1993 2.3L with codes 224 & 513


HighMileage93

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Need some advice on how to go about fixing this issue. I am getting codes 116 & 114 also but I think that is due to checking while the engine was cold.
Getting code 998 as well which I think means the truck is running in default mode.
Truck started cranking sluggish and if it is REALLY cold it wont start. Battery connections are tight. Previously, after starting in cold weather, the truck would die when it tried to idle down as it warmed. It would restart and run just fine after that.
Code 998 - Internal Voltage Failure PCM
Code 224 - SPOUT Circuit Open

Need any help I can get. Thanks.

Update: Checked codes again after warming engine and checking for corrosion on EEC relay and fuse. Only got the 224 code. Waited a minute and checked again, got 513 and 224. Cleared codes and tried again and got 513 but no 224. ????
 
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RonD

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A Battery's sole purpose is to start the engine
Batteries use a chemical reaction to store and release energy.
Chemical reactions slow down as temperatures go down, so a good battery at 60degF can be a bad battery at 30degF.

Cold starter motor and thicker engine oil also need more amperage to get turning so double whammy in colder climates.

So first check battery voltage with engine off
12.3volts is the lowest you want to see, at 12.2volts battery can only hold 50% charge on a WARM day, as temp drops so will available amps.
New battery with fresh chemicals inside can store and release more amps
As it gets older the chemicals get used up and stored amps start to fade away
12.8volts is a new battery
12.5v is about 3-4 years old
12.3v is 5-6 years old, and time to shop for battery sale

Start engine
You are now running solely on alternator power, 13.5volts to 14.9volts, battery is being recharged and not powering anything.
Test voltage at battery with engine running
Just after starting alternator's voltage regulator will be sending out 14.5 to 14.9 volts
Then after about 5-10 minutes voltage will drop down to 13.5volts.
Above 14volts long term will ruin a 12 volt battery, the initial 14volts recharges battery quickly in case you need to restart engine, the 13.5volts keeps battery charged without "cooking it" long term.
Head lights dimming at idle means alternator is starting to fail, 1 of it's 3 fields has failed.


1993 2.3l will use an Ignition control module(ICM) located on the front of the intake manifold.
SPOUT(spark out) is the wire between computer and ICM, computer uses this wire to advance and retard spark timing.
ICM can run spark on its own, but performance would be sluggish without computer input to change spark timing.

ICM for the 2.3l engine did have known problems, but most auto parts stores can test these, and usual problems were wires at the ICM getting frayed or damaged
 
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HighMileage93

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Update: I tested the ICM and it is working fine so the Spout circuit open code is a mystery. I was getting a battery voltage of 9.52 so I had it tested and it is bad. It will still crank the engine (slowly and for extended time) and start. I now am left wondering if the voltage drain during cranking with this bad battery is causing the "internal voltage failure PCM" code. Will have to see if I can get another week out of this battery (payday) and go from there. I'll clear the codes and see if they come back.
 

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Get out the butter & jelly. That battery is toast...

You may be able to limp along by connecting and using a battery charger to put as much into the battery as it will hold. or not.
An alternate source of batteries are 'recycling yards', aka junkyard or boneyards. Sometimes a relatively new battery will come in on something that was towed or wrecked leaving the battery intact. They should sell at less than 1/2 the price of a new battery, unless they provide a warranty of some sort.
A new battery currently comes close to twice what it was before, cause unknown to me when all else did not inflate so much. Well, tires doubled also during the same time frame.
What ever you do, do NOT leave the battery loose in its tray. That is a sure way to kill it as it will vibrate, shake rattle and roll around over every bump in the road, causing the plates to lose their 'paste', and short out the cell(s).
tom
 

HighMileage93

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Ok, new battery is in. The old one was a Federated brand that was installed in 2003. Cleared the codes by pulling the jumper wire while it was displaying codes. Still getting code 224 (SPOUT circuit open) but the "Internal Voltage Failure PCM" code is gone. I checked the ICM with a test light to make sure the coils were getting signal and they are. I guess I could check them again to be sure. I'm not sure now if I was getting the same color light on every wire.
 

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The SPOUT signal is generated by the ICM. There is/should be a connector with a removable jumper located near the ICM. That wire carries SPOUT. At least it does in distributor equipped engines. The SPOUT is to be disconnected, the jumper removed, when setting static or base engine timing to 10BTDC. Once the timing is set, the SPOUT jumper is re-inserted, and SPOUT signal now goes to the ECM. Without the SPOUT, timing is set and kept at a base 10BTDC(I think) which makes the engine sort of gutless and it will use more fuel.
On older trucks, the SPOUT was a rectangular shaped socket & plug that hung loose(outside) from the bundle of wires from the drivers side inner fender to the engine. It was pretty visible.
If you can't find it, or it is gone(squirrels seem to like to eat the socket on older ones), get a wiring diagram and find the two connectors by color code on the insulation. You can use other connectors to re-attach and re-enable SPOUT signal once again. I did so after the critters ate the plug & housing.(truly) They also ate or chewed on the temp gauge and oil pressure sender wires...
tom
 

HighMileage93

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Changed plugs and wires today, not an easy task on this engine. I also re-tested the signals to the coils with my test light. The test light was clipped to the positive battery terminal per instructions in my Haynes manual. Both wires on the front (secondary) coil were flashing green. On the rear (primary) coil however, one flashed green and the other flashed red. I am not that experienced with a test light so I am wondering if that is pointing toward a polarity issue in the ICM?
 
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my check engine light came on around this time last year, 224 code, I also had gotten an explorer gauge cluster for the tach. Tach never would read right, I finally ended up replacing both coils and plugs and wires. Still getting 224 code, last resort, replaced ICM. fixed the CEL and tach reads correctly. If you end up going this direction and get a new ICM, make sure you do not use regular dielectric grease on it, there is a heat sink compound you can get from Autozone, part # SL203.
 

RonD

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Yes, ICMs were known problem point on these 1994 and earlier 2.3l engines.
In 1995 Ford switch to a new larger computer with built-in ICM, seemed to solve that issue.
 

HighMileage93

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At 10deg this morning truck will crank all day but not fire. Once the temp climbs above 20deg it will start with no problem. Battery is not an issue. Starting fluid did nothing so I am thinking ignition. Coil packs are original and the ICM is probably 15years+/- old.
 

HighMileage93

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23deg this morning and I barely hit the key and it fired right up. Yesterday, it was 15deg and it would just crank but I could smell unburnt fuel.
 

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UPDATE** Ran some tests this morning. Coils are in spec but the exhaust side 1-4 is not getting the switching signal from the ICM. Will be shopping for a new Ignition Control Module soon.
 

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Thanks for the update.
 

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If you have the dual plug system, the drivers side plugs are not required for starting, and are not fired all the time, so looking for signal while cranking or perhaps at idle may be going down the wrong track. I would use a timing light clamped onto one of the plug wires to see if they fired, but don't know the 'when' or proper speed, etc for them to start working.
IOW, just because they are not at work engine running at idle is NOT an indicator of failure.
tom
 

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If you have the dual plug system, the drivers side plugs are not required for starting, and are not fired all the time, so looking for signal while cranking or perhaps at idle may be going down the wrong track. I would use a timing light clamped onto one of the plug wires to see if they fired, but don't know the 'when' or proper speed, etc for them to start working.
IOW, just because they are not at work engine running at idle is NOT an indicator of failure.
tom
The was true from 1989 to 1994 on the dual plug 2.3l with external ICU, only exhaust side spark plugs/coil were active when starter motor was engaged
Intake side started working above 400RPM

1995 and up had the newer computer with internal ICU and all spark plugs worked, so both coil packs, when cranking
 


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