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Christopher Baker 2nd Cam Failure # 356

new 2/9/2004

Well, I finally got word back on my '97 SHO. The two cams on the back bank had both failed. Now another can be added to the list. www.v8sho.com/SHO/ChristopherBakerCamFailure338.htm Oh, and another thing is that everyone that said aftermarket ESP's are a waste could not have been more correct. The warranty company is only going to pay $2500 out of around $5000 or more. The good news is there is no other damage done to the engine. At least it won't have to be replaced! The Shop is actually going to do a lot of extra work on the engine that everyone has suggested be done, so my part of the cost is going to go up even more. Thank God for Tax Returns!

Christopher Baker '97 SHO BS

Sorry to hear about the engine failure. At least you got some part of the bill paid. Are they saying your car is worth only $2500? I just wonder why they won't pay for more of the repair, did they give any reason? For sure a part like the cam failing has virtually nothing to do with owner use/abuse, and if they are paying anything, they have already given up that excuse.

Most warranties, even bad ones, should fix any collateral damage caused by a covered part, and usually the cam is one of the MOST covered parts, because with the exception of the V8 SHO, it is one of the most reliable trouble-free parts of any motor.

Hope you get your car back on the road, and as for your warranty company, if you have documentation that supports them covering more, I would just ask if an attorney can write a short letter to them, that usually shakes loose a few more bucks! (I dislike law suits, but so do other companies, so a threat like that can usually get a company to at least do what they promised and what is right).

Don Mallinson

Most aftermarket warranties have a maximum "per claim" amount, and a maximum "per warranty term" amount. The latter is usually 2x the purchase price of the warranty, the former is usually the purchase price or a flat amount. With most aftermarket warranties running $1000 - $2000 these days, that gives him a limit of $2-4k over the life of the warranty.

-John Breen III

our warranties go from $600 Claim limits taxes in on a 3mth basic powertrain wty up to $750 $1000 $1750 $2500 $5000 the book value of the vehicle at the time of claim.

all those are per claim and we have 27 different programs all of the warranties are the cash value the customer paid for the vehicle at the time of sale w/o taxes for the limit of liability of the warranty term I know of a few warranties on $1800 cars were the customer bought/was sold a $5000 claim limit policy and we have to bring him back to the reality of the agreement. one the $1800 is spent the warranty is over. but all of our plans are renewable and i know of a few customers on on there third of fourth warranty.

not much a lawyer can/will do if the company is paying the claim and it hits the limits..

FWIW i know one jag XJSC we had under risk that we spent $22000 cdn on over the length of the agreement. I know the car as i have seen it at the Jaguar dealer here in town. To look at it the car is beautiful.. Bright Red, white int, white drop top driven by lady about late 50's.


As far as the warranty goes, it's total limit on the policy was the car's worth at time of purchase which was around $14,000. I have only used about $2000 of that for the transmission. Any one claim is worth the total worth of the car at the time of breakdown/failure. Most every other item on the powertrain is covered as well, however the warranty company is only replacing the actual failed components. That's a total of 2 cams, camshaft assembly exhaust, and most all major gaskets. But as long as the engine is torn down, I'm having the timing belt and assembly changed, coils replaced, intakes cleaned, injectors cleaned, clean the surge tank, along with anything else we can think of. I just swapped the plugs out four months ago, so that won't be an issue. I'm going to talk to the shop Monday about adjusting the valves and insulating the rear wiring harness. The shop had never heard of welding the cams and said they wouldn't even attempt it, but they did say the new cams may come already pinned. However I still need to get the front two done if that's the case. I'll just have to make a trip down to Atlanta to get that done as soon as possible. Thanks for all the advice and help.

Christopher Baker '97 SHO BS

Okay, now I'm really confused, though somewhat enlightened as to why this is going to "cost so much". The warranty company is paying for 2 new cams, all broken valves, and a new headgasket, plus (presumably) the labor to R&R those items. Since the R&R time on removing 4 cams is 20 hours, I'm going to assume that the labor to replace 2 cams and multiple valves is around the same amount. But here's where I get confused.

"I'm having the timing belt and assembly changed" - We don't have a timing belt. We have timing chains, one main chain that runs the master cams, and 2 chains that run the slave cams off the master cams. Other than the chain tensioner, what else is there in the "assembly" that needs to be replaced?

"coils replaced" - With one or two RARE exceptions, most of the time you don't need to replace all 8 coils at the same time. In fact, unless you've been having issues with a dead cylinder or rough idle (prior to the cam failure, of course), it's not really worth it to replace any coils until they actually fail. If you weren't going to be tearing the engine down again later to have the cams welded, I could see how it might be worth it to have the rear coils replaced, and keep the originals, as they are expensive and the rears are a PITA to get to some times, but I'm not sure that this is a necessary expense.

"intakes cleaned, injectors cleaned, clean the surge tank" - Shouldn't really take all that much time or money, actually. Especially the surge tank. While it may take 6-12 cans of Berryman's, at $2-$5/can, that's $60 at most.

"adjusting the valves and insulating the rear wiring harness" - Kirk and Eric and FPS would know better, but IIRC, the lashes on the valves seem to hold up rather well, even at 100k. And the warranty company should be paying for the shims for the new valves on the blown cams. The insulation shuldn't cost more than a few bucks, and is not labor intensive to "install", since all you're doing is lifting the wiring harness up and slipping it under the harness.

"new cams may come already pinned" - If they do, I'll buy you a gross of your favorite beer. I know quite a few others on the list that would be VERY interested to know about it if the cams did in fact come pinned. I can almost guarantee that they will be neither welded nor pinned.

As far as getting the new cams welded, you might want to see if any of the "cam welders" on the list would be willing to weld them prior to installation. If not, you'd almost be better off money-wise leaving the engine torn down and shipping it to Kirk or FPS to have the cams welded before it's even buttoned back up. The main reason is that the majority of the labor time to do a cam weld is in "tearing down" the engine and putting it back together. You'd save a bunch if you could leave it open and have someone come and weld it or ship it off to be welded. On top of that, there is little to no evidence that the new cams are any better than the old cams, and there is nothing to guarantee that the front cams won't grenade like the rear ones already have, before you get a chance to have them welded.

I hate to drone on and on and be the Voice of Doom on this, but I'm having a hard time a) finding the other $2500 that you'll be spending on this work, and b) justifying not having the cams welded while the car is already torn apart.

But that's just me...

-John Breen III

ok so they are only saying on this claim the car is worth $2500??? weird way of doing it.. we use cdn black book info and to make it fair we treat every car as avg.


If they come in pinned already (not likely by the way) I am sure the list would like to know about that!

Carter Fuji

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