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Premium Member
1997 P38 4.6 HSE
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
I am thinking about buying a '97 P38 for US$600 that has a new un-sync'd BECM due to the old one going bad after river forging. First, what do y'all think of this purchase idea? Second, what should I do as precaution before firing it up after two years? I know should try to get rid of crap gas and put some fresh premium non-ethanol in there, but what else? Definitely a battery. Should precaution be taken to protect anything that could be in an age weakened state?

I guess to give more details on the first question, the seller says everything is solid and ran for a year perfect after river forge, but needs brakes and alternator. The electrics were all traced to BECM as the problem. A new unit was purchased from the UK, but sync not attempted. The passenger seat is off and a new becm board is looking at you. The old one is retained. The body is perfect on this, black like my current P38 of same year and sits on mondials, also the same as mine. Spring suspension with unknown state or history of other EAS parts. All else is supposed to be working. It cranks but doesn't start. The immobilizer is disabled. It has roof rack and an OEM brush guard that is rusted through in a spot under cracked foam coating. Interior is one I haven't seen- milk chocolate in color and is pretty dry and smells of past water. Exterior is professionally painted flat black and has zero dents- or at least they were fixed well. I'm still "himming and hawing". I don't necessarily want to go in the parts biz. I'd like to scavenge some and trade others and sell it running.
 

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2,193 Posts
If it cranks it isn't immobilised (you can't disable the immobiliser, only passive immobilisation). Check to make sure the Check Engine light comes on when you put the ignition in position 2, that shows that the engine ECU is being powered by the BeCM. If no Check Engine light it shouldn't crank anyway unless the code needs to be learned. To do that you will need a Nanocom or similar dedicated diagnostics.

As you say, fresh fuel, make sure it has oil and coolant, take the spark plugs out and a squirt of oil down each hole and spin it over on the starter, fresh plugs in and it shouldn't need anything else just to get it running. Once running make sure the oil pressure light goes out immediately it starts.
 

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"what do y'all think of the purchase idea ?" go for it... It was defo fording a river and not the sea.? Once you've got it turning over you may want to check the axle case breathers and drain the diffs
 

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Premium Member
1997 P38 4.6 HSE
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #4
Thanks for the feedback guys. I am getting it tomorrow and should have the RWS Solutions diagnostic and unlock tool running by then. I'll give some feedback as to what happens.
 

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Premium Member
1997 P38 4.6 HSE
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27 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
If it cranks it isn't immobilised (you can't disable the immobiliser, only passive immobilisation). Check to make sure the Check Engine light comes on when you put the ignition in position 2, that shows that the engine ECU is being powered by the BeCM. If no Check Engine light it shouldn't crank anyway unless the code needs to be learned. To do that you will need a Nanocom or similar dedicated diagnostics.

As you say, fresh fuel, make sure it has oil and coolant, take the spark plugs out and a squirt of oil down each hole and spin it over on the starter, fresh plugs in and it shouldn't need anything else just to get it running. Once running make sure the oil pressure light goes out immediately it starts.
Just to clarify... if the truck has a new un-sync'd (code learned) BeCM, it is normal that it is cranking, but not starting?

I may have confused matters by adding some info that I not fully informed about, being the immobilizer situation. I have yet to research and understand how all of that works.
 

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You need a Nanocom or similar. With Ignition on position 2, on the Nanocom you go into GEMS - DIAGNOSTICS INPUTS - ENGINE OTHERS - SECURITY MOBILISED which will probably be showing No. Then go to SECURITY LEARN and set that to ON. Turn the ignition off then back on again. If you then check Security Mobilised it should say Yes and the engine should start.

This assumes the BeCM has been coded for the car and isn't just a random BeCM that has been taken from another car.
 

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+1 on cranking without sparkplugs.
As you say, fresh fuel, make sure it has oil and coolant, take the spark plugs out and a squirt of oil down each hole and spin it over on the starter, fresh plugs in and it shouldn't need anything else just to get it running. Once running make sure the oil pressure light goes out immediately it starts.
I would also change the oil & filter if it's been sitting for while.

With a decent battery, good oil and plugs removed you might even get the oil light to go off during cranking assuming the oil pump is in reasonable condition.
 
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