Question about 2008 Ford F-150

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Ford 2008 F150-4.6 auto trans, column shift. Radio, mirrors, windows, gauges, dome lights quit. Headlights, tail & stop lights work. Battery 12.6 volts disconnected. 14.2 connected and running.

Is this a common problem? Has 160,000 miles. 1 owner, no accidents.

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  • Ford Master
  • 14,084 Answers

First Zach , you need to know how all this thing's work ! The gauges get info over serial data bus from SJB - smart junction box which gets the info from the PCM - engine computer . All this is designed to cut down on wiring , Coolant temp . fuel gauge sending unit , vehicle speed sensor , tach etc. are all inputs to the PCM .The PCM sends this info on the C.A.N. data bus where the instrument cluster microprocessor reads the data and moves the gauges ! The light's also are controlled by the SJB -body computer . The light's are PWM pulse width modulated - How to Diagnose Controller Area Network CAN The first place is to start by hooking up a diagnostic scan tool an check for DTC'S diagnostic trouble codes . The last Ford i had in my bay was a 2006 explorer . had this type problem , had U codes communication problems . Vehicle needed a new SJB $899 buck's an then it had to be programmed , another $300 .This is something you need to take to a qualified repair shop . Who know how it works and what to check and how to check it .
It could be as simple as a lose ground wire . But are you prepaired to take the instrument panel out to get to it .

Posted on Dec 08, 2016

Testimonial: "Jeff gave a very thorough and concise commentary on my problem. Much Appreciated!"

  • 8 more comments 
  • Zachary Patrick
    Zachary Patrick Dec 08, 2016

    Thank you Jeff. I'm not a mechanic, but this is roughly, the answer I expected. Obviously, I've checked fuses, battery connections, ect. I checked the instrument cluster plugs & sockets for moisture & corrosion. Also removed the cluster & peaked for the same things. $1200 isn't in the budget this week. I see others have bought clusters used & solved similar problems, but no one has mentioned the junction box. It must be pretty smart for $900. I'm guessing a code reader at O'Reilly of Auto Zone will tell the tale. Thanks again for your help!

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    The o'riley part store i don't know , autozone i do , there scan tool only will communicate with the PCM - engine computer ? Those prices i mentioned are ford factory parts . There are places on the internet where you can get PCM'S , BCM'S , SJB for a lot less . But the Programming is about $300

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    http://www.autoecmstore.com/

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    I'm just telling you the worst case scenario , doesn't mean that your ford needs all that ! Having it check for codes at a parts store may or may not lead you in the right diagnostic path .If they come up with a U code , this is for a communication problem !

  • Zachary Patrick
    Zachary Patrick Dec 08, 2016

    Just read the link to Diagnosis of can. Been down this road with Digital radio systems. I had no idea! This looks more like a dealer problem now. I assume the truck is safe to drive temporarily until I can get it into a shop?

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    Honestly i really don't think they have the tool that will communicate with the smart junction box . Well good luck and i hope it turns out to be simple .

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    You having any problems starting it ? And it runs ok ? A lot of these type problems turn it to the vehicle won't start , the engine won't crank etc...

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    A bad module will bring down the Data bus , no communication's between modules . These vehicle modules are so interconnected the littles problem will shut down the vehicle .I have seen a lose ground for a control module cause all kinds of electrical problems ! Tighten the ground and it's good to go ! Well again good luck !

  • Zachary Patrick
    Zachary Patrick Dec 08, 2016

    Starts and runs great, but "flying blind'"

  • Jeff Armer Dec 08, 2016

    That's not good , flying blind

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