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  1. #1

    Angry 2003 GTX Ltd - Christine Electrical issue - intermittent power without key

    Hello all…lurking for a while, but first post. I have a 2003 GTX 4-Tec LTD with a NEW electrical issue. Ski has been working fine, but after running the other day, flushing the motor and spraying off, electrical power is being supplied intermittently (about every 10-15 seconds) to the fuel pump, TOPS, and (I think) the throttle body, without the DESS key being installed. It's reacting the same as if the DESS key is put on the post, but no beeps and no gauge activation. Power is supplied long enough for the TOPS valve to activate, the fuel pump pressurizes the system, and something else happens around the throttle body, then shuts off (I can hear the TOPS valve disengage after 5-10 seconds). I've already completely disconnected the DESS post, so I know it's not that. Is there a relay somewhere that could have salt water in it, causing an intermittent electrical connection? Ski appears to be fine with the key on the post, but the weird phantom electrical connection with the key off is going to drain the battery.

    I've already disconnected and re-greased a bunch of connections with no luck (and I think in the process fried my CAPS sensor because I had the key installed…now I have a P0344 fault as well). The only way I can get it to stop is to disconnect one of the 2 main harnesses from the MPEM, or disconnect the negative terminal.

    Appreciate any assistance to cast out the electrical demons...

  2. #2
    krouchchocolate's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    Houston, TX
    Seems like a bad dess post

  3. #3
    I've already disconnected the DESS post though (left both connectors from the steering column hanging), and power is still being supplied...

  4. #4
    Kosh's Avatar
    Join Date
    Sep 2007
    My guess is you have some corrosion/water issues in the canbus circuit connectors. Check the connector between the two harnesses for a start.

  5. #5
    captain slow Turbo Retro's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2007
    Australia - perth
    check dess post connectors, the ecu switches the ground in the models with mpem. my guess is you are having sonething shorting out dess post connection to ecu.
    get manuals and verify pins..

  6. #6
    Thanks for the replies so far. I've been using compressed air to blow out every connection I can get to. I agree that there's probably something shorting out the DESS circuit to either the ECU or MPEM (I have the manual, but haven't studied the wiring diagram yet). Curiously, the short appears to be cyclical - it applies power exactly every 15 seconds.

  7. #7
    I had something slightly similar when the starter solenoid went out. With the key off the post is was still powering things in the ski. Mine was constant though.

  8. #8

    Fixed (mostly)

    Found out where the short was…must've been some salt water in the #2 AMP plug on the MPEM, where the blk/yel wire from the DESS post comes in. Loosened the back of the connector and blasted the heck out of it with contact cleaner. Works like a champ...

    Now to wait on the new cam sensor to come in...

    Thanks for the advice from those who posted!

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