Home | Mailing List | Specifications | Care and Feeding | Modifications | Vendors | Literature


Rolf Agner - Cam Failure #428

new 8/19/04


I should have sent this to you months ago, but I was too busy trying to get my 96 SHO up and running again.

1. VIN IFALP54N3TA282232

2. Dec 24, 2003

3. Startup Dec 24, 2003 In Driveway

4. 119016

5. 0 MPH

6. Starting

7. Purchased used 8/26/03

8. Miles at purchase 113900

9. Rolf Agner,

10. Engine began making a ticking noise

11. Drove to Hawkinson Ford, Oak Lawn, IL with engine ticking They would not take car in for service due to backlog. Service listened to ticking problem, and said to come back on Jan 2 for appt for further diagnostics. On Dec 25 engine would not start. It was on this day I discovered v8sho.com--and new what the problem was!!

12. I did not feel satisfied at all on Dec 24 when Hawkinson Ford said it would probably be OK to drive until appt -- and let me drive away.

13. Hawkinson Ford, Oak Lawn, IL

14. Further Dealer Diagnosis never completed

15. Engine was ticking due to cam gear slipage/failure

16. There was no charge for sending me away

17. I would have expected FOMOCO to advise their dealers of this serious problem. If I had been aware of the problem, the engine disaster following the symptom (ticking) could have been prevented. FOMOCO should have had a recall to replace defective cams, or for out of warranty owners, they should have provided a chargeable repair (replacement) of cams.

What could FOMOCO do to make me a satisfied customer? Send me a check for $5000 and admit their poor policies about covering up their problems.

PS. I took the vehicle to a local mechanic on the Dec 27, and the teardown determined damaged piston, damaged valves (8 Exhausts and 2 Intake valves, too, on one head), damaged valve seat inserts and valve seals (from broken off valve heads), and one head had to be repaired (due to the valve head break-offs). One rear exhaust cam had a slipped drive gear causing the entire catastrophe. I have photos.

I shopped for the best parts availability and pricing, and my costs were as follows: New cam: $132.69 Gasket Sets, 1 Piston&Rings&Pin, Rod and head bolts: $761.59 Head Refurbish: $746.17 All four Cams Welded (Eric): $50.00 Engine rebuild Labor and miscellaneous parts: $796.84

When the SHO was up and running another problem surfaced: a need for a trans rebuild: $1,727.33. This problem was due to a poorly designed shift piston, made of aluminum. The replacement piston is made of cast iron------like the original should have been! Expensive, but at least no disaster like the failed cam.

I have driven cars (and Light Trucks) to well over 200, 000 miles, and never had these kinds of problems. At least not with GM or Chrysler. Obviously, I don't abuse my vehicles and maintain them well.

My experiences with Ford are not so good. One of my first cars, a 1963 Ford Galaxie 500XL w/406, broke two crankshafts -- each after 30,000 miles of usage, and each time a disaster. I did not race this car, it was street driven. Also, I had a 1974 Ford Grand Turino four door sedan w/351 that had a camshaft fail after 55,000 miles. My company auctioned this company car off and told me this wasn't the first cam failure they had experienced with Ford.

Until the 96SHO I haven't bought a Ford since!

Rolf Anger

Contact Information