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Old 07-27-2017, 06:24 PM
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15S39 LCM Bypass Recall - Documented

Hey I know a few guys here were asking for any/all details regarding the most recent flavor of the LCM recall - 15S39. For those of you who don't know I am a tech at a Ford dealer.

I had a beautiful blue Marauder roll in today for the recall to be done and I thought I would take the opportunity to document the process and explain a little as I go.

Please just use this information for your own knowledge and try not to take it out on your dealership's employees'. This recall does not pay your technician enough time to do this job and I can tell you not many techs want to get under your dash and cut up your wiring. Your advisors and techs are just trying to do their job and you being a Nazi to either is not something that will help your situation.

So background; the previous recall 14N01 was a customer satisfaction warranty extension. This type of recall is issued when there are widespread failures of a certain part after the factory warranty has ended. Ford is extending the warranty on the specific part only to keep customers happy, these types of recalls are usually not safety related. Ford will pay to repair your vehicle ONLY IF IT HAS FAILED. If your vehicle was serviced under the 14N01 and you had your LCM replaced under the warranty extension your vehicle will not be eligible for the new 15S39 which now replaces the 14N01 which is no longer active. If this is the case consider yourself lucky, most of the LCMs used in the 14N01 had much higher quality relays and should last the remainder of the vehicles life.

The new recall 15S39 is a safety recall. This type of recall is a result of crashes or other safety related issues that have been documented as a result of the failed part - in this case if your headlights were to fail it would increase your chances of getting in a collision when driving at night. This type of recall, a repair is performed to every vehicle to either correct or prevent the failure, and is performed on every vehicle. Ford found it too costly to replace every LCM in every 03-05 Panther, so they developed this bypass kit to reduce parts costs, even though it more that doubles labor costs associated with installation.

Anyway, lets get started.
Open up my box and here is what's inside the 3W7Z-13C788-A LCM bypass module kit:

The kit comes with a non-serviceable relay "module" with two harness' covered in convolute and with non-insulated butt connectors already installed and includes heat shrink tubing and zip ties. Pretty typical for this sort of repair from Ford.



The kit's harness have identical colored circuits on both sides, with the exception that one side has only 5 wires and the other 6. The relay module is to be spliced in-line to the connectors going to the LCM, with the 6 circuit side being sliced on the harness side, and the 5 circuit side being spliced towards the connectors of the LCM. The colors match the circuits they are to be spliced too so this should be pretty easy to not screw up.
To start I have removed the covers under the steering column, the charcoal colored panel directly under the column does not need to be removed, I just did for clarity. I removed the LCM from the vehicle for maximum access - as most of you know that does not require the pedal assembly to be removed, even if that is what the book says.





The 6 circuits needed span all three LCM connectors, the black connector has 4 of the circuits and the two grey connectors each have one circuit each to be spliced.
So all three of the pigtails need to be accessed, and I needed to cut open the electrical tap that protects them, up to the main harness, so I can access individual wires to be cut and spliced into the relay kit. Using the proper tool can prevent damage to the wires that a box cutter or scissors could do.





Each of the circuits to be modified need to have their individual wires isolated and cut, and yes by this point the battery is disconnected and your precious radio presets and clock have been reset - deal with it.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:25 PM
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Now that the wires have been cut, both sides of the wires need to be stripped in preparation to be attached to the butt connectors.

An experienced tech always remembers to double check and make sure heat shrink is on the wire prior to crimping or soldering. I decided to crimp and heatshrink all the harness side splices first, and do the connector side splices second.



Next plug the module in and connect the battery for a quick functions test. Everything works properly!



The directions indicate to tuck the module up by the PCM and route the harness' below the steering shaft along the instrument panel frame and back up to where they are spliced. The module and harness' are retained with the zip ties provided in the kit.

Install the LCM and install the covers and boom were done.


All in all not a fun job. For those of you who have spent some time working under a dash it is not too comfortable, not to mention the lack of motion I have when trying to do detailed steps like cutting and stripping and crimping. Luckily this clean rig was free of dust and debris, most rigs this old are dustier that your attic under the dash.


Overall I think this is a very poor repair, and my recommendation to everyone with a vehicle affected by this recall is to request it not to be performed. If your LCM fails we all know how to fix it, when know who to call and most of us can get the sucker in and out ourselves. As far as I can tell this recall has no expiration and you'll need to let your dealer know at every visit your request the repair not be performed. This repair is probably going to cause a lot more issues down the road as poor splices come apart or a harness chafes or a relay internal to the "module" fails.

15S39 Dealer Bulletin
15S39 Service Procedure
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Last edited by Logizyme; 07-30-2017 at 09:14 AM.
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Old 07-27-2017, 06:41 PM
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Excellent post!
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:45 PM
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Excellent post!
Agreed!

Thank you!

.........I got my 2nd recall letter last week.

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Old 07-27-2017, 07:49 PM
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Thank you for the post and detailed description of the work required. Now I know for sure I won't be doing this recall. I'll be fixing the LCM myself if/when the time comes.
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Old 07-27-2017, 07:58 PM
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Thank you for taking the time to make this detailed and complicated post.

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Ride 2: 2001 Kenny Brown "Panther 2" Crown Victoria, Black. K&N cold air intake to Allen Engine Development supercharger system with water-to-air intercooled Eaton MP-90 at 8 pounds. Extensive chassis bracing, Brembo 4-piston front calipers on 13 inch rotors with stainless lines. Trunk-relocated Optima Red-Top. 5000K Bi-Xenon HID's. And much, much more.

Last edited by RF Overlord; 07-28-2017 at 08:11 AM.
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Old 07-27-2017, 08:04 PM
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Question



Any chance you could post the content of the TSB (say) in PDF?
.
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Old 07-27-2017, 11:01 PM
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What a hack.
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Old 07-28-2017, 03:13 AM
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Thanks for the post! Great writeup!

Why a non-serviceable relay?

I always thought the first rule when working with car electrics - NO crimp connections, always solder connections.

I'm glad I don't have to get this done to my Marauder.
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Old 07-28-2017, 07:14 AM
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15S39 LCM Bypass Recall - Documented

Thanks very much for the write up and the information. I have never received any recall notices on this from Ford.

All I know is that my original LCM, along with the radio, failed very early on in 2005-06 and was replaced under warranty. I assumed it was replaced with the very same type, but maybe I got lucky and got the LCM from the 14N01 by some miracle. (The radio died the second time 20k miles ago). Again, I didn't hear about a new module before or now.

If it does fail again I'll follow up here and replace it myself. I have a bunch of other wiring under there for the alarm, underbody lighting, etc., and I just as soon it not be disturbed.

Thanks again for all the detail.


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Last edited by Svashtar; 07-28-2017 at 07:25 AM.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:00 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
What a hack.
I work for a company that used to be a supplier to Ford in the mid-1990s. I had occasion to work with the Ford reliability engineers and I can tell you that there's absolutely no way they would have let something that could potentially cause the headlights to fail get past the design stage if it were shown to them. This has to be something that the service organization cooked up on their own.

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Ride 2: 2001 Kenny Brown "Panther 2" Crown Victoria, Black. K&N cold air intake to Allen Engine Development supercharger system with water-to-air intercooled Eaton MP-90 at 8 pounds. Extensive chassis bracing, Brembo 4-piston front calipers on 13 inch rotors with stainless lines. Trunk-relocated Optima Red-Top. 5000K Bi-Xenon HID's. And much, much more.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by SteelQualityMan View Post
Thank you for taking the time to make this detailed and complicated post.
I second that!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Logizyme View Post
Overall I think this is a very poor repair, and my recommendation to everyone with a vehicle affected by this recall is to request it not to be performed. This repair is probably going to cause a lot more issues down the road as poor splices come apart or a harness chafes or a relay internal to the "module" fails.
Agreed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
What a hack.
Heh...also agreed.
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Old 07-28-2017, 08:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Svashtar View Post
Thanks very much for the write up and the information. I have never received any recall notices on this from Ford.

All I know is that my original LCM, along with the radio, failed very early on in 2005-06 and was replaced under warranty. I assumed it was replaced with the very same type, but maybe I got lucky and got the LCM from the 14N01 by some miracle. (The radio died the second time 20k miles ago). Again, I didn't hear about a new module before or now.

If it does fail again I'll follow up here and replace it myself. I have a bunch of other wiring under there for the alarm, underbody lighting, etc., and I just as soon it not be disturbed.

Thanks again for all the detail.


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The LCM that they were replacing in the 14N01 recall was exactly the same as the original LCM. That means it will fail over time. Per the recall you only get one free replacement LCM.

This new fix / hack is because Ford can't get enough LCMs and they are expensive.
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Old 07-28-2017, 09:08 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastblackmerc View Post
The LCM that they were replacing in the 14N01 recall was exactly the same as the original LCM. That means it will fail over time. Per the recall you only get one free replacement LCM.



This new fix / hack is because Ford can't get enough LCMs and they are expensive.

OK, but the OP did say: "most of the LCMs used in the 14N01 had much higher quality relays and should last the remainder of the vehicles life." (?)

As mentioned, I didn't get a recall notice, but maybe that's because they know they changed mine under warranty? I just hope that if the above is true I got one of the better quality relay ones mentioned, but somehow I doubt it. :-)

Either way, if it fails again I'm not going to go thru this wiring abomination, and will just buy a new one and replace it myself.




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Old 07-28-2017, 09:11 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fastblackmerc View Post
The LCM that they were replacing in the 14N01 recall was exactly the same as the original LCM. That means it will fail over time. Per the recall you only get one free replacement LCM.

This new fix / hack is because Ford can't get enough LCMs and they are expensive.


The very first LCM's I swapped out under 14N01 appeared the same, with Taiwan? relays. After they got past the initial backorder the LCM's for 14N01 were using Japanese relays IIRC - and that's a relay I would trust more than the original third world ones.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Zack View Post
What a hack.
I hope you are referring to the repair and not me - I'm just doing my job and for the time Ford pays me I did a good job here.


Quote:
Originally Posted by fastblackmerc View Post
Why a non-serviceable relay?

I always thought the first rule when working with car electrics - NO crimp connections, always solder connections.
Cost, cost, cost. Serviceable relay certainly means 0.05 more per unit x 1,500,000 cars, well that's quite a few dollars there.


There are other considerations, such as having to solder upside down underneath a dash panel with the potential for solder to fall and burn the carpet, additional labor time, supply costs. In Ford land, generally, critical engine circuits will be repaired with solder/heatshrink and less-critical body repairs get crimp/heatshrink. Ford has run into some issues from soldered repairs where the solder will soak into the wire insulation a little ways and make the wire ridged, this results in future failures because the wire that was designed to be flexible is hard and breaks or chafes.
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