The 3.4L SHO engines have been having a high rate of secondary cam gear failure. The gear is splined and swedged onto the cam tube. The failure can occur on any of the 4 cams. Since this is a zero tolerance engine when the cam gear slips it causes major damage to the engine. Minimum of new cam, head gasket, and valves on the head that failed. A new cam is $995.00.
There are four of them. People have been quoted prices as high as $20,000 to fix their car. Most are in the $2000-5000 range. Failures seem to occur between 50,000 and 125,000 miles. Many have occurred before the first tune up interval (100,000 miles).
The problem, as I understand it, is a defective design or manufacturing process. The only 2 fixes currently available are tack welding the gear to the tube before it comes loose or drilling and pinning the gear to the tube.
What I would like Ford to do: Lower the price on the replacement cams. How can a cam cost $995.00? They were just recently raised to that from approx. $250.00. Weld the new cams, either solidly around the gear or 3-4 tack welds. Do more to help people with a catastrophic failure. Most dealers pretend like it's the first time they've ever heard of this happening.
Maybe it is, but I'm hearing about way to many of these failures. Of course, I understand that many dealers do not like to work on SHO's, but that's another problem entirely.