I have a 97 SHO and I am pretty sure I got bit by the CAM issue on April 8, 2002.
My VIN is 1FALP54N6VA178496, it has 88K miles. On the evening of April 7th I started hearing a loud ticking (like there was no oil in the engine). The next morning I took the car over to the shop that lasted changed the oil and had them check it (I get the oil changed regularly and use the synthetic type when I get it changed). The guy there check the oil level and filter out and said there was no sign of any leaks but I should take it to my normal mechanic to have it checked out. I drove the car about another 12 miles, then it stalled out, I could start it back up, but it would not run. I had to have it towed the rest of the way to my mechanic garage. After a couple of days of being looked at by my mechanic (at one point he worked for a Ford dealer), he called me with the BAD news. 15K for the short block and another 5-7K for the rest of the engine and installation. Needless to say I was shocked (I only paid 21K for the car - used with 19K miles). My mechanic suggested I get it towed back to the dealer where I bought it. After the SHO was at the Ford dealers for just a few hours, I got the same BAD news call from them, only they wanted 25K for the engine. At this point I figured I was really screwed (I still owe 6K on the car). I ask the Ford dealer what he thought I should do, - he gave me the idea of searching the internet,,, that's how I found the SHO forum and learned about the CAM issue.
I also know a neighbor that has a Ford parts business. He got the price down to about 17K for a new engine installed, but that is still out of the question for me.
Since finding out about the CAM issue, I went back to the dealer and asked if that was my problem was - I got the answer of "could be!" but it would cost a couple of hundred more to open up the engine and verify it. They said I could not get any help from Ford (or them) because my SHO had over 75K miles.
I called the 1800392FORD number and officially register my complaint (of course they said they had no records of a cam issue with the SHO- right!).
I guess my next step is to talk to the zone rep.
Can you give me any more guidance? Should I pay to have the engine officially checked for the CAM problem? Do I let the Ford dealer do it?
Thanks in advance.