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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I know and understand the idea behind welding the cam. Thing is, I ran across a Ford bulletin this evening. Essentially it went on about consumers performing unnecessary modifications to the cams. Would you believe that their suggestion (and they made it perfectly clear, that it was unnecessary) was to use locktite in the seam... *confused*
 

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Ford has always been very careful to not admit that there was any sort of problem with the V8 SHO motors. Admitting a problem would have opened the door for litigation. There was a class action suit filed by several owners, but out lawyering the Ford Motor Company is a tall order. You can read all about the suit at V8SHO.com.

Even though the lawsuit was not successful, the failure rate speaks for itself. It really is a case of when, not if, the cam sprockets fail. Some have made it 150k miles, some didn't even make it 25k miles. From an engineering standpoint, the press fit design they used is completely inadequate for the application. I'm in the process of re-building/re-sleeving an SHO V8 from a '96 at the moment. You better believe that my first order of business was to weld the cam sprockets. I rebuilt way too many SHO V8's in the late 90's/early 00's when I worked at a machine shop. Every single one of them had suffered a cam sprocket failure, and the repairs are not cheap if they can even be repaired at all. Even on the low-mileage engine I'm working on now which had not failed yet, the cam timing had drifted several degrees on all four cams. The idea of using Loc-Tite on the seams to correct the problem is even more insane than the original design flaw. If you love your SHO, have the cams welded by a professional. Un-welded cam sprockets really are ticking time-bombs.
 

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This?
Loctite TSB 03-14-1

It's funny to me - even suggesting the use of loctite is admitting some degree of wrong doing.

To me the TSB just reinforces the stupidity of Ford's stance on the issue. Not so much that their engineer's are stupid, but that they think the SHO crowd is stupid enough to eat the garbage they tried to feed us.

I would expect they decided the moment these cam failures were brought to light - simply on production numbers there was NO way they were going to accept any liability.
They must know it was a bad design, and that they really stuck it to a few thousand SHO owners who blew their motors by no fault of their own.

The problem for us is a few thousand effected SHO owners just wasn't enough to matter.
It was an easy decision to them. In the big picture it was a very small group of consumers that cared or even knew of the issue. There would be virtually no backlash on Ford for kicking a few thousand SHO owners to the curb due to a car soon to be discontinued anyway. And almost no long term losses.

SLO production over the same years was about 1.5 mil. Even a 1% defect rate would have been 10k cars and you can bet your ass they would have provided some assistance on a problem like that.

It was a business decision for them, and the best one.
But a steaming pile of BS for us.

The alternative would have been to hire a good welder at every (most?) Ford shop(s), train them to do the welds, and eat a few hundred per repair -- At the mininum a few mil to carry out a program like that vs a few hundred k to brush it under the rug legally. The Loctite TSB is just verification of their brushing it under the rug.

There were only 21.5k v8 SHO's built. About 10% have been documented with cam failures. I have to guess at LEAST another 10% not documented. Many taken out of service before they had a chance to fail, and a few others still "ticking". The remaining few thousand welded/pinned.
And they continue to show up on CL dirt cheap with "engine noise".
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
This?
Loctite TSB 03-14-1

It's funny to me - even suggesting the use of loctite is admitting some degree of wrong doing.
That's exactly the one I pulled up. I am typing this verbatum:

ISSUE
"Some owners of V8 Taurus SHO vehicles may be making inappropriate or unnecessary modofications to increase the life of the camshafts. Camshaft failures are uncommon, even at high mileage. However, for those owners wishing to do so, this article provides an appropriate procedure that may extend the life of the camshafts"

I used to work for a dealer... and even to me this sounds like a load of manure.

Just on the off chance that my cams are not welded... How much does it normally run to get it done? How long will I be without transportation? Does someone make an aftermarket cam that corrects the issue (and maybe bumps performance a bit)?
 

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check on Shoforum, there are alot more v8 sho owners over there. a few years ago there where "camfests", which where 20+ owners having their cams welded over a weekend.
 

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If you don't KNOW it has been welded, chances are it hasn't.

It is pricey to have a shop do the whole process. The cost is in the time required to tear the top of the motor down to the cams and put it back together. Not that difficult a process, just time consuming.
The actual welding process only takes an hour or so. Less for someone who knows what they're doing. It does require some skill with a welder.
I believe the few SHO shops are still getting around $800. But they can do it in a day, and will replace the plugs and do a couple other maintenance tasks while it's apart.
If you have no mechanical aptitude it's really not a bad deal. Especially if you're looking to the SHO for a dependable daily driver.
There is at least one experienced SHO mechanic/welder in St. Louis, he is very active on shoforum (St Louis SHO).
I actually considered a trip over there to have mine done, but decided against it. He's done many. I PM'd him when I was looking to have mine done. He said he needs it for 4 hrs and charges $800. That's disassembly, weld, new spark plugs, rotate ignition coils, clean intake, assembly, change oil. I did everything myself minus the welding.

Replacement cams, if they exist (and I'm nearly certain they don't) would be significantly more expensive than having yours welded. The labor to get them out would be extensive - it may even require removing the engine entirely -- but I'm not sure.

Being that the cam issue peaked several years ago one of your biggest obstacles will be finding a shop that's familiar with the repair process, but I would think a few phone calls in a city like Memphis and you could track someone down.
A lot of shops that aren't aware of the v8 sho cam issues will look at you like you're crazy if you ask them to weld your cams.

In my case - I bought the car for 1600 so spending several more hundred on cam welds didn't make much sense to me. Especially considering I do have some ability as a home mechanic.
I had dealt with local performace engine/machine shop in the past with some head work on an SUV I owned. They were my first call. They had heard of the SHO cam problem, but had never welded one.
The guy said they could do it -- they asked for pix and specs on the welds if I had any which I was happy to provide.

A long story short -- 4 hrs disassembly, rented tow dolly, an hour at the weld shop (I assisted - a bonus for me) and $60 later I had my cams welded.
Another 4 hrs or so for assembly and she was up and running.
I've run over 20k since then - motor is running well now at 113k.
 

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The locktight would never hold it in place, it may however hold the cam sprockets in place a little bit longer. They have to be welded or pinned. To pin it is very difficult, the cam is very hard and takes a carbide drillbit and a magnetic drill press. Welding them is wayy easier and faster. I have 3 sho v8s, 2 I welded and the thier is a parts car cam failed at 150000, the other car was still tickin away at 150000, the other I welded at 45000 miles. I tig welded mine with stainless filler rod, thier is less heat and less sparks with the tig welding. In this picture thier is still needs to be one more weld on the left cam on the nut looking thing
 

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