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Benjamin Sprague - SHO Defender

new 5/26/02


Since I just purchased a 1998 SHO (I know, I must be crazy after reading about the cam failures) I thought I would add my name to your list. At the moment, my new SHO (which I can't stop smiling about) has a tick under 50k miles, runs great (for the moment), and survived its first trip home from the dealer. It also has a 5 year / 100k miles extended warranty - HOWEVER this will only cover repairs up to the original cost of the vehicle (about $11,500).

I have already contacted my local Ford dealership in Ripon, WI about the cam issue - I was quoted several thousand dollars just for the labor costs of pulling and replacing the cams - also, they would not perform any type of preventative maintenance (i.e. welding) unless it was a Ford approved repair. In other words, if we elect to have our engine serviced under warranty with a repair that will prevent future catastrophic failure, we are in fact shooting ourselves in the foot by voiding the warranty.

Just to give you an idea of my Ford loyalty, I currently own a 1991 Police Package Ford Taurus, purchased in 1999 with 140,000 miles. In the three years I have owned it I have sank over $10,000 into it in repairs and upgrades because I love the car, and it was as close as I could get to a good-condition SHO. How many other car owners would stand that much in repair bills out of pocket?

Here is my pertinent information:

1. VIN #

2. Name address & phone
Benjamin D. Sprague

3. Express your concern of the engine failures and your determination of the cause.

As evidenced by the growing number of reported incidents (see for example http://www.v8sho.com) the 3.4 liter 32 valve V8 engine used in the 1996-1999 Ford Taurus SHO is prone to failure of the camshaft sprockets. Due to the inherent poor design of the camshafts - the sprockets are swedged onto the camshaft - regardless of engine maintenance, this design ultimately leads to the sprocket working its way loose from the camshaft. Since the V8 SHO engine is an interference-design engine, failure of any of the four camshaft will result in catastrophic engine failure, and repair bills anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 or more - in many cases, exceeding the value of the vehicle itself.

4. What would you like for FOMOCO to solve this problem?

First of all, reimburse SHO owners who have already paid for camshaft-related repairs (a recall).

Second, as part of the same recall, either design new one-piece camshafts to replace the current camshafts in all V8 SHO's, or design a Ford Authorized repair / service in which the original camshaft sprockets are welded onto the camshaft.

I hope this in some small way will help get our issues resolved with FOMOCO - after all, the SHO is a true enthusiast's car, and should be treated by both owner and manufacturer as such.


Benjamin D. Sprague

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