Several times a week I get a letter reporting yet another cam failure. Dealership repair estimates are sometimes as exorbitant as $12,000 to $20,000, no doubt fueled by the reluctance of the dealership to undertake such a rebuild and their general incompetence.
In 1988 I purchased a new old stock LT1 short block from Chevy. It must have been 25 years old "new" part when I purchased it. What are the chances of being able to buy a "new' v8 SHO engine in 20 years? Slim to none. Estimates vary widely but I suspect as much as 20% of 96-99 V8 SHO have suffered cam sprocket failure, which quickly depleted any reserve of spare engines.
I find it incredible that Ford is just now discovering they have a cam sprocket issue. One might suspect the total absence of spare engines might have been a early clue something was up. Many engine failures involve a whole lot of broken parts. More than just a few bent valves. For many folks, like the one guy who had the connecting rods come through the block a rebuild is not an option or not the best option.
What is the rumor that manufactures MUST by law have spares for so may years? It would be prohibitive for Ford to tool up for V8 SHO engine production again. I suspect ALL V8 SHO engines were made in one production run and when sales disappointed FOMOCO they simply ceased production when the existing supply of engines was gone.
I think production of NEW V8 SHO engines is something we should push for. I paid $31,000 for my new SHO in 1997 and damn it if I lost a motor I think I rate a fresh engine not a salvage yard oil burner or field rebuild. Having said that wishing and bitching ain't the same as getting.
This is what I did. I went to www.google.com and searched for:
salvage automotive parts
I got a few 100 links, including:
Used V8 SHO motors are running between $2,500 - $3,500 depending on condition and location.
Of course you are supposed to put the engines in "as is" and not weld up the cams in the salvage motor? I would follow my conscience here, my conscience and some common sense.
Worst case $3,500 engine and $1,000 labor and maybe another $500 shipping and misc. And that is still much less than the often quoted $8,000 - $12,000 or $18,000 highway robbery. While we are waiting for FOMOCO to do the right thing, this will be the best option for many.
I hope this helps,
Buford T Justice
Last I checked NO ONE is rebuilding SHO motors on an assembly lime basis, not Jasper, not any other rebuilders that specializes in FORD motors. They just can not get the parts they need to do the job right.