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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
vulcan cam sensor and synchronizer PICTURES [email protected]@k PICS

so this is a follow up to this topic http://www.taurusclub.com/forum/98-...lcan-cam-synchronizer-sensor-replacement.html when i was searching online for tips on how to do this job i found this. i figured i would add to it and put some pics with it.


The cam synchronizer is a common failure item in Vulcans, with a working life typically between 80-100k miles. It usually doesn't seem to do any damage if caught in time, but as the gear at the bottom of the synchronizer drives the oil pump it could (worst case scenario) theoretically destroy an engine.

There are two causes for the failure. The first seems to be exclusive to the hall effect version of the sensor, (up to 1997), where a piece of the magnetic tab that sits on the underside of the top of the sensor breaks off and damages the vane (metal tab that sticks up out of the rotating assembly that the sensor reads) that is used to time the engine; this will throw a CEL as the sensor is no longer functioning. The second applies to all vulcans and is what actually causes the chirping, it seems that the rotating assembly in the synchro does not recieve proper lubrication and the bearings start to fail. In either case the synchro itself will have to be replaced, and it's usually a good idea to replace the (cheap) sensor while you're at it.

The problem manifests itself a chirping coming from the transmission (driver) side of the engine. It can be very hard to pinpoint, when mine started to fail the sound appeared to come from different places as I moved around the engine bay. When my mechanic took a stethoscopey thingy to my engine bay, he concluded that it was ghosts and I should "come back if it gets worse". From reading posts on here, and my own experience, the chirping responds to RPMs, most pronounced at idle and eventually drone out to a whine at driving speed. It also seems to be affected by heat and humidity. Mine stopped making noise (when it got cooler outside) the better part of a year before I replaced it, but I suspect that if I hadn't it would have started again when it got hot.

There's a cheap way to replace the assembly, and an expensive way. From what I've read on here, dealers/mechanics will charge $150-$170 for the assembly, as well as 3-4 hours of labor for the replacement. I found the part (Dorman#689-107 for my 02') on RockAuto for $40 and it took me an hour to install it. RockAuto's catalog will guide you to the correct part. For mine, it was listed under camshaft synchronizer, but I have read about it possibly being listed as a distributor for earlier years. The actual replacement of the part is as simple as undoing 1 clamping bolt, removing the old assembly and installing the new one. The most time consuming part for me was cutting the plastic tray that guided the wire bundle that ran directly overtop of the assembly so that I could even get to the synchro. Whether you are comfortable with doing this yourself will depend on how stubborn you are, and whether you think you're up to digging your way to the sensor/synchro. That's the hard part.

There is some risk to doing it yourself, but only if you do it incorrectly. The cam synchronizer is integral to engine timing, and if the new assembly is not installed with the exact same orientation as the original some serious damage could occur. Luckily, it's not that easy to mess up if you pay attention. The teeth on the bottom of the synchronizer are big enough that the vane rotates approx 10 degrees for each tooth. After removing the sensor from the top of the assembly and before touching the clamping nut that secures the synchro; if you mark the relative position of the synchronizer body on the block, and mark the position of the vane on the synchro body you can install the new synchro in the exact same position. If you make accurate marks and pay attention, it will be obvious if you are off. I replaced mine with this method and have driven approx 150 miles since without a CEL to be seen, nor a squeak to be heard.


Good luck, I saved myself several hundred dollars doing this myself with information gleaned from the TCCA. Even if you choose to have a mechanic or dealer do the replacement, diagnosis and correction of this issue could save you some money and trouble in the long run. {copyed from above post and orignal poster was EARTHSICK}


tools i used= 7/32 socket , 5/16socket, 10mmsocket, extenstions, ratchet, flat head screwdriver, dikes, plyers, wobble {for sockets} thats it


first start by disconnecting the neg battery cable, {5/16 or 8mm} then t/b cover {tb= throttle body} follwed by spark plug wire holder witch is located under the t/b. i also removed plug wires 1,2,and 3. then you can pretty much get to the cam sensor and shaft. i also removed the intake tube. in the pictures you can see what i took off. once you have removed the following there is the wireing harness right above the sensor. i simply just broke the plastic {i removed the top cover of the wire cover also when i say broke it common to cut it to move it or dissconect and move the whole harness} and man handled it over. then remove the sensor and make reff marks if you can. if it is to torn up you will have to removed plug number 1 and remove the drive belt and turn motor over till cylinder 1 is at tdc {top dead center} then with the aligment tool aim it like if you where doing a dist in a old car.{the cap pictured below with the arrow would be aimed to cylinder number 1}

i think that covers it. this isnt the best write up. when i put mine back together i left the t/b cover off and the spark plug wire cover/seperator

as for the part i got it for 60 bucks from shucks {that was with my discount from work} total time was a little less then a hr
also dont forget to lube the o-ring on the shaft. i used wheel bearing greese. now time for pictures
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 · (Edited)
so here is the pictures just from start to finsh













this is a picture of the new sensor and aligment tool that came with sensr and shaft

where my fingers are is where i would lube it. i only used wheel bearing greese on the o-ring and oil on the rest

this is put back together. note i left off the t/b cover. i also left off the spark plug wire holder {from ford} i did the ol zip tie trick. i wasnt trying to make it super nice or clean like it was from ford. as its a personal car not a sidejob/customer
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 · (Edited)
also when dropping the new shaft in make sure you get it right and make sure it is all the way down. do not try to get it down by tighting the bolt as it can snap and isnt good at all in many reason{hope you know why lol}. it may take a couple trys but it is worth it instead of trying to go with it first shot and having to redo it. if it is a advanced or retarded a degree or more a check engine light will come back on.

if any one has any questions pls ask.


also please dont mind my spelling and grammer errors. note this isnt the best write up but i just wanted to give a lil more info and add pictures
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
my brand is not doorman or what ever. unless this brand i got is the same. the brand i got is RICHPORTER TECHNOLOGY

LIST PRICE FOR IT WAS 107$ i paid 59.21
 

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Thanks for the bulleton

Thank you for taking the time to share your first hand experience with the board.

I have a question. Is this sensor also used on the '98-up Vulcans?
I want to be keeping a watch on the one in my sister's '98 wagon if it is.
Her car has 129K on it, and I doubt it has ever been replaced.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
oh and my shaft {syncronizer came with the sensor and the aligment cap. so i think the part i got was very good and great value. i looke at it and it had no play and seemed to be very nice. i bought it from shucks/o'reilly
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Thank you for taking the time to share your first hand experience with the board.

I have a question. Is this sensor also used on the '98-up Vulcans?
I want to be keeping a watch on the one in my sister's '98 wagon if it is.
Her car has 129K on it, and I doubt it has ever been replaced.
to be honest im not to sure. i just got a taurus and im learing bout the motors and all now. so you might be better of asking a diff member. sorry i cant help ansew your question
 

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to be honest im not to sure. i just got a taurus and im learing bout the motors and all now. so you might be better of asking a diff member. sorry i cant help ansew your question
I believe from 96 and up, all the cam synch shafts have sensors on them. This is the part that replaced distributors on the OHV engine, so I would believe that from the replacement year (1996) all have a sensor.
 

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i been reading the above post and mine is made in taiwan
Just to share:
I was aware of the substandard quality of parts by Dorman. When I went to replace the CPS on a previously owned Vulcan, I asked the kid at Advance who the cheaper part was made by. It wasn't Dorman, but a company that sounded unfamiliar to me. I did some further research on the Web, and found out that it was a company OWNED by Dorman. Same **** parts in a new box with a new name. Made in China/Taiwan.
Caveat Emptor...
 

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Just replaced mine this weekend, my assembly had a much smaller vane on it though it's a 99. I also cleaned the throttle body which was pretty dirty. No check engine light put about 50 miles on it today so everything should be aligned. Does idle very smooth now at about 750-800 rpm hot in park, but I attribute that to the clean throttle body. I used the Cardone rebuilt unit. Your new unit looks much better than the Dorman one I looked at for the heck of it. There was so much vertical play the tab for the thrust washer came out of it's locating tab. Napa packages it as Balkamp but the instructions say it's made by Dorman and it has the made in China logo stamped on it.
 

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Balkamp! That's the name! Made by Dorman. Thanks!
 

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The sensor changed mid-Gen 3, I believe. '98, maybe. My '02 and '04 are identical to each other but the little metal "key" on top of the synchro that is registered by the sensor is not the same as the one in the photo in this thread. This would also very likely mean the sensor is different.

Seriously, buy the Motorcraft part. You guys are killing me with the aftermarket junk failures. Of course the Dorman part is junk. You buy aftermarket brakes and suspensions and hardware, not aftermarket proprietary-design engine internals, and certainly not those that both drive the oil pump and determine timing. Sheesh.
 
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