1997 F150, Changing The GEM Module, Window & Wipers Inop

This 1997 Ford F150 needs the GEM module changed due to multiple conditions. To see testing that lead to this repair please click here. The GEM module is located at the rear of the interior fuse box.

The first step is to remove the trim panel that covers the gap between the upper side of the steering column and the dash. It just unsnaps from the dash. It makes it a little easier to remove if you move the shifter all the way down to drive 1.

With that out of the way the lower dash cover can now be removed. Most of the screws have 7 mm heads but there are two that have 8 mm heads.

Those two are at the lower edge of the fuse box.

One wiring harness needs to be disconnected from the panel.

Now the screws for the fuse box can be removed.

The wiring harnesses can be removed from the back of the fuse box. Two 10 mm headed bolts at the center of each connector.

Next remove the tube brace from around the bottom of the steering column. Four fasteners with 13 mm heads.

Now wiggle, pry and twist the fuse box and GEM module assembly down.

After the assembly is down far enough unplug the remaining harness connectors from the GEM module.

Almost there.

The assembly is now free of the vehicle.

The GEM module is held to the back of the fuse box by three phillips headed screws.

Easy to remove Now.

With the three screws removed the GEM unplugs from the back of the fuse box.

I put it all back together and checked my repair for power to the driver’s power window switch.


208 discussions on “1997 F150, Changing The GEM Module, Window & Wipers Inop”

  1. I have a 1997 f150. The GEM module that my truck required was discontinued. Can’t find it anywhere. My windshield wipers don’t work. Took to my local mechanic and he direct wired my wipers and installed a toggle switch. Took him about a hour. Cost me $75. Alot cheaper than buying a gem module, if I could of found one too.

  2. According to the wiring diagram the starter is not controlled by the GEM. It is common though for the fuse box to get water inside of it and bridge circuits that will engage the starter. Check fuse #21 for power when the starter issue is present. There should only be power on that fuse with the ignition in the crank position.

  3. After driving my 97 expedition on a Rainey / snowy day. Later I heard my truck trying to turn over in the garage. I went outside the radio was on, the wipers were on and the truck was trying to turn over. I disconnected the battery and a few days later hooked it back up. The wiper and radio problem went away but after a few seconds I could hear a relay click and the engine would try to turn over. I can start the truck but every few seconds the starter will engage. This problem is now two weeks old.

    My question is … Does the gem engage the starter or is it the fuse panel or a specific relay I should check? If so which relay? And if I have to replace the fuse panel or gem can I get one from a salvage yard if they have the same serial number? If there are any other tips or tricks that you think might help with further diagnostics or fixing the problem please let me know.

  4. Although some of the systems are the same, yours is quite different from the common failures associated with the GEM and fuse box. I would first start by checking all fuses and ground points. Then depending on the tools you have available and your skill level, I would probably start with the blower issue as it may be the simplest to diagnose.

  5. Glad to see you are still replying to people with questions. I am having some issues and you seem to be quite knowledgeable on the matter.

    2003 F-150 5.4L Heritage Edition.

    Started out not being able to shift into 4×4. Light would come and and I’d hear clicking in the switch if I was in Neutral or Park, but would not engage. If I shifted to Drive or Reverse, light would go out.

    Then, driver side window would roll down, but not up, unless I put it in Neutral or Park.

    Also, blower would not turn off with key removed and door shut unless I manually flipped the control switch to the off position. Same for the overhead thermometer/compass.

    Finally, so far anyway… I heard a sizzling noise from down by the interior fuse box, but no signs of smoke or any electrical burning smell. Today, everything seemed to work as it should, but when I pull the key out of the ignition, there would be a bunch of clicking coming from the fuse block. No distinct pattern to the clicking, just random fast and slow, spaced out, quick, etc.

    Thanks for any ideas Sparky!

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