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If Your Cam Fails

Thanks to Buford T. Justice


I have been working on the camshaft sprocket issue. I have another half dozen cases I am documenting and reports of many more. We can document about 26 failures. I will admit I am angry and disgusted the way FOMOCO has mismanaged this situation. With "Quality is Job One" they have a lot to learn about taking responsibility and communicating honestly with customers. Some things never change and by contacting our "friends" inside Ford I have learned some things havenít changed in 50 years. Based on their actions with V8 SHO owners, their motto should be "Shoddy design , Deny, Obfuscate, Avoid Responsibility are Jobs 1, 2, 3 & 4"

We have come this far, Ford knows they have a serious problem. We no longer have the issue of proving a trend, Ford knows they have a looming problem. It is a design error and effects every year (96-99) and all 4 cams. We first got a rash of 96 SHOs but recently a large number of 97 SHOs with 45,000-60,000 miles have failed indicated that it is just not high mileage cars or 96 SHOs are at risk. We even have a low mileage 99 with a failed cam sprocket.

Several cars were well maintained at dealerships and driven by proverbial "little old ladies." No correlation has been established between sprocket failure and either lubrication issues or driver abuse. Some hard driven cars have lasted 130,000+ miles with no problems, other cars have been babied with easy highway use and failed with less than 36,000 miles. I would however emphatically recommend staying with factory recommended 5w-30 weight motor oil and 3k-5k change intervals. Heavier weight oils especially in cold weather or heavy acceleration with cold motor while not correlated with failure data are not recommended.

We are still looking for a zone rep with cojones to act as our advocate. It seems the Ford V-10 Diesel has a similar problem and Ford is mismanaging that situation in the same way. Some owners with expired warranties have had Ford offer to pay 40% with the dealer eating 10%. Repair bills vary from $7,600- 5,000.

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