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Electrical Short in your SHO?

new 10/3/02

Hi Tim,

I experienced this problem which other SHO owners might like to know about as it is easy to fix. Feel free to change it in any way.

There is a place on the V8 SHO engine where the wiring is sitting on the threaded end of several screws. The plastic channel located above the serpentine belt and running between the front appearance cover and the rear of the engine carries a large bundle of wires. The plastic channel is supported in front by a metal bracket coming off the corner of the front valve cover. The metal bracket has two screws that screw up in to the plastic channel. These screws come up in to a recessed area, but the threads are exposed and the wire bundle ends up sitting on these screws. The wire bundle does not have a protective overwrap where it is run through the plastic channel so the screw threads can eventually cut into the wires. The wires connect to many of the engine electrical components so a large variety of failures could occur depending on which wires short out to the screws.

This happened to me and shorted several of the coil wires. This blew a fuse and left me with a dead SHO. The bungling Ford dealer (Rochester Ford in Minnesota) replaced the fuse and a coil ($550) without fixing the wiring and sent me down the road where the car promptly died within two miles of the dealership. This time they actually fixed the wiring and replaced a second coil which failed due to the shorted wiring they failed to fix in round one. Amazingly they even charged me another $470 for the second repair. I am still fighting this one!

To prevent this potentially expensive problem all that needs to be done is to cover the screws with an insulating material. To do this the cover over the plastic channel is removed. A few wire ties may need to be cut to lift the wire bundle. Cover the screws with an insulating material of your choice and tie the bundle back down. Replace the cover and you are done.

I looked at a second V8 SHO to verify that the problem on my car was not due to a missing insulator or similar part. The second SHO, also a 97, was also uninsulated.


Keith Pearson
97 Toreador Red


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