I have spent another 10 or so hours since we communicated.
I followed your advice and checked all the harnessing (even ohm'd it out and checked continuity). The connectors all looked perfect as in factory new.
I made several more attempts to get the controller to go to the timed cycle (25 minutes) with no luck. Even went to the extreme of completely removing the evap thermistor from the ice machine and locking it into a ziplock bag (not just unplugging it). That is how crazy this has become. The unit persisted in going into an early harvest anywhere from 5 to 10 minutes into the freeze cycle.
I then found a descrepancy between the two side by side wiring diagrams on the wiring data sheet.(W10163556A) on the left hand version the wiring color code for the evap thermistor is shown as RD/WH. On the right hand version it is TN/RD. I thought that the crisscross if bin and evap had to be a major clue. Again, no dice.
I went back to square one and ran the self test diagnostics again, and again everything checked out. It was then that I noticed that the test for the water level 'touch sensor' was correctly showing that the reservoir was full. In the diagnostic cycle the reservoir filled during the test. For some reason I decided to run the touch sensor test again with the reservoir empty. It still showed that the reservoir was full so I then suspected that the touch sensor may be faulty. I have had some experience with hall effect sensors and I always thought they were a little squirrelly.
Very long story way shorter, I eventually disconnected the hall effect 'touch sensor' and now everything is working perfectly.
It appears that the filling of the reservoir is handled completely by the smart valve and even compensates for the selection of cube thickness.
I was planning to order a replacement touch sensor (hell, why not? I've replaced everything else!) but it is pretty expensive and I can not figure out why it is needed. So I guess the only remaining question I have for you is: Why do they even have it in the system. What does it do? and should I replace it?
I wouldn't even ask you this except Kitchenaid and Whirlpool refuse to be of any assistance unless I am an authorized tech (and even some of the 'authorized' techs I've talked to get stonewalled). So I figured you might have access to a decent answer.