Testing The Ford EEC Power Relay (Brown Relay)

The EEC Power Relay not only supplies battery voltage to the Fuel Injection Computer (also known as the E.E.C. Electronic Control Assembly), but also supplies power to the fuel injectors, the fuel pump relay, and a few other emissions related solenoids.

The EEC Power Relay is easy to recognize because it's usually a Brown color. If the EEC Power Relay has already been replaced... you can still recognize it by its Brown colored connector.

In this ‘How To Test’ article, I'll show you how to test it on your Ford car or pickup in a step-by-step manner.

Just in case you've ever wondered what the heck the acronym E.E.C. stands for, its: Electronic Engine Control.

For your cross reference information, this article will help you test the following EEC Power Relays:

  1. AutoZone part #:
    1. Duralast 19840
  2. O'reilly part #:
    1. BWD R648
    2. AC Delco F1777A
  3. Others:
    1. STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # RY71T
    2. STANDARD MOTOR PRODUCTS Part # RY71
    3. WELLS Part # 19840

What Tools Do I Need To Test The Relay?

You need a few basic things to test the EEC Power Relay and they are:

  1. Multimeter
    1. A digital or analog multimeter will work.
    2. If you need to buy one or are looking to upgrade, check out my recommendations here: Buying A Digital Multimeter For Automotive Diagnostic Testing.
  2. Wire Piercing Probe
    1. This tool is a time saver of the first order. To see what this tool looks like, click here: Wire Piercing Probe.
  3. Jumper Wires
    1. You'll need two of them with alligator clips on both ends (you can make these yourself).

EEC Power Relay Circuit Descriptions

Each of the 4 circuits (wires) of the EEC Power Relay has a specific job to do and these job descriptions are:

IMPORTANT: Your specific Ford vehicle may not have the exact same colors listed below. This is no big deal, since the circuit descriptions are the same. You will be able to use the info in this article to diagnose the EEC Power Relay on your Ford vehicle even if the colors of the EEC Power Relay connector's wires are not the same!

EEC Power Relay Circuits
Pin Wire Color Description
1 Black * Chassis Ground
2 White w/ Light Blue stripe * Power (from Ignition Switch)
3 Red * Voltage Output
4 Yellow * Fused Power (hot all of the time)

  * Your specific Ford vehicle may have different colors.

Relay Basics: How The EEC Power Relay Works

Testing The Ford EEC Power Relay (Brown Relay) Testing The Ford EEC Power Relay (Brown Relay)

In this section I'm gonna' go into a little (and I stress ‘little’) working theory of the EEC Power Relay to better help you understand what it is that we're gonna' test in this tutorial.

Every Ford EEC Power Relay has two basic circuits and for the purpose of our discussion, we'll call them:

  1. A low current circuit.
    1. This circuit can be identified by the wires labeled with the numbers 1 and 2.
    2. The low current circuit is the control circuit that ‘closes’ or ‘opens’ the high current circuit.
    3. By ‘closing’ the high current circuit, I specifically mean allowing voltage to pass thru' the relay (internally) and on its way to the Fuel Injection Computer, fuel injectors, fuel pump relay, etc.
  2. A high current circuit.
    1. This circuit can be identified by the wires labeled with the numbers 3 and 4.
    2. This is the circuit that delivers the voltage (and thus current) to the Fuel Injection Computer (EEC Electronic Control Assembly), fuel injectors, fuel pump relay, etc.
    3. When the relay is not activated, this circuit is ‘open’, and as such, does not send any power to anything.

Both of these circuits are completely independent from one another, since the voltage/current flowing thru' them don't mix.

To get into more specifics, this is what happens when you turn On the Key and crank the engine:

  1. Power (in the form of 10 to 12 Volts) is applied to circuit 2.
    1. This voltage comes from the ignition switch.
  2. Power (in the form of 10 to 12 Volts) is always present in circuit 4.
    1. This voltage comes directly from the battery positive terminal across a Fusible Link on the starter motor solenoid (on the fender).
  3. Ground is always present on circuit 1.
  4. As soon as the Ignition Switch powers up circuit number 2, the EEC Power Relay closes circuit 3 to circuit 4.
    1. This causes voltage to reach the fuel pump relay, the fuel injectors, the Fuel Injection Computer, etc. to get power through circuit number 3.

As you can see, it's nothing too complicated, and testing the EEC Power Relay isn't complicated either... and I'll show you how in the next couple of pages.

OK, working theory lesson is over, let's get testing in the next page...