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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just joined because apparently this is the right place to be :))thumbs up) - there is so much info on the problem I have, I spent more time reading about it than I will actually spend making the repair.

But I have a question I didn't see answered in all that detail.

On my 96 Sable (Vulcan 6 cyl SOHC) 71000 miles, my check engine light is on, code is P0340.

The info on this site gave me the confidence to do myself. But when I get there the CPS was not even in one piece. A chunk, Which includes the wire connector was broken clean off. Since still attached to the wires, it was still laying there. There appears to be some damage to the top of the synchronizer as the "half-moon" piece of metal on the inside is bent and has two small horizontal gashes and I guess the magnet fell off, got caught between the "half-moon" piece and the CPS and this is what probably caused the breakage.

So my question is - Do I need to replace the Camshaft Synchronizer assembly too?

I was only going to do the sensor, I still don't have any chirping as discussed in other threads and would rather leave that until I get closer to the usual 100,000 mi lifespan of the part. But I don't know if the bent metal will cause poor performance, or if I have to worry about pieces that may have fallen down, or if the exposed top of the syncronizer (since CPS which also acts as a cap) would cause any issues.:headscratch:

Thanks in Advance
 

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I would replace the whole thing. Won't be too long before it shreds the gear and you lose oil pressure. Better safe than sorry.
 

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Definitely replace the whole part, not that difficult but if it fails totally it can cause engine failure. Get the Motorcraft replacement part for sure.
 

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Andrewp,
Welcome to TaurusClub! Since most guys will agree that the hardest part about replacing the synchronizer is just getting past the wiring harness and other obstacles in order to get TO the part, and since you're already there looking at the sensor, I would agree with the others and suggest you go ahead and replace the synchronizer.

In case you didn't come across it already, here's a great thread which I used when replacing the synchronizer in my '03 Vulcan a year ago this month.

http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/82-...an-camshaft-position-sensor-synchronizer.html

This thread gave me the confidence to tackle this myself. I found that you can almost talk yourself out of trying this yourself if you worry too much about getting the part installed just right. Don't fret---just follow the instructions to the letter and you won't have any problems.

I would highly recommend buying the Motorcraft part. DA2089, which I was able to get from www.rockauto.com for just under $100 (plus shipping). Good luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thanks for all the suggestions. I guess its unanimous.

AlanKY, I think I have been talking myself out of it - but was using the logic if it ain't broke don't fix it.

I have owned the car since new and overall it has required few repairs. I only have 71000 on this 96 and since I don't put a lot of miles on it was leaning toward wait and see. But you folks have made me rethink that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
OK I'm about to do change the camshaft synchronizer but having some doubts.
1) I've looked back where I thought I could find where someone posted pics of making the marks for positioning, but now I can't find them and one post has reference to pics but there are none there. Can anyone point me to some?

2) I keep reading about setting the engine to TDC on cylinder #1 before removing the old synchronizer: Is this what everyone has done? Do I need to do this? If necessary, how is it done?
 

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I found a picture here that might help:

Camshaft Sensor/Synchronizer Replacement - Page 3 - Ford Truck Enthusiasts Forums

The linked site in my earlier post mentions making two marks, one to show the position of the vane on the synchronizer, and then another showing the position of the entire assembly in relation to the top of the engine. Somewhere I read that if you are very careful with these marks, you do not have to set the engine to TDC, and in addition, if you use the Motorcraft part, you don't have to use the positioning tool either.

You are wise to proceed cautiously, and I should add that I'm an accountant and not a mechanic so take my advice with due skepticism, but having said that, I replaced my sychronizer (and the sensor that sits on top of it) on 11/7/09 so it's been over a year and over 14,000 miles since I made the swap and I don't even think about it anymore until I see a post where someone is having trouble. Like I mentioned, you can easily talk yourself out of this repair but it's honestly one of the simpler repairs one can do at home. Again, I didn't bother setting the engine to TDC, and I didn't use the positioning accessory that some guys talk about.

Get a digital camera ready, place the two marks on the synchronizer as described in all the HOW-TO posts, and then take a lot of pictures of the old synchronizer BEFORE you pull it. You'll be glad you did because then you can quickly review the position of the old part when preparing to install the new one. I tried to find the pictures I took last year but couldn't find them.

Whatever you do, don't pull the old synchronizer until you've made the marks and taken several digital pictures!
 

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Andrewp, those pics with markings are in Pro Fords thread: dorman cam synchronizer warning. This thread is in the topic finder at the top of this page in the vulcan cam sync. topics. Pics are on page 17 of Pro Fords thread. If instructions found here are carefully followed, its not necessary to have #1 cyl. at tdc.
 

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I found the pictures from my cam synchronizer replacement! Note the black marks on the engine which indicate the position of the synchronizer relative to the engine, and then notice the black mark on the synchronizer itself, showing the position of the vane. Making these marks before the old synchronizer is pulled, and then referring to them when installing the new one allows the new synchronizer to be installed in the same position as the old one. Clicking on the picture to enlarge it will allow you to see the marks better, especially the one in front of the vane. The vane is in the four o'clock position in this picture. The marks that I made on the engine correspond to slots on the synchronizer.
 

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I found the pictures from my cam synchronizer replacement! Note the black marks on the engine which indicate the position of the synchronizer relative to the engine, and then notice the black mark on the synchronizer itself, showing the position of the vane. Making these marks before the old synchronizer is pulled, and then referring to them when installing the new one allows the new synchronizer to be installed in the same position as the old one. Clicking on the picture to enlarge it will allow you to see the marks better, especially the one in front of the vane. The vane is in the four o'clock position in this picture. The marks that I made on the engine correspond to slots on the synchronizer.
I have to do this job tomorrow...I am getting confused between the sensor and the synchronize r...these are two separate parts?

Rod
 

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Hi Rod,
Yes, they're two separate parts. The synchronizer is the device that mounts down into the engine. Its lower portion drives the oil pump, while at the very top it has a metal vane which you can see in the picture I'd posted previously. This vane spins under the other component you'd asked about, which is the sensor. The sensor is a separate device that simply detects when the van passes by. The sensor mounts on top of the synchronizer -- with two screws if I recall correctly.
Good luck!
Alan
 

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I was gonna read up on how to do it, I kinda did but got lazy and did it my own way. I rotated it to #1 tdc and removed the stuff from the top of the sensor area, after I did that I took a picture of the part before touching it, then I took the black sensor off the top and took another picture, I got the new part and lined it up just like it was in the pictures. It worked for me, I don't have any issues from it, but my transmission is most certainly pooched.

Its not that complex.
 

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Hi Rod,
Yes, they're two separate parts. The synchronizer is the device that mounts down into the engine. Its lower portion drives the oil pump, while at the very top it has a metal vane which you can see in the picture I'd posted previously. This vane spins under the other component you'd asked about, which is the sensor. The sensor is a separate device that simply detects when the vane passes by. The sensor mounts on top of the synchronizer -- with two screws if I recall correctly.
Good luck!
Alan
OK, thanks!

The symptoms are that the car was hesitating when driving at highway speeds and needing to accelerate. It has done this a couple of times, then acted right. Today, it did it again then the engine died and would not stay running. I could crank it, and it would start, but would not idle. I could keep the car running by pushing on the gas, but did not trust it so I had it towed home.

Did a check and found Code P0340 Camshaft postion sensor A - bank 1 circuit malfunction.

Now, of course, the car seems to run fine, but I don't want to take chances. Should I replace both parts?

The whole business of the marks and the 'special tool' makes me nervous...should I be?

Thanks,
Rod
 

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No need to get too nervous over this repair, although it's very important to get the synchronizer installed in the correct position.

One thing going in your favor is that you didn't mention any chirping. When the synchronizer is beginning to fail, it will make a "chirp-chirp-chirp" sound that is very unique. It can sometimes be confused with a belt but unlike the belts, the sound is coming from the driver's side of the engine.

Since you don't have the chirping sound, you may be looking at the easiest repair possible--the replacement of the sensor that sits on top of the synchronizer. Two screws and an electrical connector is all that's required. That is, once you get everything out of the way and get down to the assembly so you can work on it.

To your question about whether or not you should replace both parts -- you don't HAVE to, and in fact it'll be a lot less expensive for you if you just replace the sensor. It's maybe $25 if I recall correctly, and is available at all the auto parts stores. Since you didn't mention the chirping, technically you could stop here, as long as P0340 goes away. Now, if you have around 100,000 miles on the car, and if the synchronizer has never been replaced, well from what I've read here on the site, it's only a matter of time, and in fact it could be very SOON before you'll be replacing the synchronizer. Since the hardest part about the job is getting everything out of the way, and since you're going to have to do that already to get to the sensor, I would go ahead and replace the synchronizer. I'd only use the Motorcraft part. I know, that's $100 bucks right here with Christmas coming up.

In my case, I had the chirping so while I was replacing the failing $100 synchronizer, I went ahead and replaced the $25 sensor (which looked FINE!). Your situation is similar, you likely have one part that is failing (or has already failed) and have to decide whether or not to replace the other at this time.

But to your other concern, about the marks and the special tool--don't sweat it. I didn't use the special tool (and had read that if you use the Motorcraft part with its tighter tolerances, they say, you don't need the tool). I made the marks on the engine block, took lots of digital pictures, and it went well -- when the new part went in it looked exactly like pictures taken of the old part sitting there. This is a job you can talk yourself out of very easily, but once you've done it once it seems amazingly simple.
 

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No need to get too nervous over this repair, although it's very important to get the synchronizer installed in the correct position.

One thing going in your favor is that you didn't mention any chirping. When the synchronizer is beginning to fail, it will make a "chirp-chirp-chirp" sound that is very unique. It can sometimes be confused with a belt but unlike the belts, the sound is coming from the driver's side of the engine.

Since you don't have the chirping sound, you may be looking at the easiest repair possible--the replacement of the sensor that sits on top of the synchronizer. Two screws and an electrical connector is all that's required. That is, once you get everything out of the way and get down to the assembly so you can work on it.

To your question about whether or not you should replace both parts -- you don't HAVE to, and in fact it'll be a lot less expensive for you if you just replace the sensor. It's maybe $25 if I recall correctly, and is available at all the auto parts stores. Since you didn't mention the chirping, technically you could stop here, as long as P0340 goes away. Now, if you have around 100,000 miles on the car, and if the synchronizer has never been replaced, well from what I've read here on the site, it's only a matter of time, and in fact it could be very SOON before you'll be replacing the synchronizer. Since the hardest part about the job is getting everything out of the way, and since you're going to have to do that already to get to the sensor, I would go ahead and replace the synchronizer. I'd only use the Motorcraft part. I know, that's $100 bucks right here with Christmas coming up.

In my case, I had the chirping so while I was replacing the failing $100 synchronizer, I went ahead and replaced the $25 sensor (which looked FINE!). Your situation is similar, you likely have one part that is failing (or has already failed) and have to decide whether or not to replace the other at this time.

But to your other concern, about the marks and the special tool--don't sweat it. I didn't use the special tool (and had read that if you use the Motorcraft part with its tighter tolerances, they say, you don't need the tool). I made the marks on the engine block, took lots of digital pictures, and it went well -- when the new part went in it looked exactly like pictures taken of the old part sitting there. This is a job you can talk yourself out of very easily, but once you've done it once it seems amazingly simple.
Thanks for the information. I will have to think about it...

When you mentioned the chirping again it finally hit me that I did hear chirping, though only for a moment or two. Right now, for whatever reason, I can start the car up and it runs fine, though the engine light stays on.
(It is an 03 Sable with about 53K miles)

No chirping right now, but I would guess it is coming soon.

Thanks again,
Rod
 

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Thanks for the information. I will have to think about it...

When you mentioned the chirping again it finally hit me that I did hear chirping, though only for a moment or two. Right now, for whatever reason, I can start the car up and it runs fine, though the engine light stays on.
(It is an 03 Sable with about 53K miles)

No chirping right now, but I would guess it is coming soon.

Thanks again,
Rod
A follow-up question...if I just replace the sensor...is the synchronizer something that will dramatically fail? I hear people here saying they get chirping noises for a while...Is this something that will stop us dead (like the sensor did) or is it safe to just change the sensor and see what happens?

Thanks,
Rod
 

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You can check the top of the sync when you have the sensor off, but i wouldnt jack around. Change them both. If sync fails you could lose eng. oil pressure. Pay me now, or pay me a lot ($) later.
 
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