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Chester F Nibert Jr. - Cam Failure

new 11/13/02


Hello Again, thanks for all of the information on cam failure, and easy directions to self diagnose the problem. I need to ask a few curious questions. Earlier this week I removed the front valve cover and found that my intake cam is spinning freely from the sprocket. None of my lobes are holding any valves open, or have the springs pushed the lobes out of the way?

(1) Does this mean I might not have bent valves, or are all cases of cam failure reporting bent valves?

(2) If I have bent valves and need to replace the valves, cam, and etc. can I remove the head w/out lifting the whole engine?

(3) How is it possible that in these cases they stated that they need a whole new engine?

All of the mechanics that I have talked to think that the fix prices listed on this site are vastly exaggerated, but knowing how rare and hard to work on these cars are, I believe the e-mails. Simply; supply and demand, piled on to an abandoned car, and group of enthusiast car owners by the manufacturer. There is a disturbing trend in this failure, I've talked to other Gen3 owners about this problem and they say " Yeah I've read the v8sho web stories, but I take care of my car." It's even more disturbing when other Gen3 owners do not see the possible, and indefinite issue at hand. It is a fact that this failure will happen to all unprotected Gen3 SHO's. And I feel that this had already happened to my car once before under warranty, due to lightly stripped bolt heads in irregular places. Should a well maintained car with 49k have an astronomical repair, or total replacement halfway to it's first scheduled tune-up?

I will keep a log of repair expenses, fixed expenses ( payments, ins, secondary vehicle etc.), prices quotes, opinions, and repair progress of my experience with cam failure. Maybe this will help me in the long run if we win this thing. But as for now I'd rather be driving my SHO.

Thanks for all of your help.


I will answer you questions as best as I can, including your questions 1 by 1

(1) Does this mean I might not have bent valves, or are all cases of cam failure reporting bent valves?

99% your valves that are opposite the bad cam are in fact bent and lodged open, when closed the Valve bucket appears to be .250í over the casting in the head, on the bent ones the bucket would be flat with the head casting.

(2) If I have bent valves and need to replace the valves, cam, and etc. can I remove the head w/out lifting the whole engine?

Replacing the valves them selves has not been done yet, they supposedly cost 22.00 each X 8 = 176.00 plus labor for valve removal and installation. The head can be removed in the car, it takes lots of time to get the head off but after doing one I could lead you threw it in a fairly quick manner. Its about 10hrs work to get it off the first time. I have just ordered my stuff to complete the repair ( I have a good head and good set of cams) so just for parts it was 272.00 for it all. But it can be done in the car.

(3) How is it possible that in these cases they stated that they need a whole new engine?

Parts are not available, IE.. Heads, Cams Chains. But whole engines are. Ford doesnít even have a time listed for a head swap, nor is it in there cdís. I have to read on how to dissemble an entire motor to disassemble the head. It would not be cost effective for FORD to do a head swap on the car. Its also a new problem and Ford doesnít have any idea on the damage it causes.

I hope this helps and any other questions just ask away.

Kirk J Doucette
Stormtrooper
97 White


Here is the information that you have requested:

For those that had engine failure: Answer all the questions the best you can.
1. VIN#s IFALP54N3TA255211
2. Date of malfunction 9/24/02
3. Where did the malfunction take place (highway, city streets, driveway, parking lot, etc.) City Street in front of my house
4. Odometer reading at time of malfunction 49,781
5. How fast were you traveling? 20mph
6. Were you accelerating or staying at a constant speed? coasting at an idle
7. Estimated date of purchase, new or used? 11/7/99 used
8. Estimated Odometer reading at time of purchase 33,800
9. Full Name, address, and a good phone# to reach you at during the day and night.
Chester F. Nibert, Jr.
10. Brief description of the time of events leading towards the malfunction. (what did you hear and see before, during, and after the malfunction) Ticking sound, car just shut off. No sounds from engine, just became hard to brake and steer.
11. Customer service phone # you called and the name of the person you talked to. (if you can remember) N/A
12. Did you feel satisfied with the answers customer service provided? Explain /NA
13. Which dealership did you take your vehicle in for service? (name, address, phone#)
Talked with mechanics after cam failure at:
Graham Ford, Columbus OH.
Springfield Ford, Springfield OH.
Buckeye Ford, London OH.
Reicart Ford, Columbus OH.
( All had reported doing engine work on v8SHO's in past year)

14. What was the cause of failure determined by the dealer?
Talking with Ford mechanics after the failure, some had stated that it was either high mileage or abuse.
15. What was the cause of failure determined by you? 100% Cam failure.
16. How much was your statement? (I hope you kept your receipt) N/A
17. What can FOMOCO do to make you a satisfied Ford owner?
Make parts available and/or reasonably priced. I can deal with my car having regular problems, but this is not supposed to be regular. I've had to purchase a new vehicle, upon my existing SHO payments and insurance. So the cost of fixing this problem is astronomical in my situation like many others.


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