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Richard Kistner - Cam Failure

new 9/30/02, updated 10/15/02

My name is Richard Kistner, the dealership called today ... $10,350 because of a couple cam failures. I need two new heads, four cams, etc.... Lets see what my warranty company has to say about this.


Hi Tim,
I wrote you an email regarding my cam failure and you have posted it. Thanks. You have my permission to post this email as well. I just figured I'd give you an update,

As you know, I had a massive engine cam failure ... causing my engine to have to be replaced. I have API (bought through Ford) warranty on the car from the date of purchase in 1997 (6 years or 80K). Well Ford gave API the estimate of $10, 515.00 to repair my car. API contacted AAA and bought a used engine with 19K on it for $5500.00. API then gave for another $2200 for the installation, and my out of pocket so far has been approximately $300 (Not counting the big service I had done, the new brakes, and injector cleaner all at 45K) You would think all is well in the world now ... but guess what ... I drove the car for approximately 20 miles before I started getting performance problems. The engine started making noises, erratic idle, the tranny started acting up, the check engine light came on. I brought it back to the Ford dealership where the informed me that I have a major engine problem. They have not told me yet what has happened, only that my car is not firing the cylinders properly. This is somewhat what happened with my last engine. I now have had enough!! The warranty on my new engine is 1 year 12K, and I still have API warranty, and they have given me another rental. Everyone is doing the right thing ... but I have had enough with this piece of crap called a SHO. I have only 49K on it, I have had most of the issues regarding problems with this car. The car will get fixed again, and if it will stay running long enough ... I am selling it or trading it in and buying Japanese. ANYONE want a 1997 SHO fully loaded with all the options and only 49K on it? I am sure the engine will be low miles ... and under warranty for another year. I have contacted Ford and made a complaint, and they said they would call me, but they never did. If Ford does not make this right, I will never buy another Ford again. I was actually in negotiation to buy a 2003 Cobra, but since all this has happened ... I have stopped. I want Ford to "make things right" before I consider another Ford purchase. I know I have not suffered enormous financial losses like other people, but the inconvenience and aggravation is enough alone, plus if I have problems with my next purchase, what is going to happen. I requested that ford give me a credit toward a new car ... lets see what comes of that. One last point I would like to share, When I had the initial ticking noise in the engine I brought it to Fairway Ford here in Evans Ga. They assured me that they could take care of fixing my car. They kept the car for almost a week ... leaving me stranded without my main transportation without so much as a phone call. I finally called them and asked what was going on ... they informed me that this car had problem (NO DAAA!!), and that they did not have the technical resources to fix it! They told me to take it to another dealership. Can you believe it ... do not call me, then tell me to take my Ford to another Ford dealership. If you think that is bad, I contacted Satcher Ford in Aiken SC, and they told me right up front that they were not comfortable fixing my car and I should bring it to another shop. They gave me a name of a small mom and pop shop (NOT A FORD DEALER). The manager claim that the owner was an X-Ford mechanic and familiar with SHO's. I think this is outrageous and unbelievable. I could not get either of these Ford dealerships to fix my Ford car ... and then to send me to a small (non-dealer) shop, Incredible!!!. I finally found a Ford Dealer that would fix my car on the third try. Bobby Jones Ford of Augusta GA. I was hesitant to bring it there because they mark up the prices of their new cars beyond belief, but I had run out of option. They have done a good job so far ... considering what they have to deal with. Well that is my saga to date ... BTW anyone want a SHO.


Folks say "I have a warranty, should I have my cams welded?" Based on your experience and others like it, I would have to say "yes." 

I am sorry about your bad fortune, let me me if Ford ever comes through? Surprise me?


Hey Tim,

I saw you updated my issues, but I do not think it took because all I could pull up was what I sent a few weeks ago ... I could be just doing something wrong. I had a very interesting conversation with Ford yesterday. It seems that I am not a valued customer because they are refusing to "make it right" with me, and in fact they are not even acknowledging there is an issue with these cars. I even informed them to look at your website, in which they informed me that since it was not a Ford website ... it is meaningless, potentially full of inaccuracies due to some anti-Ford bias. In summary, I have been a Ford man since I was knee high to a grasshopper, and I am stating now, for the record, I WILL NEVER BUY A FORD AGAIN! I still own a SHO only because (A) it is not fix and spends it's prime years having engine after engine replaced, and (B) Unlike Ford, I have a conscious and will not purposely deceive and unsuspecting victims. I will however, inform everyone that will listen, to be very cautious when dealing with an unscrupulous organization such as FOMOCO.

Thanks for letting me vent
Rick Kistner

FOMOCO has a way of impugning the integrity of others by dismissing the work of others as "Hate Ford Web Site" if we don't gush poetic odes to the wonder of their cars non-stop. I don't have a "Hate Ford site" by intent or function, but have started reports of cam failures once a pattern became evident because it is of interest to V8SHO owners. It is tragic and prophetic the "No Boundaries" company excludes customers from it's own domain. That is how companies die, they make big mistakes and can't tolerate criticism. 

"Not a Ford Site?" You can bet you last dollar somewhere in Ford is a list of Cam Failures much like ours only far more complete. If they make their list public on a Ford web site I could go back to doing what I enjoy. Talking about the joys of owning and driving my 97 SHO.

Thanks for sharing the road,


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