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FPS Finds Another One - Cam Failure 372 Mike Gillespie

new 3/14/2003

During my spring break from school I took the trip down to see Doug at FPS to get my cams welded. I’ve been putting it off knowing that there was no way I could get away from school long enough to get it done, and finally decided now that my car has over 60k on it, its time to get it done. First off I have to give Doug’s service an A+ on all accounts, his people are excellent and they know their stuff. Doug even stayed around for over an hour after closing time to talk SHOs, he told me about some of his projects and gave me an engine bay tour of this blown gen-I. I really enjoyed my time, getting the cams welded did not feel like a chore at all. And honestly it was the only time I have ever handed the keys of my car over to anyone else and gotten nervous about how well it would be treated. 

But the big surprise about the title of this e-mail, Doug tells me that one of my sprockets had started to walk, it came at a huge surprise to me, there was no sound, no loss of engine power, nothing to indicate that my car was about to have a cam failure, and possibly very soon. I can’t believe how fortunate I was that I got it into FPS when I did. For anyone else out there without welded cams, watching the odo tick away, and telling yourself that you’ll get it done, just later. Do make every effort! Don’t put it off; your car may depend on it. They seem to be failing without the signature ticking sometimes also; it’s not worth the risk of going unwedded! 

Thanks Doug, I owe you big time!

Mike Gillespie

97 ES

We are having way to many close calls for list members.



Hi Uncle Lar, someone directed me to the web page about new failures, I don’t know if my almost failure would be helpful for the suit efforts, but if it is, here is some info:

For those that had engine failure: Answer all the questions the best you can.

1. VIN#s - 1FALP54N2VA268714, Engine serial number: KOC - 013291
2. Date of malfunction – slid sprocket discovered on March 11, 2004
3. Where did the malfunction take place (highway, city streets, driveway, parking lot, etc.) – no actual failure event occurred, one cam was found to have failed, and the sprocket slipped, but did not yet spin by Doug during the welding process.
4. Odometer reading at time of malfunction – 63,941
5. How fast were you traveling? – N/A
6. Were you accelerating or staying at a constant speed? – N/A
7. Estimated date of purchase, new or used? 5/17/02
8. Estimated Odometer reading at time of purchase – 36,177
9. Full Name, address, and a good phone# to reach you at during the day and night. 

Michael Gillespie

Roanoke, VA 24019

10. Brief description of the time of events leading towards the malfunction. (what did you hear and see before, during, and after the malfunction)

No sounds, no performance loss, no indications whatsoever, got in for welds to prevent a failure, and discovered that a cam was on the verge of spinning.

11. Customer service phone # you called and the name of the person you talked to. (if you can remember) - none
12. Did you feel satisfied with the answers customer service provided? Explain. – N/A
13. Which dealership did you take your vehicle in for service? (name, address, phone#) – N/A
14. What was the cause of failure determined by the dealer? – N/A
15. What was the cause of failure determined by you? – N/A
16. How much was your statement? (I hope you kept your receipt)

including welding, replacing some gaskets and seals that were in need of replacement, and the oil change, then taking into account the cost of gas and food, hotel, and rental car to be able to get them welded, the bill came to: $1036.30

Since the cam did not spin, there was no damage to the car, or engine as a result of the failed cam.

17. What can FOMOCO do to make you a satisfied Ford owner?

Be big enough to admit they made a mistake, issue a recall, and compensate everyone that has suffered a failure, and reimburse them, and everyone that has paid money out of their own pockets to fix this problem. Issue a recall and pay for the procedure so no more of these awesome cars are destroyed by an engine failure that can be prevented.



When we pulled the valve covers and I inspected the cams, I found that the bank two exhaust cam had slipped sideways. It wasn't loose to the touch, but it moved right back into place with just a little effort. Once back in place, it welded up just fine. We finished up by changing the plugs and looking things over. The secondary plates were clean, little build up, but not enough to warrant spending the money to clean them. We inspected the wiring harness and didn't find any signs of melting. The service was completed and went off without a hitch. This car gets our clean bill of health and a healthy test drive. This car runs better than most...after our service, it does it a lot safer.

oug Lewis
Ford Performance Specialists Inc.

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