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Discussion Starter #1
I'm headed out to a friends stranded 03 Ford F350 Super Duty with the infamous 6.0 Powerstroke. The instrument cluster died least night and today all electrical systems died right before the engine quit. I'm guessing the computer-controlled charging system quit at the same time the instrument cluster did. Another friend checked all the fuses last night and found all of them good. The owner is deployed right now so I'm going to go see if I can help fix it. Any ideas?

I'm thinking a good battery will get it started running again but not fix the problem.
 

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GTT's Pilot in Command (PIC)
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Maybe there is a short in the wiring, from a rubbed or chewed exposed location? Would be a lot easier to deal with than a computer issue. Of course, I am not telling you anything you haven't already thought of.
 

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Without good batteries and proper charging, nothing will work. If you think the batteries are dead, he probably just has a charging issue or battery issue and that's it. How many miles on the truck? Is it stock? Dual alternators or one?
 

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Discussion Starter #5
I replaced one of the dead batteries with a new one, disconnected the other just to get it off the side of the interstate. After getting it somewhere I could safely work on it and further troubleshooting we found out the cluster on this truck turns the alternator on. All the fuses visually checked good and checked good with a meter. With a dead cluster the alternator won't charge, so I rigged a jumper that bypasses the cluster and turns the alternator on with the bonus of back-feeding the cluster. Still don't know why the cluster is dead from the factory harness. I believe the cluster has an internal fault. Without a wiring diagram, I'm guessing. So as of right now the truck runs and drives normal, but with this jumper installed as a band-aid...
 

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Check the battery cable connections and for any fusible links that may be corroded and / or burned. Also, check for water intrusion into the ECM. These vehicles had wiring harness issues around the vale covers at the FICM / fuel injection control module. Harness chaffing is not uncommon. Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter #7
Check the battery cable connections and for any fusible links that may be corroded and / or burned. Also, check for water intrusion into the ECM. These vehicles had wiring harness issues around the vale covers at the FICM / fuel injection control module. Harness chaffing is not uncommon. Good luck!
Great tip! Found zero visual evidence of problems with the fusible links. The engine ran fine even considering it's the infamous 6.0 Power Stroke. Lots of internet forum chatter pointed to a wiring harness chaffing around the shifter on the steering column, checked that, not an issue here. So far no real issues found other than bum batteries.
 

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Official "Groovie" Dude
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Check Fuse #6, 10A, which supplies power to the sensing and switching circuits inside the alternator via the orange/lt blue wire on the alternator connector. If you don't have voltage there, the alt either won't work at all or won't know what to do.

Another fuse under the inst panel (#29, 5 A) powers the battery side of the charge indicator circuit for comparison between the battery voltage and alternator output. That fuse is hot in Start or Run and actually turns on the alternator.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
Check Fuse #6, 10A, which supplies power to the sensing and switching circuits inside the alternator via the orange/lt blue wire on the alternator connector. If you don't have voltage there, the alt either won't work at all or won't know what to do.

Another fuse under the inst panel (#29, 5 A) powers the battery side of the charge indicator circuit for comparison between the battery voltage and alternator output. That fuse is hot in Start or Run and actually turns on the alternator.
All fuses look and tested good. The cluster isn't working and isn't sending the needed voltage to the alternator. After feeding the circuit with a jumper, the alternator starts to charge and the cluster comes to life. All signs at this point are pointing to the cluster or a wire between the fuse panel and the cluster. The owner is now back in town and going to troubleshoot further this weekend.
 

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Discussion Starter #11 (Edited)
I have no idea what fuse number it is. The owner has the truck back. We jumped from a 12v switched source under the hood to the lead on the alternator that comes from the cluster. Once jumped, the alternator charges and the cluster comes to life.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Owner texted me this pic.

ImageUploadedByTapatalk1377134294.995454.jpg

It's the tow/haul button wiring that runs down the shifter and lays on top of the steering column. Still haven't found any other problems yet. Repairing the wires haven't repaired the problem yet.
 
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