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James
James, Ford Technician
Category: Ford
Satisfied Customers: 3613
Experience:  Ford Senior Master Tech, Ford gas and diesel expert, ASE Certified
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1999 f-550 bucket truck. SES light stays on all the time.

Customer Question

1999 f-550 bucket truck. SES light stays on all the time. First start it idles and revs fine. Drive a quarter mile or idle a while goes into limp mode. No codes found. Remember this sits and idles for long periods of time so the bucket can work. Thought maybe the exaust piece might be plugged. 7.3 diesel.
JA: Do you have a scan tool to read the codes?
Customer: yes. no codes read.
JA: What is the model of your '99 Ford?
Customer: f-550
JA: Are you hoping to fix this yourself? What have you tried so far?
Customer: Is this generic messages.
JA: Anything else you think the mechanic should know?
Customer: Read the first list I sent
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Ford Mechanic about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 9 months ago.
Category: Ford
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

Hello, you don't show any codes but the SES light is on all of the time?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
SES light used to come on every once in awhile and would run rough. Now it stays on and starts running rough after awhile. Like when it warms up.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My one mechanic friend says I'm using a wrong reader.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.
If it communicates it should read codes. If you unplug the icp sensor is there oil on the connector?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry to be so illiterate in this where is the ICP sensor
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No oil on the ICP
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.
Sorry it is on the driver side of the engine. When it goes into limp mode will it only idle? When it does run does it run good?
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Maybe a little more than idle. Runs real rough like only 4 cylinders or hitting. When it runs good runs like normal revs up no Miss
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

That sounds like a loose valve cover harness under the valve cover. It would cause the SES to be on but not always show up on the scan tool with codes. This is because the IDM is the item seeing the codes. Once this engine gets a couple of cylinders misfiring it will see to have almost no power at all.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Is there a easy way to test which side
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

The easiest way would be to perform an injector self test if your scan tool can perform this function. If not you can unplug one side harness at a time when its running rough. The side that doesn't change very much is going to be the side the issue is on.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok. I will try. First I have to get it running rough.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

If you wiggle each harness while plugged in you might be able to make it run rough also.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok. Took off drivers side valve cover. Looks like whatever. How do we shim or tighten the connection.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.
Looks like whatever? If there is oil in the connector I would replace the connector. You can use a zip tie to secure it tightly so it doesn't come loose again.
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
It appears that the gasket and connector are one peice. A zip tie would not interfere with the seal?
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.
If the wires are molded into the connector these are Dorman valve cover gaskets. The Ford connectors separate from the valve cover gaskets. The Dorman parts are poor quality and I would replace with Ford parts of it were me
Customer: replied 9 months ago.
They were ford. Just got a new cover gasket this morning. After I install it I can give you a update. Is there anything special I should know or just put it all back the same way. There seems like a lot of oil inside the turbo and intercooler piping?
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

Do you have photos of the oil? There is nothing special you need to do besides reassemble and make sure the connectors are fully seated.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Ok. Put in new valve gasket thought that was it. Same thing run it about a quarter mile starts running rough. Still no codes. SES light on now I notice the od light is blinking. It may have been before.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

With the vehicle is running will any codes show?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
No codes. Had some water in the bottom of the fuel bowl cleaned it out. Now seems to be running worse
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

It could be a fuel pressure concern if you found water. It could just be a bad tank of fuel that had a lot of water in it as well.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Sorry. Nothing resolved. Now it runs rough right from the git go. Still no codes. SES light stays on still. Put in some Heet if there was water.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

I'm sorry but I will opt out and see if any other expert has any ideas. At this point I would be using a scan tool to test the IDM to see if it is bad

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I also have a 97 f350 7.0 can I switch the IDM with the 99 to see if that works.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

If you have a good working IDM I would swap it over and see if it makes a difference.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
my 97 and 99 interchange?
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

yes the IDM off of the 97 will work to test on the 99

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Nice.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

If you want to try it and let me know.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
Okay here's what's strange. Put the good one from the 97 (icm) into the 99. Started and revs pretty good. Seems lIke a little miss. Have not taken for a drive yet. But I took the one from the 99 and stuck in the 97 and it seems to run fine also.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

did you test the passenger side connector at the valve cover yet?

Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

I've seen an IDm work in one vehicle but not another for some odd reason

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I tested it that time it led me to beleive the drivers side was bad. When it was running rough I pulled the the pass side and it died. I pulled the drivers side and nothing changed. This is why I figured it must be the drivers side valve gasket. Wrong.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

So it is the passenger side that is bad?

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I would say the passenger side is the good side. And the driver side is the weak side. So do you think I should pull up the 97 ICM or do you think that the little Miss might be caused from a being of the wrong year
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

Its running better but still has a slight miss. If that is the case if could be from an injector that has failed.

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
My microphone copy that wrong. Can I Boltthe icm from the 97 into the 99 and it be ok. I will use the one from the 99 in the 97 till it completely dies. I just don't want the difference in years to hurt other things
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

no damage will occur with swapping the IDMs

Customer: replied 9 months ago.
I'm going to take it for a drive in the morning before I lose contact with you. Thanks for the great help.
Expert:  James replied 9 months ago.

you are welcome. Please remember to rate my answer so I receive credit for assisting you.