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Old 01-24-2020, 02:24 PM   #1
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Default ECM Swap

As many have read my last few posts, I've had a long stretch of trial and error with getting my o2 sensor to read voltage properly. I believe I have narrowed it down to being an ecm (ecu) issue and have been reading a few threads regarding ecm swapping. I understand that at the end of the day the ecm needs to be programmed to my vehicle specifically, which can be done by cloning a new ecm from my current ecm. But before I go down another rabbit hole, I wanted to try and confirm that it is without doubt my ecm, without sending it out for testing and spending $$$.

I have a neighbor with a parts van same year as mine, If I pull his ecm, skreem and key and put it in my van would it at least run? Would a different key fit in my ignition or secondly would my key work at all if the new key doesn't fit?

Reading previous posts this is what I'm kind of working off of

Quote:
Originally Posted by autostaretx View Post
If i read between many posts correctly, i believe you can swap it...
IF...
(a) you also swap the SKREEM along with it (they know each other)
(b) which means that the RFID key has to follow along with them
(c) you accept the fact that the ECU/ECM is going to have the injector codes from the "donor" sprinter, so it won't run as efficiently as it might (until you give the "new" ECU the injector codes from the Sprinter it's now sitting in)

..and there may be more "if"s

--dick

Are there any more "ifs" that can be confirmed, or any issues with my logic that I should avoid wasting my time? A new ecm from SOS Diagnostics is $785 programmed; if I provide a used one its $285. Bench testing is minimum $200, so I guess that's what I'm trying to save here if I can do it myself.
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Old 01-24-2020, 02:55 PM   #2
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Default Re: ECM Swap

Assuming the van has the same engine, yes. Note that you don't need the mechanical part of the key, you need the transponder chip. If you are careful you can remove the transponder from your current key, and just hold his key near the ignition during the start process.

You will need to swap the ECM and the SKREEM module.

I have not tried it, but I suspect that if you have 2 transponder chips near the antenna at the same time, the SKREEM won't be able to read them.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:07 PM   #3
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Default Re: ECM Swap

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Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
Assuming the van has the same engine, yes. Note that you don't need the mechanical part of the key, you need the transponder chip. If you are careful you can remove the transponder from your current key, and just hold his key near the ignition during the start process.

You will need to swap the ECM and the SKREEM module.

I have not tried it, but I suspect that if you have 2 transponder chips near the antenna at the same time, the SKREEM won't be able to read them.
I guess I could get a copy of my key cut at ace, that way I'm not fumbling with removing a transponder and what not. Obviously it would only be needed for these testing purposes, and as a backup if I ever get locked out.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:16 PM   #4
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Default Re: ECM Swap

You may be able to wrap the base of your key with aluminum foil a couple times. That would possibly allow you to avoid removing the chip or cutting another key.
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:20 PM   #5
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Default Re: ECM Swap

Hypothetically if I were to swap the transponder chips in the key, are there any other issues, besides injector coding, that would keep me from utilizing the donor ecu without reprogramming?
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Old 01-24-2020, 03:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: ECM Swap

The only differences might be cruise, or AC. As far as I know, you will still be able to drive. Even with the injector coding not matching, you will want to avoid driving it hard.

The transponder only needs to be present during the start sequence. After that it doesn't need to be read by the SKREEM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:23 PM   #7
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Default Re: ECM Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by GC1234 View Post
Hypothetically if I were to swap the transponder chips in the key, are there any other issues, besides injector coding, that would keep me from utilizing the donor ecu without reprogramming?
The van will drive fine. If you have factory remote keyless entry, that will NOT work with the swapped ECM (until it is reprogrammed by SOS). Note the following issues that may not work if you have a mismatch between the donor ECM and your van, but will not prevent you from driving:

- If new ECM wheelbase is different from your van you will get a wheelbase mismatch error between the ECM and instrument cluster and the ESP and ABS will not work (the three dash lights will come on) and you will get a wheelbase mismatch error code stored. You can change the wheelbase coding with a Xentry clone if you have one - no need to send anything out to get this fixed.

- Air conditioning, cruise control and high idle are SCN coded. You probably don't care about high idle, and I am not sure if any North American Sprinters did NOT have A/C, but if you get an ECM without A/C coded your A/C won't work. A Xentry clone will NOT be able to change this (without complicated work arounds)

- The injector coding will be different, but this makes absolutely no difference as far as I can tell. You can change the coding with a Xentry clone in about 5 minutes without sending your ECM out.

If you run into trouble with the RFID chip key, you can pull the lock cylinder out of the ignition in about 2 minutes (its super easy). Ideally, get the lock cylinder from the donor van along with the ECM, SKREEM, and key - again it is super easy to get the lock cylinder out - 5 minutes tops. That way you can use the donor key without worrying about Frankensteining two keys together.

If you do decide to go with SOS, I have nothing but good things to say about their ECM service. They set everything up for your van and it plugs in and works and comes with a warranty. They test everything on their mule van before shipping it to you, and turnaround is only one or two days.

Edit: I think you already understand the key issue. Unless your lock cylinder is worn out you wont be able to use the new key in your van. Your options are:

Get a non chip key cut, and tape the donor chip key to it like this: ---O O--- (the donor key backwards with the chip taped to the part of the key you twist.
Swap the chip in the keys (I have no idea how you would do this as my chip keys don't look to be disassembleable)
Remove the lock cylinder and turn the lock with a screwdriver while holding the donor chip nearby
Swap lock cylinders and use the donor key normally
There are a few other ways you could dream up, but these are the easiest

One other note, I had a bad ground connection at the ECM to harness connection - it was super hard to diagnose as everything buzzed out normally - the problem was only present when the connector was seated. This pin was a ground supplied by the ECM and the proof was back probing the ECM connector and supplying ground to that wire - then the sensor waveform became normal. My fix was to slightly bend the pin in the ECM to make contact with the socket in the harness. That worked very reliably, although I did eventually replace the whole engine wiring harness for other reasons.

Last edited by 99sport; 01-24-2020 at 08:35 PM.
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Old 01-24-2020, 08:52 PM   #8
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Default Re: ECM Swap

Quote:
Originally Posted by Midwestdrifter View Post
...

I have not tried it, but I suspect that if you have 2 transponder chips near the antenna at the same time, the SKREEM won't be able to read them.
Maybe, but I think not.

Someone who glued a chip to the antenna ring reported that the other chipped key still worked even with two each chips near the ring. That said, both of those chips were programmed to the Sprinter.

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Old 01-24-2020, 09:12 PM   #9
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Default Re: ECM Swap

If you have a flip-key (the remote entry fob), you can easily separate the blade from the fob by pressing out a small roll-pin.
The roll pin can be seen from the side when the blade is in the half-way position.

This would let you use your blade in your ignition slot, but hold the donor Sprinter's fob close to the bezel ring.

If your Sprinter is 2004 or newer, in theory the injector coding should be told to the ECM ... but for test-running, it won't affect the "will/won't" run test.

--dick
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Old 01-26-2020, 12:25 AM   #10
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Default Re: ECM Swap

Your ecm Rke key swap would eliminate your ecm as the 02 sensor culprit. I have yet to see an ecm failure. Not saying it doesn’t happen. Curious as to what your exact 02 issue is. The wiring running across the turbo shield sometimes gets damaged and can create the issue. Getting the immobilizer to read the donor key with your ignition would just depend on if your donor van is a fob or just a key. I’m sure you can find a way to get the antenna to read the transponder without cutting out the chip or cutting a key, there’s some good suggestions above. ive have mismatched transponder next to matched ones before and haven’t had a problem. For testing purposes, none of the vin, wheelbase or injector mismatches will matter.
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