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98 GS ECU Internal Damage Identification Help Needed

Posted by bmxunderground, Nov 17, 2013

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  1. bmxunderground

    bmxunderground Proven Member

    Joined Dec 11, 2007
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Back story: Purchased a 98 5spd Eclipse a month back to use as a daily driver. Everything worked flawlessly. Front end was misaligned due to a previous collision. A business acquaintance offered to help me get the frame pulled. Took off all front panels, removed battery but left ECU under the hood and they towed it away. 3 weeks later the car is dropped off, I put the battery in and the car doesn't start, Radio doesn't power on and there is a short that has developed blowing the heather fuse when key is switched on.

    The tow driver mentioned to me that the guys at the shop tried to put a battery in my car and start it to drive it up on the rack and that it didn't start for them. By the way they were acting when I questioned them, I feel like they must have installed a battery backwards, or jumped a battery backward and fried something. This is all just speculation so I'm in the process of testing things now.

    I'm not getting power where the ECU should be sending it so I decided to look for physical damage inside the ECU. Not once in 12 years of working with the 420a have I ever had a fried ECU (over 30 owned) so cracking this case is a first for me. The only thing I see is shown in the picture below. Can any of you identify this part through the potting?

    It looks like a component has leaked/exploded and released a chemical that has actually cut its way to the surface of the potting. If anyone here is advanced in their understanding of the internals shown here, please shoot me some insight.

  2. VelocitàPaola

    VelocitàPaola Moderator

    Joined Jun 14, 2005
    Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
    I'd guess that a capacitor failed, but I admit that I don't know for sure. You could carefully carve the potting compound using an X-acto knife to identify the part. You'll have to do this anyway if a repair is possible. In the mean time, I'll try to see if I can identify the part in one of my ECU's here.

    1K  21

    1995 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    manual · 2G DSM
  3. bmxunderground

    bmxunderground Proven Member

    Joined Dec 11, 2007
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    Just the person I was hoping would chime in. I do plan to carefully strip out the potting. I'm glad a soft polyurethane potting compound was used. It makes the board much more serviceable, and helps in situations like this for us to see down to the board as well for potential problems.

    In the meantime, if you can get to one of your for reference on the part from my photos, I would appreciate it!
  4. Slo2gen

    Slo2gen Proven Member

    Joined Apr 26, 2005
    Spartanburg, South Carolina
    Does your fuse continue to pop if the ecu is disconnected? Its possible when they where pulling the frame straight that it pinched a wire and its grounding out causing the issue and depending on what else was in the harness that it pinched caused the ECU issue.

    2K  0

    1998 Mitsubishi Eclipse N/T
    420 whp · 365.0 lb/ft · 2G DSM
  5. bmxunderground

    bmxunderground Proven Member

    Joined Dec 11, 2007
    Bowling Green, Kentucky
    They stated that the car didn't start when they put a battery in after the car arrived. I wasn't there so I don't know what happened. I do know they left the car out in the open weather for a few days with no hood on. I'm assuming that they shorted something related to trying to start the car. As far as during pulling, I can't see any apparent evidence of damage to any wire loom. I'm tracking down what I can each day after work to get down to the bottom of things.

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