&D manager, I can only do an OK, but... When you state 13.2 vdc on the input, that seems a little low compared to my vehicle when checking with AE. BTW, AE doesn't agree with my own Fluke.

Flukes are generally pretty good, but we did see variances as I had to have all my instrumentation in the shop go through ISO calibration checks. Voltmeters were not high on the list of needing compliance however.

Nor did you state that getting over 50 vdc was a repeated result from multiple repairs.

Manaufacturers won't admit to the public of a problem except by recall. Even with published TSBs there is a line of people at the door stating, "I didn't think I had a problem, but now that you mentioned it".

I'm not trying to put YOU on the spot. Everything 'we the public' change on a vehicle has risk/benefits. In my job I would have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars testing what is being done here. When you accept aftermarket changes, you become the R&D test case because no aftermarket supplier can afford to do that type of reliability testing.

In my (past) line of work, this type of debate up through head butting on a project is (was) healthy. It sorts out a lot of the poor techniques and misdirections of "I didn't think about that" so we can complete a project in an efficient and through manner.

It ain't this

But I am a curmudgeon

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post #22 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 02:29 AM
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Reading through all of this has me wondering.......................

If I am reading this correctly, higher voltage causes the spool valves to operate quicker.

Wekiwa found that resoldering his stock board resulted in something just over 51v.

Ford allows for something like 45v from the FICM before they consider it to be problematic.

The injectors are designed with a pair of 48v, 20a coils in them to control the spool valve. (Since the coils are 48v, if they see less than that, wouldn't that make them "sluggish"?)



IIRC, when they did away with pilot injection, one of the reasons given was that the injectors were not capable of "keeping up" due to the speed at which the multiple injection events were happening.

So this leads me to wonder if perhaps the original programming anticipated the FICM putting out a minimum of 48v (vs. being the expected norm). If that were the case, perhaps the real problems associated with pilot injection were rooted in the FICM's hard parts not necessarily performing up to what was expected of them, rather than in the programming originally supplied........

Just a thought.....................
Not bad thoughts, Chuck.

My understanding of the pilot injection was that it was two applications per stroke. When the comments came up with "two strokes couldn't keep up" at 700 rpm, in my office we were "and one stroke can at full rpm?". It didn't make sense.

My thoughts are that at a lower voltage they are slowing down. But at the same time it could very well be the circuits are also supplying a higher rate of amps like what happens with many motor coils. A good way of burning up a starter is with low voltage batteries. Not sure what is happening at the coils.

But unless your neck high in the weeds of this issue, or have the test equipment to check all this out, we're just speculating.

And even with the test equipment you might not get the right answer. For me, it doesn't appear that Ford got it right with inductive heating and they had all the equipment but not enough time.

For me the answer is keeping good batteries in it, all electrical connections good, watch the alternator output, and double check operating values with AE every two months or so. My last check was 13.8vdc input, 48.+vdc output.

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post #23 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 03:49 AM
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A week ago I pulled apart my FICM because I had low voltage under load (~30 Volts worst case). I resoldered the connections mentioned in the repair tutorial and also worked through the power supply circuit. I decided that upping the voltage posed no inherent risk and made the modification to increase the voltage to 58 Volts.

First, my ficm is behaving much better and my stutter/hesitation is gone. When spring rolls around I plan to pull the supply out and due a load test on it with a thermal camera, mainly to see if one of the 4 supplies isn't pulling it's weight.

Second, I started to wonder which components could be contributing to the terrible voltage drop. Other than bad solder joints, the 330uF electrolytic caps made me pause. These can break down and wreak all sorts of havoc. Again, I'll be checking these closer in the spring. Besides these caps, I did not see any components that were of great concern other than the 7.5 mOhm resistors on the power mosfet sources. If these were to degrade / go up in resistance the supply would suffer.

Finally, this supply is making 48 Volts but this voltage is not going directly to the injectors. There are drive stages on the main circuit board dedicated to each injector. Without additional testing, I suspect these are current-controlled with the inductive heating strategy... therefore, 48 Volts vs 58 Volts is irrelevant. I also wonder if the switching algorithm is current-based. Current would be easier to define and control on a long wire. Send current one way and injector opens, send current the other and injector closes. The reason 58 Volts is advantageous is for headroom in the power transistor drive stackup, not because it directly interfaces with the injector... and a quick glance showed the injector drive devices were well over-spec'd.

So, to sum it up, I don't think 58 Volts will hurt a thing and only helps. The reason going below 42 Volts and even down to 30 or 20 Volts is bad is because the current drivers can no longer due their job...

Much of this is speculation but a little testing could provide the proper information. Please feel to correct anything said above... I'd like to better understand the FICM before I go in again.

Cheers!
Brad

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post #24 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 04:33 AM
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did you notice any difference in palse width in the higher rpm

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post #25 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 11:43 AM
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Brad,

Thank you very much for the analysis on the circuits. Now I have a better understanding of what is going on. Are you thinking along the lines of replacing the caps and resistors if issues reappear?

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post #26 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 02:29 PM
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Brad,

Awesome post. I work at an electronics fab house. I can replace parts and re-solder joints. Is your circuit analysis proprietary? Can you share what parts you replaced to up the switching voltage?

Thanks!

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post #27 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 03:12 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bakantor View Post
I decided that upping the voltage posed no inherent risk and made the modification to increase the voltage to 58 Volts.

First, my ficm is behaving much better and my stutter/hesitation is gone.

Second, I started to wonder which components could be contributing to the terrible voltage drop. Other than bad solder joints, the 330uF electrolytic caps made me pause. These can break down and wreak all sorts of havoc. Again, I'll be checking these closer in the spring. Besides these caps, I did not see any components that were of great concern other than the 7.5 mOhm resistors on the power mosfet sources. If these were to degrade / go up in resistance the supply would suffer.

Finally, this supply is making 48 Volts but this voltage is not going directly to the injectors. There are drive stages on the main circuit board dedicated to each injector. Without additional testing, I suspect these are current-controlled with the inductive heating strategy... therefore, 48 Volts vs 58 Volts is irrelevant. I also wonder if the switching algorithm is current-based. The reason 58 Volts is advantageous is for headroom in the power transistor drive stackup, not because it directly interfaces with the injector... and a quick glance showed the injector drive devices were well over-spec'd.

So, to sum it up, I don't think 58 Volts will hurt a thing and only helps. The reason going below 42 Volts and even down to 30 or 20 Volts is bad is because the current drivers can no longer due their job...

Much of this is speculation but a little testing could provide the proper information. Please feel to correct anything said above... I'd like to better understand the FICM before I go in again.

Cheers!
Brad
Excellent post Brad!
We're on the samepage, actually your a page or two ahead of me.
We need to locate another AB rev FICM to verify what was changed (other than fixing the poor soldering).
You, Too Many Toys, others, and myself should be able to identify which path to best resolve this FICM saga!



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post #28 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 03:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
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Ahhh your getting all testy on me now.
Never!

Quote:
Originally Posted by TooManyToys View Post
In my (past) line of work, this type of debate up through head butting on a project is (was) healthy. It sorts out a lot of the poor techniques and misdirections of "I didn't think about that" so we can complete a project in an efficient and through manner.
Absolutely! I really enjoy dragging a marketing manager out of the weeds!

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Originally Posted by TooManyToys View Post
It ain't this

But I am a curmudgeon
Anything to provide help to other F series owners is ok with me.

btw-I wish I could offer more details, but I agreed not to disclose what other people may be doing on their products. If however, someone else post the data, then I can and will agree or help with the resolution.




Wekiwa

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post #29 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 06:31 PM
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A lot of my analysis (after drawing up a quick partial schematic of the PSU) beyond the power supply itself is assumption. If I were to build the injector drive circuit I would do it as I described. Moreover, other methodologies seem less likely.

I'll know a lot more come spring (or sooner if the ficm acts up again) when I can get it on an electronic load. Then any weak parts will definitely show up under the thermal cam. I think I'll test each of the four supplies independantly. Like I said, the caps and 7.5 mOhm resistors are suspect. Other than that, there's an inductor for each supply, a power transistor and power diode all of which are unlikely sources of failure. This is a little over-simplified but covers the areas of major concern.

Keep your eyes peeled for a new thread (hopefully by Sunday). I'll put up a partial PSU schematic and description on how to modify the voltage on both ficm styles. The only thing delaying completion of this is family (4 kids doesn't leave much time for side-projects ).

Cheers!
Brad





Quote:
Originally Posted by Wekiwa View Post
Excellent post Brad!
We're on the samepage, actually your a page or two ahead of me.
We need to locate another AB rev FICM to verify what was changed (other than fixing the poor soldering).
You, Too Many Toys, others, and myself should be able to identify which path to best resolve this FICM saga!



Wekiwa

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- SCT by D.J., Powershot 2000, '05 Power Elbow, Isspro gauges under dash,
- Slam Specialties RE8's in the front... 5 inch drop to 4 inch lift at my command
- Herculiner on the runnin' boards and The Go-Fast Scratch! (THE latest must-have free mod!!!)
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post #30 of 559 (permalink) Old 12-18-2009, 08:48 PM
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.........Absolutely! I really enjoy dragging a marketing manager out of the weeds!...............



Wekiwa
No, never marketing. They usually didn't like me.

Research and Development for 34 years, vehicle testing for 25 of those.

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