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Frank - Cam Failure 

Count me among the Dead.

Green 99
VIN - 1FAFP54N7XA234266
mileage - 52,779 (still under ESP)
diagnosis - 3 bent valves, one scored cylinder wall. Piston heads undetermined at the current time. Intake cam sprocket spins freely on cam.
prognosis - undetermined. ESP adjuster is on vacation.

History - I heard the dreaded "sewing machine" noise, and didn't want to believe it, thinking maybe I was just down a quart of oil. Got the wipers and oil changed 12-28... and the chatter/tick still remained...
On 12/30/01, my green '99 was running down I-35S in Oklahoma City at speed (~75mph). Check engine light, engine shutoff, oil light, battery light, I got about 10 seconds worth of steering and brakes (enough to get off the highway). I had it towed to the Ford dealer, was told first that the engine was only flooded, and that they had it started. By the time I got there in the rental, the story had changed to 3 bent valves, the scored cylinder wall, and the intake cam sprocket spinning freely. Dealer is worried about how long I'm going to be in the rental. If/when I get a new/recon'd engine in the car, I'll be trading it in, in summertime, with a friend who runs a dealership in Boston. I'm considering the Lincoln LS to replace it. Not sure what else is out there that suits me like the SHO did. I'd appreciate any words y'all might have. Thanks much.

- Frank in OKC


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