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Front Control Module (FCM)

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  #1  
Old 08-26-2009, 10:11 PM
dude5285 dude5285 is offline
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Default Front Control Module (FCM)

Ok im not sure if this is the right area to post this, but here is my problem i'll make it short. I got pulled over for Running lights being out, i thought ok no problem just a fuse. well nope check all of fuses and relays. All work fine. now i have the tail lamp relay has 3 hots. One hot should be grounded when i turn the switch on for park lamps, but does not. I have done a little searching and have found that the fcm grounds the park lamps so they come on. now if i run my own ground wire to relay lights work, but will not shut off till ground is broken. Now my question is has anyone else had same problems, and if so am i on the right track of the fcm Because its a $300 part and i would hate to be wrong on something i cant return. Oh yea its a 2004 Ram 1500 5.7Hemi Standard cab.
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Old 08-27-2009, 03:54 AM
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abarmby abarmby is offline
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100% this is the Power distribution module........the fuse box to you and I.
This is a common issue and relates to the grounding path you mentioned, being corroded deep within the fuse box.
I did all you mentioned above and used a switched ground flying lead in my cab, to get the running lights working.
I eventually traced out all the gound and input paths to the running lights and discovered this fuse box problem.
Do a search on here and you will find several articles on this very subject.
I personally PM'd several members on here who were somewhat scepticle about the fuse box fix. However, when they changed them out, they all worked as has mine for over 3 years now.
This is still a $250+ part, but it will sort your problems for you.
Hope this helps and has saved you a lot of grief???
Al.
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Last edited by abarmby; 08-27-2009 at 03:56 AM..
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Old 08-27-2009, 05:49 AM
dude5285 dude5285 is offline
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ok so its not the Fcm then, its more then likely the fuse box its self. thats only a stealership part to i bet. called dealership 400 bucks for fusebox.

Last edited by dude5285; 08-27-2009 at 04:59 PM..
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Old 08-28-2009, 08:52 AM
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Yep.........that price sounds high though?
I paid about $270 back in May 2007 in Florida whilst on holiday there.
But, I guess with inflation your price might be right now?
I'd still shop around though.
I do remember at the time, that this part was on a nationwide backorder.
It sounds pricey, but it WILL fix your problem.
There is a way to re-jumper the fuse box to provide another dedicated earth return path I believe. However, I havent tried that but belive with a bit of thought, it can and has been done.
It might save you that $400???
Hope all this helps, and post up when you get things fixed.
Best of luck.
Al.
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Old 08-28-2009, 09:01 AM
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try salvage yard or pick-n-pull or u-wrench-it.
maybe even www.car-part.com
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  #6  
Old 08-29-2009, 12:38 AM
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That's a good idea nim81.
But just be careful your not putting in another faulty unit, as these babys corrode badley.
Al.
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  #7  
Old 09-28-2009, 07:43 PM
jay8833 jay8833 is offline
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I'm having a similar issue. Have an '04 5.7 HEMI. Drivers side headlight only goes with low beams and passsenger side headlight only goes on with high beams. Also 3 out of the 4 blinker lights don't work. Checked all of bulbs with a meter and checked the fuses and relays. Parking, reverse lights and brake lights run fine. Looking at the Haynes wiring diagram all the lights with issues run through the forward control module or front control module (FCM). Paid close to $300 to the stealership and replaced, but still having the same issue. Do I have to re-flash it. Or does this problem also sound like a bad ground with the power distribution module? Any help would be appreciated.
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  #8  
Old 09-28-2009, 08:15 PM
eaglestorm eaglestorm is offline
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you can use a used pdc (fuse box) but not a fcm (ft controll module) fcm is the silver box on the pdc and they come seprate now not all pdc's have fcm's they like to change thing every year. so if your fuses box has a silver module on one end thats the fcm

Last edited by eaglestorm; 10-18-2009 at 04:52 PM..
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2009, 04:35 PM
jay8833 jay8833 is offline
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Update: I finally changed the power distribution center (fuse block) and it finally fixed all of my lighting issues. Apparently there is an issue with the chip boards inside the PDC that are known to corrode. I do not recommend getting one from an auto salvage since those will probably have the same corrosion issue.

There was nothing wrong with the FCM so I re-installed the old one. Unfortunately the dealership does not accept returns on any electronic components. Anyone interested in purchasing a front control module (FCM). Check out ebay links. I have a new one and used one. Part numbers are 56051036 and 56049681.

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Dodge...#ht_500wt_1182

http://cgi.ebay.com/ebaymotors/Dodge...#ht_500wt_1182
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2009, 06:33 PM
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Jay8833, I am having nearly identical issues with my 3500, only my headlamp faults are reversed. So you replaced the PDC, running your original FCM and everything was solved? I don't want to order the wrong part. I am going to call the stealership tomorrow. (not a cheap part).
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2009, 10:10 PM
jay8833 jay8833 is offline
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Make sure to try a working head light bulb first. You don't want to buy a new PDC which costs over $300 and have it not be the problem. Chances are the dealership will not let you return electronics. If you do buy a new PDC, compare all of the fuses and realaylocations from the old PDC to the new PDC. If there are any missing fusses or relay's on the new one then just transfer those specific ones from the old one. I had to transfer at least 3. You can also save all of the old fuses and relays from the old PDC to keep as spares.

Its actually very easy. Took me only 30 min to swap.
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Old 11-01-2009, 09:08 PM
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Just an update:
Installed the new PDC and TA-DA! All lighting faults disappeared. Just in time for inspection. Thanks for your help.
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  #13  
Old 11-02-2009, 09:43 PM
jay8833 jay8833 is offline
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The factory default for the PDC is to have the airbag fuses in the "up" position. If you connected the PDC and the airbag light is on then just open the PDC cover and push down both fuses (obviously while negative battery terminal is disconnected).
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  #14  
Old 11-18-2009, 09:45 PM
2004Ram1500SLT 2004Ram1500SLT is offline
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Default Integrated Control Module/ Front Control Module

I have the same FMC/ICM problem that others are having. My problem is that one of my headlights work and the other doesn't. The light that doesn't work is getting 12 volts at the plug, but the light isn't turning on. This is likely because of the weak ground.

I have replaced my FMC three times and it will work for a year and then one of the headlights will fail. This leads me to believe that I am having corrosion inside the fuse box that you can't see. People have mentioned two options on how to fix the corrosion problem in the fuse box. Option one is to replace the fuse box (expensive option) and option two is to run a seperate ground within the fuse box (cheap option). I can't figure out how to run the new ground wire though. Where does it tie into within the fuse box? Someone mentioned a relay, but which relay and to which prong? There isn't a relay for the headlights? Any help someone could give me would be very helpful. With so many people having the same issues with the FMC/ICM I thought the solution would be easier to find then it has been.
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Old 11-19-2009, 10:01 PM
jay8833 jay8833 is offline
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When you use the meter to test the 12 volts, is the negative of the meter connected to the negative wire of the headlight harness or do you connect it to the chassis of the truck? If you are getting 12 volts through the wires then the bulb is clearly the problem. If you are using the meter with the negative touching the chassis and getting 12 volts then the easiest way would to be just splice the negative wire coming for the headlight harness and connect the other end under any bolt that is connected to the chassy.

When I used the meter to test the headlight power wires, it was varying continuously between 3 and 9 volts constantly. It was all over the place. Also 3 of the 4 signal lights were not working. So my only option was to change the fuse box
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  #16  
Old 11-20-2009, 04:10 AM
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This is all very interesting stuff and takes me back to my old electrical college days.

Personally, I would not use a modern day digital multimeter to chase these transient voltages and current around.
I'd use a quality moving coil, needle style multimeter.
This way, when the meter needle swings either to the right or left, you can easily see a transient. A digital meter cannot display this as easily or readily as a moving coil meter.
As for all the problems with the PDC. I opened one up and found corrosion, all over the place. This corrosion causes a high resistance, stopping the earth return path which the FCM uses to activate/switch on the lights etc.
Hope this helps?
Al.
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Old 11-20-2009, 01:57 PM
2004Ram1500SLT 2004Ram1500SLT is offline
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When I measured the 12 volts, I put my digital meter between the positive and the negative on the plug. I didn't ground it to anything else. I know the ground wire on the headlight is good because the same ground wire is used for both the high and low beams. The high beam works and the low beam doesn't. This basically means that when the FCM goes to try and switch the ground it can't do it.

I pulled the other working headlight (both high and low) and got 12 volts on both high and low beam wires. So on both headlights I got the same voltage.

It just sounds like this corrosion problem. Is there a way to run another ground without tearing appart the fuse box?
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Old 11-22-2009, 12:15 PM
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All right. I took out my existing fuse box (after disconnecting the negative terminal on battery) and cleaned all the connections. There were something like 7 plugs that connect into the bottom of the fuse box. I took out all 7 and blew out the connections. Sprayed a little WD40 (very little) on the connections and put everything back together. I also took the FCM off the side of the box. I didn't put any WD40 on this connection. I didn't put any di-electric grease or other Silcone grease because I didn't have any and I didn't think I would actually accomplish anything.

After putting everthing back together and turning on the truck, my headlights are all now on. I think this is just a temporary and there is still the corrosion inside the fuse box. This will hopefully buy me some time before I have to shell out the $450 to get a new one. I will probably have to get one adventually, but at least I know for sure my problem is the fuse box and I don't have to drop a couple hundred for the local dealership to tell me they think it is the fuse box.
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  #19  
Old 12-04-2009, 12:58 AM
h2ok9 h2ok9 is offline
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I am having similiar problems also but it is my park lights on the drivers side both front and back flash when turn signals are on but don't burn steady. Could problem be the same
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:19 PM
2004Ram1500SLT 2004Ram1500SLT is offline
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Sounds like a weak ground. Since the font and back park lights don't use the same ground wire from the socket, it is likely the ground within the fuse box. Your FCM would seem to be working, or else it wouldn't ever work. It sucks there isn't a way to really know for sure the fuse box is the problem. You can always try disconnecting the battery and blowing out the plugs going into the fuse box. Worked for me. Likely a temporary fix though until the corrision within the box gets worse.
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Old 12-08-2009, 07:19 PM
 
 
 
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02, 1500, 2005, 2008, control, dodge, fcm, fix, front, ground, lamps, location, module, park, ram, tail

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